Santa's Apprentice favours traditional storybook style animation.
Santa's Apprentice favours traditional storybook style animation. Contributed

Santa's on the silver screen

YOU know Christmas is upon us when the big guy in the red suit hits the screen.

This year two films face-off in the race for the Christmas box office cash, Santa's Apprentice and Arthur Christmas.

While the latter goes all out with CGI animations and 3D, Santa's Apprentice is a more modest affair.

The French-Australian created film favours traditional storybook style animation over anything flashy.

It may be simple but it is stylishly beautiful with hand-drawn, watercolours scenes that hark back to animations from years gone by.

It's sweet and pretty rather than epic and eye-popping.

The central storyline revolves around Santa being forced to retire and choose a child who will take his place as his successor.

He must be an orphan and have a pure heart.

The Santa we see here isn't the usual jolly Santa found in most Christmas films but rather more flawed and multi-faceted.

This is both a blessing and curse, as his grumpiness jars with the sweet and innocent tone the film is filled with.

It's a sweet and heart-warming story without tipping too far into the saccharine and it's nice to see a Christmas film where the opening scenes feature the Opera House and a host of Aussie accents including Shane Jacobson, Magda Szubanski, Georgie Parker and Delta Goodrem.

Santa's Apprentice ...

Stars: Shane Jacobson, Magda Szubanski, Delta Goodrem

Director: Luc Vinciguerra

Rated: G

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Watch the trailer ...

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