Arthur Christmas and The Muppets are set to do battle for the Thanksgiving crowds this weekend, and Scottish actor James McAvoy thinks the former should be on everyone's must-see list.
James plays the eponymous Arthur, the son of Santa Claus who attempts to keep the Christmas spirit alive whilst on an increasingly materialistic mission to deliver everyone's gifts on the same night. He features alongside British stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Jim Broadbent in the Ardman Studios flick and spoke to HitFix about his experiences, saying, "It's one of the funniest things I'd read that year and just the opportunity to work with Aardman Studios. Y'know, they made 'Walace & Gromit and Chicken Run. I think they are a really good idiosyncratic voice out of Britain and to get to work with people like that is something that's very exciting". The film is already causing a buzz amongst the Christmas crowds, and critics are singing its praises too, with Scott Bowles of USA Today noting, "What makes Arthur sing is that it plays as much like a family comedy as a holiday film". Nell Minow of the Chicago-Sun Times said, "A holiday charmer that shows us how imperfect families can still feel just right", while Mary F Pols of Time magazine heaped praise on the cast, saying, "Both Nighy and Broadbent do wonderful, richly funny voice work".
Arthur Christmas hits cinemas in the U.S. from Friday (25 November 2011), along with The Muppets - which has so far failed to win over critics.