|DVD Arthur Christmas
Run time: 97 min
Genres: Animation | Comedy | Drama
Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook
Writers: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith
Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy
Arthur Christmas reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’ The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the center of the film is a story about a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns. Written by Sony Pictures Animation
|Plot Keywords: christmas, elf, sleigh, reindeer, north pole|
Country: UK, USA
Release Date: 11 November 2011 (UK)
Opening Weekend: $12,068,931 (USA) (18 November 2011)
Gross: $46,440,491 (USA) (6 January 2012)
Arthur Claus (James McAvoy) is the bumbling son of the reigning Santa, Malcolm Claus (Jim Broadbent). Arthur is relegated to the Letter Department where he can presumably do no damage. Arthur's brother Steve (Hugh Laurie) is the heir apparent to the title of Santa. Steve is handsome, confident, and in charge of the North Pole command center that monitors Santa's gift-giving flight around the world. The film opens with a bravura set piece showing how Santa is able to stop in millions of homes in one night. Hint: he has the help of thousands of elves.
When Arthur discovers that one gift was accidentally undelivered, he becomes determined to get it to the unfortunate girl before Christmas sunrise. Even with the help of his retired grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and a perky elf (Ashley Jensen) from the Wrapping Department, can Arthur travel around the world in time?
There have been many movies over the years where Christmas must be saved from disaster, but Arthur Christmas has a very creative take on it. From the opening scene where it's established that Santa is really a dynasty through the centuries, a title handed down from father to son, to the paramilitary operation to get millions of presents delivered in one night, to the misadventures of Arthur and his grandsanta as they try to make sure one little girl is not disappointed, Arthur Christmas is fun, creative, and original. Produced by Aardman Animations in association with Sony Pictures Animation, this CGI animated film delivers Aardman's distinct brand of quirky humor and style.
The art direction maintains the slightly skewed look of an Aardman claymation film. The character designs are asymmetric and the surface textures are realistic yet bold. The North Pole command center and Santa's high-tech sleigh are clean and modern.
Sometimes celebrity voice talent backfires, but here it works beautifully, the English accents lending a sense of gravity that heightens the silliness. Bill Nighy is particularly good, conveying wisdom that is tinged with resentment of the modern gift-delivery methods his son and grandson use.
Arthur Christmas is a funny, heartwarming, and poignant look at the Santa Claus mythos, adding a family dynamic that will resonate with children and adults. I expect Arthur Christmas will become a joyful holiday favorite for years to come.
This was the best kind of family movie — fast-paced, lots of fun, entertaining for elementary age, middle schoolers, and parents, and with NO bad words or sexual innuendo.
We loved Arthur, Bryony, and Grandsanta especially, as they were the most developed and important characters, and as a mom I appreciated the morals of this story — every single person matters, never give up, and sometimes old-school is better. Plus, technology is still good and yes, customer service and people skills do matter!
I loved it, my husband loved it and our 8 and 11 year olds loved it. We saw it in 3D that mostly felt 2D, so the 3D in this one didn't pop for us (like it did in Puss in Boots) but maybe it was just nicely subtle — sometimes the attempt to make things come of the screen is over the top. But I don't remember ANYTHING coming at us this time, so this is probably just as good in 2D.
Bottom line: very enjoyable, good messages, lots of twists and fun humor … Definitely worth seeing and owning!
Christmas is a great time of the year. The whole family comes together, children are excited, and joy fills the air. What better way to spend the festive season than seeing a family Christmas movie with your loved ones? Now, Aardman Animations has given us a very joyous movie that should be a Christmas classic for years to come.
Over the years, because of the world's expanding population, Santa Claus' Christmas Night deliveries has become a high-tech military operation, involving thousands of elves and a giant aircraft. Santa Claus' son, Steve (Hugh Laurie), runs logistics and intelligence in the North Pole and is set to become the next Santa Claus. His younger brother, Arthur (James McAvoy), is a very passionate young man who loves the spirit of Christmas, but is a bit of a klutz. Arthur is kept in the mail room to handle all of Santa's letters.
The Christmas delivery seems to be a big success, so much so that Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent) postpones his retirement, much to Steve's annoyance. But the worst thing imaginable has happened, a child has been missed. Steve refuses to delivers one bike because the margin of error was too small, so Arthur and his grandfather (Bill Nighy), who wants to show the old techniques still work, and the dedicated elf Bryony (Ashley Jensen) set out to ensure that one little girl is not the child Santa forgot. But their ambitions result in an adventure around the world as this band of misfits save Christmas for one child.
Like Pixar, Aardman believes that story and character have to come first and they make movies for children and adults alike. The movie is funny throughout, with plenty of the verbal jokes that children and adults will enjoy as well as some really well done physical humour and some slapstick. But this is a movie that understands children and what they want. The premise is simple, but the writing is strong and clever throughout the whole film and there are little touches that give Arthur Christmas that Aardman feel, from the pictures of the previous Santas to Steve's Christmas Tree goatee. Christmas is an exciting time for children and Arthur Christmas is just such a good-natured, fun movie that delivers on that spirit.
Some elements of Arthur Christmas are similar to Elf, mainly that Arthur is a big kid like Buddy who believes in the magic of Christmas. He is also a guy who does not quite fit in the North Pole and given a job that keeps him out of trouble. The score by Harry Gregson-Williams is very much like the score in Elf, particularly the choir, which sounds identical.
This is a cliché, but Arthur Christmas follows the old Hollywood maxim of "you make them laugh, you make them cry." It was filled with colourful, likable characters throughout that you will end up caring for despite their faults and expertly played by a top notch voice cast. I left the cinema with a massive smile on my face.
Arthur Christmas is one of those animated films that throws too much craziness throughout the adventure and ends with a powerful heartwarming twist. There is an animated film just released this year and last year that is really similar to the storyline of this(Despicable Me and Mars Needs Moms). The plot is too simple but the whole matter goes to the heart and the comedy because it's a family movie. It works well enough but it could have been better if the adventure is quite interesting and less mediocre. It's also good as a Christmas movie. It has the true heart of the holiday. Arthur Christmas might be one of the best holiday films I've seen this year so far.
Arthur Christmas is a futuristic turn to the life's work of Santa Claus. It's a great concept. From sleigh and reindeers to a flying ship. But the whole story belongs to Santa's son, Arthur. His heart really shines the very small plot and makes it bigger. It's disappointing in the second act though. It relies to nothing but throwing all the gags they could give. GrandSanta keeps going to the wrong way and do something crazy all around the world. It feels mediocre and extraneous. But it can be pretty fun though. The third act saves most of the film. Bringing back the true heart and spirit of Christmas.
The characters are fun. No wonder, this is Aardman and they always have great character development. The CGI is really solid. It's not clay animation nor a CGI animation that tries to look like stop motion. It's just solid. The score keeps the spirits up. The performances were great. James McAvoy makes Arthur a one lovable dork. We loved it. Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent are both delightful and Bill Nighy nearly steals the show. He has the best gags. Grandsanta's loyalty to his generation and his crazy antics. The rest of the cast are also fun.
Saddest thing about Aardman, most of their movies (besides of Chicken Rush and Wallace and Gromit) ends up being forgettable even though they are pretty good and imaginative. And it looks like Arthur Christmas didn't do well in the box office. Well, I strongly recommend Arthur Christmas this Holiday. It's a perfect Christmas movie to watch this year. The second act may be crazy and mediocre but the film ends beautifully. Then there, I saw this in 3D, it ends giving me a smile in my face, ran away when the song in the end credits started, and is happy.