1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2012
The movie is great: funny, clever and a joy for all ages over repeat viewings. The UV copy is however a total pain in the behind. Rather than just put in a code and get a download to my iPad I had to sign up for two different web accounts, download a third piece of software and now, hours later, it still hasn't downloaded the movie. God knows if I can get it transfer to the iPad. All a bit rich to use something I've bought. Amazon, use your clout to tell the studios to drop this UV nonsense as soon as possible.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2011
Made by the relentlessly impressive Aardman animation studios, this Christmas movie potentially had quality written all over it. However, despite boasting a top-notch voice cast: Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent to name just three, I have to say I ended the experience feeling a little let down. The problem for me was that the wafer-thin story was stretched out over around ninety minutes, thus causing things to sag noticeably in the middle section. The best bits came in the opening twenty minutes, and this made the film seem longer - especially towards the end.
That said, it was still good to see a new Christmas movie, and there were some great moments, mainly featuring Nighy's 136 year old 'Grand Santa' and his equally aged Reindeer.
Our two children loved it anyway, and I guess that's the point after all.
One of the best Christmas films in recent years, this wonderfully slick animation manages to capture a modern interpretation of how a 21st Century Santa should run, but retains the old-fashioned nostalgia and charm that makes the festive season.
With passionate vocal work by James McAvvoy, who excels as the good-natured by clumsy hero of the story, along with Hugh Laurie, Ashley Jensen and British festive icons Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy, all the characters are engaging, fun and larger than life which is just what you want for a witty and clever adventure.
Showcasing some great animation that at times easily matches Disney Pixar, this has wonderful imaginative scenes that are dizzying in scale and well produced - the opening sequence with Santa making his 70th delivery is particularly brilliant and ingenious in how it pulls it off.
With genuine heart-felt moments and a nice sugar-coated, thrilling finale that again uses clever themes and humour to show a sensitive subject like a child's belief, this piles on the subtle comedy without being stupid and has lots of laugh out loud moments for adults and children alike.
A true Christmas corker for all generations.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2012
Took the kids to see this when it came out and I laughed till I cried, my aching abs could take no more, loved every minute. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it too, a great wee story, will be buying the DVD cant wait to watch it again.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Arthur Christmas is a special guy - he's the son of the one and only Santa Clause. However, Arthur is a bit clumsy and therefore he's been relegated to the mail room, left to reply to the wishes of children all over the world through their letters. Arthur's brother Steve has all but taken over the Christmas Eve operation, creating mega ship S1 which helps travel the world at humungous speed, and has many specialist elves to help deliver the billions of presents that Santa has to deliver every year. However, there's a glitch and Arthur discovers that one little girl's present has been forgotten. She's been missed. Arthur is determined that no child's Christmas will be ruined, and sets about recruiting the help of Grand-Santa, a long ago retired sleigh and a little Christmas hope and magic to make a little's girl Christmas wish come true. Will Arthur be able to make it happen against the odds?
The main character of the film, Arthur Christmas, who happens to be the son of Santa, is voiced by James McAvoy. I haven't ever really seen James in anything, he doesn't star in the sort of films I like to watch, but I felt he did a really good voice of voicing hopeless but loveable Arthur. He puts a lot of enthusiasm into his vocal performance, and I really enjoyed listening to him on screen, the voice seemed to suit the visual character too which is fantastic. Jim Broadbent is the voice of Santa, and a voice I'm sure that a lot of the adults watching will certainly recognise, and again, his voice perfectly suited his character. For me, the best vocal performance came from Bill Nighy, the voice of Grand-Santa, Arthur's grandad and the previous Santa. He was hilarious to listen to, and has a great voice for this character, delivering great one-liners and making the adult audience giggle alongside the children as well!
There are quite a few more star voices in the film, including Imelda Staunton as Mrs Santa, a good but unmemorable performance, Ashley Jensen as the fantastic wrapping paper expert elf Bryony, who ends up helping out Arthur, and the wonderful Hugh Laurie as my second favourite character in the film, Steve. Steve is Santa's other son, someone who wants to modernise Santa's job and of course creates the magnificent S1 ship which helps Santa and the elves on Christmas Eve. Laurie is the perfect voice for Steve, an enthusiastic but un-child friendly man who is determined to be the next Santa at whatever cost! He provided quite a bit of the comedy too, and was a great character to contrast with his Christmas-lover brother Arthur.
The animation on the film was outstanding, and it really was beautiful to watch on-screen. The scenes throughout were flawless, be they in the North Pole at Santa HQ, or Arthur's adventures around the world in trying to reunite the little girl with her forgotten gift, and the characters in particular were well animated. The facial expressions were well created, matching the voice actors performances easily, and I loved the festive-ness throughout, from Arthur's amazing Christmas jumper to the Christmassy decorations in his little letter room. The opening sequence involving the Christmas Eve delivery was brilliant, combining great animation with a fantastic soundtrack and some funny humour along the way too. I have to say there is quite a bit of humour in there for the adults that will go right over the children's heads, but I could hear the grown ups around the cinema laughing along, and it's always appreciated when film makers put something in there for the adults!
This isn't a traditional Christmas film - after all, children expect to see Santa on a sleigh with reindeer, but this Santa is aboard something that looks like the Starship Enterprise and isn't really responsible for deliverying many of the gifts at all, leaving that job to the highly trained elves (so cute!). However, it does capture that spirit of Christmas, a time when it's magical for children to wake up to Santa's gift, and the importance of a child's belief in Santa too. Arthur is the perfect character for kids watching to relate to - he loves Christmas, he loves Santa and he wants it to be magical for everyone, and I defy any grown-up watching not to love Arthur as well! I found myself loving every minute of this film, and Harry said it was fantastic and wants to watch it again next Christmas! With a funny storyline that has you laughing alongside Arthur and his amazing adventures in order to get this 1 present back to its rightful recipient, and plenty of twists and turns along the way, Arthur Christmas is a joy to watch, and will surely be one of the films you and your children will want to watch each year as the festive season comes around once more!