Cert PG 96mins Stars 4

This animated festive fairytale is a parcel of big-hearted fun, and as a delivery from the co-creator of the madcap Despicable Me cartoons, it’s a surprisingly moving affair.

Rooted in dark European fairytales and set in the 18th century, a wealthy man exiles his lazy son Jasper, to a remote island where he must establish a successful postal service to earn a return home.

In the freezing depths of the local forest Jasper meets a fearsome woodsman, an encounter to have enormous repercussions for the local townsfolk and their children.

A cast including Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons and  Joan Cusack give voice to the US looney tunes style slapstick and energy, with a sprinkling of modern pop tunes and humour.

Plus its charm and sentimental belief in the innate goodness of people owes a huge debt to director Frank Capra and his Christmas classic, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Santa would undoubtedly give this a stamp of approval.