Arthur Christmas wins top animation Golden Tomato

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Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

With 92% positive reviews in 2011, Aardman Animations’ “Arthur Christmas” has been given the year’s top Golden Tomato Award from the popular Rotten Tomatoes site, which ranks movies by how well film critics receive them.

“Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength,” the site said Friday.

Sarah Smith’s movie was also the fourth on the list of top British films, and the only one among the top five.

The partially animated The Muppets (96% positive ratings) was third on the list of Golden Tomato Awards for films in general release.

“Clever, charming, and heartfelt, The Muppets is a welcome big screen return for Jim Henson’s lovable creations that will both win new fans and delight longtime devotees,” Rotten Tomatoes said.

Also at 96%, the live-action Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ended Pixar-Disney’s four-year streak as the top Golden Tomato in wide release. Earlier winners were Ratatouille in 2007, Wall-E in 2008, Up in 2009, and Toy Story 3 in 2010.

In fact, Pixar films were shut out entirely this year among the top five in animation. However, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (91% positive ratings) wound up in second place. “Short, nostalgic and gently whimsical, Winnie the Pooh offers young audiences — and their parents — a sweetly traditional family treat,” said organizers.

A favorite with many critics, Rango was in third place in animation with 88%. “Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world,” the site said.

In fourth place was Puss in Boots (83%): “It isn’t deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle and effervescent charm.”

The sole sequel in the animated top five was fifth-place Kung Fu Panda 2 (81%). Said Rotten Tomatoes: “The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy and visual sparkle to compensate.”

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