Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen
Director: Sarah Smith
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Run Time: 97 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars
When it comes to Christmas films, I always get excited. Whether it is animated or live action…doesn’t matter. “Arthur Christmas” is fun and ‘pretty’ to look at. The 3D also really adds a lot of depth to the film and makes the colors really pop out. When I first saw this in the theaters, I am not going to lie and say I wasn’t a little bit disappointed. But after viewing a second time, I have to say that it definitely is one of those films that grow on you. It may not be the best Christmas movie ever but it is still quite a bit of fun. Also if you are looking for a way to kick start some Holiday spirit that I would highly recommend this. Fun for the whole family. Guaranteed to become a must watch in my house each year!
The film is made from a combo of Aardman Animations, known best for claymation films like “Chicken Run” and “wallace and Gromitt” and Sony Pictures Animation (“The Smurfs”). It has a nice feel to its animation style and has a lot of nice character designs. The voice cast is made up of mostly UK actors like James McAvoy (“X-Men: First Class”), Hugh Laurie (TV’s “House”), Bill Nighy (“Love Actually”) and Jim Broadbent (“Moulin Rouge”). So expect a lot of British humor. Kids are also going to love the fact that Justin Biebers single, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from his album ”Under the Mistletoe” is included. I remember when I was forced to sit through that in the theaters (it was very painful), but again it is not for me…the kiddies will love it for sure.
Official Synopsis: The film tackles the question of how Santa delivers all his presents in one night. When Santas elves and their high-tech system of present delivery forgets to deliver one present to a young girl in England, Arthur embarks on a mission to safely deliver her pretty pink bicycle. Arthur decides its up to him not to disappoint this little girl and ensure that she will still believe in the magic of Christmas, even if it means conquering some of his own fears. With Arthurs determination and Grand-Santas quirky cynicism, the operation is bound to be an adventurous one.
This release comes in a three disc combo pack including a Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy. The transfer looks very sharp and super clear. The star though has to be the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. It really captures the action and showcases the score very well. The special features are very kid-friendly. There is a cute Elf Recruitment video. There is a decent behind-the-scenes featurette called, “Unwrapping Arthur Christmas”, which focuses about the Clause Family and the production. Lastly, there are five progression reels included that dive into how the filmmakers had created these fun characters in “Arthur Christmas Unwrapped”, “Arthur’s Office”, “Grand Santa”, “Invasion” and “Trelew”.