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Arthur Christmas Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Repeat after me: Aardman = Pixar. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

Melts the heart of any Scrooge. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    69

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Crisply shot and voiced by a legion of Brits, the animated Arthur seems aimed at the Scrooge and caroler in all of us.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    A tender and upbeat spirit informs the writing and the execution.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Keith Staskiewicz

    The resulting adventure, like most of Aardman's work (Chicken Run, Flushed Away), is more clever than outright funny, but it's also genuinely sweet, and the complicated relations among Santa's clan are surprisingly believable.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Leave it to the folks who brought us "Wallace & Gromit," "Chicken Run" and "Flushed Away" to bring a delightful blast of fresh air to the conventional Christmas genre. Aardman's Arthur Christmas is that and more - an endlessly amusing 3D, CG-animated Yuletide romp with lively innovation at every turn and a dream voice cast headed by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Arthur Christmas reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Fabulous, funny holiday movie about the Christmas spirit.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Arthur Christmas is a heartwarming animated holiday adventure that's a fine pick for the entire family. One brief scene of a group of startled wild animals and another of an angry homeowner wielding a gun may frighten very young kids, and there are a few jokes targeting parents -- like when Grandsanta explains that "in the old days," he once gave a double whiskey to an elf. But otherwise this movie from the British animators behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit provides a good reminder of the holiday spirit, family unity, and being generous. Families that don't celebrate Christmas should know that the story doesn't have any religious overtones; the emphasis remains on Santa and his family.

  • Families can talk about how Arthur Christmas fits into the genre of holiday movies. How is this story different than other Santa-based movies? Is it confusing to see a movie about Santa's personal family in the North Pole?

  • What are the movie's messages about both family and the holidays? What do the characters learn over the course of the movie?

  • Some of the movie's jokes are aimed directly at adults; do you think too much of the humor is "grown up," or will kids enjoy it as well? Why do you think filmmakers might include jokes that will go over kids' head in movies that are made for them?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids will learn about the English tradition of "Father Christmas" and will briefly see how Christmas is celebrated around the world when Arthur and Grandsanta make their way to England in search of one little girl.

  • message true4

    Messages: Arthur's story is an example of how one person can really make a difference and why families should work together. Arthur and Bryony also exemplify rising to the occasion and overcoming fears. Christmas, the movie suggests, is about the joy of feeling of loved and appreciated. There's also a worthwhile message about finding a balance between technology and tradition, especially during the holidays.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Arthur is a wonderful example of someone who rises to the occasion to fight for what he believes in, overcome his fears, and help others. He's generous and kind and believes every child deserves to feel special and loved for Christmas. Grandsanta starts out acting selfishly but redeems himself toward the end of the movie, as do the other adult characters.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: An encounter with wild animals in Africa could frighten younger viewers; the lions look especially ready to pounce. A dog is another formidable obstacle to delivering a gift. In one scene, a homeowner gets out of his house and fires a gun at Arthur, Grandsanta, and Bryony, mistaking them for aliens; in another, missiles are fired at Grandsanta's sleigh, and it bursts into flames. Some of the sleigh rides themselves are a little perilous, especially when the police are involved, and there's a fair bit of military flavor to some of the goings-on. Physical comedy gags include clumsy Arthur always falling and tripping into things, being afraid of heights, and otherwise wreaking havoc on the elves' world.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false1

    Language: The word "hell" is said. Grandsanta pokes fun at this son, Father Christmas, by using some clever nicknames.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Steve's Santa suit is designed by Versace; Google Earth is mentioned.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Grandsanta looks tipsy and recalls when he gave an elf a "double whiskey" to forget about something. There's also a scene in his room where viewers see him near lots of alcohol bottles, but he's never seen drinking.

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by olyhorse

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