Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

(G) Sony DVD/BD

Aardman is synonymous with those claymation wonders Wallace and Gromit and it seems whenever they have veered from their handmade creations they haven’t had as much success. A new partnership with Sony has so far yielded the mildly successful Pirates! Band of Misfits and now this Christmas holiday confection which is totally digital and doesn’t use stop motion.

A comedy with a top British voice cast, this film will entertain if you’re not sick and tired of films about consumption, gift-giving and Santa.

While there may be an element of bah-humbug to this review, it’s probably primarily because the real reason for Christmas isn’t presents. Period.

The premise here is that Santa exists and runs an enormous operation from the North Pole and Clauses have been in charge of Christmas for centuries. The current Santa, Malcolm needs a break after 70 Christmases and is due to hand the reigns (pun intended) over to his son Steve. Arthur is the loveable, clumsy and innocent son who answers Santa’s mail.

Steve has computerised Christmas and the delivery in his shiny spaceship (how else can you deliver 2 billion presents!) and Arthur would prefer the old reindeer and sleigh method.

When one child is inadvertently left off the list, Arthur takes it upon himself to deliver the present despite his family’s misgivings about his ability.

So that’s the theme of this film: Do we prefer the quaint old fashioned way of doing things or would we prefer to have it streamlined, cost effective and computerised?

There is a huge amount of energy, inventiveness and humour in this film but give me Wallace and Gromit any day.

I really can’t think of a more hollow way of thinking about Christmas. So perhaps instead of buying or renting this DVD for Christmas, send the money to someone who actually needs it.

Adrian Drayton

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