As someone who absolutely loves movies, and adores Christmas, the two go hand-in-hand, and my excitement when I get wind of a new Christmas film being released in insurmountable.
So when a trailer for Arthur Christmas popped up in the autumn of 2011 while at the cinema watching something else, I immediately began counting down the days until it was released. And then once it was released, I had the usual timing debate with myself. If I go to see it on release date in November, it’s not as Chritmassy as it would be if I went in mid-to-late December.
In the end, we went to see it a week before Christmas, and what a great movie it was.
The plot – unspoilt!
The plot is a little different to many Christmas movies, which in itself is an achievement! The film opens by showing hundreds of Santa’s elves working away in the North Pole, preparing the futuristic, high-tech, mile-wide sleigh for Christmas Eve. Father Christmas’ annual job has been perfected with the use of technology and gadgetry, and the gifts are delivered with military precision, masterminded by his eldest son, Steve.
Youngest son Arthur on the other hand is the clumsy one in the family. He is kept downstairs tasked with writing replies to all the letters sent to Santa through the year.
When Arthur discovers later on Christmas Eve that Santa’s high-tech sleigh failed to deliver one little girl’s present, Arthur goes on a mission to save Christmas. To add to the task in hand, rather than use the high-tech sleigh, he opts for the old fashioned sleigh, complete with untrained reindeers, the retired Grand-Santa and a rebellious elf.
What could possibly go wrong?
Animation for adults?
Despite my love of the cinema, I have never massively been in to animated movies. Disney Pixar have changed my views on animated movies hugely over the past decade, with stunning films such as the Toy Story series and Monsters Inc. While they are great for kids, it’s such a fine line between getting it right for an adult audience as well. If you can combine the two in one movie, you’re on to a winner.
So despite my excitement at seeing Arthur Christmas, I was a little worried about whether it would be engaging enough to be a fun Christmas movie for adults too. I needn’t have worried!
There is a great balance of scripting throughout, while children laugh at some parts for one reason, the adults will find themselves laughing as well, but for entirely different reasons. There is a fantastic underlying adult humour, meaning young and old alike can enjoy.
Sometimes, I feel scripts can be too clever for a movie, just as the special effects can be too clever for an action movie and spoil it.
The balance here is just about spot on though. Even taking away the humour, the story is lovely, heart-warming and festive.
5 star (trees?). Tremendous festive feel-good movie for all the family to enjoy.