Lite’s Review Room: Holiday Movies – “The Muppets” & Arthur Christmas

Thanksgiving is a time for family, but it’s also a time for movies.  And this weekend there are great family movies to go see, starting on Wednesday.   Let’s take a look at the two movies that rely very little on actual people.

The Muppets

Jason Segel, who is mostly known for his more adult oriented humor, has brought The Muppets back to life in the new film, aptly named The Muppets.  The actor not only starred in this funny family film, he also co-wrote and co-executive produced this feature that is all about bringing the long forgotten Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and all the rest back together and restoring their stardom.

The film draws attention to the fact that the times have changes and asks, does this viral video world still have a place for the Muppets?

[photogallerylink id=62945 align=left] The answer of course is yes. The Muppets follows Gary (Jason Segel), Mary (Amy Adams), and Walter, Gary’s Muppet brother, as they venture from Smalltown USA to L.A. and help save the Muppets and their theatre from the evil oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper).

The Muppets is packed with star power featuring cameos from Alan Arkin, Rashida Jones, Emily Blunt, Jack Black, Mickey Rooney, Zach Galifianakis, Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Ken Jeong, and Sarah Silverman. The Muppets is 102 minutes of silliness, singing, and fun that the whole family will enjoy.  See this movie.


Our Queen of the Silver Screen, Julie Fisk, took a gander at this animated Christmas movie.

Arthur Christmas

“Arthur Christmas” stars James McAvoy as Santa’s younger son, who struggles to deliver a Christmas present to the one child Santa missed. It’s always around this time of year when the little ones start asking those unanswerable questions about Santa.  How does he make it all over the world?  How does he get down the chimney? If Santa lives at the North Pole, why can’t we see him on Google Maps?

“Arthur Christmas” takes a stab at these questions and the result is a very sweet and surprisingly funny movie. Santa is about to retire and pass the mantel on to his son Steve. His younger son Arthur is filled with the Christmas spirit but is sadly too silly & uncoordinated to be trusted with any responsibility.

[photogallerylink id=62902 align=right]Look, I know what you’re thinking: This movie sounds stupid and I have interest in seeing it. Believe me, I felt the same way and the commercials for “Arthur Christmas” did little to change my mind, but it’s much better than any simple description conveys. It’s by the same people who did “Chicken Run” and Wallace & Gromit,” so there’s a sly British tilt to the comedy. Santa’s workshop has been turned into a high-tech military operation, which is a refreshing twist and the 3D effects make for a fantastic ride in Santa’s sleigh.

It’s definitely worth the extra money for those 3D glasses. My children were completely enchanted by this movie & I was so pleasantly surprised by it that I have to give “Arthur Christmas” a B+. And pay close attention to Grand Santa, played by Bill Nighy. He’s crusty, politically incorrect and he has the best lines in the whole movie!


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