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-   -   Arthur Christmas 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/187-official-avs-foruma-blu-ray-disc-reviews/1437094-arthur-christmas-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review.html)

Ralph Potts 11-02-2012 08:10 AM

The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 97 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MVC/AVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen
Directed by: Sarah Smith
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by: Peter Baynham & Sarah Smith
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 6, 2012

"Ever wonder how two billion presents get delivered all in one night?"

Film Synopsis:

How CAN Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast, state-of-the-art control center under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have MISSED one child?! To Santa’s young son, Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, Arthur sets out in a crazy mission to deliver the last present! Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this new Christmas classic!

My Take:

Arthur Christmas tells the story of Arthur Claus, second son of the reigning Santa and younger brother to Santa’s successor, Steven Claus. Descended from a long line of Santa Claus’ Arthur, Steve and Malcolm (their father and current Santa), run the North Pole operation with a team approach that is supported by a large staff of very competent elves. Malcolm is getting on in years and isn’t the Santa he once was. Steve is spit and polished, uses the latest high tech gadgets, and handles the logistics of assuring that Santa makes all of his deliveries. Arthur’s job is to receive and reply to all the letters sent to Santa. He isn’t the smooth operator Steve is, nor is he viewed in the same light as the other Claus’ in the family.

Arthur is perfectly content with his role and adores not only his father but what he represents to the children of the world. Using S-1, a huge technologically advanced craft (run by Steve and the elves), Santa makes his rounds on Christmas eve and as usual finishes ahead of schedule with a hitch, or did he? When it is discovered that a present meant for little Gwen Hines of Trelew England was inadvertently not delivered Arthur insists that it must be done. Steve sees it as an unforeseen error but in the grand scheme of things (2 billion presents successfully delivered) not a big deal. Not willing to accept such a thing Arthur, with the help of Grand Santa (Malcolm’s father and of a past Santa), and Bryony, the best elf wrapper in the North Pole, hitches up Elvie the old sley and embarks on a mission to get Gwen’s present to her before she awakens in a few hours. Unfortunately this is simpler said than done but one thing is certain. Arthur won’t give up and allow the image of Santa or a little girl’s belief in him, be tarnished.

Arthur Christmas is exactly what you might expect in that it is a charming, feel good holiday film devoted to the spirit of Christmas. Reminiscent of other Christmas films it isn’t exactly original but I found the interpretation refreshing and really enjoyed the characters, imbedded familial themes, and contemporary spin on Santa’s operation. The cast is spot on, especially James McAvoy in the title role and my man Bill Nighy, who is of course perfectly voices old codger, Grandsanta. Arthur Christmas probably isn’t destined for holiday classic status but it’s a delightful family film that makes for a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for mild rude humor.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

3D Presentation: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Arthur Christmas 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

This is a sparkling 3D presentation that features few examples of overtly gimmicky effects but emphasizes depth and dimension. That isn’t to say that there aren’t moments where protruding or flying objects transcend the screens borders and come right at you, they do (I actually blinked a few times). Overall the 3D implementation is quite good but falls below the level of the best I have seen from the format thus far. Detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by the notable separation of objects and or characters layered in the foreground/background which serves to visually draw you in by creating a more discerning sense of virtual space occupied by things of various sizes and shapes. Fidelity appears intact as the film’s gorgeous colors, rich contrast and stable blacks are beautifully rendered and natural. Comparing this to the 2D version in terms of the rendering of detail, color reproduction and contrast I found them to be similar. I didn’t notice any distracting signs of ghosting/crosstalk or 3D related anomalies. I thought it looked terrific and enhanced my enjoyment of the film.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack makes effective use of the surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, crystalline dialogue and robust bass response. This mix doesn’t bombard you with aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines discretely placed directional cues with rear channel ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field’s never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack with precise imaging and acoustic placement. Dynamic’s are excellent but not up to the level of the best lossless sound that I have heard. This is a well rounded audio presentation that mates well with the source material and sounds great.

2D Video Quality:

Video: 96

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Arthur Christmas comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps.

This is beautifully crafted animation that looks superb in high definition. Images are awash with lustrous and slightly oversaturated hues that make for visually engaging eye candy. Reds are particularly vivid with visible gradational stages that bring out subtle degrees of separation. Each of the characters has distinctive physical qualities that are attributable to them and all are easily discernable. The video is immaculately resolved with pristine quality and fine minutia that shows strict attention to detail. The facial features of the various characters have a lifelike quality that allows them to display a varied range of emotions. Contrast and black levels strike a great balance as whites are bright, detailed and punchy while blacks are rich with excellent dynamic range. This is a resplendent, polished, and beautifully rendered and reference quality Blu-ray presentation that looks fabulous on my large front projection display.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:

  • Arthur Christmas 3D Blu-ray (including the following bonus features)

  • (HD) Unwrapping Arthur Christmas – 13 minute featurette

  • (HD) Progression reels (5 segments)
    1. Arthur Christmas unwrapped – 5 minutes
    2. Arthur’s office – 2 minutes
    3. Grandsanta – 2 minutes
    4. Trelew – 2 minutes
    5. Invasion – 2 minutes
  • (HD) Elf recruitment video

  • Disc 2:

  • Arthur Christmas 2D Blu-ray (same features set as above)

  • Disc 3:

  • Bonus DVD

Final Thoughts:

Arthur Christmas is a charming, heartwarming and feel good animated movie. It isn’t exactly original but I found the interpretation refreshing and found it to be a delightful family film that makes for a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. This three disc Blu-ray package from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment includes the feature film in high definition in both 3D and 2D flavors with each offering excellent video quality and involving DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound. The supplemental features are just average but that doesn’t diminish an otherwise entertaining home video release that makes for a great stocking stuffer. Enjoy!


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Franin 11-02-2012 07:32 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Been waiting for this saw it in the cinemas with my daughter and its definitely a day one purchase for me.

Taranteacher 11-07-2012 11:35 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Again, thanks Ralph! Was already on my holiday wish list! cool.gif

Reddig 11-08-2012 03:03 AM

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Seen this in the theaters with my wife last year and really enjoyed it. Can't believe it took a whole year to come out on DVD/BD! I picked up the 3D combo packed and watched the 3D version last night and loved it. Thanks for review .

Rach 11-08-2012 09:54 AM

Can't wait to see this with my kids. Picked it up with a $5 coupon at Best Buy. Thanks, Ralph!

Franin 11-10-2012 07:33 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Picking this up next week, kids are looking forward to it.

Taranteacher 11-28-2012 09:59 AM

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Got it and saw it a couple of nights ago.... WOW! Beautiful movie, and I don't mean Christmas movie or 3D movie, I mean MOVIE! Everything, including the 3D, is very well made on this one! Made me feel the fun and excitement of a little kid, indeed! Two thumbs way up!

You owe it to yourselves to get this along with Polar Express and Christmas Carol (and maybe even Nightmare Before Christmas) on 3D! Happy 3D Christmas!

Ralph Potts 11-29-2012 02:10 AM

Originally Posted by Taranteacher View Post

Got it and saw it a couple of nights ago.... WOW! Beautiful movie, and I don't mean Christmas movie or 3D movie, I mean MOVIE! Everything, including the 3D, is very well made on this one! Made me feel the fun and excitement of a little kid, indeed! Two thumbs way up!
You owe it to yourselves to get this along with Polar Express and Christmas Carol (and maybe even Nightmare Before Christmas) on 3D! Happy 3D Christmas!


Glad to hear you enjoyed Arthur Christmas! smile.gif


Franin 12-04-2012 05:50 PM

4 Attachment(s)
This movie was just as much fun as it was in the movies. We enjoyed it.

JMCurtis 12-17-2012 10:17 PM

Enjoyed this BD as well!! Just wish there were more special features included. This one would have been great to see development artwork and sketches from.

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