Blu-ray Review: Aardman Offers Holiday Alternative with ‘Arthur Christmas’

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CHICAGO – Aardman Animation has been such a vital, creative force in the history of family entertainment that I worry that the relatively lackluster reception stateside for films like “Arthur Christmas” could derail the company a bit. Most U.S. audiences ignored this solid holiday offering and the Spring’s “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits” (although both were much bigger hits overseas). Do yourself a favor and take a trip off the beaten holiday movie path to check out “Arthur Christmas,” a smart, fun comedy for the entire family. Blu-ray rating:3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

“Arthur Christmas” operates from a timeless model of holiday films — what if Santa were real. Updating the myth of the man in big red coat to a modern era in which the elves run activity on Christmas Eve like mission control, “Arthur Christmas” is a clever reworking of timeless family entertainment holiday themes for the iPad generation. With all of this technology, it’s still most important that every good kid gets a present on Christmas. “Arthur Christmas” is a sweet comedy, like most Aardman works, even if the Blu-ray is a bit lackluster in terms of special features. Aardman Animation is special enough.

Arthur Christmas was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 6, 2012
Arthur Christmas was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 6, 2012
Photo credit: Sony

How can Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast, state-of-the-art control center under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have missed one child?! To Santa’s young son, Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, Arthur sets out in a crazy mission to deliver the last present! Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this new Christmas classic!

Special Features:
o Unwrapping Arthur Christmas
o Elf Recruitment Video

“Arthur Christmas” features voice work by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Ashley Jensen, and Imelda Staunton. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 6, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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