Catch the Christmas Carol Train while you can

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Disney’s Christmas Carol train tour opened to the public at 9 a.m. this morning and will be open until 7 tonight and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow. Parked at the Cleveland Port parking lot off West Third near Browns Stadium, the train offers a glimpse at the forthcoming Christmas Carol movie, due out Nov. 6. I took the tour this morning and it's pretty cool. The first couple of cars feature artifacts on loan from the Dickens Museum in London. In addition to a collection of manuscripts and letters, you can see one of Dickens’ goose feather quills that he used to write many of his stories. As you move through the train, which is several cars long, there are clay models of Scrooge and Cratchit and models of Big Ben and Scrooge’s office. All the while, interviews with stars Jim Carrey and Colin Firth play on many of hte TV screens located on the walls. One entire car is devoted to recreating a motion capture room like the ones used in the making of the movie (see picture on the left). There's yet another car where you can have your face morphed onto one of the film’s characters and then emailed so you can print it out from your computer at home. And finally, there’s a tent where you see a 10 minute clip that takes you behind-the-scenes of the making of the movie and includes a few finished clips, all in digital 3-D. While the fake snow machines and Christmas carolers seemed a bit out of place given that we haven't even passed the first day of autumn yet, the train offers a fascinating look at the complexities of making of a motion capture movie.

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