Arthur Christmas (2011, dir. Sarah Smith)

Santa’s awkward younger son has to deliver an overlooked gift so that Christmas can be saved. Excellent, quirky and gently-subversive animation with heart and brains, delivering slapstick, pathos and some flashes of dark humour. Lots to enjoy, including shout-outs to other Aardman characters.

Dumbo (2019, dir. Tim Burton)

A failing circus buys a pregnant elephant; her baby has huge ears, allowing it to fly. Ambitious but mostly soulless attempt to make a non-musical live-action/CG remake of the 1941 original. Some heart, but this is mostly anodyne and clean, lacking the dark inventive touch of early Burton.

Trouble With The Curve (2012, dir. Robert Lorenz)

A grizzled baseball scout takes a road trip with his ambitious lawyer daughter. There’s nothing original in this sports/family/romance hybrid, but everything works fine; a professional job all around. Another Eastwood meditation on ageing, with a fine supporting cast.

Hugo (2011, dir. Martin Scorsese)

A boy lives in a railway station clock. Splendid family adventure, as well as a love letter to early cinema. Scorsese enjoying playing in a new genre and with some fresh cinematic toys, not least the remarkable use of 3D. Hugely recommended.

The Christmas Chronicles (2018, dir. Clay Kaytis)

After setting a trap to catch Santa, two squabbling siblings have to help him save Christmas. Patchy Yuletide offering with few surprises. Russell does what he can with an indifferent script, but this is no classic.

Paddington 2 (2017, dir. Paul King)

Paddington ends up in prison after being wrongly convicted of a treasure map theft. Machine-tooled sequel balancing community spirit, slapstick, musical numbers and a climactic train chase. Expertly done, with a fine cast, especially a gleeful Hugh Grant.