Santa’s retirement is long overdue and older son Steve Claus is itching to inherit the red suit. It’s Steve who masterminds the Christmas-present delivery run: a high-tech affair involving stealth aircraft and a gazillion elves with infiltration skills. Arthur, Steve’s enthusiastic but clumsy younger brother, keeps out of the way.
Steve is more interested in quantitative easing than kids, so when one child’s present gets overlooked, he regards it as statistically insignificant. Arthur, dismayed, decides to attempt delivery, with the help of wrapping-obsessed elf Bryony and superannuated GrandSanta, who thinks things were better in his day – with reindeer, sleighs and the odd elf lost over Germany.
Despite Arthur’s blandness and the film’s disconcerting whiteness (and I’m not talking about snow and ice here), it has great supporting characters, some very funny lines and the usual sly Aardman background details to reward close attention. And it’s a Christmas film that isn’t crap. Amazing. 8/10
Released November 24, 2011.