It’s Blogmas day 5, so today we’re talking about Christmas/holiday movies!
We’re getting to the point in the season when all I want to do when I’m home is wrap myself in a fuzzy blanket and watch Christmas movies with a cup of tea. I haven’t done it yet because the other human in my house isn’t on board, but I know what I’ll be doing on the nights he works.
So here we go… my top 10 Christmas movies, in no particular order:
An 80s classic! It’s the classic Christmas Carol with a distinctly 80s yuppie twist. It stars Bill Murray as Frank Cross (Scrooge), Karen Allen as his do-gooder love interest, and Bobcat Goldthwait as Eliot Loudermilk (Bob Cratchit). Carol Kane also makes a brilliant appearance as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and it might be the best role of her career. She prances around in a sparkly Glenda-esque gown beating the hell out of Bill Murray at every available opportunity. Sure, this has the cheesiest ending ever, but it’s a Christmas movie. It’s to be expected.
You should already notice a pattern here: I freaking love A Christmas Carol. I don’t think that Dickens is the literary genius my freshman lit professor tried to convince us he was, but he nailed it with this story.
Anyway, the Muppet version of anything is superior to the human-only version. It’s science.
This movie stars Michael Caine as Scrooge, and yes, he sings and dances. Because if you’re going to sign on to a Muppet movie, you have to sing and dance. It’s the rules. There aren’t really any other notable humans in this movie, but it doesn’t bother me. Kermit is Bob Cratchit, Waldorf and Statler take on the role Jacob Marley normally plays, but they’re the Marley brothers and they have their own musical number. Sam Eagle plays a Georigian British headmaster… badly, because he talks about the American Way. Gonzo and Rizzo the rat narrate the whole thing and provide things like humor and context. They stay shockingly true to the source material, and this might be my favorite version of this story. Hell, it might be my favorite Christmas movie period.
A modern classic, Elf is the story of a human baby adopted by elves. Lucky for us the human baby grew up to be Will Farrell, so he’s hilarious. This movie also stars James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel and, in the best cameo of his career, Peter Dinklage. So, so good, and eternally quotable like basically everything Will Farrell does.
“IT’S SANTA! I KNOW HIM!!”
Another modern classic, this is a British movie that follows the lives of a bunch of different people in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some fall in love, some fall out of love, some go on epic sexcations to the exotic and mysterious city of Milwaukee. I honestly don’t know why I love this movie so much, other than it stars so many of my favorite Britsh actors. I’m not one for rom-coms or cheesy love nonsense, but there’s something about this movie that speaks to me. I also love seeing Kiera Knightly before she got her teeth fixed, Andrew Lincoln before he fought zombies and Martin Freeman before he teamed up with Benedict Cumberbatch. Basically, before they were all famous. If you’ve never seen this you need to check it out at least once.
Some might argue that this is a Halloween movie, but in my world it applies to both holidays and I watch it accordingly. I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid, and every time I watch it I wonder how Tim Burton ever talked Disney into making it.
This is the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, getting bored with his own holiday wanders into Christmas Town and decides to take over Christmas. This is problematic, not only because he decides to kidnap Santa, but also because his town doesn’t have the holly jolly sensibility to pull of making Christmas. They make hats out of roadkill to give to kids, and the toys they make come to life at attempt to eat their recipients. It’s pretty dark, but it’s also beautiful. There’s something about stop motion animation that I love, and this is no exception. The music is gorgeous and haunting and kind of set the tone for the rest of Danny Elfman’s career, and the whole moral of the story is that you should appreciate what you have. It’s fabulous and I never get tired of it.
Do we really need to talk about why I love this movie so much? I feel like it’s pretty much universal.
You can argue that this isn’t a Christmas movie, but you’d be wrong.
It has everything a Christmas movie needs: a smart, witty lead, a Christmas party that goes awry, terrorism, killing and a touching reunion. Also, it takes place on Christmas Eve. You can’t get much more Christmasy than that. My holiday season doesn’t officially begin until I see Hans Gruber falling from Nakatomi Tower.
I’ve always been a little bit twisted, and I partially blame this movie.
The first time I saw it I was really young; I couldn’t have been more than 3. I immdiately fell in love with Gizmo, like you do, but I also really loved the “evil” versions, the actual Gremlins. I thought they were just misunderstood. So what if they wreaked havoc and killed people? They couldn’t be all bad. I know a lot of my peers were scared of them, and some people classify this as a horror movie, but to me it’s just another feel good holiday film. Also: how dumb do you have to be to ignore the warnings of an ancient Chinese dude? Come on man. Get it together.
Kevin McCallister is a god.
I was pretty young when this came out and we went to see it in the theater. That was a huge treat; we never went to the movies. I remember coming out and feeling more powerful than I ever had before. It had never occurred to me that kids could outwit or win against adults. That notion was reveletory.
Watching this as an adult raises some interesting questions, like how in the hell do you not check all of the bedrooms when you’re leaving for vacation? How do you get all the way to the airport and not realize that one of your kids is missing? But the entire plot of the movie would have been ruined if they’d noticed earlier, so I’m not mad about it.
Also, John Candy. You are missed.
This is another one you can say isn’t a Chrismas movie, but again, you’d be wrong.
It takes places at Christmas, and a bunch of the stuff that happens is during Christmas events, like when the chick falls off the roof and lands on the switch to light the tree. It’s funny in a really macabre way. Also, Catwoman. The good Catwoman, not Halle Berry in a weird outfit doing flips or Anne Hathaway in some dumb looking goggles breaking into places.
This is another Tim Burton movie so it’s dark and distinctly un-Christmas like. God bless you Mr. Burton.
So this is my must-see list at Christmas. What’s on your list?