Good, old-fashioned fun


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For proof that computers run the world, look to the jolly old man in the red suit. If technology has infiltrated even Santa's tried-and-true operations, you know it's all around. At least, it is in Sarah Smith's 3D-animated Arthur Christmas.

Santa (Jim Broadbent) has taken a backseat in his annual undertaking, and is more of an iconic figurehead now. Present delivery is taken care of by complex computers run by his eldest son, Steve (Hugh Laurie), and his trusty elves. Steve prizes himself on his strict, military approach, and can't wait to become top dog at the North Pole.

Younger son Arthur (James McAvoy), on the other hand, is less of an expert when it comes to business; but he's the only one fuelled by the Christmas spirit.

One year, after what they think is a successful delivery, an elf finds out that one present hasn't been delivered. It's Arthur to the rescue as he teams up with Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) on a traditional sleigh to deliver the last package before sunrise.

Arthur Christmas is a thoroughly enjoyable holiday film for the entire family. The stimulating colours are cheering, and the well thought out plot taps into familiar themes - generation gap, technophiles vs Luddites, sibling rivalry - that resonate with everyone. The modern look at Santa's family business facing family troubles is both amusing and treated with care.

Arthur Christmas is one festive film you won't regret seeing.

YP Rating: 4/5