Arthur Christmas
2011
***
Director: Sarah Smith
Cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Ramona Marquez, Michael Palin

In Aardman’s computer animation, Christmas has become a super-slick high-tech military operation of which Santa is only symbolically in charge. When one girl’s present is left undelivered, only Santa’s youngest son Arthur finds this error unacceptable. What follows is a modestly entertaining collection of comical action scenes set across the world, as Arthur attempts to correct the mistake. There are some enjoyable gags on the way, but the story is a conservative celebration of Anglo-American Christmas traditions, and the characters in it are disappointingly one-dimensional.