A list of timeless Christmas films to get into the holiday spirit
Grab a bucket of popcorn and pour out the chips, it’s time for a movie marathon!
Oh the joys of Christmas has PRESENT-ed itself in the form of a long weekend this year. Yes, in case you haven’t noticed, Christmas AND New Year holiday falls on a Friday! Three cheers to the silver lining at the end of a rough 2020.
Now that we’re already at Christmas week, the excitement grows every minute, and each hour that passes is counted. Malls are decked to the fullest with sparkling lights and baubles, and the annual Christmas playlist is making its merry rounds once more.
If these somehow don’t get your spirits up, then perhaps a catalogue of family-friendly Christmas movies might. From classic comedies to animated favourites, these films will light up the season like the bulbs on a Christmas tree.
So tuck yourself in for a cosy night. Christmas is coming and you only have a few days left to binge on all these films!
Home Alone (1990)
As the McCallisters rush to catch their holiday flight to Paris, they would realize one very important thing…they left Kevin at home, and alone!
The youngest of the family and also the most mischievous, Kevin initially enjoys his new-found freedom as the only occupant of the house. That is, until he finds himself in a pickle when two (very clumsy) robbers tries to break in! Determined to hold the fort, Kevin sets a series of booby traps to undermine the Wet Bandits’ break-in until help arrives.
Though a Christmas comedy at its truest, Home Alone also sheds lessons on gratitude and family beneath the humour.
Just FYI, this year would mark 30 years since Home Alone was released!
Quote: “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!”
Anything Will Ferrell will often land you in a ball of laughter, and Elf is no different.
The movie tells the story of Buddy, a young human boy in an orphanage who is inadvertently taken back to the North Pole. Raised by elves all his life, Buddy soon finds out that he is adopted and is sent to find his real father in New York.
Unfamiliar with this new way of life, Buddy tries to cope not only with the big city life, but also with resentment from his new family. Despite a series of comical accidents, his sincerity and honest nature eventually shines through and the Christmas spirit is felt in all those whose lives he’s touched.
Quote: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Ooof, by its name this movie doesn’t seem too pleasant, does it? Not to worry, as with every family-friendly Christmas movie, this too has a happy ending.
The story of the Grinch is one that’ll make you sympathise with the bad guy, especially after you uncover why The Grinch became who he is.
Still affected by the trauma of being bullied as a child, the Grinch grew up with bitterness towards Christmas and a mean-spiritedness that everyone at Whoville dislikes. Now an adult living a solitary life on Mount Crumpit, the Grinch by chance meets Cindy Lou Who, a young girl who by her actions and empathy tries to restore the Christmas spirit in the Grinch.
An animated adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas was released in 2018. Titled The Grinch, the animated film varies slightly in storyline, but the values of Christmas are at the core of both movies.
Quote: “Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. Double hate. LOATHE ENTIRELY!”
The Polar Express (2004)
What would you do if a steam train to the North Pole appeared at your doorstep on Christmas Eve?
Strange question indeed, but that’s the magic of the Polar Express. It only arrives to those who truly believe.
The Polar Express is an animated adventure film that interestingly, is also the first all-digital capture film.
The film narrates the story of a boy’s journey on The Polar Express, whose tumultuous ride to the North Pole is marked by a series of adventurous events and eccentric characters, including a hobo camping on the train of the roof (you gotta watch it to know more).
At its very core, the film centres around one fundamental question: do you believe?
Quote: “One thing about trains, it doesn’t matter where you’re going, what matters is deciding to get on.”
Every story has a beginning, an origin to how things came to be. Everything, and everyone. Including Santa Claus.
Light-hearted, humorous, and heart-warming, Klaus is a breath of fresh air among the catalogue of feel-good Christmas movies. The film brings new perspective to the conception of Santa Claus, and gives a human touch to the mythically mysterious magical Christmas icon.
Born to a privileged family, Jesper Johansson is sent by his father on a character-building quest to the faraway town of Smeerensburg. There, he strikes a friendship with a recluse woodsman by the name of Klaus (sound familiar???). Motivated by their own good will to spread cheer and happiness, the two navigate through challenges to deliver as much presents as possible to the townsfolk.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Quote: “We need to show people that a true, selfless act always sparks another.”
Arthur Christmas (2011)
So you know about Santa, but do you know about Santa’s operations? Here is yet another fresh take of what goes on behind-the-scenes every Christmas. Spoiler: it’s not always ho-ho’s, but brouhaha’s as well.
Now the story isn’t focused entirely on Santa, but instead on his son, Arthur. Arthur’s role in the mix of things is to reply the letters to Santa, and it’s a job which he takes great pride in. However, when a mishap on Christmas causes a little girl in a small town in England to miss out on her present, Arthur steps up to deliver her gift personally.
After a turbulent journey and a roller coaster of emotions, the spirit of Christmas prevails, and all is well once more on Christmas day.
Quote: “Yes! Do believe in Santa. He is real! He is the greatest man ever! And he can get around the world to every child without a single reindeer getting roasted.”
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
If you’ve been told the tale of Mr. Scrooge as a child, then you’ll love this animated version.
As an old man, Ebenezer Scrooge has always been a Christmas spoiler. Grumpy, miserly, and often very selfish, Ebenezer is devoid of kindness and is numb to all of the season’s joy and merriment. That is, until he gets an unexpected visit from three spirits: one from the past, one in the present, and another from the future. After the haunting visits on Christmas Day, will scrooge finally learn to open his heart to goodness?
Many adaptations of A Christmas Carol has been produced, but as far as animated versions go, this 2009 adaptation sits right at the top.
Quote: “Peace on Earth. Good will to all men.”