Review: Arthur Christmas. *smiles happily*
ANOTHER Christmas film? I know, right? Now we do LOVE our seasonal film viewing – but we’re picky, only adding the very best to our collection, and ignoring the growing dross pile as years go by.
So when we were sent Arthur Christmas to review we settled down with the popcorn ‘en famille’, with cautious expectations. I’ll be honest – none of us really fancied it when it came out at the cinema last year. And the teen only sat down to watch as popcorn was In The Room (he’s not one to miss out on popcorn).
But – it was Aardman, it had a great cast (and we had nothing else new to watch)… So we gave it a go, even though we’re not into Chrsitmas Movie Night season yet.
And let me tell you one thing about this film right now. We Bloody LOVED it. So much so that we actually gave a spontaneous round of applause when it finished.
Honestly – it has EVERYTHING you need from a timeless classic Christmas film. It entranced the 5yr old, and it entranced the 45 yr old. It was funny, it was clever, it was magical – and it left each and every one of us with a huge beaming smile and warm fuzzy glow.
I loved the fact that there was no ‘evil villain’ – just for the sake of having an arch nemesis. Instead there was Steve, who’s biggest fault was that he simply didn’t Get It. One of my favourite lines was “All right! So I’m not good with children. Does that make me a bad Santa?”
There’s a little silence that speaks a whole book. See? Cleverness in typical Aardman style. It’s not a film about good being triumphant over evil. It’s simply about a person who genuinely Gets It, making the effort to prevent the crapness of those who genuinely don’t.
Oh, and the Aardman style is all there too, despite this not being a stop motion. There’s no handsome hero (let’s face it, Arthur looks ODD) – but he has the softest hair that you want to smooth gently, and oh, those slippers! I read an interview with Sarah Smith, the director, who described Arthur
“We wanted to give [Arthur] a terrible Christmas sweater and Christmas slippers. We made the slippers really soft and furry and there’s something about him that makes you say, “Bless.” He’s obviously a mess and wears sort of terrible sweatpants with baggy knees and stuff like that.”
Just not a ‘hero’ type. But oh how he is the hero! And there’s no romance angle. And actually, no one is super-cute, super-pretty or super-glossy. They’re just typically British and Quirky and Loveable. Even Steve. Bless him.
I also LOVED the fact that they meshed the old and the new – and managed to not comment on which was better, the new technology or the beautiful old sleigh. Because, as every child knows, it really doesn’t matter HOW the job gets done – it’s the WHY that matters more.
So. Arthur Christmas. Inside all the fun and silliness and for-the-grown-ups-chihuahua giggles there’s a simple, heart warming message that Every Child Matters.
Buy It. Watch it. Treasure it. You’ll be seeing lots more of it in years to come *slides own copy onto shelf between Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life*.