Arthur Christmas All regions. Sony DADC R499
This year, the Google Santa Tracker made Christmas special for all those good children who were excitedly waiting with cookies and milk for Santa Claus to deliver their presents. The Santa Tracker mapped Claus’ journey across the globe, even telling us the number of presents he delivered on Christmas eve. The Santa Tracker might as well have been part of Arthur Christmas, a 2011 animated film. Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) is the younger son of Santa Claus, who has to get around the world in one night and deliver billions of presents. How in the world does he do it? He’s helped by an elf battalion that takes 18.14 seconds to drop off a gift per household; they have a scanner to check if the kid’s been nice or naughty, and they use the milk and cookies for biofuel. All this is only possible because of the North Pole Mission Control, manned by Arthur’s brother, Steve (voiced by Hugh Laurie), also Claus’s heir apparent. Arthur, on the other hand, is Koumpounophobic (fear of buttons) and is only “good at worrying”. But he is the one who responds to all the letters sent by children and truly believes in the magic of Christmas.
But despite all the high-tech wizardry at their disposal, the mission control misses out on a child. When none of the Clauses want to go back, Arthur along with Grand Santa and elf Bryony sneaks off to deliver the present. It’s all merry-making and goofy fun from there.
Arthur Christmas is an earnest film about the magic of Christmas. But it’s oodles of fun, with lots of laughs packed in. The movie breaks through the clutter of festive films, just by its sheer peppiness. And though Arthur is endearing, but you can’t help but love Steve, who really is the man who runs the show and ensures that Claus can zip around the world in one night.
The special features are bland compared to the film. There’s “Un-wrapping Arthur Christmas” and “Progression Reels”; both take a behind-the-scenes look at the movie; and an Elf Recruitment video, which is quite clever. But tweens will love Justin Bieber’s song “Santa Claus is coming to town” and they can also hear the pop star talk about the video.
By Bijal Vachharajani on February 01 2013