Arthur Christmas is the latest effort from Aardman Animations using CGI as opposed to their classic stop-motion clay animation. Arthur is the youngest son of Santa Claus’s children, a lineage which has been going for centuries. He is the most enthusiastic of his family when it comes to Christmas, even besting his father who has become weary and sees it as more of a job each year.
Arthur is second in line to the Santa throne, behind his elder brother Steve, who co-ordinates the gift deliveries with ruthless, military proficiency; but lacks the festive spirit. When a present is found undelivered it is up to Arthur to become the unlikely hero and save a little girl’s Christmas.
Even though it is not a classic Aardman clay animation the attention to detail in the CGI is simply eye popping and shows that this may be their first big breakthrough in keeping up with modern family audiences. The story is one which has been told through many iterations and Arthur Christmas does not really bring much new, but what it does do is offer a solid film with good humor and pacing.
Each of the characters unique personalities brings something different to the tale and avoids the pitfall of too many non-entities becoming unwarranted. We see what Christmas means to each of these characters in line to be Santa Claus, from the classic and slightly eccentric Grandsanta wonderfully, voiced by Bill Nighy to the modern technology saavy Steve, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Arthur (James McAvoy) whilst being incredibly earnest in his love for the holiday never oversteps the mark in to cliché territory.
Sure. Arthur Christmas succeeds in bringing the Christmas cheer in this classic tale and still proves there’s life in the legend.
Cast: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Matt Lucas