The above new poster for Aardman Animation’s Arthur Christmas provides our first look at the title character. I love that he’s wearing a “christmas jumper” and I’m pretty pleased with the character design overall – it’s not exactly innovative, but it has some feeling to it.
The film has been co-written by Bleeding Cool favourite Peter Baynham alongside Sarah Smith, and she is co-directing with Barry Cook. Here’s how Aardman’s press release revealed more of the crew:
Producer is Steve Pegram. Production Designer is Evgeni Tomov. Executive Producers are Carla Shelley, Peter Lord and David Sproxton. Michael Giacchino and Adam Cohen are the composers.
They’ve also announced much of the cast, with James McAvoy cast as Arthur, son of Santa. Jim Broadbent is playing Santa himself, and Bill Nighy has been given the role of Santa’s 136-year old Dad, Grandsanta.
Hugh Laurie is on the cast roster as Steve, Arthur’s older brother and the member of the Santa family to have successfuly streamlined the Christmas operations as though they were… er… military clockwork. Arthur calls Steve “a postman with a spaceship”, and believes that Christmas needs a bit more heart – and, suddenly, I can’t help but think of Barry Levenson’s Toys.
Mrs. Santa is to be played by Imelda Staunton, and Ashley Jensen will take the role of Bryony, an elf from the Giftwrap Batallion. A love interest for Arthur? At least a best friend, I’m sure.
There’s a lot about this information that reminds me of Disney’s superb Prep and Landing special from last year, but with Baynham at the typewriter, I’m confident it will be at least as funny as it is familiar.