‘Arthur Christmas’ – Every Christmas since Saint Nicholas, Santa has delivered presents to children across the globe. Now, with state of the art technology, Christmas has become a military-style operation under the watchful eye of Santa’s son, Steve. Santa’s other son, Arthur, is responsible for replying to all the children that write to Santa but when one child is left without a present, Arthur is the only one who appears to care and against the advice of the others and despite all the dangers, he sets out to give a little girl her Christmas gift.

Arthur Christmas (2011) – Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook

Is Arthur Christmas appropriate for kids?

Rating: U

Running Length: 97 mins

Starring: James McAvoy, Ashley Jensen, Bill Nighy

Genre: Animated, Action/Adventure


Animation studio ‘Aardman’, who created the superb Wallace and Gromit stories among other things, has ventured out into Christmas movies with ‘Arthur Christmas’, a decidedly British tale of a clumsy, inept underdog whose strength of character and compassion shines through to make not just himself, but everyone around him happy.

The story is predictable and it isn’t hilariously funny but it is fun and enjoyable with plenty of laughs, twists to the plot and believable characters to root for. The eponymous Arthur is likeable, through and through while his brother, Steve, is believably career-driven – success having taken over his desire to put the children he is supposed to care about first. Unfortunately, other than the two brothers and ambitious elf, Bryony, none of the other characters show much strength. The older characters in particular are ineffectual, even Grandsanta (voiced by Bill Nighy) who is Arthur’s main champion does little to actually help so the movie as a whole comes across as rather weak-willed.

While Arthur Christmas may not be the best kids’ Christmas movie, it’s still very enjoyable; it’s likeable, fun and inoffensive nature helps it to become a firm favourite for kids of all ages.


A large shadow and strong breeze falls across a town, the music is a little ominous and suddenly lights appear in the sky, like a UFO. After a few seconds, elves drop down from the craft using cables and begin to secretly enter homes to take wrapped presents for children. While this is actually a nice thing that’s happening, this could be a little upsetting for children who have a fear of home invasion, especially as the elves have not yet been introduced as characters (so whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is initially a little ambiguous), they deliver presents but there is little comic relief for a couple of minutes. Later in this scene and for the rest of the movie, the elves are clearly ‘good’ so any upset caused by this should be short-lived.

After getting lost, three characters find themselves surrounded by angry lions, this is mostly comedic but could be a little scary for younger kids, when trying to escape, one of the lions suddenly leaps in front of them which is designed to make the audience jump.

A character sacrifices themselves to save those they care about. After telling the others to go, this character stands on the edge of a flying vehicle and falls off, just as explosions blow up the vehicle. Without wanting to give too much away, this character’s ‘death’ is somewhat exaggerated.



‘Arthur Christmas’ is a delightfully innocent and light-hearted kids’ movie that will entertain the children at Christmas. We feel that this movie is appropriate for kids of all ages.

  • Violence: 0/5
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5 (Arthur is very clumsy and everyone around him sees him as an idiot. He sometimes overhears others talking about him and it makes him sad, accepting what they say about him as true)
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 0/5
  • Bad Language: 0/5
  • Dialogue: 1/5 (One character becomes a little melodramatic when they are being left behind by another, they say ‘at least have the decency to finish us off with a rock’)
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of family dynamics, Christmas cheer, children’s hopes and dreams, ambition, jealousy, going against authority when its the right thing to do, being part of a family business and understanding the importance of every child’s needs.

Words by Laura Record

Related Posts

Share this review!Share on Facebook2Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Tumblr0Pin on Pinterest0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Digg thisEmail this to someone