Aardman Animation, best known for the charming "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons, branched out from Plasticene stop-motion work to computer animation with Flushed Away (2006); this yuletide feature is the studio's second CGI project and the first in 3-D. The premise recalls those sophisticated lies parents cook up when their kids start asking logical questions about Santa: instead of a sleigh, the old man commands a gigantic spacecraft that dispatches elfin commando teams across the globe. The plot, though, is recycled from the Vince Vaughn comedy Fred Claus (Santa's duties are assumed by a goofy relative, in this case son Arthur) and the old Rankin-Bass special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Arthur goes on a rogue expedition with a couple other misfits). Sarah Smith directed.
Director: Sarah Smith
Producer: Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Carla Shelley and Steve Pegram
Cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Ramona Marquez, Michael Palin, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Cusack, Rhys Darby, Jane Horrocks, Iain McKee, Andy Serkis and Dominic West