Friday, December 13, 2013

Movie Review: "Arthur Christmas" (2011)

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Movie: "Arthur Christmas"
Director: Sarah Smith & Barry Cook
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Arthur (James McAvoy) is one of Santa's sons. He works in the letters department at the North Pole, where he reads and responds to all of the letters written to Santa from kids around the world. Steve (Hugh Laurie), Arthur's older brother and next in line to fill the role of Santa Claus, is in charge of helping his father with operations during Christmas eve's missions to deliver presents to children. Steve is very no-nonsense and isn't about having a whimsical Christmas, taking a very statistical and rigid approach to the holiday. He is more about efficiency than anything else. Arthur, on the other hand, loves the magic of Christmas, from his goofy reindeer slippers to his bad Christmas sweater, if it's Christmas themed, Arthur loves it. He is a true believer in the spirit of Christmas and has tremendous amounts of faith in Santa Claus, his father. After another presumed successful Christmas, it turns out that one child was forgotten in the chaos and will not be receiving a present. With the help of Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), Arthur makes it his mission to hand-deliver the gift, a shiny new bicycle to a little girl in England, at any cost.

This animated movie is extremely adorable and very funny, too! It's another one of those films where your mouth hurts at the end of it because you smiled so much while it was playing. It's extremely heartwarming and reminds audiences that Christmas is about heart and soul more than anything else. At the end of the day, Christmas is about making other people happy and going out of your way to do so, even if it inconveniences you. It's about having a happy time with the ones you love.

The actors and actresses who did the voices for this movie really fit well with their characters and you believe them all. We love the way this movie shows the generational differences between each Santa Claus, as well as the differences between Arthur and his brother Steve. Grandsanta laments about how in his day he was able to do the entire Christmas eve delivery in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, while his son and Steve use a high-tech sleigh called the S-1, which boasts a cloaking device to ensure that Santa is not seen by the children of the's more like a spaceship, not a sleigh. This is an updated take on a Christmas story that isn't done poorly. I foresee this becoming a Christmas staple in our home!

(It's funny to note that Playstation console name was dropped a few times in this movie because Sony Animation Studios made this film. Just another instance of us noticing product placement, and we're getting quite good at it!)

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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