Home' The Tribune : December 14th 2011 Contents 27
THE TRIBUNE, DECEMBER 14, 2011
Always someone who really cares
G, 1hr 50mins
Reviewed by Shirley Shapleski
How does Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent)
deliver presents in the 21st century? With
the world s population getting bigger, it s
only fitting he now has a space ship sleigh
manned by special-ops elves and directed
from the North Pole by a command central
worthy of Nasa. Perhaps it also means
Santa is losing that personal touch for
making sure every child is accounted for.
When it s discovered one child has been
missed, Santa is happy that the percentage
of failure is so minuscule he can go to bed
and not worry about it. But one person is
very worried about it. As the official letter
reader of Santa, his bumbling youngest son
Arthur (James McAvoy) knows how much
Santa still means to children. He loved
little Gwen s letter and doesn t want her to
miss out on her bike.
Going to older brother Steve (Hugh
Laurie) he meets a brick wall. Steve has his
eye on being the next Santa. He s all about
efficiency and technology, not about heart.
To Arthur s astonishment, there s two
people who also care with him. Great Grand
Santa (Bill Nighy) has the old sleigh hidden
away, just waiting for it to be needed one
last time. He is more than willing to show
young un Steve that things can still be
done the old way.
Hitching up the reindeer he drags a
reluctant Arthur aboard, sprinkles some
magic dust and hits the skies.
Emerging from where she is hidden, Elf
Bryony (Ashley Jensen) reiterates her pos-
ition that no present can be delivered with-
out proper wrapping.
What makes Arthur Christmas lovely is
the great use of voices for the job. Each
voice, Nighy in particular, fits the character
they play. It s got very good animation, with
nothing lost from seeing it in 2-D. There are
some cheekily funny moments which might
go over little ones heads. Luckily, there s
no singing until the end credits!
However, it s a bit long. When it hits the
three-quarter mark it slows before picking
up for the final push and younger ones
might be inclined to fidget a touch.
While no The Polar Express, if you are
looking for something a little bit sweet, this
fills the bill.
Swan dive: Luke Cooper and Caitlyn Marsh
work together in the pas de deux section of the
Macdonald School of Dance's version of
Beauty and the Beast.
Classic fairytale in dance
To the pointe: Students concentrate on their
parts as flowers in the school's version of
Beauty and the Beast.
Photos: MARK GLENTWORTH
By LAURA WALTERS
A timeless classic mixed with a dash of
Disney and 1950s musical, and a splash of
hip hop, is bound to be a recipe for success
for the Macdonald School of Dance s 10th
The pupils from the Macdonald School of
Dance will take to the stage this weekend to
showcase their talents and passion for
dance in a performance of Beauty and the
Beast, Grease, and a hip hop medley.
Macdonald School of Dance principal
Amy Macdonald-Te Huki said she hoped
audiences would go away with an appreci-
ation of the school s different dance forms.
A lot of people come and look forward to
particular parts and not others.
She said she hoped the audience would
enjoy the different sections.
You know it s pretty good if the fathers
say that they enjoyed it, Mrs Macdonald-
Te Huki said.
But the cast of more than 250 dancers
obviously enjoy themselves.
The kids will dance well anyway,
because that s what they look forward to
The school s principal said the
performances to watch out for were Mairi
Robertson, who plays Belle in Beauty and
the Beast, and Courtney Walker, who
dances the part of Sandy in Grease.
Mrs Macdonald-Te Huki said she hoped
this production would be an improvement
on previous years.
We like to think the standard is always
But a good production was not just about
Good lighting made the performance a
It tidies the whole thing up.
This year s show would be shorter than
previous years, to help keep the audience
engaged throughout the programme, and
extra practices made sure the whole pro-
duction ran smoothly.
The Macdonald School of Dance has
branches in Palmerston North and Danne-
The Dannevirke pupils put on their ver-
sion of the show three weeks ago, and it was
well-received by the audience, Mrs
Macdonald-Te Huki said.
Hopefully this weekend s performance
would go as well, if not better.
The Macdonald School of Dance
performance of Beauty and the Beast and
Grease, Saturday, 6pm, and Sunday, 2pm, at
the Regent on Broadway. TIckets from
TicketDirect, adults $18, children $10.
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