James McAvoy is to play the lead role in Aardman Animations' 3D family comedy Arthur Christmas.
The story tells how Santa delivers all his presents around the globe in one night - via a high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole.
The cast will also feature Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen.
McAvoy plays Arthur, the youngest son of Santa who is the only one in his family still captivated by the magic of Christmas. Laurie will play Arthur's older brother Steve, heir to the Santa operation who has introduced military-style precision to the North Pole outfit.
Broadbent plays Santa, with Nighy as his 136-year-old father, Grandsanta. Jensen will play Bryony, a lowly elf from the Giftwrap Battalion and Staunton stars as Mrs. Santa.
Arthur Christmas will be co-directed by Barry Cook and Sarah Smith, with the latter co-writing with Peter Baynham.
The movie is scheduled for release on 23 November, 2011.