Director: Sarah Smith
Starring: James MacAvoy, Hugh Laurie
Studio: Aardman Animation
Rated: PG (For some mild rude humor)
But again, I have to ask the question: Are we killing the spirit of Santa by explaining the golden question too much? Years ago “The Santa Clause” gave an answer to some of these questions, but left them whimsical enough that the answers still had to be taken on a leap of faith. Now Santa's operation is so well thought out and explained, that I just don't feel it's magical anymore. The more studios have to explain, the more I have a problem with it. This doesn't make “Arthur Christmas” a bad movie and I think it's fun and emotional despite these issues, but I hope future movies about Santa adds more fun and magic and less explanation.
Update: Years having written the review, I am ultimately happy with giving the movie a passing grade while being similarly disappointed that it was such a mild one. Repeat viewings the charm and magic has more than won me over. It dawned on me how sensitive this movie is with the subject of how Santa works. How wonderfully human the characters are. How the magic of Christmas is in every minute of this movie. The initial lukewarm review is actual a testament to this, because as I re-read what I wrote, it dawns on me I was in a bad mood. I even remember the time period of my life as being difficult.
So a glowing recommendation was never going to happen, but the fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did during a time I was feeling pretty sour at the world goes to show that it did what it set out to do very well. Since then I have come to regard this as a new Christmas classic, and I'm sorry the original review didn't reflect this. For histories sake the three and a half star grade stands, but if I could do it today it would get either four stars (or more)!
Parents, there is one crude joke involving a dog and a slipper, but I feel most kids won't even pick up on it. Recommended for all ages.