We have many favourite cartoon characters that we enjoy watching in animated movies. Here we will look at ten of our favourite characters who feature in animated Christmas films. As we love them all we will feature them in no particular order.
Arthur is Santa's second son and is the title character of the animated movie Arthur Christmas. Voiced by James McEvoy he is such a loveable character who embodies the spirit of Christmas completely, while his clumsy ways simply endear Arthur to us even more. Arthur eats breathes and sleeps Christmas therefore would love to take over from Santa when he retires. Unfortunatey as he is Santa's second son it is Steve his selfish uncaring elder brother who is set to take over the mantle of Santa.
Arthur loves nothing better than to sit and read the childrens letters to Santa, while the great thing about his character is that he believes that no child should miss out at Christmas. The crux of the story is that a present has been left behind and Arthur along with Grandsanta his grandfather sets out on the old sleigh pulled by reindeer to deliver the present so as to avoid disappointment for the girl.
Arthur's thoughtfulness and sweetness of character shines through making Santa realise that Arthur is the man to take on the role of Santa when he retires. We love a happy ending, while it is always nice when the underdog wins out over adversity and this is just what happens in this movie. Arthur is a superb character that is funny, thoughtful and yes, we think clever making Arthur Christmas a great Christmas film.
Grandsanta in the film Arthur Christmas is the grumpy grandfather of Arthur that wishes he had never retired believing methods have changed far too much and that things were run better in his day. He is typical of many elderly people who don't like change but ultimately he has a point to prove and actually does prove it well.
Grandsanta played by Bill Nighy gets involved when Arthur discovers a present that has been missed offering to drive his old fashioned sleigh and reindeer so that Arthur can deliver the gift. It makes us feel glad that Grandsanta can once again feel involved at Christmas, while we love the way this superb film brings together the various generations of a family to unite in their task. Grandsanta is very supportive of Arthur acknowledging the fact that Arthur would be a far better option as Santa's successor than his uncaring older brother Steve.
The scenes where Arthur and Grandsanta take to the skies are really funny, while the trip is eventful with each character none more so then Grandsanta, learning a great deal about themselves. The relationship between the two certainly gets the message across that the generations should come together as one rather than be opponents with resentments. Grandsanta is certainly a superb depiction of a grumbling old grandad but then that is why we love him so much.
8. Father Christmas
Obviously Father Christmas is the leading character in this animated film that follows Santa to see just how he spends his down time when not delivering presents to the world's children. Santa is voiced in this movie by the late Mel Smith and is characterised as very grumpy which is unusual but somehow it really works.
We loved this grumpy old Santa who walks about grumbling and saying "blooming Christmas" at regular intervals. Santa is very comical, while the depiction of an old man who is fractious all the time but still loves delivering presents to all the children in the world is very believable.
Father Christmas transforms his sleigh into a flying motor home and flie would all love to be in hero boy's shoess off on holiday to France and ends his adventure in Las Vegas where he plays the tables and dances with the dancing ladies. Once his batteries have been recharged he flies home just in time to receive his first delivery of letters from the children. Father Christmas does what we expect and makes sure every child receives a gift then sets off the The North Pole to attend the snowmens Christmas party where he sees the boy from The Snowman film. Written by Raymond Briggs this is truly one amazing depiction of Father Christmas.
The Polar Express
7. The Ticket Collector
The Conductor or Ticket Collector on this magical train is played by Tom Hanks whom we think was the ideal choice for the role as from the moment he steps down from the magical train shouting "all aboard" as viewers we felt secure in the knowledge that he was a good guy.
The story in this film involves a group of children who all have tickets to ride the magic steam train to The North Pole to meet Santa. Each child has his or her own characteristics and personality with the ticket collector playing the part of the trusted anchor that keeps it all together keeping the children safe and secure.
The ticket collector has more than the job of punching the tickets as he has the role of teacher and guide showing each child how they can overcome whatever negative feeling individually challenges them. He is stern in a kindly way and in parts shows his sense of fun too. The children eventually do get to meet Santa after many adventures during their journey, while at the end of the film the ticket collector shows each child how they can improve their outlook by punching an appropriate word into their magic ticket. We wish all ticket collectors could be like the kindly Tom Hanks character which is a testament to his performance plus the superb story running through this amazing Christmas film.
6. Hero Boy
The Hero Boy in The Polar Express is the first child character we see in the movie. He is of the age where he no longer believes in Santa therefore we believe this is why he is chosen to take the trip on the magical steam train. He is a boy with a kindly disposition who wants to help all the other kids on the train taking the lonely shy boy under his wing throughout the journey.
All the way through the film the hero boy questions what he is seeing imagining some of the episodes are figments of his imagination. When they reach the North Pole and see Santa even then he is not sure until Santa invites him to take a sleigh bell as a gift so he will recall his visit.
We all would like to be hero boy who is singled out by Santa plus to have the proof placed in our pockets of Santa's existence would be phenomenal. When hero boy returns home he once again questions his trip thinking that maybe it was a dream but the sleigh bell proves to him that Santa does exist and that we will be truly blessed if we indeed believe!
Rise of The Guardians
5. Jack Frost
Jack Frost played by Chris Pine is the opening character in this super Christmas film and immediately wins us over with his sense of fun and mischief. Jack shoots around the place frosting things up and creating snowfall so that the kids can play. He is a sympathetic character as he wishes he could play with the children, while although he instigates snowball fights he cannot be seen therefore cannot enjoy the excitement of joining in.
Jack is invited by the Man in the Moon to join The Guardians, namely, Santa, Easter Bunny, Sandman and Tooth Fairy, in their fight against the Boogie Man Pitch Black played by Jude Law. Pitch is out to steal memories and dreams from the children replacing them with horrid nightmares, so making them forget about the guardians whom they hold in high esteem. Jack is a reluctant participant but ultimately joins forces with his comrades to defeat Pitch while at the same time discovering his origins plus why he became who he is. Jack is declared the Guardian of Fun, while he certainly lives up to the name throughout this amazing Christmas film.
4. Tooth Fairy
Toothiana or The Tooth Fairy is the Guardian of Memories in the film and is a warm friendly character who adores children. We like her as she takes on the motherly role in this film showing great love for children who believe that she will leave a gift of money in place of their lost teeth. Toothiana played by Isla Fisher loves everyone really none more so than her baby teeth fairies who assist her in her job taking some of the strain off Tooth something she realises she regrets as the film progresses.
Tooth will fight and battle for her children against any force defending her kids vehemently as most mothers do with their own children. She is pretty, vivacious, energetic, clever and does her job with dedication, something the other guardians admire in her.
As soon as she meets Jack she is drawn to him trying to gain his attention at all times. Its very cute to watch, while the other side of her nature is shown in battle as she is an accomplished sword fighter who will fight to the end to defend all she holds dear. Tooth is a strong lady which is why she is one of a most favourite animated characters.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
3. Jack Skellington
Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town who discovers there is a land called Christmas Land when he slips through a portal door in the woods. Created by Tim Burton Jack is a tall thin skeletal figure that at first glance looks a little frightening but once his character begins to emerge we realise that we really like him.
Jack who is voiced by Chris Sarandon tries to convince the townsfolk of Halloween Land that Christmas is good fun, while in order to prove it he has Santa kidnapped and brought hostage to Pumpkin Land so he can fly around the world himself to leave gifts for the children.
The plan backfires with mayhem ensuing, while Jack's plan threatens the existence of Christmas itself. Jack means well, he doesn't mean to hurt anyone he simply gets carried away in the moment. Accompanied by his love interest Sally he does eventually put things right by freeing Santa, while much to our approval he also gets the girl in the end. A great character well worth exploring we think!
2. Polar Bear
This has to be the most loveable Polar bear ever as when a little girl drops her teddy bear into his pit at the zoo he magically turns up at her bedroom window in the night to return it. The story by Raymond Briggs begins where the Polar bear falls into the sea as a cub and becomes lost. He is picked up by a passing ship then taken to London Zoo where he remains until now.
The Polar bear is a magical character who loves to play with the little girl, while as in its predecessor The Snowman film the bear takes to the sky carrying the little girl with him. They fly over the rooftops having lots of fun then meet up with The Great Bear who is a constellation of stars that comes to life. The Great Bear leads the Polar Bear to water pointing to a star in the sky that he must follow in order to get home to his family.
We really felt for the Polar Bear willing him to find his way home and ultimately he did which was amazing to see as he cuddled up to the bears in the snow who greeted him. This lovely Polar Bear is really the star of the film with his friendship with the little girl portraying the festive message that we are all creatures of this earth, who all deserve to be with our families and loved.
1. James the Little Boy
The Snowman is a beautiful film that was originally released in 1982 but has become a firm Christmas family favourite. It is the story of a little boy, James who builds a snowman on Christmas Eve that magically comes to life and takes James flying high into the air until they reach The North Pole. There they join the snowmen's Christmas Party that is visited by none other than Father Christmas who gives James a lovely scarf as a gift.
We think in our imaginations we would all love to be James spending time with the magical snowmen, while also meeting Father Christmas. He is one lucky boy and his personality shines through in the film in that he knows just how lucky he is. His reaction when he gets up the next day to find the magical christmas snowman has melted is very touching. His face is pitifully sad to find his friend whom he had such a fantastic adventure with is no more.
The film ends where James discovers the scarf that Santa gave him in his pocket proving to him that he did not dream his adventure but that it actually did happen. The music and musical effects in this lovely film are key to its success as the film other than these is silent with no dialogue. None the less James's sweet character is easily recognisable making him one of our favourites from these top christmas animations.
There are plenty more christmas characters worthy of praise, but we would be here all day trying to review the huge pile. We'd just like to name a few if the current list isn't to your christmas satisfaction:
- The Grinch - For he was blind but by the end who could see - the grumpy hermit from 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' (1966)
- Anna - The fearless and optimistic girl from 'Frozen' (2013)
- Frosty - The joyful snowman in the 1969 short animation - Frosty the Snowman