Aardman Productions have long been associated with the season of Christmas with their Wallace and Gromit Specials but this time they have gone one better and decided to inform us how exactly Santa manages to deliver presents to every child in the world in just one night.
It's all computers, spaceships and invisibility cloaks apparently with a bloke called Steve (Hugh Laurie) directing many thousands of elves to execute a once a year logistical extravaganza which many CEOs would be proud of. Oh and of course not forgetting the main man on the night Santa (Jim Broadbent), who it seems has become so softened by all of Steve's electronic innovations that he has be phoning it in for years - to such a degree that when the elves actually do allow him to deliver one of the gifts his clumsiness may actually jeopardise the mission.
Steve of course is looking to the main chance and wants to take over his Dad's job and see Santa put up his feet alongside Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) who did things very differently in his day and still has a bit of a glint in his eye.
Then of course there is Steve's brother Arthur, who really isn't cut from the same cloth at all. He is clumsy, wears a dodgy Christmas jumper and slippers and is consigned to the office of kids' letters to avoid him doing any damage. When it emerges that there is a dint in Steve's perfect system it is Arthur, who alone seems to believe in the true spirit of Christmas, who tries to save the day the old fashioned way for the one child who has been forgotten.
This is a tale with great heart and plenty of humour which looks absolutely fantastic. I saw it in 2D with children (three and five) who adored it. I can see though that it really lends itself to 3D due to the number of crazy sleigh scenes (yes they ditch the spaceship and go all retro on us!).
There are great performance from the cast including James McAvoy, Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent but for me Hugh Laurie’s Steve was the star of the show. There is plenty here for the adults too and this really falls into the category of kids’ Christmas movie which all the family will enjoy!
You will definitely leave humming a Christmas tune!