My kids were lucky enough to see this during the 2011 Christmas holidays when it showed originally. I wasn’t able to go due to some boring old work commitments and I tell you what, I wasn’t happy; a) I LOVE KIDS MOVIES and b) this one looked fully awesome! Well I finally got to sit down to watch this with the kids a few week’s ago and I wasn’t disappointed. Part of my lack of disappointment was because Miss 5 wanted to watch a version of Rudolph from 1980 that we’ve all seen a hundred times and partly because it was a good family friendly movie.
So what’s it all about? If you guessed Christmas, you’re on the right track! Christmas has gone ultra-high-tech. Gone is the sleigh and gone are the reindeer, they’ve been replaced by a mile wide, super charged jet sleigh called the “S-1”. Santa doesn’t even leave the North Pole now, instead opting to stay at mission control. The actually delivery of presents is left up to hundreds of elves onboard the S-1. They go down chimneys, through windows and doors and bypass complex security systems to get the presents under the Kiddies trees, all 2 billion of them.
Santa’s become more of a figurehead and Christmas has become a family affair with Santa’s eldest son Steve taking on the project management of delivering Christmas. Santa’s youngest son and the movie’s namesake, Arthur Christmas, also does his bit by replying to the many Santa letters received each year. Steve is a tech-head, is super-organised and has his eyes firmly set on the top job with current Santa nearing retirement age. Arthur is a clumsy, but loveable dreamer and is more concerned with ensuring that every child believes in Santa rather than vying for the top job.
Without setting off too many spoiler alerts, this movie family’s dynamics start to show when Bryony, a wrapping elf, discovers a single child’s present has not been delivered. This is discovered a few hours before dawn after Xmas appears to have been successfully delivered. While Arthur is extremely distressed about “Gwen” missing out, he doesn’t set off to right the wrong until convinced by Grandsanta, current Santa’s father. From there, Arthur, Grandsanta and Bryony head off to save the day in Evie, Grandsanta’s old wooden sleigh, pulled by the ageing descendants of the original eight reindeer.
The scenes that follow are hilarious. Arthur and his companions cross oceans, rivers, deserts and mountains to deliver Gewn’s gift. They almost get shot for trespassing, eaten by lions, mistaken for aliens and cause an international military incident. After ending up at the right street in the wrong country, they finally get the job done with minutes to spare. While it may appear this is the ultimate spoil, there is more and it’s a kids movie; it’s not like it’s going to end badly is it! The best part is by far the ultra-happy ending, which I will reveal no more about.
As for messages for your kids, this movie is littered with them. Arthur’s “never give up” attitude when getting the toy to Gwen is gold, but the most inspirational lesson I found in this movie was that talent takes on many forms. While some talents are more practical than others, all talents are as important as each other and everyone has talent in some form or another. Arthur’s passion for not disappointing Gwen, a single child out of 2 billion was every bit as powerful and important as Steve’s talent for organisation and in the end, Arthur’s talent had a very important role to play in the Santa corporation.
This is a great movie, it’s well worth seeing and what better time to watch it really. Rent it. Buy it. You and your kids are going to love it. I give it 8 Rundown Reindeer out of 5. Impressive no? 🙂