This is one of those films that so badly wants to be thought of as a classic, so badly wants to be trotted out annually, that wants to be loved…so why is it then that I find it just so incredibly dull with no magic in it’s soul at all?
This movie turns Christmas into this big corporate organisation, with the elves as the staff and Santa Claus himself as the big lazy CEO at the centre of it all, with the main villain as the ambitious, but devious older son while Arthur is the nice, good boy who always gets overlooked.
When you look at stills from the film, or even when you watch clips, you create this perception that this will be knockabout fun. Then you realise it’s by the makers of Wallace and Gromit and you think, this is going to be amazing.
And then you watch it and you’re just left disappointed.
The story centres around Arthur trying to save Christmas for a little girl whose present got lost. In the corporate attitude, they lost 0.0001% of the presents and that’s acceptable, but for Arthur it’s not, as just one sad child is one too many.
Next follows a series of adventures, battling his brother, arguing with family, finding the old sleigh etc.
In theory, it does sound great and yet, there is something missing. It’s a film of set pieces, but lacking magic in its heart. It’s hard to recall any scenes that make me laugh out loud, I do watch with a smile but it’s never more than gentle at best.
Should you watch it, well, it’s by Aardman so if you’ve not seen it, you really should. Some people say it’s really great, I don’t agree with them. Still, it’s not so bad for a Sunday lunch time, mid-December, curled up under a blanket seeing out the hangover!