Xmas: 'Arthur Christmas' (2011) Dirs. Sarah Smith & Barry Cook
A welcome spin on the Father Christmas story, with slick CGI and British animation company Aardman bringing a top British cast together for festive fun...
On his 70th Christmas Eve delivery, Santa (Broadbent) is supported by his tech-savvy son Steve (Laurie) who operates a well oiled team in the North Pole, coordinating operations.
When a present is mislaid in the S-1 Super Sleigh Stealth Ship, Arthur (McAvvoy), Santa's youngest son, can't bear a child to go without a present on Christmas Day, no matter what the cost. His faith and belief in the magic of Christmas and Santa himself carries him forward to do the right thing.
Convincing Grand-Santa (Nighy) to help him with an old sleigh and an elderly reindeer, Arthur is also joined by elf Bryony (Jensen) as they race against time on a dangerous flight around the world, all to deliver the final present before Christmas morning...
One of the best Christmas films in recent years, this wonderfully slick animation manages to capture a modern interpretation of how a 21st Century Santa should run, but retains the old-fashioned festive charm that makes the festive season.
With passionate vocal work by James McAvvoy, who excels as the good-natured by clumsy hero of the story, along with Hugh Laurie, Ashley Jensen and British icons Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy, all the characters are engaging, fun and larger than life which is just what you want for a witty and clever adventure.
Showcasing some great animation that at times easily matches Disney Pixar, this has wonderful imaginative scenes that are dizzying in scale and well produced - the opening sequence with Santa making his 70th delivery is particularly brilliant and ingenious in how they pull it off.
With genuine heart-felt moments and a nice sugar-coated, thrilling finale that again uses clever themes and humour to show a sensitive subject like a child's belief, this piles on the subtle comedy without being stupid and has lots of laugh out loud moments for adults and children alike.
Full of festive fun and laughs, with fresh ideas and concepts surrounding the magic of Christmas, brought to life by a top-notch cast and slick animation.
'Arthur Christmas' is a Columbia Pictures / Aardman Animations / Sony Pictures Animation production