As I do not have young children, I missed last year’s Columbia Pictures and Sony Animation’s release of the animated Arthur Christmas, but the DVD will be released on November 6–the Walmart exclusive package will include Justin Bieber’s music video version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” This version of the Christmas Eve calamity–“Will Santa overcome an obstacle to deliver presents on time?–invokes our modern world of UPS and Amazon deliveries (where sometimes a package arrives on the same day as I place an order!)
An aging GrandSanta and his son Santa have turned over operations to a team of efficiency experts who now use a hi-tech sleigh (that looks suspiciously like a red Star Trek USS Enterprise). They cruise the world, delivering presents to all boys and girls, thus answering the age-old question “How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?”
It’s to be expected that the delivery method cannot be 100% perfect, and when one little girl is overlooked by older brother Steve’s efficient elves, bumbling younger son, Arthur, must spring into action to get the gifts delivered. Grand-Santa suggests a rickety old sleigh and eight reindeer. What? Sounds unlikely, but Arthur joins the old codger for the journey. Note that older brother Steve is muscular and built similar to many animated headstrong/heart-weak characters of late. (Christmas camo, but I have a lot to say about this negative portrayal of gung-ho military types, including Colonel Quaritch in Avatar). Arthur is the sensitive geek who actually reads Christmas letters to Santa and wears a series of ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s no surprise that the magic of Christmas will be lost if technology rules the world.
I have included one of the previews here.
Reviewers give it 7 out of 10, and it’s rated PG for mild rude humor.