There are hundreds of Christmas movies out there. Quite possibly too many. Definately too many to watch all of them during the Christmas season. Never fear, here’s a list of just five classics everyone should watch, whether you’re a Christmas stan or not.
Disclaimer: No, Die Hard Is Not On This List
Before anyone humbugs about the lack of Die Hard on this list... a Christmas movie has to be about Christmas. Christmas has to play a role in the plot. It has to be pivtol to, or a good part of, the main conflict of the story. The resolution to the conflict will generally involve themes relating to Christmas. These themes generally include, but are not limited to:
- Finding hope in dark times.
- Doing good things for others.
All that jazz. Call me a Grinch, but it’s not enough for me to stick a bit of snow and a pine tree in a movie and say it’s a Christmas movie. When I first started this list, I was tenmpted to include The Disapearance of Haruhi Suszimya, but taking place at Christmas does not a Christmas movie make and Haruhi doesn’t quite meet all those other criteria, so by my own standards I had to leave it out. For the same reason, I’m leaving out Lady & The Tramp, Toy Story, the first Harry Potter movie, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns and Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
And if you raised an eyebrow at any of those being Christmas movies, this list begs to differ.
5. Miracle On 34th Street
Kris Kringle, claiming to be the real Santa Claus, is hired as a store santa on 34th street. He is kind to all the children and loved by everyone who comes across him. Almost everyone that is. It’s not long before the innocent man, through a cruel misunderstanding, is arrested.
I didn’t think legal thriller and Christmas movie went together, but somehow this works. It’s a simple, yet charming story.
4. Arthur Christmas
Arthur Christmas is an animated film in which ‘Santa’ is a mantle or a job title that is passed down from generation to generation. The family, naturally, is riddled with drama – with a grandfather who thinks he knows best, the current Santa Claus who doesn’t want to let the title go, a son whose desperate for his turn in the limelight, and the titular Arthur who just wants to be genuinely generous and kind.
When Santa accidently misses one child while delievering presents, it’s up to Arthur, Santa’s youngest son, to deliver the gift before Christmas morning dawns. Maybe, just maybe, the family can solve its issues long enough to do what needs to be done.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
I like to think of this as a pre-Christmas Christmas movie: the perfect transition from Halloween to Christmas, if that sort of thing matters to you. Despite the monsters, the skeletons, the werewolves, and the boogie man, The Nightmare Before Christmas is fundamentally about not losing your sense of self. Or, if you prefer, it’s about a dead man having a mid-life crisis.
When Jack Skeleton, the King Of Halloween, discovers the Christmas holiday he loves it so much he decides to incorporate it into his own holiday. What follows is hijinks of the best kind as monsters attempt to figure out this whole ‘christmas’ thing and do it the only way monsters know how.
2. Muppet’s Christmas Carol
I’ve always been a bit of a Muppets fan, and this movie is the reason why. Cruel and greedy Scrooge has one night to turn his life around or be doomed to perition. Three ghosts take him on a journey through his past, present, and future.
Muppet’s Christmas Carol remains the best of all the Muppet movies and is heralded as one of the best adaptations of A Christmas Carol ever made. Michael Cane plays a brilliant Scrooge, taking his performance completely seriously despite acting opposite dead-eyed puppets. Whether you’re a muppets fan or not, this is a fantastic classic that you should give a try if you haven’t already.
As of the 11th Decemeber, the missing song Love Is Gone has been restored into the movie on Disney Plus so there is no better time to watch it than now. You need to go to the extras section and select ‘Watch full version.’ (This isn’t sponsored, I swear, I just really, really love this movie) If you don’t know why this song is so important, be sure to read my article on it (but watch the movie first! That matters more)
If I had to describe this movie in one word: Adorable. It’s almost too sweet, hitting that spot where you tear up and smile and shiver all at once. Giving a similar vibe to The Emperor’s New Groove, it follows a spoilt postman who is sent to a distant, unplesant town of Smeerenburg in isolation for a year to be taught a lesson in humility. While there, he makes the accqauintance of the solarity toymaker, Mr Klaus. When the two of them team up to give toys to the town’s children, heir developing friendship literally creates the classic Christmas traditions.
Its charming story culminates in an emotional ending that hits like a freaking train. I tell everyone to watch this film, no matter their age, and it’s one I’ll come back to again and again.
You read to the end! I tip my hat to you.
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