Arthur Christmas, a British and American 3D animated film produced by Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animations and distributed by Columbia Pictures, was released in the United States on November 23, 2011. It was also released in the UK on November 1, 2011. Directed by Sarah Smith, the film takes place on Christmas at the North Pole with Santa, his wife, their two sons, Arthur and Steve and the eldest Claus, Grand Claus. The North Pole has become a high-tech facility ran mainly by Steve and his assistant in Command Control. Hoping that this will be Santa’s last year, Steve is disappointed that Santa does not intend on retiring and passing the role on. Grand Claus is terribly bored with being retired and resents all the technology used to run the business. The only one that is content is Arthur. That is, until he finds that he has inadvertently left a gift behind from the deliveries that should have gone to a little girl named Gwen.
Arthur goes to Steve, but he believes that one mistake out of a billion delivered gifts won’t make a difference, especially since it is two hours from sunrise and the high-tech sleigh won’t be able to make another trip. In addition, he feels that Arthur poses a potential threat to his birthright of becoming the new Santa, which makes him resent Arthur. Distraught that it was his fault that the gift was forgotten, Arthur is confronted by Grand Claus, who proposes that they deliver the gift using Evie, his old wooden sleigh, with the help of the great-grandchildren of the original reindeer. So, Arthur and Grand Santa embark on their journey to deliver the gift.
Along the way, Arthur and Grand Claus experience many mishaps, and with the lack of support from Arthur's brother, Steve, the journey get tougher. Will the bad feelings, resentment and incompetence that is flowing through the North Pole keep them from being able to make their final delivery before Christmas Day?
Directors: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook
Writers: Peter Baynham (screenplay), Sarah Smith (screenplay)
Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy