Arthur Christmas doesn’t arrive in theaters until November 23, but Movie Fanatic was treated yesterday to the first 30 minutes of the animated film. Not only that, but Sony Pictures Animation threw a wonderful celebration fete, complete with Christmas cookies!
What we took away from the first third of the film is Arthur Christmas has the potential to be an instant Christmas classic. The animation is stellar, the storytelling top notch and the acting performances by the cast led by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy and Ashley Jensen bring the entire film a sense of warmth and wonderment.
Jensen was in attendance and greeted us with a level of excitement that was contagious.
“When I first started doing this film, years ago, I just had a baby and I was voicing to literally light drawings,” Jensen said. “Each time I went in, the animation became richer and more vivid to what we just saw today. I think it’s a wonderful and exciting Christmas film. It’s got magic dust in it. It’s got Santa in it! It’s a warm, happy, very festive film for the whole family.”
The uniqueness of Arthur Christmas is how the film takes audiences into the world of Santa Claus and how he manages to deliver billions of presents across the globe in one single magical evening. It is established that there have been about a dozen Santas since the first Christmas, each entrusted with the task of achieving the impossible.
On this particular Christmas, the current heir to the Santa throne, Steve (Laurie) is seen orchestrating a hi-tech gifting assault from the North Pole command center that goes off without a flaw as his father successfully closes another Christmas with the phrase, “Mission Accomplished.”
The only thing is Arthur, Santa’s second born son, discovers that a little girl in England had her present left behind. What’s he to do? With Grand Santa -- his grandfather -- in tow, they set off on an adventure to ensure that every little boy and girl enjoys the miracle of Christmas.
Arthur Christmas will be premiering in 3D and comes from Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit) as well as Sony Pictures Animation.
Immediately following the 30 minute tease, Movie Fanatic headed out into the “cold” of Sony Studios where snow dotted the landscape, carolers sang Christmas’ greatest hits and children made Christmas cookies to utter delight. It is this kind of environment that is sure to foster another smash hit for the studio that recently enjoyed The Smurfs box office success.
Outside at the Christmas event, Jensen captured the spirit impeccably.
“Christmas is all around us, we even have real snow,” Jensen proudly stated. “I always think it’s a little bit funny to be in California at Christmas. Me, coming from Scotland, it’s a little bit strange not having to wear sweaters, coats, scarves and hats. But here, the sun is shining, this is rather nice because you can enjoy Christmas, but you don’t have to hap yourself up, as I would say.”
Like a child’s joy on Christmas morning, you can imagine our thrill when we awoke to a brand new Arthur Christmas trailer. We bring it to you below! Merry Christmas everyone (in October!).