3. Arthur Christmas
What if I were to tell you that Santa doesn’t deliver every single present on his own? No, in fact, the present-delivering business is actually a family concern with Santa (Jim Broadbent) being ably assisted by his two sons, Arthur (James McAvoy) and Steve (Hugh Laurie), and of course a loyal army of elves. Steve is all set to take on the role of Santa when his dad finally retires. He has some great ideas for modernising the present delivery game and making it as efficient as possible.
When Santa somehow manages to miss a child, Arthur embarks on a mission to make sure no child is missed out. With the help of his grandad (who also used to be Santa), Arthur has to travel across the globe in just two hours to ensure that everybody gets the presents that they deserve.
In the last couple of years, Arthur Christmas has gone from something I thought was just okay to something that is entirely indispensable Christmas viewing. This second journey into CG animation for Aardman manages to somehow transfer their charming animation style to the digital world in a way that is far more accomplished than Flushed Away ever was.
It’s a film that definitely improves with each viewing. Every time I have seen the film I’ve managed to find new things to make me laugh. For example, this time around there’s a moment where a lone voice in a crowd of elves yells out from the crowd, “I lost everything in that flood!” You’ll have to watch it for it to make sense, I suppose. I’d never really noticed that line until this time around, but even thinking about it now I’m chuckling.
I love Arthur Christmas. It’s a superb feel-good Christmas film and a great film in its own right. There are a lot of laughs from start to finish and a really nice, Christmassy story to get you in the mood for the festive period. The animation is absolutely top notch and manages to maintain the charm and character that you’d expect from an Aardman film.
Oli has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. He has a PhD in Computer Science and he writes articles about TV, film and, very occasionally, science.