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Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas: Hilarious Animated Christmas Film

  • Bill NighyEva Longoria...
  • AnimationComedy...
  • Sarah Smith
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Arthur Christmas: Hilarious Animated Christmas Film

Father Christmas’s job is handed down throughout the generations from father
to son. Our current Santa, Malcolm (Broadbent), has had a pretty great run yet
is unwilling to relinquish his position to his eldest son Steve (Laurie), who
would kill for the title. Under Steve’s influence, however, the gift delivery
method has been revolutionised and sleighs, reindeers and chimneys have become
a thing of the past. Operation: Christmas is now a high-tech affair executed
with military precision by an army of elves under Steve’s watchful eye, while Malcolm is relegated to a mere figurehead position. Steve’s
younger brother, Arthur (McAvoy), is the family’s underdog. Lacking in Steve’s
ambition, talent and drive, he’s relegated to working in the mail room and
answering kids’ letters to Santa. However, what he lacks in leadership skills,
he more than makes up for in sheer Christmas spirit and genuine care for people’s
happiness; two things that Steve lacks.

The film follows Malcolm and Steve as they pull off their biggest Christmas
ever only to discover, once the operation is over, that one child has been
missed. Steve writes this child off as a margin of error and proceeds to
celebrate, and Malcolm goes to bed, leaving Arthur alone fretting over the poor
girl. Accompanied by a mohawked, wrapping-obsessed elf named Bryony (Jensen)
and his grandpa, Grandsanta (Nighy), he sets off to save Christmas by
delivering the last present before daybreak, the old-fashioned way.

Arthur Christmas is
genuinely fun and is really heavy on the Christmas spirit. The first half plays
like an animated Mission: Impossible, which shows just how much fun the animators were having
with the 3D. The camera swoops, swirls and glides as the elves shoot out of the
spaceship, break into the houses and navigate a maze of house alarms, pets and
insomniacs. Things become even more entertaining once Arthur embarks on his
adventure. The bumbling crew’s journey on the sleigh is pretty hilarious.
Arthur, who quakes at the sight of his own shadow and has a debilitating fear
of heights, has to deal with a reindeer who’s never flown before, an ancient
sleigh and a slightly crazy grandpa who happens to be the driver. With all the
odds stacked against him, he selflessly powers on, fulfilling his mantra of ‘no
child left behind’.        

The script is a perfect balance of heartfelt and hilarious and the
awesome voice cast is filled with some of the UK’s biggest stars, including
three of the Harry Potter cast;
Slughorn, Umbridge and Hagrid. And while McAvoy is perfect as the bumbling,
worrywart Arthur, Jensen as Bryony the elf is the film’s standout. Singularly
obsessed with wrapping paper and sellotape, her hyperactive, OCD ways will have
you doubled over with laughter.

Arthur Christmas has
the makings of a Christmas classic. It’s fun for everyone, not just for kids, and
updates the classic Father Christmas tale into something that feels fresh and

Like This? Try

The Polar Express, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf

360 Tip

Bieber fans! You get to see the Biebz in 3D! A music video for his cover of ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’ precedes the film and it’s filled with bedazzled jeans, constipated facial expressions and sky-high hair.

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