These are the best all-around Christmas movies that are always worth re-watching during the Christmas season.
It’s that time of year again. People are starting to set up their Christmas trees, wreaths, and outdoor decorations. The kids can’t wait to go see Santa at the store, and everyone is hoping for some snow for sledding, snowman building, and snowball fights (Aussies can go for a Christmas surf).
The following list of productions showcases a few of the best Christmas-time screen entertainment. There are hundreds of holiday-themed movies out there about jolly old Saint Nick and his elves and reindeer. But most are pretty mediocre. With so many Christmas films being made along with their sketchy reputation, a good one is hard to come by.
The few mentioned here are the ones that went far above and beyond the stereotype as well as the audiences’ expectations and found their way into our hearts. Some were made for children, some for the young at heart, and some to make anyone jolly.
Many feature or were even the first to introduce some of those repetitive yet catchy Christmas tunes we hear on the radio during this season, and all of them I’m sure will be running on TV before December 25th.
1 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
This old animated production remains the best rendition of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (which he does not accomplish by the way if you are unfamiliar with the story). The Grinch is a creature whose life is one of contempt, and one of the things which he despises is the entire notion of Christmas.
The short film gave us the classic song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Featuring the voice of Boris Karloff (who played Frankenstein’s monster in the original horror film) as the Grinch, this will always be an endearing classic. The story is also being remade into an animated film.
2 – The Polar Express (2004)
Starring Tom Hanks, The Polar Express tells the story of a boy who overcomes his fears, makes the adventure of a lifetime, has the privilege of seeing Santa Clause, and makes a few friends along the way. And what makes all his travels possible is his golden ticket (not the kind to get into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory) and the train called the Polar Express.
3 – Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone is really one that hits home with many of us. Featuring a beautiful musical score by John Williams (the composer for Star Wars and Jurassic Park), it is an action-packed comedy not about Santa and the elves but about a boy. It’s about a boy who hastily says some things which he really doesn’t mean and who finds that his sad wish is granted: he is left home alone.
This is a movie that tries to teach its audience that family is everything and that people should make amends for their disagreements.
4 – Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A TV movie just like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this production was brought to TV viewers in 1964 via the hard work put into making it by Rankin-Bass Productions. Rankin-Bass Productions were also the creators behind other classic Christmas specials such as The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Frosty the Snowman (1969), and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970).
This particular well-known and well-loved story is about a unique reindeer who was destined for greatness.
5 – Jingle All the Way (1996)
This holiday classic features some splendid acting talent, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Robert Conrad, and even Jake Lloyd (Anakin in Star Wars Episode I).
Like many of the classic Christmas films dear to our hearts, Jingle All the Way is a comedy – and a pretty good one at that. It’s all about a busy dad who procrastinates and finds himself doing some late Christmas shopping for his son. And it turns out he has to do a lot more to make his son happy.
6 – A Christmas Carol (1984)
Just one of numerous adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, this film is a masterpiece of acting, storytelling, and cinematography. It stars George C. Scott, and he is great in his lead role as Scrooge.
Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge is a character much like the Grinch: a stingy, unpleasant fellow who has a strong distaste for Christmas. But, like the Grinch, and through a series of strange visits, he has a change of heart.
7 – Elf (2003)
Elf is an absolutely hilarious film which is always re-shown on TV countless times during the holiday season, and it is always worth going back and watching it.
Will Ferrell, who is one of the stars in this year’s Christmas hit comedy Daddy’s Home 2, was cast in the lead role of Elf as Buddy, a human raised by Santa’s elves. It has its touching moments, its warm moments, and its side wrenching humorous moments.
8 – Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
One of the oldest of Christmas classics, this film and its lovely story have even inspired a remake. This is a story about proving the existence of that mythological figure of Santa Clause. And what better way to prove it than in a court of law? Of course, it is proven that Kris is the one and only Santa Clause.
9) The Santa Clause (1994)
The ’90s produced quite a few of our classic Christmas movies, such as Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, and The Santa Clause. Starring Tim Allen, this timeless Disney film is about a man accidentally bringing about the demise of one of the most beloved men on Earth, Santa.
Allen’s character finds himself gaining weight and enjoying cookies more. He eventually is told that he must take the place of Santa Clause. Like Home Alone, this film inspired a whole movie trilogy.
10 – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, this made for TV short film from the ’60s is a classic. It is a great story for young and old alike. Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree has become a common icon and home decoration.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the Peanuts‘ best-remembered stories. It features some beautiful scores such as “Christmas Time is Here” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” which were recorded with fresh, youthful vocals provided by the children who voiced the Peanuts.