Christmas is a busy time for Santa (Jim Broadbent) and over the years the demand on his resources has changed the way he does things. His cottage industry grotto in the North Pole is now a slick, technologically advanced command centre where nothing can go wrong - usually.
When a present is accidentally missed from the Yuletide delivery, the ageing Saint Nick is at a loss as to what to do, and with his eldest son Steve (Hugh Laurie) unconcerned about a single missed present, responsibility lands at the feet of clumsy but idealistic second son Arthur (James McAvoy). On the advice of his ancient grandparent Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), Arthur does away with the new-fangled gizmos at the North Pole and dusts down the old wooden sleigh, heading off on a global adventure to save Christmas for the one forgotten child.
This fun festive gift from the plasticine kings at Aardman is only their second completely CG animated feature, but they make the transition from their usual stop-motion exploits with vigour.
No sense of character or silliness is lost with the change in medium, which is aided by an inventive original story and a voice cast evidently enjoying themselves; Nighy's grumpy Grandsanta is the pick of the bunch.