It’s been Christmas movie watching time here at my house and we certainly have our favorites. Arthur Christmas is one of those movies that surprises, delights, and is just plain good.
Arthur is the younger of Santa’s two sons. Because he’s not in line to be the next Santa, he gets pushed around to different North Pole jobs. He’s clumsy, naive, and full of more Christmas spirit than anyone else on Santa’s staff, including the big man himself.
His older brother, Steve, has taken it upon himself to make Santa’s deliveries an efficient and orderly operation. He’s scrapped the old fashioned sleigh in favor of the S-1, a city-sized spaceship with enough high-tech gadgetry to make any nerd cry. At the North Pole, he’s created a mission control center that supports each and every present drop.
When a undelivered present is found after Santa’s delivery run is finished, Steve states that it’s inconsequential. Missing one child out of over 7 billion is no more than a rounding error. She’ll receive a gift equivalent instead sometime during the general window of Christmas.
This is unacceptable to Arthur. No believing child should miss out on their gift from Santa, even if it means extra time and effort on their part. He enlists the help from grandpa Santa who had secretly hidden the old sleigh. Off they go to deliver the girl’s gift only to learn that grandpa Santa doesn’t know how to get there.
Various accidents ensue, grabbing the attention of military survelliance all over the world.
Is Arthur successful? Can’t tell you. That would be a spoiler. You’d better go watch it.
Like I said before, this is a delightful movie that is great fun for the whole family. There’s a great balance of gorgeous settings, humor aimed at adults, fun characters with realistic problems, and a good message at the end.
Oh, did I mention that it also has one of the most gorgeous film scores for a kid’s Christmas movie? Lots of brass fanfare and sweeping strings – my personal favorites.
Another big plus for the adults is the terrific cast voicing the characters. There’s James McAvoy as Arthur, Hugh Laurie as Steve, Jim Broadbent as Santa, Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Claus, and Bill Nighy as Grand Santa.
Even the youngest kid is going to like this one. There’s plenty of eye candy and silliness to keep young watchers engaged while there’s also enough depth to keep the adults amused. There are some mild inappropriate bits – like when grand Santa talks about putting naughty children back to sleep with a sock full of sand and a dab of whiskey on the lips. There’s also a scene where they are almost attacked by lions and shot at by a Idahoan.
I give Arthur Christmas 5/5 on my Christmas movie list. Good all around.
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