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’.