Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: Arthur Christmas [2011]


Background:
Release Date: 23 November 2011 (USA), 1 December 2011(Malaysia)
Directed By: Sarah Smith
Written By: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith
Voiced By: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighly, Jim Broadbent, Ashley Jensen
In A Nutshell:
In this modern era, Santa (voiced by Jim Broadbent) delivers presents through an ultra-high-tech and tightly co-ordinated operation led by his eldest son, Peter (voiced by Hugh Laurie). But despite all this technological advancement, a mistake during the operation results in one kid being left out from being delivered presents. Because of time constraints, Peter and Santa refuses to do anything about it. Santa's other son Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) is determined to the deliver the present with the help of Grandsanta (voiced by Bill Nighly) and an Elf specialised in gift-wrapping named Bryony (voiced by Ashley Jensen).
Thumbs Up:
+ Delivers both an abundance of emotional heart and exhilarating adventure
+ Smart comedy, non-reliant on pop-culture gags like most animation tend to do nowadays
+ Fresh take on the Santa myth
Thumbs Down:
- I'm not saying this just because of holiday spirit, but there's nothing I dislike about the movie (I'm tempted to say Justin Bieber's song on the soundtrack but that's just mean, haha)
The Verdict Is In:
Its the long standing debate of the traditional ways versus new technology. You know, how technology helps makes things easier for us but also spoils us. In this story, the technology seems to have taken the heart and joy of Christmas away from Santa. He is just going through the motions. As for Peter, well he's just interested in the operation.

Most animation nowadays seem to depend on pop-culture gags, which are amusing but don't really stand against the test of time. That doesn't happen here. The comedy here is rather smart and witty. I hate to go on and on (like I tend do through this blog) about the gold standard of Pixar and how much I missed such sort of excellence this year (from Cars 2 and other animations), but here I have finally found a movie that is Pixar-tastic. I was completely exhilarated by the adventure and won't mind saying that I got misty quit a few times through out the movie. This is definitely one that I will be watching plenty more times in the future.
Rating:
9 out of 10

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