Sunday, November 27, 2011
While I do love Christmas and animation, I must admit that I was not impressed by the trailer for Arthur Christmas. There were just really no laugh out loud moments in the scenes I had seen prior to watching the film, which had me a bit worried. If you haven't realized, 2011 has been a horrific year in the genre of animation, and I really expected Arthur Christmas to be yet another mediocre kids film. We've all seen movies that somehow involved Santa's son and his taking over the job. The storyline has been run into the ground. Nevertheless, I was curious of how funny Arthur would actually be and longing for another new Christmas movie. So I decided to watch Arthur Christmas...
As I said in the intro, the story of Santa and his child/children is a bit old and over-used, but Arthur Christmas did a good job of at least making it interesting. Unfortunately, the movie was a bit predictable, but it made up for its predictability in its hilarity. You can't expect animation to have many great plot twists, but funny is a requirement, particularly for children, and that's what Arthur did best. Along with the funny, Arthur Christmas also had a nice, deep story about Christmas and what it should mean to everyone. Also, it was the most believable explanation of Santa Clause I have ever heard. Using one simple thing, they made the story simple, and that thing was technology. This is the Santa story I want to tell my child one day, mostly because it's almost flawless! I think, for you parent's information, the comedy was a bit grown-up. It certainly wasn't vulgar, just probably difficult for really small children to understand.
Best Scene: Basically any scene with an elf in it.
The coolest aspect of the entire film was undoubtedly the fact that everybody had a Scottish accent. Now, this may seem a bit funny for the main characters, but the Scottish elves are really what made the difference I believe. Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, was very goofy and likable. His brother Steve, voiced by Hugh Laurie, was probably the least evil villain in the history of animation. While he certainly was causing the trouble, he never did that greatly bad deed like most animated villains tend to do. I really liked that he was not looked at as an awful person. I think, for the kids that do see the film, there will be a sort of "family should always be loved" feel about Steve, which is very good! Grandsanta, voiced by Bill Nighy, was also freakin hilarious as an old geezer who didn't like technology. He ended up teaching a valuable lesson too! There were really no bad characters in the entire movie, which is very very rare.
Best Character: Bryony, voiced by Ashley Jensen, was certainly the coolest Scottish elf of them all. I really loved how funny the elves were and how many of them there were. Bryony was a gift wrapping expert, and her abilities came in handy as the story went along.
My expectations of Arthur Christmas were absolutely shattered! This film was amazing, certainly taking the best animated picture of the year, in my book at least. I haven't laughed at a movie this much in a while, and I certainly enjoy laughing. Although I did know the entire storyline after five minutes of watching, I never lost interest. Even with the predictable storyline, the filmmakers did a good job of giving the story a nice, uplifting message that is certainly needed during the holiday season. After thinking about it, I will probably be picking this one up on DVD when it hits stores next year. Even if you don't like Christmas or animation or Scottish people, I promise that you will laugh your butt off at this movie. I give Arthur Christmas 4.01 out of 5 stars and wish you a Very Merry Christmas!