movie film review | chris tookey

Arthur Christmas

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  Arthur Christmas Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
6.42 /10
James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy
Full Cast >

Directed by: Sarah Smith
Written by: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith

Released: 2011
Origin: UK/ US
Length: 100

Seasonal fun.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Arthur Christmas offers us a modestly amusing, animated take on how Santa Claus (voiced by Jim Broadbent) is able to deliver so many presents around the earth, in one night.

It turns out that this Santa is the twentieth of a long line, and the nineteenth is still alive but retired (voiced by Bill Nighy). The present Santa has a supportive wife (Imelda Staunton again) and grown-up sons, one of whom, alpha male Steve (Hugh Laurie) bosses the hi-tech military-style operation, the other of whom, Arthur (James McAvoy), is a well-meaning but clumsy nincompoop whoís banished to the mailroom.

Santaís other helpers are elves, a million of them, including a Scottish one voiced by Ashley Jensen.

But what happens when the system breaks down, and one little girl in Cornwall doesnít get the bike she wanted? The only one who really cares is Arthur, who despite being accident-prone is the most imbued with the Christmas spirit.

So Arthur persuade his stroppy old granddad to get the old, low-tech sleigh out of mothballs and ride to the rescue.

Because Arthur Christmas comes from Aardman, the company that made Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, I was hoping for quirkier ideas and a more offbeat sense of humour. Nor does it feel as British as the best of their output.

Still, writer-director Sarah Smith and her co-writer Peter Baynham come up with a few good gags, and the animation is perfectly competent. This is an undemanding childrenís movie, with just about enough humour and excitement to keep adults entertained. Itís just a pity it isnít a classic.

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