Claus and Effect: Arthur Christmas 3-D

An Active3D Movie Review

Rating (out of 5 stars): ****

The story behind the scenes at Santa’s headquarters at the North Pole, provides the backdrop to a charming story of family politics. The current Santa Claus (voiced by Jim Broadbent) distributes presents in a spacecraft that looks like something out of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, while Grandsanta (Bill Nighy giving a hilarious vocal performance) bemoans the use of newfangled gadgetry, insisting that he could do the job just as well back in the good-ole sled-and-reindeer days.

But the focus of our story, of course, is Santa’s younger son, Arthur (James McAvoy). An awkward, if well-meaning, lad, his best intentions invariably fall victim to his clumsiness. He lives in the shadow of his older brother, Steve (Hugh Laurie); an imposing, square-jawed heir apparent who runs Santa’s gift-delivering operations with military precision.

One Christmas eve, after every present has apparently been delivered to children around the globe, Arthur discovers an oversight: a bicycle that should’ve been delivered to a little girl in England has been left behind. Teaming up with Grandsanta, he sets off to right matters, unaware that, in the process, he will unleash his inner hero.

It’s a funny, charming and emotionally stirring family film that never labours its point, and it will, no doubt, speak to kids who feel like also-rans within their family dynamic. The 3-D is beautifully realised, and entire show is a credit to Sony Animation and the British outfit Aardman, who are perhaps best known for their Wallace & Gromit films.

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