Arthur (James McAvoy) is the dedicated, but goofy, son of Santa Claus. When he finds out that a little girl’s present has not been delivered to her, he makes it his mission to brighten up her Christmas. Read the review of Arthur Chrismtas for more.
Business rating: 2/5 stars (Two stars)
Voice cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen.
What’s Good: The story idea; the funny dialogues; the animation.
What’s Bad: The uni-dimensional script, except that the movie releases in India a little late for the Christmas cheer.
Verdict: Arthur Christmas is an enjoyable fare but it will find limited appreciation in India, that too only in the metropolitan cities.
Loo break: None.
Watch or not?: Watch it with your kids.
Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation’s Arthur Christmas begins with Santa Claus and his elves delivering billions of gifts to kids all over the world with clockwork precision. While Santa himself is a bit lost in the proceedings, it’s his eldest son, Steve, who looks after the gargantuan logistics and has a backup plan for everything.
Santa’s youngest son, Arthur, however, is too clumsy to assist his father and brother, and is consigned to the department of letters. Nevertheless, Arthur loves reading the letters children write to Santa, and does his best to keep their hopes high. When Santa returns from his 70th Christmas of delivering presents, Steve expects his father to hand over the reins to him. Instead, Santa announces that he plans to continue on the job. So, when Steve finds out that one of the presents has not been delivered, he dismisses it as an error that can be overlooked, and even convinces Santa. But Arthur is shocked at the thought of a little girl waking up on Christmas morning only to find out that Santa Claus does not love her. He takes it upon himself to deliver the gift to the little girl with the help of Grandsanta and the elf, Bryony (who had discovered the undelivered gift in the first place).
With his eccentric companions – Grandsanta (who has a way of doing things the old way with the reindeers), a map (that shows part of the world as ‘cannibals’) and Bryony (who has a knack of gift-wrapping everything in sight) – Arthur sets out to make this his most memorable Christmas.
Arthur Christmas Review: Script Analysis
Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith have done a wonderful job in making the story very lovable. The characters have their own flaws, yet that’s what makes them even more adorable. The writers have also done a fine job of taking an old Christmas story and giving it a modern twist in the end. However, since the drama moves on one track only, the Indian audience will not like the film very much.
Arthur Christmas Review: Voice Performances
James McAvoy is very good as the idealistic young Arthur. Hugh Laurie, as the ambitious son and person-in-charge, Steve, is excellent. As the grumpy Grandsanta, Bill Nighy is brilliant with his quips and rants. Ashley Jensen (Bryony) is memorable as the hyperactive, gift-wrapping elf. Jim Broadbent (Santa Claus) and Imelda Staunton (Santa’s wife) fit their roles very well.
Arthur Christmas Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Sarah Smith and Barry Cook’s direction is very good. They have utilised every aspect of Santa Claus’ life to the fullest – especially his sleigh ride. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is appropriate. Cinematography, by Jericca Cleland, is lovely. John Carnochan and James Cooper’s editing is good.
Arthur Christmas Review: The Last Word
Arthur Christmas is a good fare but it makes a delayed appearance in Indian theatres, much after the actual Christmas day. Being an animation fare targeted at kids, it cannot expect to do much at the Indian box-office. Also, its uni-dimensional appeal will tell on the box-office collections.
Arthur Christmas released in India on January 13, 2012.