I always knew Santa was nothing more than a lazy tart.
It’s another year, which means, it’s another time for Christmas in which Santa (Jim Broadbent) and his illustrious team of trained and skilled elves find a way to deliver over millions of presents to children all over the world who’ve been clamoring for this moment for a whole year. However though, one present gets lost in the shuffle and come 4 a.m., Santa’s son Arthur (James McAvoy) takes notice of this and decides to gang-up together with his grandfather, Grand Santa (Bill Nighy), to deliver this one present, to this one child who would be absolutely heart-broken if they don’t receive it. Along the journey, the two run into quite a few problems, but back at home, their biggest problem may be Arthur’s older brother, Steve (Hugh Laurie), who is next-in-command for the position of being Santa Claus, and will stop at nothing to make sure that they don’t screw this plan up, nor that his dad doesn’t forget that he’s as smart, or as in the Christmas spirit as Arthur, despite not caring too much for cute, soft or cuddly things, like children, toys or the spirit of Christmas itself.
There’s a hard case to be made for most of the Christmas movies being currently made. Not only is it hard to stack-up against such holiday classics like Santa Clause is Coming to Town, or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but it’s even harder to try and spin the simple tale of Christmas in a way that makes it fresh, new and cool, but still not forgetting about the happy spirits and thoughts that make the season itself such a joy to be alive in. But leave it up to those clever lads at Aardman Animations to pull something off in which they not only turn the usual, average story of the night of Christmas that we usually get, around, but also find a way to make us feel like we’re watching a Christmas movie made for the whole family, even if that said family may have to be British.
Still, the fact that this movie was made by Brits holds no meaning whatsoever, because it’s still a sweet tale that doesn’t really set out to offend anybody that believes in Santa, or those who don’t. Simply, those who come the closest to not believing in Jolly Old Saint Nick, are usually just a bunch of Scrooge’s who treat Christmas itself as a mission, rather than a time made up for simple fun, joy and all sorts of other happy thoughts. It will probably make the kid who is watching at home plenty of warm stomachs and smiles, while also letting the parents know that they have nothing to worry about as their child will still believe in the guy in the big red suit who comes down your chimney. And then they grow up and at age 11, they’ll get the bomb dropped on them and it won’t be pretty.
Trust me, it won’t and it may even damage their minds forever, and ever. Trust me.
Anyway, what this movie does do, and does well, in case you couldn’t tell, is that it gives off plenty of happy and cheerful vibes, the exact same vibes you expect from a Christmas movie. However, I will say that it does think it’s a bit funnier, than it actually is. Aardman Animations usually has a problem with this because while they make think that they’re being a bunch of cheeky, witty fellows, they don’t realize when they’re more or less throwing themselves out of a window for a laugh, and when they’re just making us laugh effortlessly. Lately, I’ve been having that problem with them more and more, and it’s starting to feel like they may be doing this on purpose more and more to appeal to a the children, in terms of content and quality, rather than the parents, where it’s usually all about the material and how smart it is that usually gets them. I don’t know, maybe I’ve had one too many viewings of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run in the past, but I know when my favorite kind of animated movies are being dumbed-down, and I’m afraid to say it, but I’m seeing that now with Aardman Animations. Still, maybe that’s just a problem I have and nobody else does, and if that’s the case, then so be it. I’m just keeping an eye out though, people. That’s all.
The voice-cast for this movie does feature plenty of famous names that even us Americans know and more than likely, can commit to memory, however, they all still do pretty well playing-up their characters for all that they are. James McAvoy, while he does get plenty to do as Arthur with his high-strung character, does get a tad bit annoying with how screeching high the pitch of his voice is. I get it, he’s something of a neurotic Brit with a good heart, but the act got old after awhile and it made me feel like McAvoy needed to smoke some weed, or something to call him down. Bill N
ighy also gets the same type of role as the Grand Santa, but he still has a lot of fun and is less annoying because he’s, well, Bill Nighy, man. Can’t ever go wrong with that lovely Brit.
And I don’t know if it’s just me or whatever, but having Jim Broadbent as Santa Claus would be a perfect move, not just on a movie’s part, but all malls spanning the globe. He’s got this lovable, warm and goofy voice that really does make us believe that he’s an aging, out-of-his-league Santa that’s getting down to his last couple of years of going out into the field, but also make us believe that he still has a good heart and does care for these little tikes still getting what they ask for, and as a result, still having the faith to believe in him. Once again, may just be my thoughts and my thoughts alone, but if I had Jim Broadbent was showing up to my local mall as Santa, I’d be there right away, no questions asked! But lord knows he wouldn’t be able to handle me sitting in his lap. Poor guy. Nevermind, probably wouldn’t work.
Consensus: It definitely may not be as funny as it thinks it is, nor as what we’ve come to expect from Aardman Animation’s past contributions to the animated world, but Arthur Christmas still gets everybody in the Holiday spirit that may work more for the kids, than the parents, but that’s all that matters in the end, you know?
7 / 10 = Rental!!