We haven't even gotten through Christmas 2010 yet, but if you're going to start an advance marketing campaign for a 2011 holiday movie you may as well start now, before everyone starts recoiling at the sight of Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Thus we have the teaser trailer for Arthur Christmas, a new offering from the British Aardman Studios featuring the voice work of James McAvoy as Santa's bumbling, overenthusiastic son Arthur.

The teaser starts with a pitch-perfect Morgan Freeman impersonator doing a March of the Penguins-style voiceover that accidentally reveals a frantic elf who wants to hide the existence of Santa's workshop, and the excitable Arthur who's ready to spill all the beans. I may just be imagining things but it sounds like McAvoy-- always gifted with accents-- is voicing both characters. Take a look at it below, and bear in mind that Aardman is the studio that has brought us all the Wallace and Gromit movies plus Flushed Away. As promising as this looks, there's probably only better stuff to come. Arthur Christmas hits theaters November 23 next year. Below the trailer you can see the film's synopsis, snagged by Slashfilm, which explains where other voice talent like Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent will fit into the story.


Arthur LOVES everything to do with Christmas; indeed, he is the only one in his family still captivated by the magic of the holiday. Laurie will play Arthur’s older brother Steve, heir to the reins, a cool, incredibly capable guy who has given the North Pole high-tech efficiency, military-style precision. Broadbent plays Santa, who pictures himself as the guy in charge at the North Pole, but is now more of a figurehead as the operation has outgrown him. Nighy plays Santa’s 136-year-old father, Grandsanta, a cranky old codger who hates the modern world, is always grumbling that Christmas ‘was better when I was Santa’ and has a tense relationship with Steve, who he calls ‘A postman with a spaceship.’ Jensen will play Bryony, a lowly elf from the Giftwrap Battalion, with an eager-to-please attitude and an obsession with wrapping and bows. Imelda Staunton rounds out the cast as Mrs. Santa, dedicated wife and mother to her husband and sons.

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