Home > Movies > ARTHUR CHRISTMAS – Movie Review


When a movie takes on one cliché, I get a little apprehensive.  When a movie takes on two clichés, I get even more nervous.  Arthur Christmas is both an animated film and a Christmas movie.  Throw some lackluster advertising into the equation, and you have me sold that you’ve made one of the most mediocre films of the year.  Well, there’s always room for surprises, right?  Just look at half of the good films this year.

Arthur Christmas puts a new spin on the tradition of Santa Claus delivering presents to children on Christmas Eve; that is, having his elves do the dirty work for him, in the style of secret agents, à la Mission: Impossible.  However, Arthur (voice of James McAvoy), one of Santa’s two sons, realizes that they forgot to deliver a bicycle to a young girl in England.  So, Arthur teams up with a former Santa Claus, his grandfather Grandsanta (voice of Bill Nighy) to deliver the present by Christmas morning.

A thing to note about this film is the comedy.  There are a lot of clever sight gags that are intricately plotted and entertaining to watch.  Take, for instance, the opening sequence, where the elves are delivering the presents like spies.  Several moments in that sequence, namely a suspenseful scene where a child has woken up and might see Santa and the elves, contain some well-choreographed, yet very comical set pieces.

The characters in the film are also very well done.  They’re charming, funny, relatable, and very well designed by the animation department.  As far as animated characters we’ve had in the past year or so, these are some of the best.

The biggest strength here, however, is the driving sense of heart in this film.  Underneath every outlandish set piece or funny scene is a wonderful sense of family, friendship, and love, making for some truly touching moments throughout.

The flaws here really come from the same flaws we have come to expect from many modern animated films: predictable, clichéd story beats and plot revelations.  However, that doesn’t bring the film down that much.  This is a family film both children and adults can enjoy, and it’s easily this year’s best animated movie.


  1. badgrammarreviews
    November 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Great review, I also liked this movie.

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