“Arthur Christmas” shows off the classic X-mas movie cliché

by Heather Nale

I thought “Arthur Christmas” would be an awesome, sweet movie to really get me in the Christmas spirit, but unfortunately, it was a letdown. The movie had a few funny scenes that only older viewers could appreciate, but it wasn’t all that clever. It wasn’t a cliché holiday movie, though. I’ll give it that.

The movie takes place at the North Pole, with Santa Claus the Twentieth (Jim Broadbent) currently being the Big Guy. Santa’s, whose real name is Malcolm, youngest son Arthur is very clumsy and works out of the way in a closet like area that was dubbed the messaging center. Arthur (James McAvoy) reads all the children’s letters to Santa and writes back telling them that Santa is real and can’t wait to deliver their presents. Santa’s oldest son, Steve (Hugh Laurie), is eager to become the twenty-first Santa.

Steve has developed the S1, a huge jet, bigger than most towns, that is invisible to humans and makes delivering gifts quicker and easier.

The movie portrays Santa as a lazy, ditsy man that doesn’t really care. The elves do everything for him. On Christmas Eve, elves drive the S1 and hundreds slide down ropes and get into houses to leave the desired presents. Santa sleeps throughout the journey and occasionally places the very last gift. The group travels from Denmark, to Germany to the United States. Another group of thousands of elves, led by Steve, run the Control Center at the North Pole.

Finally, all the presents are delivered and everything is all good. Malcolm decides to be Santa for another year. Then, a cleaning elf finds a gift that wasn’t delivered. Santa skipped a house. One child would not be getting a present on Christmas morning. This affected Arthur, but Steve and Malcolm were tired and could really care less. Arthur and his grandfather, Grandsanta, and a wrapping female elf with a Mohawk and an eyebrow piercing, took the traditional sleigh and eight magic reindeer into the world to deliver a bike to Gwen in England. They get in many troubles and almost ruin Christmas, but of course, they succeed and all is well.

The movie made Santa appear as a lazy, fat, heartless man toward the beginning of the movie. While that idea is very unconventional, I wasn’t a fan of it. Santa should be the mastermind behind the project, not thousands of elves.

While the movie wasn’t terrific, I adored the ending. It went through all the characters and told them what they did after that Christmas and how happy they were. It was cute.

I’m sure the movie will be enjoyed by children, but it won’t appeal much to older teens and adults.


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