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Arthur Christmas (2011)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 142
Fresh: 129 | Rotten: 13

Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 2

Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 38,158

My Rating

Movie Info

The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic - a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with


Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy

Sarah Smith, Peter Baynham

Nov 6, 2012


Sony Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (142) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (129) | Rotten (13) | DVD (2)

It's as bright and twinkling as a Christmas tree, decked with warmth and humor.

December 5, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's busy but buoyant, and it honors the tradition of giving with wit and style.

December 5, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comment (1)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The action is swift and witty, and the 3-D effects are imaginative and not simply tacked on as with so many animated movies these days.

December 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie fails utterly at coming up with a story that merits all the eye candy.

November 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a clever script that successfully updates many Christmas myths and dialogue that crackles with sophisticated wit, this movie offers the kind of pre-holiday experience that parents and children alike will appreciate.

November 24, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Everything you see in Arthur Christmas is fashioned in the service of telling a story ... brilliantly

November 23, 2011 Full Review Source: MSN Movies
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The warmth of tone and CGI spectacle ultimately wins out.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

A film that kids and grown-ups can enjoy in equal measure.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

This animated feature from Aardman and Sony Pictures Animation is a feel-good family film with spunk and originality, the kind that has not been seen since the first of The Santa Clause franchise.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Bah humbug!

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

A new Christmas classic.

March 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

The Aardman animators know a thing or three about sight gags and throw-away lines, and they pile up quickly, here.

December 28, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Arthur Christmas will snuggle you up into a big, hearty festive cuddle and refuse to put you down until you've hugged it back.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

There are moments of charm and it is a sweet story which kids might find entertaining enough, but chances are they will become just as restless as my crowd as the film stretches on.

September 18, 2012 Full Review Source:

Arthur Christmas is a smart, funny, heartwarming story that will have you smile from ear-to-ear for the film's duration.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The settings, especially on the North Pole, are deliciously intricate and the characters understatedly quirky.

February 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Beliefnet

The movie's idea that Santa and his elves have turned the distribution of presents every Dec. 24 into a major military operation makes me more than a tad uneasy.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

A plucky, clever animated Xmas tale that has much of Aardman's attention to quirky detail (bulbous noses), wordplay, and unconventional heroes (Arthur's fuelled by worry).

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

In a season unexpectedly full of quality family films, Arthur Christmas may have to fight for the attention it deserves, but if there was ever an example of a film that's a crowd-pleaser without talking down to its audience, this is it.

January 3, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

oi pragmatika aksiologes xristoygenniatikes tainies spanizoyn ston 21o aiwna kai einai etsi sobares oi prooptikes na leei mia sobarh prospatheia tameiaka kalanta gia polla xronia sth synexeia

December 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

There are things you just wouldn't see in a Pixar or Disney movie. For example, one of the main elves has an eyebrow piercing, uncommented on. Even more than that: two of the boy elves kiss... each other. It's progressive.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
ABC Radio (Australia)

A thoroughly entertaining movie that deserves to sleigh audiences both young and old this Yuletide.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source:

Thank goodness that even the Santas have a mom to help them sort out their turmoils.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Quite brilliant.

December 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Citizen

A witty and beautifully designed animated film.

December 5, 2011 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

Arthur Christmas has charm and a breezy confidence that makes it the epitome of a simple pleasure.

December 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Audience Reviews for Arthur Christmas

Though lacking the technical wizardry of other contemporary animated movies, Arthur Christmas is tightly scripted, creative and witty in surprising ways (which itself is unsurprising given the Aardman legacy), and emotionally sophisticated. Likely the best under-the-radar animated movie of the last several years.
December 12, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

Hurrah, a new and original Christmas film to join the very few really good Christmas films list. I loved the idea of each Santa handing down the responsibility to each Son and the evolution of the Christmas eve Toy delivery. Typically with Ardman films, it's all about the details. If you miss all the little beautiful quirks in this film then I'm afraid your brain has been a little too programmed by the deluge of awful Christmas films released before. It is funny, refreshing, exciting and impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably make a point of watching it every year, maybe even in Summer, as it is that good.
December 10, 2013

Super Reviewer

much has been made of this film as a Christmas gem, a future classic. this is a very fun movie, but a bit chaotic, a good film, but not really as good as the hype. overall this is a definitely a solid enough movie to make it a semi regular addition to our holiday watching.
December 27, 2012
danny d

Super Reviewer

A wonderfully inventive holiday film with fantastic animation and a story that rivals Pixar in tenderness and heartfelt moments. This is another animated movie that is just as entertaining and worthwhile for adults as it is children. It's also very entertaining, even with a little bit of padding in the middle of the story that isn't as strong as the rest of the movie. The story takes all the mythology of previous Santa stories and gives it a 21st century twist that we have not yet seen and it is very cool. This is one Christmas film that I will delight in watching during the holidays every year. Aardman Animations knocked this one out of the park.
December 20, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Bryony: No one gets an unwrapped present on my watch!
    – Submitted by Peter V (17 months ago)
    1. Steve: Operation Santa Claus is coming to town!
    – Submitted by Matthew R (20 months ago)
    1. Bryony: She runs away! Alchoholic by the age of nine! DEAD before she's even... [Grandsanta blocks her mouth to prevent her from going any further]
    – Submitted by Cameron D (20 months ago)
    1. Grandsanta: I'll never forget the look on your dads face. Couldnt look me in the eye. 'Dad' he says. 'Steve thinks it's best if you don't fly anymore. Were scrapping the old slay'.
    – Submitted by Austin G (2 years ago)
    1. Arthur: Dad would rather die than spoil it for him.
    – Submitted by Austin G (2 years ago)
    1. Elf: Straighten that teddy bear soldier.
    – Submitted by Austin G (2 years ago)
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