HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deeper You Dig, The
Trouble Brewing
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Arthur Christmas And A Harry New Year
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, FantasyBuy from Amazon
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 2116 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: