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.
The surprise gift of the season: a sharp, savvy holiday comedy that doesn't get its laughs at the expense of those who start to glow in the early days of December. It's a most entertaining package indeed.
It's good. Frantic, yes, sometimes aggressively so. There's some padding in the airborne sequences built to exploit the 3-D format. But a tender and upbeat spirit informs the writing and the execution.
The plot may be a little too cluttered for the toddler crowd to follow, but the next age group up should be amused, and the script by Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith has plenty of sly jokes for grown-ups.
Arthur Christmas feels less insularly British than previous Aardman releases; there's plenty here for all ages and nationalities, including the sly but entirely welcome suggestion that female characters have been under-credited in previous yuletide tales.