Directed by: Sarah Smith.
Starring: James McAvoy, Huge Laurie, and Bill Nighy.
On Christmas Eve, a single gift is not delivered that creates havoc at the North Pole.
It has been done to death on various tones and levels the story of Christmas and the famous Santa Claus. However, this year, Sony Pictures Animation breaks away the traditional conventions of Saint Nicholas and creates a whole new system; a fresh and exciting new look into the heart and joy of La Navidad. Not long ago, five years to be exact, it was that Sony Pictures Animation released their first animated feature film (Open Range). This year, they released two visual eye candies. One of which I had hoped would be great to introduce to the children, ending up in complete failure, and the other, a surprise holiday spectacle.
While I regret to have sat through Justin Bieber's holiday atrocity, the movie as a whole made up for my brain's sudden aneurism. The last time I saw a great, GREAT Christmas movie was The Santa Claus (Tim Allen). There have been a few a long the way that have touched my heart with the spirit of the white holidays. Animated movies have the ability to be whatever they wish to be. The studios have the capacity to do everything that live action limits. I saw this movie a day after it was released, while anticipating it to be good and better than the blue poop failure of July.
Kids today and from the past (myself included) have been told about Santa Claus. We always ask "How does Santa deliver gifts to all the children of the world in a single night?" This Christmas we see a Claus upgraded into the 21st century with a high tech/state of the art gift delivering system. A giant mother ship replaces the sled and reindeer travelling thousands of miles a minute makes sure to arrive at all the countries on time. A battalion of hundreds if not thousands of military trained Elves a la Mission Impossible deliver all the presents, where as jolly good Santa sits back and enjoys the show.
Now, how has Santa done all this for such a long, long, long time? If your initial thoughts were immortality, you would only be half right. Big Red comes from a long line of Santa's from the days of the roman numerals to the modern codes. And every certain amount of years, an elder Claus steps down as Big Red and lets a new generation individual take over. Alas, this is where our story takes place. After the big present delivery, a ceremony is held to crown the new Santa Claus, where the next in line would be Steve (Laurie) and is shelved by his father for wanting to take a another go at it. Steve is basically the strategist and chief of operations at the North Pole when Santa is away, but also the eldest son and arrogant. We have Santa, not too bright I'm afraid, but like the President, a figure for the Xmas Holidays. We have Mrs. Santa and Grandsanta (Nighy). We cannot forget the protagonist, Arthur (McAvoy) who loves Christmas more than anyone in the North Pole and the world and is only brought to joy by the happy faces of all the children and believers. Once word breaks out that a child's present will not be delivered on time, it is up to Arthur, along with a small group of volunteers (Grandsant and an Elf) to get that present delivered on time. The voice cast is brilliantly selected for comedy purposes, though my favorite character of the whole movie would have to be Bryony, who is a female elf of the Giftwrap Battalion. The animation is marvelous and though I did not view it in 3D, 2D is just as beautiful.
Why is this movie welcomed warmly you ask? What makes it so different from the countless made every year? Is it the animation? Is it the cast? No, it is the story. You look at the Claus Family and what you see is the classic dysfunctional familia, whom don't get along most of the time, not even on the holidays. We have that one family member (Arthur) that goes to great lengths to reach a deadline hoping to accomplish a perfect Christmas memory. It is this classic tale that we can all relate to every year, to let go of our differences, be together with our loved ones, share the wealth and bring joy to those who need it most.
Overall, the best themed film of the year that stays true to the classic tale of the holidays. It disserves more views than a few films if you know what I mean.
Written By: Bawnian©-Dexeus.
Merry Christmas MW.