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Arthur Christmas (2011)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 26,160 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 64 user | 181 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission.

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Title: Arthur Christmas (2011)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Operation Santa Claus is coming to town! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arthur Christmas in 3D  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$46,440,491 (USA) (6 January 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Script writer Peter Baynham, born in Cardiff, Wales, included a reference to an obscure bit of Welsh history in his script, with Mimosa Avenue in Trelew. In 1865, about 150 Welsh emigrants sailed on the ship Mimosa to Patagonia, Argentina. They founded a town called Trelew, where there is now a street called Mimosa, after the ship. Baynham postulated an avenue by that name in Trelew, Cornwall, to complete the confusion between the two locations. (The movie's placement of Trelew in Mexico, instead of Argentina, is apparently an error.) See more »

Goofs

Scandinavia celebrates Christmas on the eve of the 24th. So even though Denmark is apparently Santa's first stop on Christmas night, the children would have long since unwrapped their presents when he got there. See more »

Quotes

Grandsanta: You were right, Arthur! It doesn't matter how Santa's gift gets there! It doesn't matter if it is Mr Postman in his Spaceship!
Arthur: Just as long as it gets there!
Grandsanta: You made it happen, Lad! No-one got left out!
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 »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Steal This Episode (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Traditional
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.


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