Op­er­a­tion cel­e­bra­tion

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

THIS cute ’ n’ chip­per yule­tide af­fair hails from Aard­man Stu­dios, a Brit out­fit best known for its clas­sic clay­ma­tions fea­tur­ing Wal­lace and Gromit.

Arthur Christ­mas is a more con­ven­tional, com­puter- an­i­mated ef­fort ( screen­ing in 3D at most lo­ca­tions).

Pro­ceed­ings get off to a down­right spec­tac­u­lar start, reach­ing a peak the rest of movie will never quite near again.

Ever won­dered how Santa can de­liver gifts to ev­ery kid in the world in one 24- hour pe­riod? This has been a stick­ing point for Christ­mas cur­mud­geons for­ever and a day.

The open­ing scenes of Arthur Christ­mas will si­lence all doubters with its ex­pla­na­tion for Santa’s om­nipres­ence. It turns out Santa ( voiced by Jim Broad­bent) is the com­man­derin- chief of a metic­u­lously planned mil­i­tary ex­er­cise ev­ery De­cem­ber 25th.

Space­ship- like craft the size of large cities swarm all over the planet. Com­mando elves drop from the skies, de­liv­er­ing presents with pin­point ef­fi­ciency in ab­so­lute si­lence.

If ever there is a ‘‘ waker’’ – code for a child who might see too much se­cret busi­ness – the Santa Squad knows ex­actly what to do.

Af­ter this A- grade be­gin­ning, Arthur Christ­mas goes a lit­tle B- grade with its plot­ting. The main story told is that of Arthur ( James Mcavoy), a clumsy son of Santa who goes on a mis­sion to save his dad’s rep­u­ta­tion when it is dis­cov­ered a lit­tle girl in Eng­land was over­looked dur­ing the dis­patch process.

While many of the char­ac­ters tend to over­stay their wel­come – mainly through generic script­ing – the voice cast can­not be faulted. Hugh Lau­rie ( as Arthur’s gung- ho el­der bro) and Ash­ley Jensen ( a wrap­ping- ob­sessed fac­tory elf) steal the show.

Don’t go ex­pect­ing a se­quel but do go ex­pect­ing all the un­forced fes­tive spirit you could hope for.

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas

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