Arthur Christmas (2011)

I haven't seen many animated Christmas movies. To be honest, I'm not even sure there are a lot of those (suggestions are welcome). Anyway, I haven't really enjoyed those I've seen and I was expecting Arthur Christmas to be another of those but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Arthur (James McAvoy) is Santa's (Jim Broadbent) younger and clumpy son whose happiness depends on seeing kids happy on Christmas. So when he discovers his father's high-tech ship has failed to deliver the present to a little girl, he goes on a mission to save Christmas accompanied by his ageing grandfather, Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), and a rebellious young elf, Bryony (Ashley Jensen).

Right from the very beginning is clear that this is going to be a different film. That's because of the originality. Although the story is quite simple and predictable, and pretty much your typical heartwarming Christmas story, it presents Christmas and the way Santa works in an inventive way. Who would have ever thought of turning Santa and his elves in some sort of military operation? 

As for the characters, they aren't that unique, but at least they have some development. Arthur is a clumsy, awkward young man which such a big heart, it's impossible to not love him. He's one of the nicest characters ever, he doesn't care about himself, he just wants to make kids happy, and he's so determined to bring that girl her present, he's willing to face his fears.

Columbia Pictures
However, stealing the show is two supporting characters, Grandsanta and Bryony. The first was the easiest to empathize with, only if you are an adult though as he's the one who has lost the meaning of Christmas. The latter, the elf who joins Arthur on his mission, is absolutely adorable. She is so passionate, optimist and full of joy, and it's very nice to have her around. These two are the comedic peaks of the film, with both Bill Nighy and Ashley Jensen successfully delivering their jokes. 

The animation is also very lovely. I have to admit I had some doubts about Aardman Animation (Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit) switching from clay stop-motion to CGI, but they delivered it beautifully.


  1. I remember the teaser for this.. but I can't remember if I saw the movie. :D

    Oh ant it's bit sad the studio switched from stop motion to this. I appreciate stop motion so much!

    1. I know, I really loved their stop motion. At least the transition was nicely done.

  2. I loved the Wallace and Gromit's shorts. The longer film not so much. This sounds like a nice movie :)

    1. It's different from the Wallace & Gromit movie. I'm sure you'd enjoy this.