Tonight I saw the animated holiday film Arthur Christmas.
Arthur (James McAvoy) is the youngest of Santa's children. He wears Christmas sweaters we'd only wear as a joke and painstakingly answers Santa's miles and piles of mail.
Steve (Hugh Laurie) is Arthur's older brother, trusted with the operation of getting gifts to kids successfully across the world on the big day.
Santa (Jim Broadbent) is getting old; Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) is already 139. They're both not up to what they used to be.
When it is discovered on Christmas Eve that little Gwen (Ramona Marquez) of Cornwall, England, has accidentally been skipped, Arthur and Grandsanta set out to deliver her pink sparkly bike themselves.
It's a very classic story about doing the right thing that's infused with modern-day humor (there is more than one laugh at the expense of lead toys; they use a GPS to try to locate Gwen's home).
But what's so refreshing about the movie is the lack of 'potty' jokes that seem to permeate 99% of the kids' flicks made today. I was so glad to have chosen to see one that is in the 1%.
The voices are all famous Brits (save for a few of the supporting characters, who are American) and their presence only makes the characters more endearing. Arthur is an inherently sweet soul; Mrs. Santa (Imelda Staunton) is a classic, comforting mum; Bryony (Ashley Jensen) is an elf charmingly obsessed with package bows.
This is one for the whole family—there are enough clever adult references to keep the grown-ups smiling and plenty of holiday action to delight the children.
Seeing this is a great way to kick off the 2011 holiday season.