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Arthur Christmas (2011)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy  |  23 November 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 32,561 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 72 user | 188 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Santa's clumsy son Arthur gets put on a mission with St. Nick's father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours.




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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur (voice)
Steve (voice)
Grandsanta (voice)
Santa (voice)
Mrs Santa (voice)
Bryony (voice)
Peter (voice)
Chief De Silva (voice)
Gwen (voice)
Ernie Clicker (voice)
Lead Elf (voice)
Lead Elf (voice)
Lead Elf (voice)
Lead Elf (voice)


Arthur Christmas reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the center of the film is a story about a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns. Written by Sony Pictures Animation

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Ever wonder how 2 Billion presents get delivered all in 1 night? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

23 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arthur Christmas in 3D  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,068,931 (USA) (18 November 2011)


$46,440,491 (USA) (6 January 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The second consecutive film written by Peter Baynham to have the name Arthur in its title, the first being Arthur (2011) starring Russell Brand. See more »


When Arthur jumps out of the sleigh into Trelew, England to get to Gwen's house in time, he uses Santa's toy sack as a parachute. He has the bike grasped to his body but when the toy bag turns upside down as he's floating to the ground, a toy falls out meaning that they missed not just 1 present but 2, and that they didn't just miss Gwen. See more »


Santa: [Santa, Mrs Santa & Steve have arrived in Trelew on the S-1] Trelew! Out with the Old, In with the New!
Mrs. Santa: [Holding Santa's Hand] Well Done, Dear!
Santa: [Back on the Bridge of the S-1 as Steve has gone to give Gwen what we believe to be another version of the bike] Poor Arthur! He tried so hard! He slumped again!
Mrs. Santa: Off course not, Dear! We are here! The little girl will get her present! I think he has done rather Splendidly!
Santa: [Exclaiming] My Margaret!
Steve: [...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end of the credits, there is a seven second scene, all in black silhouette on a blue background. One of the elf-lowering-cables descends, pauses, then lifts up an elf, who proceeds to throw snowballs at the screen until it's all black. See more »


We'll Meet Again
Written by Hugh Charles and Ross Parker
Published by Campbell Connelly & Co. Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A fun, feel good family film
22 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Christmas is a great time of the year. The whole family comes together, children are excited, and joy fills the air. What better way to spend the festive season than seeing a family Christmas movie with your loved ones? Now, Aardman Animations has given us a very joyous movie that should be a Christmas classic for years to come.

Over the years, because of the world's expanding population, Santa Claus' Christmas Night deliveries has become a high-tech military operation, involving thousands of elves and a giant aircraft. Santa Claus' son, Steve (Hugh Laurie), runs logistics and intelligence in the North Pole and is set to become the next Santa Claus. His younger brother, Arthur (James McAvoy), is a very passionate young man who loves the spirit of Christmas, but is a bit of a klutz. Arthur is kept in the mail room to handle all of Santa's letters.

The Christmas delivery seems to be a big success, so much so that Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent) postpones his retirement, much to Steve's annoyance. But the worst thing imaginable has happened, a child has been missed. Steve refuses to delivers one bike because the margin of error was too small, so Arthur and his grandfather (Bill Nighy), who wants to show the old techniques still work, and the dedicated elf Bryony (Ashley Jensen) set out to ensure that one little girl is not the child Santa forgot. But their ambitions result in an adventure around the world as this band of misfits save Christmas for one child.

Like Pixar, Aardman believes that story and character have to come first and they make movies for children and adults alike. The movie is funny throughout, with plenty of the verbal jokes that children and adults will enjoy as well as some really well done physical humour and some slapstick. But this is a movie that understands children and what they want. The premise is simple, but the writing is strong and clever throughout the whole film and there are little touches that give Arthur Christmas that Aardman feel, from the pictures of the previous Santas to Steve's Christmas Tree goatee. Christmas is an exciting time for children and Arthur Christmas is just such a good-natured, fun movie that delivers on that spirit.

Some elements of Arthur Christmas are similar to Elf, mainly that Arthur is a big kid like Buddy who believes in the magic of Christmas. He is also a guy who does not quite fit in the North Pole and given a job that keeps him out of trouble. The score by Harry Gregson-Williams is very much like the score in Elf, particularly the choir, which sounds identical.

This is a cliché, but Arthur Christmas follows the old Hollywood maxim of "you make them laugh, you make them cry." It was filled with colourful, likable characters throughout that you will end up caring for despite their faults and expertly played by a top notch voice cast. I left the cinema with a massive smile on my face.

29 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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