Now Playing: The First Great Christmas Movie in Years

Aside from ‘A Christmas Story‘ and ‘Christmas Vacation‘, there’s isn’t another Christmas-themed flick released during my lifetime that I consider a necessary holiday movie. Much to my surprise, ‘Arthur Christmas’ is worthy of joining that elite class.

After seeing ‘Arthur Christmas’, I believe it will be the best-received Aardman Animations (the British studio behind ‘Chicken Run’ and ‘Wallace and Gromit‘) film in America. In this take on Christmas, the job of Santa passes down the line of the Christmas family every 70 years or so. The current Santa’s run is almost over, and his tech-savvy eldest son Steve is expected to take the reigns. Because Santa’s younger son Arthur is quite a clutz, nobody expects him to be chosen to fill Santa’s boots.

The morning after Santa empties his sleigh and delivers gifts to children across the globe, Arthur discovers that a single gift fell off the conveyor belt, meaning that one child out there won’t have a merry Christmas. Steve and Santa agree to make it up to her next year, but Arthur refuses to let this unknown child down. With the help of eight flying reindeer and his crazy retired grandfather, Arthur sets out on an unlikely journey to save Christmas.

Based on the previews, I dreaded having to screen ‘Arthur Christmas’. After seeing it, I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it is. It held not only my attention, but that of my four-year-old daughter too. Although she usually has a hard time keeping 3D glasses on for an entire movie, she kept them on for ‘Arthur Christmas’. It probably helped that the 3D is top-notch.

Personally, I like to save the Christmas movies for December, but if you’re up for a post-Thanksgiving, pre-December Christmas flick worth taking the family out to, let it be ‘Arthur Christmas’.

Rating: ★★★★☆


  1. Martin

    How can someone not like Wallace & Gromit?
    I´m not so sure about letting 4-year-olds watch 3D Movies, but that´s your decision.
    I´m looking forward to Arthur Christmas, from what I´ve seen, it looks really great.

    • Drew

      I thought the same thing when I read about Luke letting his four-year-old watch 3D films. It has been proven, scientifically that watching 3D films is damaging and harmful to the eyes of children under 6. Most doctors even believe that it’s better to wait until age 8 to allow them to watch 3D.

        • JM

          Just google “3D bad for kids.”

          There’s no conclusive research either way, because no one is doing significant testing on young children.

          But, up until the age of seven, kids eyes are still developing. 3D can, possibly, cause short term damage that can turn into long term damage.

          Personally, I think that 3D is the high fructose corn syrup of cinema.

      • There was never any scientific study on the matter. What are they going to do, strap a bunch of toddlers to chairs and force them to watch 3D until some of them go blind?

        Nintendo created an unintentional controversy about a year ago when it issued a “CYA” warning that parents probably shouldn’t let really young kids play the 3DS because the muscles in their eyes are not fully formed.

        The American Optometric Association later came back stating that there was no evidence that 3D is harmful to kids, and that it may actually help to uncover subtle eye disorders in children.

        • Luke Hickman

          I was wondering how 3D can hurt a child’s eye when all 3D does is cause you to shift your eye’s focus throughout a film – which is something they’re going to do every waking moment anyway.

          • EM

            I doubt that’s all that current 3D technology does. Indeed, I doubt it even does that. However far away the screen is, I think your eyes need to maintain focus on that distance, regardless of how much nearer or closer the images appear to be. I’m nearsighted; without corrective lenses, objects always appear out of focus when they’re more than a foot away from my face. If a 3D effect many feet away is supposed to make an object look as though it were six inches from my face, I doubt it would resolve well at all if I looked at it without corrective lenses under my 3D glasses.

            I don’t know whether 3D viewing is harmful to children, but I’m pretty sure it is physiologically and probably neurologically different from viewing the real three-dimensional world.

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