“Arthur Christmas” trailer

The latest trailer from Aardman/Sony’s feature Arthur Christmas, opening in the U.S. on November 11th.


  • Spencer

    Promising! Nice animation!

  • Spencer

    Also, it looks like they referenced the look of the kids in Nightmare Before Christmas.

  • Joe

    Prep and Landing anyone?

    • anonymous

      Prep and landing was a TV special. Since features take years to get to the big screen I am pretty sure this was in development way before Disney came up with their concept…

      • Joe

        I realize that you’re more than likely right that Arthur Christmas was in development before Disney made the special. It’s just unfortunate that they have similar ideas. It will appear to the general audience that Aardman stole their ideas from Disney.

      • 2011 Senior Citizen

        Both stole the idea from The Santa Clause.

      • The Big Guy

        Prep and Landing was a tv special 2 YEARS AGO.

        I think the Aardman folks had plenty of time to come up with ideas that weren’t stealing lines of dialogue verbatim.

      • elf

        Yep.. There was plenty of time to change certain rip offs… oh well.

      • truth be told

        Actually, from what I can gather, it’s not clear in my mind who inspired who on this one. Either way, it stands on its own merit regardless.

    • flank

      I was just about to say.

    • East West

      Arthur Christmas was written and was in development at least for a coupe of years before Prep&Landing was started. Sarah Smith was shopping around the world for artists to do some visual development and was (of course) disclosing the story and the ideas to them. Strangely some of the names of the approached people are in the Prep & Landing credits now… Not to mention that the script and the early development was not so strictly protected as they do it at the big US studios (Disney included): probably because the big studios know what they are capable of in order to get some fresh ideas into their dry corporate brains. The bottom line is: if you want to find out who ‘borrowed’ some ideas, you should not look at Aardman in this case. It takes years to develop an animated feature script and put it in production. When the world heard of Prep&Landing Arthur Christmas was well into pre-production in Bristol, UK.

  • hitface

    I don’t know about the story myself, looks a bit corny, but the look and movement of the characters are really amazing!

  • A.C.M.

    Not sure what to think, but my overall impression was that, for once, I was excited by seeing a trailer and that this–concept, character, animation–looks incredibly charming.

    I hope it’s good. Definitely on my must see list.

  • greg m.

    much better than those other teaser trailers!

  • Scarabim

    The first trailer didn’t do much for me, but this looks great. The film has a solid story behind it, apparently, and Arthur himself seems likable. So it’s def on my must-see list this Thanksgiving.

  • http://bunkerrow.blogspot.com/ Chris Powell

    This looks ALOT more promising than I initially thought! Very charming trailer :)

  • http://mattjonezanimation.blogspot.com/ Matt Jones

    Working on this we were very aware of the PREP & LANDING similarities but the picture is sufficiently different. This years Best Animated Feature Oscar race may well look like this:

    Arthur Christmas
    The Rabbi’s Cat
    A Monster In Paris
    Rango

    • Jmatte

      IF Rabbi’s Cat and Monster in Paris gets distributed state wise (hope hope hope!)

      That being said, Arthur Christmas has a lot of charm, so definitely looking forward to go see it on the big screen.
      I love that reindeer with the big, long lolling tongue XD

    • thetruth

      having been on the crew for this film I can honestly say it does not deserve to be nominated or recognized for anything.

      I always want the projects I work on to be successful, but because Sarah Smith is such a terrible director and because of how she treated the entire crew, not to mention how the Aardman appointed supervisors were terrible to work with and horribly unqualified for their positions. This film does not deserve any praise.

      She took a very promising story with likable characters and directed the extremely talented crew into the ground. Sarah Smith had no idea what she was doing and wasn’t mature enough to turn to the experienced people she was surrounded by for help. Instead she alienated everyone and then cried about how no one likes her.

      We had a co-director, Barry Cook, who was wonderful to work with and gave direction like an experienced director. Well, he quit. The animation director stepped down. The layout department restructured several times. Multiple senior crew members left. She fired the Aardman appointed producer. Sarah Smith left a wake of destruction that can probably be seen from space.

      mark my words:
      If this movie is a success it will only be because of Aardman. If this movie is a failure it will only be because of Sony. (just like Flushed Away)

      • elf

        I’ve heard the same!

      • Sarah

        Thats because Sarah Smith is NOT a director and Berry Cook isnt one eaither and this is NOT a good movie BUT a product that happens to be in the cinemas with 3D characters moving around in 3D space. Aardman cash grab – corporate mentality – corporate product for the lowest common denominator.

        People/workers getting their bills paid… thats all… of course not that there is anything wrong with paying your bills but lets be honest. Ego trip of a production, nothing new, move along or go watch Tale of Desperaux… a real film…. ha, ha

        anyways

        some people on this production could have been working in a sausage factory and they would be just as happy and it would not even make a difference to them… SS included.

      • snip2354

        Sorry, but this film is not yet released. How do you know this is a bad movie?

      • Elf

        Snip2354, thetruth worked on the movie.

        Honestly, I think regardless how bad the production went, this movie is for sure going to be making money because:

        1, It’s a Christmas Holiday movie
        2, It has Linguini in it, people will relate it to a movie that has the quality of Ratatouille because of the excellent character designs.
        3, It’s an Aardman and Sony movie, not a Hoodwinked production. And they have Columbia Pictures, a powerful distribution company.

        Now, I too am one of the crew members on the show. What thetruth said is true. A little in me wants the movie to do well, and a little on me wants it to do badly because Sarah deserve a horrible karma and have her huge ego shoot down. All my years of experience, this is one horrible show to work on, my sympathy to the artists.

      • hurtbythetruth

        @thetruth:

        I, too, worked on this at Sony. I agree with your comments except the fact that you blame Sony at the end.

        If it wasn’t for the herculean effort that dozens of artists from Sony put in working and re-working different aspects of this film, it wouldn’t look anywhere near as good as it does. And some parts do look amazing.

        And then you say if it’s a success it’s only because of Aardman?! Sarah came from Aardman! Aardman gave her all the leeway and freedom Sony did! Aardman ultimately kicked Pergram out! How are they the saviors?!

        I marked your last words and you’re dead wrong. Sarah and the uppers – from BOTH studios – are what screwed this thing. The artists – from BOTH studios – are what salvaged it.

      • Elf

        hurtbythetruth, I don’t think thetruth mean to insult the artists in Sony. Rather, indicating if the movie does fail, the public would blame it on Sony like they blame DreamWorks for Flushed Away, when maybe the reality wasn’t just DreamWorks’ fault. And if it is successful, the public would give credit to Aardman. When the reality is all otherwise, like what you mentioned.

      • thetruth

        Elf is correct.

        hurtbythetruth, If the movie is seen as a success, as in it makes a lot of money, then Aardman will take all the credit. Sony and its artists will be pinned as “the tech guys” that made it pretty and made it in eye popping 3D.

        If the movie does not make a substantial profit, then it will be all Sony’s fault. I can just see the quotes now, “Sony was very difficult to work with, we wanted to push it in such and such a direction, but Sony wouldn’t let us.” Really, just look up any quote from Aardman talking about Flushed Away and it’ll look like that.

        In my honest opinion I can’t see how this thing can be profitable. It went so far over budget, deadlines didn’t even mean anything. Sarah would final a shot, but have another animator keep addressing notes the following week, and sometimes another animator after that. (and if after 3 animators you still aren’t getting what you want, its the director not the animators)

        The layout department and the fx department would try to lockdown very complicated things before animation could start on a sequence (whole sequences take place in a row boat in the middle of the ocean…can you imagine the technical challenges?) Then Sarah would change her mind later about cameras and the amount of wave movement causing all the shots in animation to come to a screeching halt. She just couldn’t wrap her head around how the process works and she never respected anyone’s experience or knowledge. What’s funny is all we were trying to do was help her make the best movie possible.

        Sarah Smith made it so difficult to make any progress on this film that after 7 months in production the film was only 20% animated. …and that was after 6 months of preproduction at Sony and even a year of preproduction at Aardman before that.

        It says a lot that the top Sony execs had to beg crew members to extended over 4 months beyond their contracted end dates. Considering the state of the job market.

        All of this goes back to my original statement that I hope this movie is never nominated or recognized for anything. Sarah Smith should never direct another film and hopefully Sony Animation can come back from this. We were on such a roll with our feature films each one better than the last. It felt like it was the one feature animation studio that would take risks and try to break out from the current mold of animated movies. Arthur killed that momentum and the studio is not the same. Thanks Sarah.

      • fArthur Christmas

        For no reason there were artists (even senior level) who she just didn’t like from the beginning. For no rhyme or reason she would just relegate them to the less juicy shots while elevating junior level people to more complicated, rewarding shots. And the work shows. Yes, the directors of different departments had no say. She would even assign which shots go to which artist. I have never been on a feature animation film where so many hated their jobs, where every single review time was like cattle trotting off to slaughter. I found it hysterical that one of the top executives of Sony Pictures Entertainment begged to the audience to stay longer. Even with that, even in this economy, at least half decided to just leave. I am truly afraid Sony Animation’s reputation will be tarnished after this. Thanks Sarah. Smurfs saved SPA.

      • danceWithTheDevil

        Sadly, the above comments are accurate and not an over-exaggeration. Sarah Smith and the Supervisor, Alan Smith were grossly under-qualified for their roles on the film and the end product and subsequent toll on the crew it inflicted are testament to that.

        I’m sure at some level Sony rues the day they ever got in bed with Aardman. Dreamworks certainly did.I only hope Sony recovers from this venture. I saw them occupying a decently high position in fully animated film industry. There was Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney and Sony. I feel that they will fall far from that and only hope their future projects will allow them to recover.

        Recovery will require the rehiring of crew and the restoration of their faith in the management. Many left during the production as stated above and many will never come back. If their immediate follow ups aren’t hits their fall from fourth position might be too far to recover from. They are in danger of becoming the pariah of animation should they follow a failure with a failure while coupling it with poor working conditions due to sociopaths like Smith.

        For some reason, contractual power was signed away with the Arthur Christmas contract and it allowed Smith and Short’s 1-2 punch of ineptitude to destroy a good project and the lives of those who worked on it.

        Hopefully Sony learns from this and places ultimate trust in their highly qualified senior artists in the future.

        I would love to return and work with those individuals whose brilliance was clearly stifled by the oppressive nature of the walking-on-eggshells production.

      • East West

        It is sad to read some of the above comments: it is obvious that some of you had an unpleasant personal experience and were not treated the way you were apparently used to but why transfer this frustration to the movie?! There were more than 200 people working on this project and it is expected to have quite a few hurt artists’ egos Sarah’s directing and personal communication style were not always that easy. Saying, though that the movie is not good because you did not like the process is immature and unprofessional at least. This is by far the best animated feature produced by Sony: this is agreed on by executives and top artists there. The bar was raised significantly higher with Arthur Christmas and the additional pressure on the artists to deliver something quite different and better than what they were used to (surely outside their comfort zone) obviously added to the frustration from the communication and management shortcomings and did not go down that well with many.
        This said, one should admit that Sarah Smith could have tried to be little more considerate as a director and person. The movie is great, though!

      • sandinmouth

        hurtbythetruth,
        please don’t cry over the dismissal of S. Pegram – he was really outside his depth on this very complicated production and should have never been brought in as a producer (or at least let go much earlier!). If Aardman are guilty of something on this one it would be the fact that they let him stay (and not care much) for that long and did not spot his incompetence earlier!

  • John Smith

    Some shots has amazing animation, some others were horrible. It’s one of those movies where you can tell that a huge skill level gap exists in the animation dept. “I just want everything to be perfect for every kid” lip sync is inexcusable. Overall the animation feels held back and stiff: but being Aardman maybe this was a style choice?

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I don’t totally love the visual style or general idea, but I find it good enough. Arthur seems likeable but everything else looks like something I’ve already watched at first. However by the end of the trailer things get more interesting and it seems that there are a lot of imaginative details and original gags. I wouldn’t expect less from Aardman. So all in all I’m interested. Not excited, but interested. It looks like a solid and good comedy and there are not so many of them nowadays.

  • Steve

    Not a trailer so much as the entire plot condensed into 2 minutes…

  • http://mattjonezanimation.blogspot.com/ Matt Jones

    BTW There’s a U.S. trailer that has slightly different shot choices, voice-over, tone etc.

    http://www.slashfilm.com/arthur-christmas-uk-us-trailer/

  • Skeptical

    Like the earlier trailer, this is underwhelming. The animation and look are ‘meh’ but it’s the story that seems the bigger problem. Like it was cobbled together from out-takes from a bunch of other lame Christmas movies showing the “hilarious” real life of Santa. There was nothing that didn’t feel recycled. Where is the charm and sincerity that Aardman is known for?

    • John Smith

      If Nick Park isn’t involved, it’s not Aardman. I don’t know who the director is, but all her experiences were producing British sitcoms.

      • James Fox

        Aardman did Robbie The Reindeer and Nick Park didn’t do that

      • http://ukanimation.blogspot.com Neil

        Robbie the Reindeer was by a different studio, just with some Aardman crew involved. But yes, Aardman was making films before Nick Park joined them so it’s a bit harsh to suggest that their only director worth attention.

        That said, I am curious as to exactly what role Aardman has in this film, besides funding it. The director and writer did work on an animated series (I am Not an Animal), but that wasn’t Aardman…

      • Was My Face Red

        Aardman isn’t one director. It’s a whole studio, as even a little bit of research would reveal. They’re just very lucky to have Nick Park as the person most associated with their name, which they do kinda trade on.

  • James Fox

    Arthur’s Christmas is releasing on the same day as The Muppets (Disney messed up again!) which is November 23rd here in the US

    • snip2354

      If this is as bad as it sounds, from the Sarah Smith story read above, The Muppets won’t have any problem coming in at #1 at the box office.

  • http://www.hobsonanimation.com Kevin

    Disney just can’t get a break when it comes to choosing release dates.

    Anyway, Arthur Christmas looks wonderful. A lot better than that Tintin movie coming out after.

    • James Fox

      I’m pretty sure Tintin would be equally as great as Arthur Christmas if we just remove the purist glasses

    • sabretruthtiger

      You’re kidding right? Tintin is streaks ahead.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    As much as I think Arthur Christmas will be neat I’d sure pick The Muppets Movie before it. That movie looks hilarious!

    But in Spain I won’t have that problem anyway cause The Muppets Movie is not being released until February.

  • 2011 Senior Citizen

    Looks like a good story! But again, I’m sick and tired of the “secret agent” angle for all these Santa movies!

  • Hannah de Spon

    Wow…this trailer has really sold the movie for me o0o It looks really heartwarming and fun :) Nice one Sony/Aardman

  • Mat Machado

    this movie sounds great. im a big Aardman fan and i hope watch another wonderful production from this studio.

  • Ryan Storm

    It looks OK, something good for the kids to watch on holidays.
    The designs kind of look like something David Feiss (cow and chicken) would draw and considering I usually like his work I’ll probably enjoy this myself.

  • Mike

    Looks alright, but I think I’ll wait for Pirates: Band of Misfits. Been waiting for a good stop-motion feature since Coraline!

    • Mike

      Oh, geez, how did I forget A Town Called Panic and Fantastic Mr. Fox, one of my favorite mainstream animated films of the last several years? Embarrassing.

      Allow me to amend: I am always eager for a good stop-motion feature, and they are too few and far-between!

  • Bud

    Looks like prep and landing ripped them off. OF course, this looks MUCH better.

  • SarahMonster

    I am also one of the degraded people who worked on this “film.” I always want my project to succeed, but if this particular movie succeeds, then Sarah Smith will get credit, and she will be further unleashed through the industry. For the love of animation and film making, please let this one rightfully fail so other people will be spared of the worst director (and human being) of my lifetime.

    • sandinmouth

      C’mon, get a life! You really don’t want the movie to succeed just because this might do some good to the director whom you apparently loath?!.. Arthur Christmas’ success will definitely do more good to the industry than your sad desire for a revenge! There are too many sugar-coated, bad taste and entirely predictable animated movies out there. You don’t really think that if Sarah gets credit for the success this would damage the industry?.. This is quite naive. There are plenty of much worst human beings directing animated movies: think of Sylvain Chomet for example – great artist and big talent but a horrible person and awful to work for!

  • Derp

    Not sure if I can really care about the storyline… whoopie, they missed some random girl… great. The title isn’t very creative either.

  • http://haruko01 Tony Mines

    I’m just confused.
    Shouldn’t there be at least two Dudley Moore’s in this film!?

  • darrow

    i think this looks awesome! Arthur Christmas looks a much better movie than Smurfs.

  • http://mattjonezanimation.blogspot.com/ Matt Jones
    • Skeptical

      The reviewer saw the Aardman name and began swooning. That wasn’t an actual review, more like a love letter to past Aardman productions.

  • ash

    I have been on the show from day 1 and its been the most challenging job in may career so far.

    Yes I agree with ‘thetruth’ but apart from SS and AS and the rest of the ass kissers that were on the production I really hope that the show succeeds. Why???? Because there are some truely talented and great people in Sony and Aardman that have gone beyond the call of duty for this show to make things work. I hate the fact it takes a handfull of people to f*** things up for everyone and it tarnishes and reflects on the other folks involved. Most of the artists/tech people aardman and sony have been a pleasure to work with. Lets not forget about that and them, with that in mind I hope that the show succeeds and give the talented people the credit thats due to them for making it work and putting up with the abuse from higher production.

  • Barc

    I worked on this movie as well and think its a very enjoyable film. I’m not sure where the hate is coming from, and I certainly don’t hope that the film fails just to spite some members of production.

  • Fubar

    I worked on this production and whilst some of the comments about difficult working relationships are true, what is also true is that there were some very talented people on this production. The design, look and feel of the movie has been put together by some very talented people and it was my privilege to work with them. I sincerely hope that the movie is a great success, as it will be down to the efforts of these individuals. Yes, the production was fraught with difficult working relationships but the animation and technical teams at both Sony and Aaardman worked well together and worked tirelessly to bring to fruition the whole concept. Yes, it can be argued that there were certain people who became barriers to overcome rather than to facilitate. I am sure both Aardman and Sony know who these people are and hopefully lessons will have been learned. I for one thoroughly enjoyed playing a very small part in this production and wish it every success for all concerned. I fear that this may all turn into an us and them situation between Aardman and Sony which would be a very sad thing indeed as it would not reflect the humour, talent or determination displayed by both teams. I will be waiting to see the final production in the cinema and would give my right arm to be at the premier. I will also be reading the closing titles with interest to see if Coco the dog gets a mention. :)

  • sandinmouth

    Great post Fubar! Thank you for the positivity & the constructive opinion and for not allowing your vision to be tarnished by subjective personal misery.
    A good film deserves it’s success and a narrow-minded revenge is a ridiculous reason to wish the movie would flop… It is a great film (not a sugar-coated mediocre mainstream product, as some posters above suggest or wish). I hope it does well and the lessons learned!

    • Fubar

      sandinmouth,
      Thanks for the comment. As a relative outsider, whose background is commercial rather than film industry I can tell you, nobody was that difficult to work with. Yes, some people were demanding and there were days where I could have cheerfully bludgeoned people to death with a blunt instrument. However, I always put this down to the fact everyone was working very long, hard hours. There was also some fun and humour, some steep learning curves and beer!
      Sadly, I am back in the commercial grey suited world but would give my right arm to be back in the industry. So for those of you in my FB you can guess who I am, to my other co-workers, I bid you a very fond adieu.
      I sincerely believe that AC will be a success and deservedly so. If the reaction I witnessed when I attended a 3D viewing in my local cinema is anything to go by, it certainly will be. I hope there will be an AC2 where Arthur is forced to relocate the HQ due to global warming risking blowing the cover! The last sentence goes to prove I am not a writer :)