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Arthur Christmas (2011)

PG  |   |  Animation, Comedy, Drama  |  23 November 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 32,108 users   Metascore: 69/100
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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?


James McAvoy played Mr Tumnus and Jim Broadbent played Professor Kirke in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005), whose musical score was also Harry Gregson-Williams. See more »


When we first see Arthur, Grandsanta & Bryony in Idaho, at the 'Leaping Deer Autos' Center, when Arthur is removing a golden reindeer from the 'Leaping Deer Autos' Sign to replace the one that got lost after they hit and burst the Inflatable Santa Claus in Toronto, there is an opening message at the bottom of the screen that says ' 5:53 AM Idaho, 1643 Miles the Wrong way'. Idaho would really be at least well over 4500 miles to Trelew, Cornwall England. If Arthur, Grandsanta & Bryony were 1643 miles from Trelew, they would be at least in the Middle of the Atlantic or in Central Europe. See more »


Santa: [trying to operate the S-1 himself, denting it and jolting it violently, Flashing red lights flash all over the S-1's bridge] OK! 23 Mimosa Avenue, Trelew
Mrs. Santa: [Reading the manual] Reading up! There is no harm in using the manual
Santa: [Agitated, pressing buttons, levers and knobs all over the bridge causing the S-1 to rock and sway violently] Margaret! I Order you to DISEMBARK! It's not safe!
Mrs. Santa: [Trying to calm Santa] I did a microlight flying course on the internet! It can't be that different!
Santa: [...]
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 »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont (as James Lord Pierpont)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A new take on an old Santa story
30 November 2011 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together." Garrison Keillor

Where I live, too many Christmas Carol adaptations take the place of imaginative theater productions that could celebrate the holidays without the requisite Scrooge redemption. Arthur Christmas is a refreshing new take on the countless Santa stories, notwithstanding my favorite: Bad Santa, which satisfies my need for the new and irreverent.

Arthur (James McAvoy) is one of Santa's two sons, a bungler with a big heart. He takes it on his own to bring a present to the one girl in all the land whose present was not delivered. His technocrat brother, Steve (Hugh Laurie), has been responsible for the mis-delivery, although his array of laptops for elves and computerized delivery system is impressive. The head versus the heart forms the central conflict, providing laughs and groans but never in a mean way as in Bad Santa.

Aardman CG works its animation magic to create big-nosed, elongated-faced characters like GrandSanta (Bill Nighy), Santa (Jim Broadbent), and Mrs. Santa (Imelda Staunton), all of whom are fleshed out as loving characters with quirks just right for their roles.

In regard to developing character, Aardman goes nose to nose with Pixar. The use of 3-D is unobtrusive as it is in Martin Scorsese's Hugo with the process useful to give flights of the sleighs a grand feel, swooping in and out of perspective. Yet, in the end, regardless of the jazzy visuals, it's a lovely and exciting story for the holidays. As soon as the younger audience adjusts to the Brit accents, and that doesn't take long, they will enjoy the high spirits, good will, dry humor, and imagination they deserve and should expect from the masters of unique animation.

It's wonderful filmmaking that touches the heart with affectionate Brit humor.

12 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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