November 4, 2012

Filthy Festive Review - 'Arthur Christmas'

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Nestled away in our movie collection is an entire section dedicated to Christmas movies. Films like Elf and The Polar Express, as well as slightly more adult entertainment with Silent Night, Deadly Night and Bad Santa, all of which get an airing when the festive season rolls around. Now I can add Arthur Christmas to that collection, a charming wee movie that wants nothing more than to make you believe in Father Christmas, and to have a few laughs along the way.

The question is always asked how Santa can deliver all his presents on just one night. Well, it is answered in this here movie. Christmas Eve is run with military precision, with Santa out delivering, along with his Elves, whilst his oldest son, Steve, runs the operation from back in at the North Pole. It’s all run so smoothly that no one gets missed out; that is until one child does get skipped. If she doesn’t get her present she will stop believing in Santa.

Not wanting the magic of Christmas to be lost, up steps Santa’s youngest son, Arthur, who works in the mail room replying to all the letters that Santa receives. Arthur, along with Grandsanta, set out on a mission to get the girl her present before Christmas Day dawns on England.

Arthur Christmas is the latest film from Aardman Animations, with Peter Lord on board as Producer, and although it isn’t a Claymation film, as Pirates: Band of Misfits was, it still has that same Aardman charm and humor. Arthur Christmas is a movie most definitely aimed at children, whereas Pirates had some more adult humor mixed in, and it works terrifically well. I watched it with my two year old son, and he seemed to have a blast with it. Mind you, he loves spaceships and this Santa's sleigh is most certainly the most futuristic one I have seen!

The humor runs throughout the movie, and is brought to life by an excellent cast which includes Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton, along with Jim McAvoy as Arthur, with the former having all the best lines. Sure, the story might take a predictable direction, you aren’t going to get any real surprises at the end, but it is the wild ride that takes us there that makes the film so enjoyable.

Visually, Arthur Christmas is great to look at, with eye-popping color and smooth animation, and if you can get past the inclusion of Justin Bieber singing Santa Claus is coming to town, you have yourself another animated winner from Sony.

I enjoyed Arthur Christmas, and I am in no doubt that it will find itself in many kids’ Christmas movie collections. I know we will be watching it again, many times I am sure.

Arthur Christmas is released on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD (with UltraViolet) on November 6th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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