Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 3, 2011
    91
    The action is swift and witty, and the 3-D effects are imaginative and not simply tacked on as with so many animated movies these days.
  2. 90
    Leave it to the folks who brought us "Wallace & Gromit," "Chicken Run" and "Flushed Away" to bring a delightful blast of fresh air to the conventional Christmas genre. Aardman's Arthur Christmas is that and more - an endlessly amusing 3D, CG-animated Yuletide romp with lively innovation at every turn and a dream voice cast headed by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy.
  3. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Nov 22, 2011
    85
    Arthur Christmas is a Grinch-style story of rekindled Christmas spirit told from inside Santa's compound at the North Pole.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Nov 22, 2011
    83
    The resulting adventure, like most of Aardman's work (Chicken Run, Flushed Away), is more clever than outright funny, but it's also genuinely sweet, and the complicated relations among Santa's clan are surprisingly believable.
  5. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Nov 22, 2011
    83
    Arthur Christmas gets a little sappy toward the end - it is a Christmas movie, after all - but it otherwise strikes just the right combination of naughty and nice, reverent and irrelevant, holiday-sweet and Aardman dry.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Nov 22, 2011
    80
    It would be a Christmas miracle save for one lump of coal: an ear-shattering Justin Bieber song over the end credits. Gotta sell something to the kids at Yuletide.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 22, 2011
    80
    The real draw of Arthur Christmas is simpler: It's really funny.
  8. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Nov 17, 2011
    80
    A great, big joy. Even if you're a bit bah humbug, just delight in the supremely clever Aardman comedy.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Nov 10, 2011
    80
    Arthur Christmas embraces this unconditional faith and rewards it with creative explanations and a brisk computer-animated adventure clever enough to become essential yuletide viewing.
  10. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Nov 23, 2011
    78
    Sarah Smith pulls the various threads of this wholly original – well, as original as can be reasonably expected given the thousands of cinematic iterations Christmastime has provoked over the years – together into a very coherent, visually stunning, oftentimes laugh-out-loud hilarious holiday film.
  11. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    For the kids, the action is always lively and, for the rest of us, the dialogue has a witty and even caustic edge.
  12. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    When it comes to Christmas movies, although most are quickly forgotten, a select few go on to become touchstones, beloved and re-watched by families year after year after year. Arthur Christmas may have what it takes to join the latter category.
  13. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    Arthur is sort of a dull hero, but the grandfather is classic, hilarious Aardman -- a thoroughly British eccentric prone to weird nostalgic/fatalistic utterances.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    This is a world where training wheels are called "stabilizers" and where children leave something called "mince pies" for Santa. (Um. Ew?) As a result, the occasional line will fly over your little ones' heads. But you can also expect for them to be charmed by it all.
  15. Reviewed by: Trey Graham
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    The film does have a distinctly British cheek; even with a Sony Pictures co-credit over the titles, it's just un-Hollywood enough to feel like a breath of fresh North Pole air.
  16. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    A worthy addition to the Christmas movie canon. It's funny and good-looking, with an impeccable voice cast of U.K. actors. It's also unexpectedly fresh, despite the familiar-sounding premise.
  17. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    There's nothing dark about Arthur: It's as bright and twinkling as a Christmas tree, decked with warmth and humor.
  18. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Crisply shot and voiced by a legion of Brits, the animated Arthur seems aimed at the Scrooge and caroler in all of us.
  19. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    The film's indefatigable holiday spirit is infectious.
  20. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    A tender and upbeat spirit informs the writing and the execution.
  21. Reviewed by: Jody Mitori
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Arthur Christmas stays sweet without becoming overly sentimental and is filled with sly details and smart action sequences.
  22. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Nov 21, 2011
    75
    In a genre - the animated holiday film - already overflowing with the sentimental, the silly Arthur Christmas is a most welcome treat to find stuffed into the cinema's stockings this holiday season.
  23. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Nov 19, 2011
    75
    A yuletide fable that boasts Aardman Animation's peerless mix of whip-smart comedy and cheery heart.
  24. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Nov 22, 2011
    70
    Arthur was made, in co-production with Sony, by Aardman Animations, the U.K. company best known for Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit shorts, and the character animation has some of the same homely charm.
  25. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Nov 22, 2011
    63
    Watching Arthur Christmas is like doing your holiday shopping on Dec. 23: fun and frantic, exciting and maddening.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    All of the actors' vocal performances are spot-on, including McAvoy's gentle Arthur, Nighy's salty GrandSanta and Ashley Jensen's cute stowaway elf Bryony, a chipper little pixie that would make Rudolph's pal Hermey proud.
  27. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    The plot may be a little too cluttered for the toddler crowd to follow, but the next age group up should be amused, and the script by Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith has plenty of sly jokes for grown-ups.
  28. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    Arthur Christmas is not ultimately a cynical movie – it comes together sweetly and rather movingly at the end – but it springs forth from a place of cynicism.
  29. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    Aimed at kids, Arthur Christmas could be a little trying if you're over 10, but if you want an easygoing flick to get you into the mood for the holidays you could do a lot worse.
  30. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 23, 2011
    50
    The movie fails utterly at coming up with a story that merits all the eye candy.
  31. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Nov 23, 2011
    50
    The plot, though, is recycled from the Vince Vaughn comedy "Fred Claus" (Santa's duties are assumed by a goofy relative, in this case son Arthur) and the old Rankin-Bass special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Arthur goes on a rogue expedition with a couple other misfits).
  32. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 23, 2011
    12
    Ho-ho-huh? Arthur Christmas is an animated kiddie comedy that delivers all the wonder you'd expect in a movie about a guy delivering one package. Maybe they should have called it "UPS Man: The Movie."
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Nov 29, 2011
    5
    The Aardman animators (best know for Wallace & Gromit) usually infuse their films with deadpan whimsy and eccentric personalities. This is anThe Aardman animators (best know for Wallace & Gromit) usually infuse their films with deadpan whimsy and eccentric personalities. This is an exception. The story takes place on Christmas night when Santa and his team have one last present to deliver. Leave it to the eponymous black-sheep son to come into his own and save the day. While the pacing is frantic and almost every frame is full of activity, the characters aren't especially unique and the writing isn't particularly clever. I really wanted to like it, but found it flat and lacking personality. Full Review »
  2. Nov 26, 2011
    9
    This movie just entered our family's Christmas rotation. Really fun movie that has something for everyone in the family. If you're looking forThis movie just entered our family's Christmas rotation. Really fun movie that has something for everyone in the family. If you're looking for a lighthearted break from the holiday stress, get lost in this hilarious tale of Arthur, a child-at-heart dreamer who wants every child to experience the magic of Christmas. Well done. One of the few movies I'll actually buy when it's released on DVD. Merry Christmas! Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2015
    8
    a very good Christmas film and yes it is the best animated film of 2011. but its a little overrated. the film was a good old vs. new story anda very good Christmas film and yes it is the best animated film of 2011. but its a little overrated. the film was a good old vs. new story and does not side with one or the other but that alien sub pilot was maybe a bad idea. Full Review »