ALL ELF BREAKS LOOSE.
Delivering Santa’s presents is a huge hi-tech operation involving hundreds of elves, but when Santa’s youngest son discovers that one of the presents was mistakenly not delivered he sets out on a mission. An animated 3D adventure that combines the financial and creative powers of one British studio and one American, resulting in a very enjoyable original tale that reveals tensions within Santa’s family. That part of the film is boosted by Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie as the rather incompetent Santa and his ambitious oldest son. The film is handsome, taking us from the North Pole to Africa; moves fast but never loses its charm. It does very well without a villain too.
2011-U.S.-Britain. Animated. 97 min. Color. Produced by Steve Pegram. Directed by Sarah Smith. Screenplay: Sarah Smith, Peter Baynham. Voices of James McAvoy (Arthur), Hugh Laurie (Steve), Bill Nighy (Grandsanta), Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen… Eva Longoria, Michael Palin, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Cusack, Andy Serkis, Dominic West.
Last word: “Peter [Baynham] ran me up in the first year and said, ‘I think we need a villain! What if we have this evil elf?’ He was going to be called General Antler and he wanted to make burgers out of the reindeer. He sent me something and it was like ‘The Killing Fields’. I said, ‘Pete? Is this really what you mean? I don’t think so.’ But mostly I felt that you need to write something that feels true to you and the thing in the movie to me is that it isn’t really evil that’s wrong with the world today. It’s the evil of slightly kind of not getting it. Steve is sort of the baddie because he just doesn’t get it. He’s running Christmas, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. Later on, he storms in and finally says, ‘Alright! So I’m not good with children. Does that make me bad Santa?’ There’s this sort of little silence. That’s the bigger problem in the world today. It’s not so much about evil things happening, it’s just the sort of crapness of things not happening for good reasons.” (Smith, Collider)