Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Sony Pictures

Release date: November 11th 2011
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 97 minutes

Director: Sarah Smith
Writers: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith
Composers: Adam Cohen, Michael Giacchino

Voice cast: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Ashley Jensen, Eva Longoria, Imelda Staunton, Marc Wootton

Official Movie Site

I’m one of those people that by December 26th I’m suffering from post-Christmas blues and already counting down the days until the festivities start all over again.

First there’s New Years to get through, then Easter, then somewhere along the way there’s my birthday in the autumn and once that’s over, it’s just a few short weeks to Christmas!

Year after year it’s the same, and by early November I’m in full “Operation Christmas” mode, ticking off my checklist of items and tasks as I go and delegating duties just so that one day of the year goes without a hitch.

Arthur Christmas

The smell of tinsel, the writing of cards, the stashing away of yet-unwrapped presents, the tying of bows, ribbons and stringing lights together and the soft glow of sitting beside a tree that’s all lit up as I sip egg nog and nibble on fruit cake. Things you simply can’t do any other time of year, I’m told that would just be…crazy.

I guess I’d be one of the elves or maybe even Arthur himself. The story begins in Cornwall, England where a little girl, Gwen, writes to Santa asking for a pink bicycle for Christmas. Her letter reaches the North Pole where we see things have moved on from the medieval looking toymaker’s house where Santa and his elves used to work from.

Arthur Christmas

It’s now a futuristic industrial complex where thousands upon thousands of elves work around the clock with state-of-the-art technology to deal with the growing demands of today’s children.

It’s all handled by Santa’s son, Steve (Hugh Laurie) who runs it with military precision and he hopes his father will pass the suit onto him when he retires this year. In the mailroom is where his younger brother Arthur (James McAvoy) works and everyone sort of hopes that’s where he’ll stay.

Arthur’s nothing like his big brother, with his Christmas sweater, fluffy reindeer slippers and big wide yes, the festive spirit seems to be with him all year round and as he writes replies back to every child he tells them not to worry, Santa will get to their house with their present because he’s the greatest man in world. He’s clumsy, a little bit afraid of everything and hasn’t seen anything of the world beyond the North Pole.

Arthur Christmas

As Christmas Eve nears, Santa’s sleigh – which now resembles the Starship Enterprise – is loaded up and ready to go with the elves and Santa on board to deliver presents to every boy and girl in the world.

Travelling at thousands of miles per hour, every child’s home is stocked with presents waiting that are for them on Christmas morning. Every child but Gwen – her bicycle is accidentally left behind. When the elves discover the mistake they bring it to Steve and Santa’s attention but they’re willing to let it go, it’s just one child and the night has been declared a success so they retire to their beds.

Arthur Christmas

Only Arthur is concerned that a child will wake on Christmas morning without a present. Together with Bryony (Ashley Jensen), a lowly elf from the Giftwrap Battalion and Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), Santa’s 136 years old cranky father, they decide to embark on a perilous mission to deliver Gwen’s bike using traditional methods…a wooden sleigh pulled by reindeer.

Arthur is of course the one who reminds us that every child matters and in doing so he might just end up inheriting the world’s most important job on Christmas Eve.

Arthur Christmas

With his kind heart and child-like wonder he’s an amazing character but there are many favourites in this film to choose from as well, including the mad wrapping elf Bryony, Mrs. Claus (Imelda Staunton) who busies herself with online courses while the men are at work, Peter (Marc Wootton) who’s Steve’s all too eager right hand elf and Chief De Silva (Eva Longoria) who launches a military attack on the trio after mistaking their sleigh for a UFO.

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Filled with wonderful touches and sparkling surprises, Arthur Christmas left me smiling and feeling even more Christmas cheer than I did before – if that was possible! Its animation is superb and the voice actors do a great job of bringing their characters to life in this inventive take on Christmas.

It’s one for the whole family, so go on, make someone happy!

Arthur Christmas

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