Sony to make animated ‘Christmas’ pic

James McAvoy to star in 3D 'Arthur' for Aardman Animation

Sony Pictures Animation has compiled a list of Brits who will lend their voices to Aardman Animation’s 3D CG-animated pic “Arthur Christmas,” led by James McAvoy as the title character.

Joining McAvoy will be Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen.

Set on Christmas night, the toon centers on Arthur, the son of Santa, who helps save Christmas. Laurie will voice the character Steve, the older brother of Arthur and heir to the Christmas throne, with Broadbent voicing Santa.

Pic is directed by Sarah Smith from a screenplay by Smith and Peter Baynham.

Barry Cook is co-director, with Steve Pegram as producer.

Exec producers on the toon are Carla Shelley and Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton.

In a statement about the group of actors assembled for the toon, Smith said, “Not only are they all terrifically funny, charming and characterful, but they have also brought an emotional subtlety and depth that gives the film great heart.”

Sony plans for a Nov. 23, 2011, release.

Aardman also is teaming with Sony on stop-frame pic “The Pirates!”

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