Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

In Theatres: 
Nov 23, 2011

Every year there is a plethora of holiday movies that take advantage of the winter season. Some are good but the majority of them are just a desperate attempt at making a quick buck. With the vocal talents of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, and Bill Nighy, Arthur Christmas hopes to bring the Xmas cheer to all the boys and girls of the world. Does Santa deliver, or is it another lump of coal in our stockings?

Santa has always been the big cheese when it comes to Christmas but have you ever wondered how he manages to deliver millions upon millions of presents in a single night? With the help of the latest equipment and an army of elves, Santa doesn’t have to do much these days. It’s for the best though as the man is getting older and on the verge of retiring. Steve (Hugh Laurie), Santa’s eldest son, has been diligently upgrading the technology and making sure each Christmas goes off without a hitch for the past few years. Meanwhile, youngest son Arthur (James McAvoy) has been put in charge of the mailroom so that he doesn’t mess anything up. This year, however, everything changes when a single child doesn’t receive her gift. With Santa and Steve calling Christmas a success, Arthur doesn’t give up and is determined to deliver this final gift, no matter the cost.

Arthur Christmas starts off like any other animated Christmas movie with all the bells and whistles of holiday cheer. At first there’s nothing particularly different about it, aside from the fact that gone are the days of the old wooden sleigh and reindeer, instead replaced by the S1 - a new and improved flying monstrosity. While the voice acting shines, the jokes themselves don’t have that much of an impact. That all changes, however, with the introduction of Grandsanta (Bill Nighy).

Grandsanta is like that crazy grandpa you see once every year who has absolutely no shame and tells you ridiculous stories from when he was a boy, etc. Everything that comes out of his mouth is pure genius, even if it isn’t exactly kosher, or true for that matter. Bill Nighy plays the part perfectly and no doubt steals the spotlight of the film. If there’s a single reason to see Arthur Christmas, it’s because of Grandsanta.

That being said, Arthur Christmas does have a warm and heartfelt story to go along with some great looking animations. It’s no Pixar, but Sony Pictures Animation manages to create a convincing winter wonderland. If you’re looking for something to watch with the kids this Thanksgiving weekend and want to get into the Christmas spirit, you can’t go wrong with Arthur Christmas

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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