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December 2nd, 2011

Movie Review - Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wooton, Laura Linney and more.

Directed by: Sarah Smith Screenplay by: Sarah Smith and Peter Baynham Original Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams

Premise: An accident knocks a gift out of the conveyor belt during the Christmas deliveries. As it is but a couple of hours until dawn, the child left behind is considered an acceptable loss, except by Arthur, Santa's second son, who tries to do something about it. (Rated PG)

Review: This movie is a blast! It's also a lot deeper than one might think from seeing the previews. 

I totally cracked up when the first thing they do is basically list all the reasons (and scientific ones!) as to why Santa can't exist as Arthur reads a letter sent to the north pole. Then they show us how it's done in the modern world.  

I wanted a pause button desperately. There are a ton of little jokes and bits of info seeded everywhere (buttons, levers, scan screens), but they go by too fast! A lot of in-jokes too, and strangely they're mainly from SF movies and TV shows. Too fun! 

The animation and CGI work was excellent. The character expressions and the voice acting superb. Grandsanta was a hoot, but Bryony, one of the wrapping elves, slayed me. Once you see Mrs Santa at work, you'll see where Steve's efficiency came from. Arthur must take after his Dad. :P 

If you cried at UP, I suggest dragging a hanky or two along, just in case. There were many touching moments. Several were quite poignant. All is not perfect at the North Pole and generational issues abound. Some of the tales they tell of problems during other Christmas runs were a hoot.

A definite must see! If this doesn't get you into the Christmas spirit, nothing will. :) 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission AGAIN!)

P.S. There's a music video as a bonus before the beginning of the film. Justin Beiber sings Santa Clause Is Coming To Town. And it disturbed me. It wasn't the song or the singing, and loved the steampunk look, but... Mr Beiber had a steampunk glove on his right hand and a ton of his moves were straight Michael Jackson moves. It was weird...even creepy. It may have been homage of some sort, but to me it was just disturbing. Hmmm.

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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