Arthur, Santa and their helpers

*Christmas came early recently at SONY’s New York headquarters recently. There was caroling, egg nog, hot apple cider, candy canes, assorted candies, fruit cake, gingerbread houses, a Christmas tree, Christmas decorations and good cheer all around. However, the main reason for the gleeful gathering was to watch 35 minutes of the 3D, CG-animated family comedy, “Arthur Christmas.”

The fun-filled film poses an answer to the age old question of, “How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?” and gives new meaning the term, “no kid left behind.”

The film will definitely appeal to this twenty-first century wired generation. Santa’s son, Arthur, is introduced as a hands on worker in the ultra-high tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole.

When this operation misses one child out of hundreds of millions, Arthur – the least capable Claus – embarks on a humorous mission against the clock to deliver the last present before Christmas morning.  Among those bringing the characters alive with their voices, they are James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Saunton and Ashley Jensen; in addition to a number of multi-ethnic elves.

SONY is known to pulling out all the stops when it comes to promoting their films. People are still talking about the “30 Days of Night” promo dinner where we all had to eat in the dark. The dinner for the vampire movie was held in the restaurant at the Regency Hotel, following its screening. And I kid you not, it was pitch black dark. Not before or after have I experienced such a unique dining event. It was definitely not for the faint of heart. One writer wrote, “I swear to you, it was one of the trippiest nights of my life…”

Before the release of “The Taking of Pelham 123,” starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, SONY arranged for the journalists to tour the New York City underground subway system, with MTA representatives as our guide. We all boarded a special train after seeing the film that took us to a specified station. After spending time in the conductor’s cabin and the train came to a stop, we all found ourselves in dusty cave caverns and tunnels that had not been used for almost a century. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. At the City Hall Station, where the first subway station was built, there was classic tiles and a beautiful ornate stained glass skylight. Now, that one I still have nightmares about, being lost in one of those caverns and not ever seeing the light of day because some of us did venture out on our own paths. So stayed tunes-I’m sure SONY has some more movie fantasy trivia up its sleeve.