Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Arthur Christmas Poster

The poster for the theatrical release.

Arthur Christmas is a British/American 3D-CGI fantasy comedy film, produced by Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was released in the United Kingdom on November 11, 2011, and then in the USA 12 days later, on November 23rd of the same year. The film features the voices of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, and Michael Palin.


On November 25 a little girl name Gwen was running to a mailbox puts a letter to Santa in it. Skipped to December 2 at The North Pole as Gwen's letter was read reveals a hall way with portraits of different Santas through out the years.

Set on Christmas Eve, the film opens with hundreds of elves taking the command center of Santa Claus's mile-wide, ultra-high-tech sleigh, the S-1. The current Santa, Malcolm, and the elves deliver presents to every child in the world using advanced equipment and military precision. These complex operations are micromanaged by Malcolm's oldest son Steve and his obsequious elf assistant Peter (among thousands of more elves) at mission control underneath the North Pole, while Steve's clumsy and panophobic younger brother Arthur answers the letters to Santa. During a delivery operation, when a child wakes up and almost sees Malcolm, an elf back in the S-1 inadvertently presses a button, causing a present to fall off a conveyor and go unnoticed.

Having completed his 70th mission, Malcolm is portrayed as far past his prime and whose role in field operations now is largely symbolic. Nonetheless, he is held in high esteem, and delivers a congratulatory speech to the enraptured elves. Much to Steve's frustration, who has long anticipated succeeding his father, Malcolm announces he looks forward to his 71st. During their family Christmas dinner, Arthur's suggestion for the family to play a board game degenerates into a petty quarrel between Malcolm and Steve, while Grandsanta, bored by retirement, resentfully criticizes their over-modernization. Distraught, the various family members leave the dinner table. When Arthur humbly compliments Steve that he believes he will be a great Santa Claus, Steve sarcastically dismisses Arthur's overture; later, their father shares with his wife Margaret his grave doubts about his self-identity should he retire.

Meanwhile, an elf named Bryony Shelfley finds the missed present—a wrapped bicycle that has yet to be delivered—and alerts Steve and his elf-assistant to the problem. Arthur is alarmed when he recognizes the present as a gift for Gwen Hines, a little girl to whom he had personally replied. Arthur alerts his father, who is at a loss as to how to handle the situation; Steve argues that one missed present out of billions is an acceptable error whose correction can wait a few days. Grandsanta, on the other hand, proposes delivering the gift using Evie, his old wooden sleigh, and the descendants of the original eight reindeer, forcefully whisking away a reluctant Arthur, a stowaway Bryony and his pet reindeer. They get lost, lose reindeer, and land in danger several times, ultimately being mistaken for aliens and causing an international military incident. Through all this, Arthur eventually learns to his compounding disappointment that Grandsanta's true motive is to fulfil his ego, that Steve refuses to help them out of petty resentment, and that his own father has gone to bed, apparently content.

Finally, stranded in Cuba after losing the sleigh, Arthur renews his sense of purpose—that it all comes down to preventing a child's disappointment—and with Grandsanta's help manages to recover the sleigh. Meanwhile, the elves grow increasingly alarmed at rumors of this neglected delivery and the Clauses' unthinkable indifference, sending them into a panic. In response, Malcolm, Margaret, and Steve take the high-tech sleigh to deliver a superior present—to the wrong child. Malcolm's navigation error and Steve's mishandling of the mistaken identity throw into sharp relief their intentions against those of Arthur.

After much difficulty, and ultimately with Margaret and Bryony's help, all the male Clauses arrive at Gwen's house before she awakens, only to have all but Arthur quarrel about who gets to actually place the gift. Noticing that only Arthur truly cares about the girl's feelings, the elder Clauses collectively realize that he is the sole worthy successor. As a result, Malcolm gives Arthur the honor and Steve forfeits his birthright to his brother. In a fitting conclusion, Gwen glimpses a snow-bearded Arthur in a wind-buffeted sweater just before vanishing into the night.

With the crisis resolved, Malcolm goes into a happy retirement with Margaret; he also becomes Grandsanta's much-desired new companion. Meanwhile, Steve finds true contentment as Chief Operating Officer while Bryony is promoted to Vice-President of Packing. In a nod to traditionalism once neglected, the high-tech S-1 is re-christened EVIE and refitted to be pulled by a 5000-reindeer team—led by the original eight reindeer, all of whom managed to return safely via innate homing abilities. Finally, Arthur happily guides the entire enterprise in the proper spirit as the new Santa.



The movie was released on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and iTunes on November 6, 2012.


  • The film has no antagonist, but there was originally going to be an evil elf named Antlers, who would have attempted to turn reindeer into burgers.
  • In the opening of the movie in Denmark camera pans to a playground the wind moved swings on a swing set, made a merry-go-round spin, and a teeter totter to tilt which seems to make a reference from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry was waiting for a bus.
  • When Malcom and the some elves were hiding in the waker's room a poster of Open Season is seen on his wall.


The film was nominated for five different Annie Awards. It won the award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production, awarded to Bill Nighy as Grandsanta (Ashley Jensen as Bryony was also nominated for said award), and was nominated for Story-Boarding in a Feature Production (which it lost to Winnie the Pooh), Character Design in a Feature Production, Writing in a Feature Production, and Best Animated Feature (all three of which it lost to Rango).


Voice actor/actress Character(s)
James McAvoy Arthur
Hugh Laurie Steve
Bill Nighy Grandsanta
Jim Broadbent Santa Claus
Imelda Staunton Mrs. Santa
Ashley Jensen Bryony Shelfley
Marc Wootton Peter
Laura Linney North Pole Computer
Eva Longoria Chief De Silva
Ramona Marquez Gwen Hines
Michael Palin Ernie Clicker
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Robbie Coltrane
Joan Cusack
Rhys Darby
Jane Horrocks
Iain McKee
Andy Serkis
Dominic West
Lead Elves
Peter Baynham
Cody Cameron
Kevin Cecil
Kevin Eldon
Rich Fulcher
Bronagh Gallagher
Pete Jack
Danny John-Jules
Emma Kennedy
Stewart Lee
Seamus Malone
Kris Pearn
Alan Short
Sarah Smith
Adam Tandy
Miggie Donahoe Pedro
Finlay Duff French Boy
Rich Hall Idaho Man
Clint Dyer
Donnie Long
Jerry Lambert N.O.R.A.D.
Deborah Findlay
David Schneider
Ian Ashpitel
Julia Davis
Kerry Shale
Tamsin Greig
Alistair McGowan
Additional character(s)
Brian Cummings
Seeta Indrani Indian Elf
Naomi McDonald
David Menkin
Ryan Zamo Promotion Elf

External links[]

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Sony Pictures
Columbia Pictures 1941Christmas with the KranksThe HolidayArthur ChristmasPaul Blart: Mall CopThe Night BeforeThe Star
Screen Gems This Christmas
Direct-to-Video Buster & Chauncey's Silent NightThe Nuttiest NutcrackerThe Swan Princess Christmas