Film Review: Arthur Christmas (2011)

16 Dec

Arthur Christmas film reviewI’m a sucker for a good christmas film so when I saw Arthur Christmas advertised a couple of months ago I knew I would have to see it.

Rather than the usual reindeers, sleighs and ho ho ho’s, this Santa (the 20th in a long line up of Claus’ to be precise) has been modernised. Invisible craft sleigh S-1, elves who perform to military standards and two sons to help him, Steve (voiced by Hugh Laurie) who is in charge of the present delivery operation and Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) placed in the mail department to handle the children’s letters to Santa Claus, because he’s too clumsy to do anything else.

The film is set on christmas eve which happens to be the current Santa’s 70th christmas delivering presents. Everything goes fairly smoothly with all the deliveries made on time and Santa remaining unseen. Although the smoothness of the operation seems to be thanks to the fast flying S-1 and the elves rather than Santa himself, which is something that Grandsanta hates. In his day it was all about the traditional sleigh and reindeers. However a few hours after christmas deliveries have been completed, another present is found which means a child is facing christmas with no present from Santa. Whilst Steve and Santa decide it’s been one of the best nights for delivering presents and aren’t willing to risk delivering one present that hasn’t made it, Steve is distraught at the idea especially after reading the child’s letter where she questions whether Santa is real. So when Grandsanta ropes him into delivering the present the traditional way Steve, despite has fear of heights and fast moving objects, jumps onboard the sleigh to save christmas for one little girl, Gwen, in England.

This is a throughly enjoyable film for everyone which is set aside from the usual christmas films by the modernisation. I prefer the more traditional idea of Santa, I’m with Grandsanta on the whole sleigh and reindeers thing, so it was nice to see that this element was still retained within the film, with Arthur trying to deliver the present on the sleigh. For me if the whole idea had been modernised it would have spoilt it so I was really happy to see that tradition and technology were combined to create this heartwarming film.

The hero of the story, Arthur, finally gets recognition with Santa handing down his duties to him, despite Steve being the eldest son, as he’s brought back the element of christmas that the current Santa had lost. The caring and the willingness to do whatever it takes to deliver a present to every child in every country, throughout the world. Even tough, precise Steve warms to the idea that Arthur would make a better Santa and graciously accepts the role of Chief Operating Officer. As the new Santa, Arthur even pleases Grandsanta by flying the S-1 with 5000 reindeer the following christmas.

The comedy and the story are both enjoyable for adults and children so it really is a film that everyone can enjoy and get in the festive spirit with.

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