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5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Christmas [2011] [3D Blu-ray + UV Copy] [UK Release]
Arthur Christmas [2011] [3D Blu-ray + UV Copy] [UK Release] OPERATION SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!

How can Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast state-of-the-art control centre under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have missed...
Published 1 month ago by Andrew C. Miller

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Neither of my kids really liked this movie....I can't say it was one of my favourites either....
Published 2 months ago by Kyla Pedersen


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5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Christmas [2011] [3D Blu-ray + UV Copy] [UK Release], July 27 2014
By 
Andrew C. Miller - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Arthur Christmas [2011] [3D Blu-ray + UV Copy] [UK Release] OPERATION SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!

How can Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast state-of-the-art control centre under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have missed one child? To Santa’s young son Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, together with Arthur they set out on a crazy mission to deliver the last present! Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this new Christmas classic!

Voice Cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Ramona Marquez, Michael Palin, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Cusack, Rhys Darby, Jane Horrocks, Iain McKee, Andy Serkis, and Dominic West

Director: Sarah Smith

Producer: Steve Pegram

Screenplay: Sarah Smith and Peter Baynham

Composer: Harry Gregson-Williams

Cinematography: Jericca Cleland

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Hindi: 5.1, Catalan: 5.1 and English Audio Description Service

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Hindi and Spanish

Running Time: 97 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of disc: 1

Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Aardman Animations

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – Animation and the holidays have gone together for as long as most people can remember. And yet, the vast majority of holiday animation has been television specials, short films, and direct-to-video movies. There has been no shortage of theatrical features that centres on Christmas, but they have overwhelmingly been live-action productions. In recent years, that seems to be changing. Last decade, two expensive Robert Zemeckis motion capture films ‘The Polar Express’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ joined the previously pitiful ranks of ‘The Nutcracker Prince’ and ‘Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.’ But there is no doubt that ‘Arthur Christmas,’ a product of Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman Animations, fits the bill 100%.

This computer-animated family film, Aardman's first since the underperforming ‘Flushed Away’ [2006] and parting with DreamWorks, against some formidable fellow PG-rated competition in ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Hugo’ as well as ‘Happy Feet Two.’ ‘Arthur Christmas’ settled for a fourth place debut. As an Aardman movie, Arthur Christmas hailed from England and it performed better with us in the UK and certain other markets.

As its title implies, ‘Arthur Christmas’ is a fully-fledged Christmas animation film, immersed in the North Pole lore on which many modern celebrations focus. Arthur [James McAvoy] is the son of the 20th and current Santa Claus, a man named Malcolm [Jim Broadbent] who has held the position for forty years. Arthur's older brother Steve [Hugh Laurie], the efficient Mission Control supervisor who has white hair and a Christmas tree-shaped goatee, expects their father to hand over the reins this year, as their grandfather Grandsanta [Bill Nighy] did back in 1941. Even ignoring seniority, there is no question as to who will inherit the job. Arthur's enthusiasm greatly exceeds his coordination. The elves talk about his clumsy ways behind his back. And he's been assigned to answering children's letters largely to get him out of the way of more pressing matters.

The film opens on Christmas Eve and updates us on Santa's present-day delivery methods. You won't find Santa flying a sled pulled by eight reindeer anymore. Nowadays, Santa flies a massive aircraft, accompanied by dozens of elves who sneak inside houses and make necessary arrangements for the big guy with high-tech gadgetry and spy precision. All that Santa has to do is drop the right present under the tree and move on to the next chimney. The productiveness offers an explanation for the age-old question of how can one man gets to every child in the world in a single night.

Wrapping up what appears to be another successful Christmas and Santa announces his intention to not retire, before taking to his room for his desperately needed rest. But, the colourfully-sweatered Arthur discovers one present has not been delivered: a bicycle intended for a girl named Gwen, whose letter he has answered; in Trelew in the Southern part of England. Steve and Santa are ready to make peace with the oversight, accepting it as a statistically insignificant blemish on an otherwise perfectly executed holiday. But Arthur isn't about to give up. He, 136-year-old Grandsanta, and a wrapping elf named Bryony [Ashley Jensen] trot out the old-fashioned sled affectionately called Evie and eight reindeer in an effort to make the delivery before little Gwen can wake up to Christmas morning disappointment.

The three unlikely companions do not have the best sense of direction and their mission becomes a wild international adventure with wrong stops made in the Sahara desert and a town in Mexico. Back at the North Pole, Steve, the elves, and Santa scramble to make things right while dealing with a computer system meltdown and antiquated communications methods.

Aardman hasn't had the volume of output to be recognised as one of animation's big animation producers, but creatively they have been quite extraordinary, as their perfect streak of overwhelming critical approval confirms. Their first eligible effort [Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit] won the Best Animated Feature Oscar (an honour interestingly announced three months after ‘Chicken Run’ started winning over critics and moviegoers). With just four of their pictures qualified, Aardman has as many wins in the category as Studio Ghibli and DreamWorks' ridiculously productive in-house division. True, Wallace's win came during PIXAR's last literally off year. But it was no fluke. The reason why we went five years without an Aardman animation film was because this studio takes great pride in its work. They have each been technically artful, scripturally substantive, and very funny.

‘Arthur Christmas’ keeps the studio away from its painstaking signature stop-motion, but still manages to deliver in all the important ways. The film is extremely inspired visually and plenty taut in its structure. Neither of those facts would matter much if it wasn't anchored in appealing humour, genuine heart, and winning personalities (which, it is). Like PIXAR on their usual game, Aardman makes it look so easy. Obviously, both studios pour considerable time, thought, and talent into their movies. Other animation houses don't have as much of that to go around or simply don't push themselves to excel. There's plenty of money to be made in "good enough" family entertainment, even when using that definition loosely. But that mentality clearly doesn't fly very often at Pixar or Aardman.

While ‘Arthur Christmas’ dazzled me consistently as Aardman's other features, and it is nonetheless a film full of joy, good ideas, and respect for its viewers. Santa and the North Pole are well-tread terrain that gives you a great deal of creative leeway. But director Sarah Smith and her co-writer Peter Baynham, both veterans of live-action British television comedy, seize opportunities to make this interpretation stand out. Santa himself does the least of any leading character, allowing the rarely regarded notion of the position's lineage to entertain us with distinctive past and potential occupants. There is little question of how things will turn out and no doubt about where our sympathies are to lie. These thoughts rarely cross our minds, though, as breath-taking digital canvases, amusing action sequences, and smart jokes keep us engaged and smiling.

Like virtually all of today's big budget feature animations, ‘Arthur Christmas’ was made and theatrically exhibited in 3D, a fact that might very well have had a negative impact on its ticket sales. Though not reliant on in-your-face gimmickry, the film's sets and flying subjects do lend themselves to certain depth effects, no matter how trivial. That is something to consider as you decide which of the film's two physical media editions is right for you: the single-disc Blu-ray 3D, which you can either view in 3D or 2D images. Like most of Sony's newest releases, all Blu-ray discs come equipped with UltraViolet copy, an increasingly studio-preferred alternative to digital copy files for device streaming and computer download.

Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Arthur Christmas’ features a solid spectacular Blu-ray 3D image. The picture offers amazing good general depth and will truly leave viewers breathless with the scope of the 3D picture element. To be sure, that added depth benefits all of the big, sprawling S-1 interiors that will have you spouting "holy smokes" sort of eye-popping moment. The depth is totally brilliant, and portrays the ship's massive interior, that is totally eye popping insight for the viewer. The 3D effect works best in several scenes depicting the crowds of the thousands of elves. In such shots, the sense of space between them, even as they are bunched together and is very clear, and each one down the line from front to back takes on a very real, tangible shape. A few elements are also nice and shapely, such as the mailbox in which Gwen drops her letter to Santa at film's open. Otherwise, the 3D visuals are totally awesome and especially with the elves dropping down from the S-1 on a gift-giving mission look as if they're about to burst through the screen. On the other hand, the general picture images attributes also sparkle. The image carries over the same fantastic colour from the 2D on the Blu-ray disc, and there's no obvious drop in vibrancy from 2D to 3D. Details remain really sharp and very well defined, too. This is a fantastic awesome 3D image, and will have you saying, “WOW! What an amazing 3D image” and of course you have the choice of whether you want to watch it in either 3D or 2D, but my money is on the 3D version, as it really hits the nail on the head!

Blu-ray Audio Quality – ‘Arthur Christmas’ features a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that's up to the challenge of complimenting the film's rich visuals. The track excels in presenting everything with just the right sense of harmony and balance, creating a realistic atmosphere in every location. Whether the sense of cavernous space and the various beeps and bloops aboard the S-1 or the sounds of the sea, the African desert, or the barely audible early morning small town England effects, Sony's track offers a precision listening experience that shapes every single environmental dynamic with the utmost accuracy. There's a nice sense of power and heftiness to the S-1 in exterior scenes, and some of the more action-oriented sound effects play very well, with natural spacing, great clarity, and faultless balance. Music, likewise, features the same characteristics, playing with natural spacing and fine clarity. Dialogue is crisp and faultlessly delivered, even finding just the right amount of space whether in intimate scenes or wider shots featuring the spoken word gently echoing through larger locales. This is a first-rate soundtrack that should please listeners of all ages.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

The Christmas Family Tree [10:10] Covers the film's characters with more crew and voice cast comments.

Santa’s Soldiers [9:07] Applies the same treatment to the elves.

Un-wrapping Arthur Christmas [13:26] Is a standard promotional making-of documentary, relying heavily on film clips, recording studio-film split screens, and crew and voice cast members describing the film as if you haven't already seen it. It's better than nothing, but it's a lot less substantial than a companion to an Aardman film should be.

Behind-The-Scenes of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” [1:40] A behind the scenes short and lets Bieber discuss the video obnoxiously and this is a totally miss, otherwise you will throw up.

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by Justin Beiber [2:33] A Music Video for Justin Bieber's prominently advertised end credits cover of "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" finds obnoxious Justin Bieber singing in a toy factory and exposing a busy vest. Whatever possessed Sony Pictures to ever contemplate having this person included in this Blu-ray?

Progression Reels [13:51] Deconstruct scenes and the film as a whole with unidentified audio commentators speaking over views of sets, characters, and shots in different stages of completion.

Elf Recruitment Video [1:03] Merely promotes the film with clips and graphics. The film's more ordinary trailers, including a teaser featuring unique animation of Arthur addressing viewers, are unconscionably absent here.

UV Digital Copy

Finally, ‘Arthur Christmas’ takes a stab at answering all of the usual Santa Claus questions, does Santa Claus exist, how does he deliver presents in record time, how does he keep it all organised, how many elves are there, what does he do when he retires, who takes over for him after all the years and approaches them all with resounding joy, visual delights, and heartfelt honesty. This is easily one of the best Christmas animation films of the decade, if not the very best, and certainly at the top amongst films of this magnitude, of such high quality animation and voice work. Aardman Animations goes straight to your heart, because there's a simple joy and pure honesty to ‘Arthur Christmas’ that's totally unique to the animation film and also the embodiment of holiday cheer. Sony's 2D Blu-ray presentation of ‘Arthur Christmas’ delivers also a dazzling video image as well as amazing audio. Plus also some amazing supplements to keep you happy for hours. So all in all this is a must-own Christmas holiday package, that only Aardman Animations can produce. Sadly I never got to view it in the cinema, especially in 3D, but I am so glad I waited for this brilliant 3D animation, as it really was well worth waiting for and has now gone pride of place in my ever increasing Aardman Animations Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Untimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas FUN, May 6 2013
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Great action Christmas movie for all ages. Loved the storyline and reintroduces most all Santa xmas characters. Awesome 3D effects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smart, exciting, Christmas-y charmer, April 13 2013
By 
dub (Ottawa, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (DVD)
This smart, fast-paced rollercoaster of a charmer will interest young and old alike as we see Christmas Eve from the perspective of Santa's youngest son, physically clumsy but with the biggest heart this side of Mrs. Santa, as he tries to right a clerical wrong and deliver a present to a forgotten but faithful little girl.
With a fantastic and classically-trained British cast including Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and James McAvoy, you *believe*. There's a jolt of US paranoia, but fortunately, reality is quickly explained away. Most beautiful moment for me was the first meeting with the reindeer, and although disappointed that they ignored the real North Pole as being in Canada, they showcased a Canadian landmark in a very inventive way.
I'll definitely be seeking out more work by this director.
4.5 bows/5
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, July 12 2014
By 
Kyla Pedersen (Campbellford, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) (DVD)
Neither of my kids really liked this movie....I can't say it was one of my favourites either....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, June 19 2014
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) (DVD)
This is a very enjoyable movie. Our household is all adults and my husband enjoyed it too, which is saying a lot. I plan on this being my Christmas movie!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Christmas movie, March 20 2014
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) (DVD)
This movie is a hidden gem; It's funny, heartwarming, and dramatic. Arthur Christmas has been added to my yearly Christmas movie watch list (I usually end up watching it more then once). Absolutely recommend this movie for everyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Good Quality, Good Value, March 16 2014
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
I was very happy with the incredibly fast delivery time as well as the price compared to local retailers. This is the first animated Christmas movie in YEARS that I will be adding to my yearly traditions. Really happy it comes with both DVD and Bluray so I can watch at any friends house.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whatta Christmas movie!, Feb. 2 2014
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David Roy (Ottawa, CA) - See all my reviews
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
It is rare these days that we experience a Christmas movie and realize right away it will join the other classics like Frosty or Rudolph and be must-sees every Christmas. This is definitely one of those. Kids of all ages, as well as adults will enjoy it. It has humour, a great story, and touching moments!
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2.0 out of 5 stars weird christmas story, Feb. 1 2014
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
It's one of those cases where the preview is better than the movie. I was very excited to watch this with my son this year, expecting us to have gig laughs. It turns out we witnessed a power struggle between 3 generations of santas. Not the kind of story I was expecting or that I wanted to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great Christmas movie for all generations!, Jan. 18 2014
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Ce commentaire est de: Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) (DVD)
A great Christmas movie for young and old! Touches on all the little details of Christmas - how does Santa get around the whole world in a night, how does he eat all those cookies, and how does he bypass the latest in security systems... and what happens to the other Santas. Highly recommend! Shipped quickly too!
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Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Arthur Christmas (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD] by Sarah Smith (Blu-ray - 2012)
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