The "test" of a film like this is whether you can just let go and enjoy it, or whether you are constantly feeling the presence of the writers or directors trying to push you or pull you.... I was delightfully surprised because this little treat was not released by a major player with all kinds of fanfare and expectations, it seemed designed as a simple holiday staple from the getgo, yet the writing and the animation were as good as or better than any of the big league stuff. This film is more fun than a barrel of hammers and in my view can (and should) be watched anytime of year by children of all ages, which includes grandparents.
updated review ... unappreciated film ... and I know why
After first watching, I felt compelled to revisit Arthur Christmas again, and then again, and just finished my 4th go. The IMDb score is much too low and I know why. This is one of those very rare films where the creators put so much care and effort into the production that you cannot appreciate it all first time around. The dialog, the action is simply too quick. Fourth time around I was on the floor laughing at lines I had missed the first three times. There is more attention to detail in the closing credits than in many B-grade "thrillers" being churned out today. I believe this is not only one of the best animations ever done (in terms of script and execution) but also one of the best X-mas stories ever done. It deserves to be considered a classic. Maybe a new generation will notice it and give it the respect it deserves.