This is by no means a comprehensive list of the best Christmas films ever. This list is more of a feel good list. These of the five films I look forward to watching each Christmas season. Unfortunately some holiday classics most critics would credit as Christmas musts did not make the list. There is no Miracle on 34th Street. It’s a Wonderful Life and even Elf are also unaccounted for. More than anything, this list connects with the nostalgia of my childhood. These are the five films I look forward to catching every Christmas season.
Santa Is Coming To Town
This movie showcases the classic “hero’s Journey” plot. A young man that doesn’t believe he’s all that special, ends up fulfilling a grand destiny as he experiences personal growth throughout his journey. This story would rival most epic fantasies. You have a capable and dastardly villain, an interesting protagonist, and fun supporting characters along the journey. This is before you add in all the magical elements of Christmas into the story. This animation has a lot of humor and is overall, just a fun movie to watch this time of year.
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Of course Rudolph and his story will insight nostalgia for most adults in the Christmas. His story is a very human story, no irony intended. He is a misfit and is rejected by his society. He has to learn how to deal with rejection and grow into accepting himself while society adjusts to the fact that he is a part of them. This is a universal tale that can resonate with everyone.
This movie always brings memories of decorating the Christmas tree after thanksgiving. But besides all of the personal reasons for loving this Christmas tale, this film is about a young man’s journey to discovering an appreciation for his family. All he ever wanted was to be alone and away from the torment of his brothers and the nagging of his mother. But once he gets his wish, he begins to realize that the world is scary. He ultimately has to face his fears, defend his turf, and find that deep down he really does love his family.
Family is something we all should cherish. But sometimes we take them for granted. So in several ways, this movie about a little boy’s journey to appreciating his family personifies how convoluted our own lives can become. It’s a good reminder to take the time to cherish family members while they are still around.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Whether it’s the original Dr. Seuss version or live-action version starring Jim Carrey, both are classic Christmas tales. Believe it or not, How the Grinch Stole Christmas boasts some of the holiday’s seasons best themes, selflessness, forgiveness, and goodwill towards your fellow man. It’s also a story of redemption. All of these themes play into a religious element of the movie as well.
The Year Without A Santa Claus
I watch this movie every year. Yes I know I’m an adult and it’s for children. I like the Miser Brothers and their shenanigans. But if you strip this animation down to its core, neglect the holiday elements of Santa Claus and his magic, this animation fits a classic tale. The basic plot of this feature is an old seasoned veteran who is feeling unappreciated and worn-down. So he decides that since no one cares about his efforts anymore, he was going to take a break. Ultimately several people reach out and thank him for his efforts. While it is true this animation is catered for a child audience, what a great way to teach a very adult theme.