The central question of Arthur Christmas is almost as old as the holiday itself: How does Santa do it — for real? The family film’s answer, which is slightly less than traditional, involves gizmos, networking, a control room that looks like the future of NASA and a sleigh that could have soared out of Star Trek.
“Before any designs existed, the persistent image in my head was the gigantic craft from Independence Day,” writer Peter Baynham said in an e-mail to Wired.com, discussing Santa’s sci-fi conveyance in Arthur Christmas. “But instead of being packed with heartless aliens bent on mankind’s destruction, it contained a million elves intent on delivering Christmas presents. And it would be red. That seemed important.”
It’s more than just red — it’s filled with every possible gadget a geek would dream of needing to bring millions of presents to children on Christmas Eve, including a video skin that makes it invisible, a food gun that feeds pesky pets to silence them and totally green technology that turns milk and cookies into fuel.
Check out the public-service announcement above detailing NASA technologies that were (sort of) used in the film, then click through the gallery to see early production designs for the S-1 and its environs.
Arthur Christmas, rated PG, opens Wednesday.