Thursday, 24 November 2011

Arthur Christmas 3D: Movie Review

Arthur Christmas 3D: Movie Review

Arthur Christmas
Rating: 8/10
Vocal cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Ashley Jensen
Director: Sarah Smith
Ah, Christmas.
A time of strained tensions, screaming kids and festive goodwill to all.
That and Christmas-themed movies.
Add to that list, the latest from Aardman Animations, a computer generated tale about James McAvoy's Arthur Christmas, the second son of Father Christmas (Jim Broadbent). Arthur's job at the North Pole is to reply to the letters sent by the kids asking Santa for presents - whereas his older brother Steve (House's Hugh Laurie) is there to co-ordinate the elves as they deliver billions of presents in one night.
But this Christmas, something goes a little awry and one present's left undelivered. As far as Steve and Santa are concerned, it's no major but Arthur's unhappy that one kid, in Cornwall in the UK, will miss out on the magic of Christmas if they don't get their new bike.
So, along with the retired GrandSanta (Nighy), Arthur sets out to ensure this Christmas won't be ruined. But the adventure of a lifetime is a little more than the worrywart Arthur expected.
Arthur Christmas is a bright, joyous, festive treat which will keep the kids happy during the up-coming break. But there's also just enough to keep the adults amused too with a script that's smart in scattered places (one kid writes to Santa: "If you live in the North Pole, how come I can't see your house on Google maps?").
McAvoy brings a weediness to his Arthur which contrasts nicely with Laurie's efficient Steve and Broadbent's been in the job too long Santa. Nighy is amusing as GrandSanta and there's a nice running theme about different generations and expectations as well as a sarcastic vein pumping through.
But for every sentimental moment within Arthur Christmas, there's an equal moment of sheer lunacy which gives the film a slightly unpredictable feel which is very welcome amid the usual festive schmaltz. There's also a sign Aardman's taking on Pixar with a nod to one of its other characters contained subtly within as well - fans of animation will be delighted by that.

Arthur Christmas is to be enjoyed; with the magic of Christmas in its heart and a fair few ho ho hos, it's certainly something that will remind you of the joys of the holiday.

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