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Arthur Christmas (U)


On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission.

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The critical consensus

There are plenty of ho-ho-hos here, most of them coming from Ashley Jensen’s helium-voiced elf Bryony. But there’s definitely something missing, and we don’t just mean the plasticine...

***(*)(*)Neil Smith, Total Film, 07/11/2011

There’s enough slapstick to keep younger cinemagoers happy while older ones can enjoy the sly jokes and play spot-the-famous-voice.

****(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 09/11/2011

Far from a ho-ho-horrible mess, but room to improve.

Matt Risley, Little White Lies, 10/11/2011

t’s fast-paced and enjoyable enough but the story is thin and the stakes never seem terribly high. Children will undoubtedly enjoy it but I suspect this animated gift is merely for Christmas and not for life.

***(*)(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 10/11/2011

It remains engaging throughout thanks to cheery voices, the show stolen by Ashley Jensen as Bryony, an elf with very impressive present-wrapping skills, and it’s certainly heartwarming enough to get by.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 10/11/2011

A joyful, simple Christmas movie with a heartfelt message.

****(*)Henry Barnes, The Guardian, 10/11/2011

The voice cast do their best with limited material, but none of the characters is very memorable and in the end, with nothing particularly engaging, heartfelt or meaningful to hold on to, all the bright colours, funny accents and endless set-pieces are little more than cinematic Christmas wrapping: pretty to look at, functional and entirely disposable.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 11/11/2011

Aardman films' yuletide offering is both a heartwarmer and a sly dig at the gospel of family togetherness.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 11/11/2011

A great, big joy. Even if you’re a bit bah humbug, just delight in the supremely clever Aardman comedy.

****(*)Olly Richards, Empire Online, 11/11/2011

Arthur Christmas might be made of pixels rather than Plasticine, but it still has Aardman’s fingerprints all over it.

****(*)Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 11/11/2011

Arthur Christmas doesn't have a cynical bone in its body, recalling the old-fashioned, heart-warming festive yarns they used to make. Christmas has come early.

*****Daily Record, 11/11/2011

An odd Anglo-American collaboration that will bring a little brief happiness to undemanding children.

Philip French, The Observer, 13/11/2011

The otherwise ultra-efficient Arthur Christmas forgets one thing, too: its plot.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 13/11/2011

Arthur Christmas feels like a TV short padded out, jolly enough for small kids, but lacking in the wit and charm that made the studio’s name.

**(*)(*)(*)Eddie Harrison, The List, 14/11/2011

Perfectly positioned for generating pre-Christmas excitement, Arthur Christmas has charm and a breezy confidence that makes it the epitome of a simple pleasure.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 15/11/2011

Arthur Christmas (U)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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