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“Arthur Christmas” talkback

Opening today is Aardman/Sony Animation’s Arthur Christmas and so far, the critics like it. Michael Phillips in The Los Angeles Times calls it “manic, but charming”. Neil Genzlinger writing in The New York Times says, “The plot may be a little too cluttered for the toddler crowd to follow, but the next age group up should be amused.”

Were you amused? Let us know in the comments below (and you know the rules: only those who have seen the film can post below).

  • Dana G

    “Manic, but charming” is pretty accurate. I saw it with my teenage sister earlier today and we both enjoyed it. There’s a lot of good dialogue (particularly from Grandsanta) that may have been lost on younger members of the (American) audience because it goes by so quickly, but overall there seemed to be a solid amount of laughter going around the theater.
    The elves were my favorite—they’re funny and adorable, and their cultish devotion to Santa and his family is kind of creepy in an entertaining way.
    I’m generally not into holiday-themed movies, since they often seem like such cheap throwaways, but this one is sincere and fun, and I’m glad I saw it.

  • Cody S.

    It was alright. Not fantastic, but not at all bad. It’s a solid film with a bunch of entertaining moments and the end is touching enough. I think I expected to be charmed more – especially considering it’s an Aardman flick; it lacked that sort of whimsical insanity that their prior films have had. I was also kind of bummed out that the only solidly likable person in the film was Arthur (and perhaps the wrapping Elf). Even up to the end the rest of them didn’t really redeem themselves…except perhaps their mutual revelation.

    That being said – it’s not a waste of two hours. Especially when there are worse things you could be seeing in theaters at the moment.

  • Martyn

    I loved it, charming, engaging and wonderfully festive. That’s saying a lot from someone that isn’t the biggest fan of Christmas, it almost made me wistful for the end of the year, almost. Adored Grandsanta.

    Not going to change the world of film, but an enjoyable romp, and well worth seeing.

  • C.M.S Branting

    I saw it durin Fredrickstads animation festival last month! its not my favorit Aardman movie but not bad in anyway! I like that it din`t fell in any of the regular story cliches. None of the characters had any specific character arcs as much that they simply came to understand each other better, which i found great! The animation was OK with some good specific expresions (especially grand santa)! I recomend it to any who want to se a chrismas movie that isnt just the same old same old.

  • D

    Aardman does good work whether its stop motion or computer animated. I felt the movie was warm and charming with a ton of great dialogue and good jokes. Yeah its definitely not for the little little crowd but I think any kid 8 and up would love this thing. Its also nice to see some unique looking computer animation in theatres a welcome change of pace from the typical Pixar fare. The only problem is the films pacing it never really takes its time and as a result it can feel rushed in parts particularly the end. Overall not a bad film another good piece from Aardman.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I saw it today and enjoyed it. A lot of the humor will go over the heads of young children but will be appreciated by the older members of the audience. The animation was well done. Another quality job by Aardman.
    I particulary liked Arthur,Grandsanta,Steve,the elves,and the ‘current’ Santa.

  • I liked the film, it is a different christmas story, more modern, the grand santa is a great character as well as many of the others.. This film is not an all inhouse aardman film as wallace and gromit, and you can see that, but it still got some aardman feeling… I am happy to see they not tried to copy the plastecine look, as they seems to do in flushed away, but used cgi for what its worth… This film would be impossible to do in stop motion… I will recomend it..

  • At first it looked like it was going to be treading the same steps than Prep & Landing, but it won me over pretty quickly. The story and the characters are great, and even though Arthur begins as a charicature, he develops nicely into a well developed character. And as others have commented before me, GrandSanta steals the show. :)

    I think this film shows that Aardman can do great computer animated feature films, and I for one, cannot wait to see their next one.

  • Nicholas S.

    Certainly the weakest of the Aardman efforts, but my five- and nine-year daughters enjoyed it well enough. It’s got very-well-done animation, as well as some famous Brits doing the voice work. Definitely beats Black Friday shopping! (And dancing penguins.)

    There’s a brief shot of Shaun the Sheep in one scene – but no sign of Gromit, darn it!

  • JMatte

    Really fun and charming. I enjoyed all the characters and their little quirks. Most of the laughs were coming from the adult audience, but the kids enjoyed it as well (based on the comments I heard after the film).
    I also was slightly apprehensive of doing too many comparisons with Prep And Landing, but I quickly dismissed them. Once you’re in the world of Arthur Christmas, it holds its own.
    Congrats to the crew who worked on it; a really charming holiday film!

  • James E. Parten

    There is nothing wrong with “Arthur Christmas”–nothing at all. Chuckles and I saw it this evening, and were both raving. We’re recommending it to out friends that are into animated pictures.

    This picture delivers the kind of warm and fuzzy feeling that one wants in a Christmas picture. And it gets the laughs to boot!

    A nomination for a little gold statuette is definitely in order here–perhaps the statuette itself!

  • Scarabim

    Holy cow, this beat the crap out of that Muppet movie! That was a drippy soggy maudlin mess – BORING! Arthur Christmas, however, is awesome. Never trades in on cheap sentiment, really warmhearted, great animation and it’s really really FUNNY – something I hadn’t expected. I hope it tops the box office next week – it deserves to.

  • Not brilliant in any way, but it was fun, I did enjoy it. I agree with the manic statement, the pacing gets a little chaotic, but overall it was worth it. Also a nice charming ending. Nice story, good film.

  • gepinniw

    My wife and I took our two boys, ages 6 and 8, and we all loved it. The pacing in the opening 10-15 minutes is quite frantic, but very enjoyable. There were many nice details in the North Pole HQ, and the Christmas night mission holds numerous clever bits, like the elves’ automatic stocking-fillers and their scanners that indicate the naughty and nice percentages of sleeping tots.
    The characters are nicely written, and it was good to see the film maintains lots of English (British) flavour. You’ve got to admire Aardman for this, because you know the American partners would prefer it be more U.S.-friendly.
    Grandsanta was a hoot, and was beautifully drawn and animated. The vintage sleigh and reindeers were outstanding, and the aurora borealis magic dust leads to several inspired bits.
    All in all, a highly imaginative, original and heartwarming film. Luckily for me I was able to enjoy it in glorious digital 2-D. Colours were vivid, and the screen was sharp and jitter-free. THIS is how movies ought to be seen.

  • I thought the animators’ acting was often brilliantly subtle. Mrs. Santa, I noticed your performance. (Great voice acting throughout.)

    Yes, it was nice to have the unabashed British-ness. (I know I missed some things because of my “Americanity”. It was worth it.)

    I could have done with a bit less “full-frontal cynicism” for a magical holiday film, but that’s just my personal tastes.

    Lots of fun concepts and gags, but the animators’ acting job really brought the focus back to who these very real characters were. Which earns it my respect.

  • Matheus014

    The Movie is not avaliable in Brazil yet. Just next Friday x.x But I hope watch another good movie from Aardman \o/
    The movie sounds good. I have a question: The really has an ‘Adult Story’? I heard about that but I am not sure…

  • James Fox

    I just saw the film, It was amazing!
    Aardman did a splendid job with the film and amazed the skeptic that is my brother.

    The 3D in the film is well implemented

    The references in the film are a nice touch from the clip of “The Snowman” on the TV (did Aardman have any involvement in that special?) to the Shaun the Sheep plushie

    If i can find one gripe of the film is Hugh Laurie (House M.D.) is using his typecasting (i.e. being an @$$) too well for his character

  • Roberto

    It had a lot of imagination and funny comedy. Of course GrandSanta was a really fun and charming character, but I also quite liked Bryony. The other characters, including Arthur, were also nice, but those were the best ones. I agree that Steve was a little too much of an @$$hole, but I guess someone had to be the opponent in a story without villains.

    The ending was charming and well done, though I would have probably liked it more if there was even more comedy and wackiness (I noticed there were things in the trailer that are missing in the film, like a polar bear being wrapped up as a present). But it’s a Christmas story after all, and I guess a nice message at the end is unavoidable.

    It’s really one of the best animated movies in 2011. Even though it’s not a superb classic I’d say it’s as good as any other Aardman movie, their comedy is generally funnier than Dreamworks’ (I found Puss In Boots really quite dull). Not as good as Wallace and Gromit’s first shorts, though, that’s still the best thing Aardman has ever done.

    It hasn’t been such a bad year for animation after all.