Category Archives: Animation

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011)

TMG Scale 6.0     P Factor 0.0     MPAA Rating: PG
Starring voices of  James McAvoy (Arthur) , Hugh Laurie (Steve), Bill Nighy (Grandsanta)

This is a Sunday evening television quality film. It is a nice story. It is overly simple.

Arthur (great name by the way!) Christmas is built around the new high tech version of Christmas where everything is run from hybrid off  an Amazon.com central warehouse and a Houston Control Space Center. The old reindeer sleigh sits in a shed replaced by a ship the likes of the Starship Enterprise.  Santa, (called “Malcom” by Mrs. Santa)  is there,  but has left day to day operations to his brash oldest son, Steve and a legion of elves.  Grandsanta grouses about the good old days. Christmas night deliveries are a success except for one child. Steve thinks the percentage performance is acceptable. The bumbling younger brother Arthur and the elves feel any child being left out is a disaster. The whole movie is about getting one girl in England her bike before she wakes up.  Arthur, a few elves and Grandsanta break out the old sleigh and reindeer and save the day.  The escapade is built around being confused whether the little girl lives in Trelew, England or Trelew, Argentina. Good enough.

Here are my problems with the film. Steve looks way too much like a Buzz Lightyear type guy or even Megamind. Why does Steve look like a superhero and younger brother Arthur looks like more like he came off the set of the old Scooby-Doo television series? Santa comes off as buffoon who seems to care less one child was missed. The humor and dialogue is elementary. There is no real reference to the true meaning of Christmas, religion or God. There was a certain theme of entitlement running throughout.

On the plus side, the animation was crisp. I saw it in 2D.  It was nice for a change not to don the 3D glasses for an animated film. I doubt the 3D version added much to the equation.  It is not a bad film by a long shot. It’s a decent DVD rental down the road for every kid who gets tons of Christmas presents.  With so many children doing without this year all over the world, this film seemed way too trivial to me. But just in case…”Dear Santa,  I have been very good and I would like another LCD TV, a bigger boat and have been looking at……