Arthur the Great

Santa has left the building

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Arthur is the slightly bumbling, second son of Santa who is relegated to the letter processing office in the modern high tech world of Santa Claus where the Christmas delivery is run with military precision by his older brother Steve. But after Santa's 70th mission it becomes apparent that a child has been forgotten and so Arthur along with his retired grandfather and an elf from the packaging department take it upon themselves to try and save the day before it is too late.

In a changing world where more people email rather than post letters and more people are using cards instead of cash I guess it makes sense that things have changed up at the North Pole and Santa's traditional operation has been modernised. It is what opens up "Arthur Christmas" as we watch how Santa and a small army of elves travel the world in the S1, a space ship and drop into homes like members of the SAS to deliver the presents whilst back at the North Pole Santa's son Steve controls things from a NASA style control base. This whole re-imagining of Christmas is a lot of fun especially with the slapstick fun of the good hearted but slightly inept Arthur scurrying around whilst Santa is slowing down and becoming oblivious to everything as he is getting older.

Arthur Christmas (2011)

But after the fun of the opening "Arthur Christmas" manages to build on it with humour surrounding Steve desperate to take over as Santa and then the whole special mission involving Arthur, the elf and Grandpa Christmas going old school with the original sleigh and the reindeer. I tell you what "Arthur Christmas" maybe an animation made for children but as an adult I don't think a Christmas movie has grabbed my attention this much in a very long time especially one made for children. The detail is just brilliant from the actual animated characters to the little background elements you might miss such as the tube of chimney lube which is under a table near the old sleigh.

What also helps "Arthur Christmas" is the number of recognizable voices with Hugh Laurie stealing the show as the commanding Steve whilst Jim Broadbent does an equally good job as the increasingly forgetful Santa. The choice of actors is spot on right down to those who voice the elves.

What this all boils down to is that "Arthur Christmas" was a real pleasant surprise as it is imaginative and creative and as much fun for adults as it is for children and in my book is destined to become a Christmas classic.

Tags: Christmas Movies

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