Arthur Christmas,
directed by Sarah Smith
(Sony, 2011)

Let's face it, the holidays are an easy target, particularly when we have slack years in film. Every year, filmmakers capitalize on the season and bring out a new Christmas film. Most, I don't go to see in the theater. Fewer still get added to my movie collection. Arthur Christmas is a notable exception. Frankly, I'd go back and see this film once more just because the effects on the big screen are that exceptional.

So, what's the story? There's not just one Santa throughout the years, it's an inherited position that's passed on from father to son. The current North Pole computer (voiced by Laura Linney) has retired Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and the current Santa (Jim Broadbent) in residence. Then, there's the two sons. Steve (Hugh Laurie) is the eldest and is the heir apparent. Steve's a paramilitary sort of chap who's got the mission running like clock-work from a fabulous red spaceship, instead of the tried-and-true sleigh and eight tiny reindeer (nine, if you're a Rudolph fan). Arthur, who is a bit of a screw-up, works in the mail room answering stacks upon stacks of Letters to Santa.

When it's discovered that one little girl's present didn't get delivered, everyone but Arthur (James McAvoy) thinks it's well and good. After all, when you consider all the girls and boys of the world, one gift missed doesn't even give them a 1 percent failure rate. But, Arthur sets out to find a way to deliver that last gift, a bicycle to a little girl named Gwen (Ramona Marquez) who was beginning to doubt. Grandsanta gets involved and the two of them dust off the sleigh and the reindeer to deliver the gift the old-fashioned way.

As you can imagine, things go wrong. Will our young hero manage to get the gift to Gwen before she wakes up? You'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out.

You'll also be laughing and geeking out at the cool spaceship and the new method of delivering gifts. And yes, maybe just get a little more Christmas spirit at the same time. Like I said, I'm definitely adding this film to my collection when the DVD comes out, but don't miss it in the theater if you're wanting a heart-warming fun film for the whole family.

review by
Becky Kyle

7 January 2012

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