Arthur Christmas is a 2011 3-D computer animated Christmas fantasy comedy film. Produced by Sony Pictures Animation and co-produced by Aardman Animations, and distributed by Columbia Pictures, it was released on November 11, 2011, in the UK and on November 23, 2011, in the USA. Sarah Smith directed the film, and among others, the voices of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy, Joan Cusack, Robbie Coltrane, and Will Sasso are featured. This was Aardman Animations' first film in partnership with Sony Pictures Animation.
On Christmas Eve, hundreds of Christmas elves helm the command centre of Santa Claus's mile-wide, ultra–high-tech sleigh-esque craft, the S-1. Santa and the Christmas elves deliver presents to every child in the world using advanced equipment and military precision. These complex operations are micromanaged by Santa's oldest son Steve and his obsequious elfin assistant Peter (among thousands of more elves) at mission control underneath the North Pole, while Steve's clumsy and panophobic younger brother Arthur answers the letters to Santa. During a delivery operation, when a child wakes up and almost sees Santa, a Christmas elf back in the S-1 inadvertently presses a button, causing a present to fall off a conveyor and go unnoticed.
Having completed his 70th mission, Santa is portrayed as far past his prime and whose role in field operations now is largely symbolic. Nonetheless, he is held in high esteem, and delivers a congratulatory speech to the enraptured elves. Much to Steve's frustration, who has long anticipated succeeding his father, Santa announces he looks forward to his 71st. During their family Christmas dinner, Arthur's suggestion for the family to play a board game degenerates into a petty quarrel between Santa and Steve, while Grand-Santa, bored by retirement, resentfully criticizes their over-modernization. Distraught, the various family members leave the dinner table. When Arthur humbly compliments Steve that he believes he will be a great Santa Claus, Steve rudely dismisses Arthur's overture. Later, their father shares with Mrs. Claus his grave doubts about his self-identity should he retire.
Meanwhile, a Christmas elf named Bryony finds the missed present—a wrapped bicycle that has yet to be delivered—and alerts Steve and Peter to the problem. Arthur is alarmed when he recognizes the present as a gift for Gwen, a little girl whose letter he had personally replied to. Arthur alerts his father, who is at a loss as to how to handle the situation; Steve argues that one missed present out of billions is an acceptable error whose correction can wait a few days. Grand-Santa on the other hand, apparently learning of the dire situation, proposes delivering the gift using Eve (mispronounced as "evie"), his old wooden sleigh, and the great-great-grandchildren of the original eight reindeer, forcefully whisking away a reluctant Arthur and a stowaway Bryony. They get lost in three different continents, lose several of their reindeer, and land in danger several times, ultimately being mistaken for aliens and causing an international military incident. Through all this, Arthur eventually learns, to his compounding disappointment, that Grand-Santa's true motive is to fulfill his ego, that Steve refuses to help them out of petty resentment and possibility of his brother being made hero overshadowing his work, and that his own father has gone to bed, apparently content even though a present was not delivered.
Finally, stranded in Cuba after losing the sleigh and the remaining reindeer, Arthur renews his sense of purpose—that it all comes down to having presents delivered, regardless of how it is done and who did it—and with Grand-Santa's and Bryony's help manages to recover the sleigh. Meanwhile, the elves grow increasingly alarmed at rumors of this neglected delivery and the Clauses' unthinkable indifference, sending them into a panic. In response, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Steve take the high-tech sleigh-craft to deliver a superior present—to the wrong child.
In the meantime, Arthur and his party lose the remaining reindeer and a US Predator drone scrambled by Chief De Silva of UNFITA intercepts and opens fire on them thinking that they were aliens, causing Arthur to bail out of the sleigh, via parachute. Ultimately with Mrs. Claus' and Bryony's help, all the male Clauses arrive at Gwen's house before she awakens, only to have all but Arthur quarrel about who gets to actually place the gift. Noticing that only Arthur truly cares about the girl's feelings, the elder Clauses collectively realize that he is the sole worthy successor. As a result, Santa gives Arthur the honor and Steve, upon learning of his own errors and acknowledges that his brother is the worthy Santa instead of him, forfeits his supposed birthright to his brother. In a fitting conclusion, Gwen glimpses a snow-bearded Arthur in a wind-buffeted sweater just before vanishing up into the S-1.
With the crisis resolved, Santa goes into a happy retirement with Mrs. Claus; he also becomes Grand-Santa's much-desired new companion and plays Arthur's board game with him for many happy hours. Meanwhile, Steve finds true contentment as Chief Operating Officer while Bryony is promoted to Vice-President of Packing, Pacific Division. In a nod to traditionalism once neglected, the high-tech S-1 is re-christened EVIE in honor of Grand-Santa's old sleigh and refitted to be pulled by a team of five thousand reindeer—led by the original eight, all of whom managed to return safely via innate navigational abilities. Finally, Arthur happily guides the entire enterprise in the proper spirit as the new Santa.
- James McAvoy as Arthur Claus the main protagonist
- Hugh Laurie as Steven Claus's brother who is the brains.
- Jim Broadbent as Malcom Claus
- Bill Nighy as GrandSanta the deurtagonist.
- Imelda Staunton as Margaret Claus
- Ashley Jensen as Bryony Shelfley an elf was in battilon and the triagonist.
- Will Sasso as American James
- Ramona Marquez as Gwen Hines
- Marc Wootton as Peter
- Iain McKee as Thomas Jack
- Joan Cusack as Mission Control Elf
- Robbie Coltrane as Old Doom-Laden Scottish Elf
- Michael Palin as Ernie Clicker
- Dominic West as Field Sergeant Elf
- Andy Serkis as General Elf
- Miggie Donahue as Pedro
- Laura Linney as North Pole Computer
- Eva Longoria as Chief De Silva the main antagonist
- Frank Welker as the lions the minor antagonists of the film.
- Metacritic gives Artur Christmas a rating of 69/100 (Generally favorable reviews) and a average user score of 7.3/10.
- Rotten Tomatoes has Arthur Christmas at 92% on the Tomatometer (Certified Fresh) with a viewer rating of 79%.
Arthur Christmas was released on November 6, 2012 on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Blu-Ray 3D.
- This is the first Sony Pictures Animation's non-sequel/prequel film.
- Along with The Smurfs, this was the first time ever that Sony Pictures Animation released two feature films in one year.
- This is the first Sony Pictures Animation's Christmas film, followed by The Star.
- The first movie with the new Sony Pictures Animation logo from 2011-2018.
- They do want to make a sequel and director Sara Smith did said that she also wants to make a prequel story of Grandsanta WW2 delivery.
- During the Steve scenes there have been hints that he was meant to have a love interest in the film.
- Many fans, are already calling Arthur Christmas a rip-off of Disney’s “Prep & Landing” series, which was released in 2009 and unlike the elves of Arthur Christmas whom looked and sounded like children, the elves in Disney‘s version look and sound more like grown adults.
- Even though in the film there were some kids who are naughty didn’t receive the traditional lump of coal symbolizing their bad behavior. It’s possible that there were going to be lump of coal elves but removed due to Disney‘s own Christmas special “Prep & Landing” had coal elves first.
- During an interview with Sara. About how the movie didn’t have a villain or a love interest, Sara replied, that there’s no need for a villainy type just one with “you just don’t get it?” department:
- there was going to be a villain an elf named general Antler, who tries to make burgers out of the reindeer.
- The love interest question was probably answered but in a different way when Sara was talkI got about the villain, Steve’s name is mentioned multiple times, hinting that he would’ve been the one to get a love interest.
- GrandSanta gives his grandsons nick names that are a parody of famous Christmas characters like; Frosty the snowman and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
- During the board game scene, Grandsanta calls Steve, “Robby” which is the same name of a red nosed reindeer from another UK Christmas show, “Robbie the reindeer: Hooves on fire”, which is coincidentally some of the staff that worked on Robbie now helped made “Arthur Christmas“.
- After the success of delivering two billion presents , Peter gives Steve his present and as soon as he opens it, Steve makes an awkward/a “wtf” expression. Revealing that it’s underwear Peter has given him. (Giving underwear to someone when you’re in a romantic relationship is a way of telling your love partner he or she wants to see you in bed wearing it and taking it off). Which may explain why Steve made that expression on his face, especially since that they‘re not in a romantic relationship.
- When the waker emergency was on, the “screwdriver” elf was sent for help.
- During the celebrating of the deliver, the elves are eating candy cane, some of them are pretending to be cigars.
- the word “drunk” is mentioned at least twice, by Grandsanta and Bryony.
- It’s been hinted that Peter is not just infatuated with Steve but also sexually attracted towards him, though Steve himself does know about this but does not feel the same way and really hates it whenever Peter tries to touch him.(hinting that Steve doesn’t swing that way and he also has a comfort zone).
- The same chihuahua tried to mate both Arthur and Steve’s shoes.
- lead paint has been mentioned multiple times.
- both Grandsanta and Malcolm had said sexist things about women.
- Peter keeps on stalking and sexually harassing Steve.
- Steve has been violated by Peter. ( Steve didn’t like it and felt very uncomfortable.)
- In a scene where Steve is sleeping on his bed, he is seen holding his HOHO 3000 in one hand, when his phone began to ring and the way Steve woke up; as if someone has caught him doing something inappropriate.(This could indicate that Steve may have been looking at adult websites)
- Ernie Clicker the elder elf tells an angry Steve, he can’t rush the ”Signulator” and got to play “her” gentle, Ernie is seen twisting two key buttons. Referencing them to be nipples.
- Grandsanta begging Arthur not to leave him in the desert as Arthur is walking off, finishing with "At least have the decency to finish me off with a rock!" Arthur stops walking for a moment, as if actually considering it, then continues walking.
- While watching the sleigh barn surveillance video, Peter happily and excitedly asked an angry Steve that if he can gat his “stress ball”, Steve is simply perplexed by the request and continues talking about reaching GrandSanta with the sleigh situation.(it’s unknown if Peter was asking to get the toy or Steve’s actual balls, which of course Steve didn’t reply).