Merry Christmas! Another year gone and another year of great movies! Well, at least movies that made a whole bunch of money. I know you have better things to do this holiday season than read an article about movies. Although, if you are reading this, it means you’re like me and this time off school and work is great for catching up on all the great cinema. If that’s the case, read on! I’m going to give you my list of great movies to watch during this Christmas break. And to stay in the season, we are going to keep this list to family friendly, holiday-centered films.
Rise of the Guardians
This is one of the most underrated films of my lifetime. Don’t worry, I’m not being hasty or extreme when I say that. Honestly, I believe that and it’s not an uncommon belief. For example, film.com put this as their number 10 most underrated movie of 2012, saying, “The financial outlook for this intoxicating fantasy adventure right now is fairly bleak. That’s a shame, because it represents a real attempt on DreamWorks’ part to abandon their pop culture-reference schtick in favor of genuinely inventive storytelling.”
“Rise of the Guardians is one of the best underrated films this year” gamefaqs.com
“Rise of the Guardians - The most underrated Dreamworks movie” A review on tvtropes.com
“Criminally underrated, it's one of the most earnest and childlike (in a good way) films by Dreamworks.” pixarplanet.com
“Holiday heroes come together in an underrated animated film.” The Examiner
You get the point. Although this movie isn’t specifically about Christmas - in fact it actually takes place during Easter time - still seems to carry a holiday spirit. Santa, being the big burly Russian, brings with him a sense of wonder to the film. Happy, heartwarming, genuine, childlike wonder. If you haven't seen this movie, go buy it and watch it. Don't rent it, buy it. I am that confident you will love it.
I’ll be completely honest, I didn't love Elf the first or even second time I watched it. Yet, during the holiday season I find myself quoting it every day. Will Ferrell does a great job capturing the excitement that children show and adults feel but are too “mature” to show. It’s fun for every child that watches it and might even make mom and dad crack a smile. With an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, I am safe to say most people enjoyed this movie. It really isn't a smart movie or ground breaking in any way, but it will most definitely help you feel the holiday spirit.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Now, this one might seem a little odd to suggest for the Christmas season. The opening song is “This is Halloween” sung by goblins, scary clowns, and the skeleton king. But if you really try and take away a message from this movie, I think you’ll be happy with the holiday spirit it portrays. The song “What’s This?”, sung by the main character when he discovers Christmas Land, will help you find the joy in the small wonderments of this season. It’s spooky and I watch it every Halloween, but I think there is something to be said about the message Tim Burton was trying to get across with these characters.
1947’s Miracle on 34th Street
Talk about heartwarming! This is everything you love about this season wrapped up into one great movie. Yeah, it’s cheesy and maybe a little eye-rolling, but isn't Christmas kind of like that anyway? Kris Kringle aka Santa Clause is portrayed perfectly by Edmund Gwenn. He is the perfect grandpa and the happiest friend you could ask for. The message, although kind of up in your face, is one of the best to remember this holiday season. I know it’s old, but if you haven't seen this movie, treat yourself to a genuinely family friendly and heartwarming story.
You know all those Christmas songs you love? The ones played every year, sung by some old guy? Well, that old guy is the one and only Bing Crosby. And that’s who stars in this wonderful Christmas Classic. Again, it’s old and some people don't like watching old movies. To them, I say you aren't a true movie lover - but that’s a topic for another day. What is so great about White Christmas is that it might look and feel old, but you can’t help but love it anyway. When you watch it, you might be rolling your eyes at the beginning, but by the end you are asking “Why don't they make movies like this anymore?” Singing, dancing, and acting. These 1950’s stars could do it all! If it’s snowing outside and you want to drink hot chocolate while cuddled up in a warm blanket and want to watch a movie, choose White Christmas. You won’t regret it.
Well, there you go! My Christmas movie watch list. I hope your Christmas this year is as cheesy and heartfelt as all these cinematic wonderlands. Merry Christmas and thanks for reading.