ReviewWriter: Nur Safina OthmanWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"How The Grinch Stole Christmas"
"Arthur Christmas" may be the only film with a Christmas theme that helped to answer the sole question of this generation's kids all around the world which is, "Why can't I find North Pole on Google Maps?" It also answers the more nostalgic question of "How does Santa manage to fulfil all the kids' gift requests in time?"
This animated directorial debut of Sarah Smith tells the story of Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy), the youngest son of Santa who is always looked down upon by others until one day, he accepts an emergency mission to deliver presents to a child who was overlooked due to a technical mistake. However, Arthur is not alone. He is helped along by his grandfather, Grand Santa (Bill Nighy) and Santa's helper, Bryony (Ashley Jensen).
This story that forms the movie can be said to be one of the most original, novel and refreshing compared to other Christmas-themed movies who usually tell tales of 'saving Christmas'. It is also interesting to note that "Arthur Christmas" does not focus on Santa, but on his youngest son. Despite this, the core moral of the story is still about the importance of family bonds.
Arthur may be the main character of the movie, but viewers are sure to be more entertained by Grand Santa, who used to be Santa Claus before he retired and his son took over the position, and whose whimsical antics carry the movie. No one will expect the old man to have his own agenda behind his decision to help Arthur with his mission.
Meanwhile, straight-laced Arthur is always looked down upon and deemed immature by his older brother, Steve (Hugh Laurie) tries his best to fulfil a child's wish as well to live up to his father's expectations this Christmas, even if he has to undergo various obstacles. This shows that if one tries hard enough, he or she will definitely succeed. One of the flaws with this story though, is the lack of development for Santa and Steve despite the room space.
The computer-generated imagery (CGI) looked great and some scenes are heart-racing such as when Arthur and Grand Santa fly through the skies on their way to complete their mission. However, watching the movie in 3D or 2D does not improve or lessen the scenes' impact.
The movie may have been done as part of the Christmas hype, but there are a lot of messages like love for family, the importance of hard work, are effectively delivered. In addition to humour that does not feel stale, "Arthur Christmas" makes for an entertaining watch for anybody, anytime and anywhere.Cinema Online, 01 December 2011