Film School: Arthur Christmas

Film School: Arthur Christmas
By Emma Plant

I used to wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus as the supplementary gift giver to my parents. That was until one fateful night when my mother (aka Santa) forgot to eat the biscuits left near the tree, stifled a signature sneeze when she filled my stocking and left magical glitter Santa tracks in the hallway.

My dreams were shattered, or at least fractured. No Santa-believing here, but certainly my love for the Christmas Spirit lives on. Arthur Christmas has all the spirit of any Christmas film, with a lot more gadgets than glitter mixed in. This is the penultimate Christmas film release for Mill-Gen Kids; children who crave both the magic and the technologically functional (brats).

Arthur Christmas addresses the age-old logistical question every little person has on their mind: “How could one fat man in a red suit possibly get to all the kids in the world in one night?”. From Columbia and Aardman studios, the film addresses all the ‘big questions’ of Christmas in a very progressive way.

Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, is the rambling, clumsy son of Santa. Arthur has an unadulterated love for Christmas and Santa (who he evidently never calls "Dad"). He represents the believing child who has full faith in the purity of the season. His brother, Steve (Hugh Laurie), plays the unbelieving, executive officer to Santa, delegating all his and the elves' roles.

Santa (and the entire Christmas family) hail from a long lineage of Santas who date back to the original Saint Nicholas. One of the important sub-plots of the story examines the dysfunction within the Christmas family. This is done in a very dry British way. It is a charming new angle on the typical story. However, this side story is drawn out too extensively for a G-rated audience.

Back to the original question: "How do you get all the presents to the children across the globe in six hours?"... Elves! Tiny, agile elves who use some kind of smart phone. No sleigh here, though. This tight operation is completed by means of an S.1, a colossal space ship that covers entire cities while running on biodegradable milk and cookies. Perfectly feasible. The spaceship travels at 150,000km an hour, the elves drop down like Tom Cruise into designated zones, deliver presents and beam back up to the space ship.

So there; it is possible to have both magic and practicality! All questions and audiences are appeased. The film is by no means a blockbuster, more of a lego-block buster. However, it is sweet and stimulating. Also, it is showing in 3D. Of course. Woot!

Emma @ Girl With a Satchel