Just when it seemed as if holiday movies were taking the “Christ” out of Christmas, the latest children’s flick: “Arthur Christmas,” offers a glimpse of hope for the future.
From Aardman Aminations and Sony Pictures, “Arthur Christmas” is described as fun, cheesy, and perfect for the whole family.
It features the typical story of Santa Claus and his family, however it brings more than a few twists. The title character, voiced by James McAvoy, is the younger son of the current Santa Claus, voiced by Jim Broadbent. He and the eldest son, Steve (Hugh Laurie) are in charge of pumping up the high tech S1 sleigh and delivering Christmas cheer (and presents, of course) to children around the world.
Arthur’s only responsibility is to read the request letters children send to Santa. However, he desperately wishes to participate more actively in spreading the Christmas bliss.
It just so happens that as Santa and Steve are delivering gifts, one present to a young girl is left behind. Santa is completely consumed with the glory that comes with being Santa and Steve brushes it off as a harmless error. However, Arthur doesn’t think it fair to leave anyone out of a present on Christmas Eve.
Arthur is the only one in his family to remember this self-less heart of giving and sacrifice for another person’s happiness. He and Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) embark on the old-school reindeer sleigh in a thrilling adventure to save Christmas for one young girl.
Director, Sarah Smith, and co-writer, Peter Baynham offer and very different type of Santa Claus. He isn't the humble, jolly old man. Rather, he is imperfect and his family is disorderly and full of jealousy. There are no longer the wholesome Claus’s, but now they appear as an average family, filled with some dysfunction.
Fortunately, there is one who can see beyond his own problems and desires. Arthur has his heart in the right place. Even though he knows he is insufficient to fulfill this quest, his determination is enough for him to make an attempt.
This noble, self-less, attitude in a secular film is not seen often enough in Christmas films. Hopefully, more morally driven films can be made to teach children that Christmas is not about presents, but it is about emulating Christ and the sacrifice He made for all of us.
“Arthur Christmas” comes out in theatres on November 23. Check out the trailer below.