Hey, there Ivy League student. Going home for the holidays and have to do something with your younger brother or sister? If you like Vampire Weekend, then “Arthur Christmas” might be the movie you can both enjoy! Jokes.
Two brand new, full length trailers for the upcoming animated holiday film have landed and they are actually pretty charming. A team-up between Sony and Aardman Animations, the domestic and U.K. trailers both contain a lot of the wit the films from the latter company tend to have. Co-directed by Sarah Smith and Barry Cook and boasting the voices of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy, the basis of the film is a clever take on the Santa Claus mythology, which reveals that he has two sons: the younger one, Arthur (McAvoy), and the older one, Steve (Laurie). Arthur is a goofball (maybe even a little slow) who is way too excited about Christmas, while Steve is the responsible one who runs the elf “labor camps”—who assist Santa in making and delivering the toys—with a drill sergeant’s attitude and commitment. And as you’ll soon see, Steve is forced into action when one child doesn’t receive any presents for Christmas.
A couple of things to take away here: firstly, the random appearance of “Holiday” by Vampire Weekend in the U.S. trailer is an odd choice by whoever cut this trailer. Yes, it’s thematically linked, sort of, but it’s a strange choice and almost as bizarre as 30 Seconds To Mars popping up in the “Hugo” trailer earlier this year (though nowhere near as offensive). Wasn’t there an actual holiday song they could’ve used? Secondly, the jokes aimed at adults, particularly the political quips (the “Mission Accomplished” flag; the “No child left behind” jab) at least promise there will be humor for both young and old alike. But all in all, it looks pretty sweet without giving you a cavity, so we’re cautiously optimistic.
Updated: In fact, our editor-in-chief viewed 30 minutes of the film earlier this week and he said our take on the trailer was spot-on, describing the parts of the film he saw as a “charming, sweet and endearing modern-day look at the Santa Claus tale. It melds the fast-paced world of technology — the Christmas delivery approach is now like a taut ‘Bourne‘-esque mission — while reminding you, you shouldn’t forget what’s special about the past. The animation looks spectacular and the voice performances are cute and funny. If I had kids, I’d be taking them to this picture for sure.” Sounds like a winning endorsement.
Anyway, “Arthur Christmas” will hit theaters on November 23, 2011. So if you got family coming into town and don’t know what to do, this definitely sounds like a strong option. [Vlicioius!]