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
Watch the trailer ...