HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
   
 
Newest Articles
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
   
 
  Arthur Christmas And A Harry New YearBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook
Stars: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Ramona Marquez, Michael Palin, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Cusack, Rhys Darby, Jane Horrocks, Andy Serkis
Genre: Comedy, Animated, Fantasy
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In November in the small Cornish town of Trelew, a little girl named Gwen posted her letter to Santa Claus at the North Pole wishing him well and asking for a bicycle for her Christmas present. All the letters to Santa reach him, though these days the operation is rather more complex and modernised with more children to deliver to than ever before, and Santa (voiced by Jim Broadbent) has a vast staff of elves who assist him, though he is something of a figurehead now as his son Steve (Hugh Laurie) takes care of the management side, with a whole team of troops trained to perfection and a flying saucer sleigh to ensure nothing can go wrong...

But what if all that precision planning had a minor mishap? Because even a minor mishap in the great scheme of things is a major disaster for one little girl, she being Gwen who we saw at the start of the movie, one of British studio Aardman's occasional tries at CGI animation, like their too-minor hit Flushed Away of a few years before this which may have been an indication audiences preferred to watch their stop motion puppetry over their computer generated efforts. Certainly Arthur Christmas was a bigger success than the rat movie, but there were grumbles it was not the full strength experience we might have hoped for from a studio so beloved by animation fans across the world.

Indeed, there was a lot here which verged on the dreaded word generic, not quite suffering comparisons to the endless, cynical cash in TV movies which littered the television schedules where hardly any thought had been put in to the material other than to pile on the clich├ęs and assume it would be watched by those who would see anything Christmassy entirely unironically. But perhaps that was the problem, that Aardman irreverence was toned down as if they didn't want to risk offending anyone by adding anything spicy to the mix, which resulted in a pleasant blandness rather than any particular big laughs. It's not as if the talent behind the scenes wasn't used to taking chances with their comedy, but here the big screen family landscape had smoothed out every rough edge.

Compare this to the considerably spikier and far funnier and more inventive The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists which arrived the next year and shared many staff with this and you would get a better sense of what Aardman were about than something which appeared to have been thought up as a Yuletide variation of Monsters, Inc only without the inspiration. Pixar wasn't exactly a rival to the Brits, as they complemented one another nicely, but you had to admit the Americans might have had a better handle on the plot here than what seemed to have been inspired by someone's experiences with online shopping and the suspense with discovering whether the postie would deliver the parcel of presents in time.

What of the title character, Arthur himself? He was the other son of the current Santa, voiced by James McAvoy with an English accent, and he works in the mailroom answering all those letters to the boss because he is a timid fellow who doesn't yearn for the adventure of going out with the sleigh on Christmas Eve. However, what do you know, he just might have to when Gwen's gift goes unnoticed and he recruits his grandfather (Bill Nighy), the previous Santa, to take out his old sleigh with proper magic reindeer and get to Cornwall just before the little girl wakes up. This involves the kind of swooping "camerawork" that defined CGI animation of the twenty-first century, which was appropriate to scenes where Arthur, Grandsanta and a random wrapping (not rapping) elf called Bryony (Ashley Jensen) took to the skies. This was one of those innocuous movies you found yourself willing to be better than it actually was, there was nothing wrong with it especially, but it simply refused to take any chances. Not the ones you would have expected from this lot, anyway. Music by Harry-Gregson Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1570 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: