‘Arthur Christmas’ US and UK Theatrical Trailers

We’ve seen a couple teaser trailers for the Aardman Animation holiday film Arthur Christmas, and now, two full-length trailers are out. The UK trailer still shows a lot of the elements we’ve seen before — the North Pole as a high-tech gift processing center; Santa’s sleigh as UFO; and the geeky younger member of Santa’s family who acts as the title character — but it also shows off a lot more of the actual story that puts all those elements to work. There are also a few good, cheeky little jokes. And the US trailer has a slightly different approach to the same elements. Check out the trailers below. (Oh, and there are lions, too.) Read More »

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New animation from Aardman Animation (Wallace & Gromit) is like a gift, so the company is (appropriately) making a Christmas film called, er, Arthur Christmas. We’ve seen one brief, cheeky teaser trailer, and now there is a second just as cheeky teaser to put you in mind of the November release. It’s good stuff; check it out along with a new poster for the film, after the break. Read More »

Aardman Animation is moving into 3D CGI holiday fare with Arthur Christmas, which stars James McAvoy as the title character in a story “which at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’ The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole.”

The voice cast also features Bill Nighy,Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen, and now you can see a bit of the film at work. A teaser has just landed, and you’ll find it after the break. Read More »

First Look: Aardman Animation’s ‘Arthur Christmas’

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In addition to working on new Wallace & Gromit shorts, the great Aardman Animation studio has a couple other projects in the pipeline. One is a stop-motion film called Pirates!, of which we’ve heard little since the film was announced in April ’09.

Also announced in spring of last year was Arthur Christmas, a CGI holiday film originally called Operation Rudolph. (And not related to the kid’s book Arthur’s Christmas.) Now we’ve got the first look at a  bit of art from Arthur Christmas. It isn’t much, but it’s a start. Read More »

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The hook here, I suppose, is that after a string of photos taken by photographers outside the production, we’ve now got the first ‘official’ look at Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in the remake of Arthur. Brand plays the Dudley Moore role — a rich, spoiled drunk — and Mirren takes over for John Gielgud as the butler-turned-nanny charged with looking after Arthur.

But beyond the photos are some new details that paint the production as a rather freewheeling one which, to my mind, makes it a slightly more interesting, and definitely more risky, proposition. Read More »

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Roger Friedman is reporting a rumour that the team remaking Arthur are keen to bag Meryl Streep for a role. The part in question would be the do-over’s equivalent of the valet played by John Gielgud in the original and despite the sex change, they’d still be using the name Hobson for the character, at least per Friedman.

Russell Brand has been cast as the titular Arthur, and Borat and Bruno co-writer Peter Baynham is writing the script. I’m sure he’s come up with something far, far better than Steve Gordon’s original. I’ve got a lot of love for Baynham, Brand and Streep… will they appoint a director of comparable calibre? Here’s hoping.

Whispers on the grapevine suggest that Arthur is one of a couple of upcoming films that have prevented Brand taking a role in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film…. Just silly talk, I think. I think.

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Don’t count Aardman Animations out just yet. The Academy Award-winning British animation studio is probably best known for their stop-animation and claymation productions, particularly those featuring Wallace & Gromit. The studio most recently produced a series of features, including their first computer animated film, for DreamWorks Animation, but “creative differences” lead to a seperation. Aardman entered into a three year deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2007, but no films have seen public release.

Today Sony and Aardman announced a three year extension to their contract with promises that we might actually see some more movies this time around. Pirates! and Arthur Christmas are the two films next in the development pipeline. Details on both projects after the jump. I’m sure the successful release of LAIKA’s 3D stop-motion film Coraline helps the cause, proving that an interest in old style stop-motion exists. The growing popularity and profitability of 3D is also likely to help sell these films. And no, they haven’t yet been announced as 3D productions… but c’mon…
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The screenwriter for the Russell Brand remake of Arthur has been announced in Variety, and it’s Peter from Balham – sometime collaborator of Chris Morris, Sacha Baron Cohen and Lee and Herring. Peter Baynham isn’t exactly comedy royalty in the UK – more like a secret power behind the thrones – but is, not to put too fine a point on it, incredibly funny.

And now to change the subject rather drastically, I’m afraid. There are two jokes in the original Arthur, by my count: one is alcoholism, the other is the pronunciation of profanities in posh RP and despite them being repeated over and over and over for the full running time, neither of these ever threatens to be the mildest bit amusing. Watching stars Dudley Moore, John Gielgud and Liza Minelli (each of whom has done at least two other pieces of work I truly adore) flop around in Steve Gordon’s slow-draining cinematic sewage was painful enough that I’ve attacked the TV in a violent hurry to switch channels whenever I’ve bumped back into the movie by mistake.

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