The 10 Best Christmas Movies
Sep 26, 2004
Popular Products in MoviesThe Bottom Line From sentimental to silly, this list showcases the best movies for the Christmas season.
I dont know about anybody else, but for me Christmas movies are not completely limited to the immediate pre-Christmas season. I usually reserve my Christmas movie viewing for the month of December, but thats not a hard and fast rule.
My children, on the other hand, really dont care about seasons. If they happen to be in the mood for a Christmas movie, then thats the movie theyre going to ask for and watch.
I would be willing to bet that most people who celebrate Christmas also enjoy movies about this wonderful holiday. And for as many people as there are who enjoy Christmas movies, there are just as many compilations of top 10' lists.
So, for anybody interested here are my favorites!
#10Barbie in the Nutcracker
I have an almost four year old daughter, and she loves the pink princess and anything associated with her. A year and a half ago I purchased her this movie Barbie in the Nutcracker and it has been viewed nearly non-stopyear round. I am one of the increasingly rare moms who like Barbie and dont think shes a bad influence on little girls. In movies like this, shes actually a very good role model! Its an excellent childrens adaptation of a classic tale!
Most people have at least a passing knowledge of the story of the Nutcracker, though many variations abound. In this movie Clara (Barbie) and her little brother Tommy are being raised by their grandfatherDrosselmeyerafter the passing of their parents. Clara is given a wooden nutcracker by her aunt, and the Nutcracker comes to life and must battle the Mouse King. The Mouse King shrinks Clara who must go with the Nutcracker into his world to find the Sugar Plum Princess who can return her to her normal size.
#9The Santa Clause
Christmas can be a sentimental time, but it can also be a great time for humor. Movies like The Santa Clause can bring you a combination of the two that will tickle your funny bone and tug on your heartstrings. I normally dont associate Tim Allen with warm fuzzies, but he really did an excellent job of this movie.
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is divorced, but at least he gets to have his son for Christmas. Its not most peoples version of a traditional Christmas, complete with dinner at a diner rather than turkey at home, but that really doesnt bother Scott. What does bother him is when Santa falls off his roof and dies. As directed by his son (after reading a card in Santas pocket) Scott puts on Santas suit and takes on the persona of Santa Claus. Scott really doesnt think he wants to be Santa, and his ex-wife becomes scared of his odd behaviors and her sons insistence that Scott really is Santa.
#8The Star of Christmas
Yes, this is yet another childrens Christmas movie on my Top 10 list. I love childrens movies, especially those related to Christmas. With four little ones, childrens movies are the movies I see most. I LOVE all things VeggieTales, so when I saw that they had released this movie I grabbed it. I didnt read the back, didnt research the story, just paid full price and took it home. Thats how much I love and trust the content of VeggieTales videos. In The Star of Christmas the people at Big Idea Productions dont disappoint, they deliver a hilariously silly tale that gets down to what Christmas is really all about!
Millward Phelps (Larry the Cucumber) and Cavis Appythart (Bob the Tomato) are song writers in Londonlong ago. Cavis really wants to teach London how to love, and what better way to do that than to produce a huge musical spectacle complete with electric lights? When the church next door decides to hold a Christmas pageant the same nightDecember 24Cavis is upset. When he finds out they will have the Star of Christmas-a treasured artifactin their show hes terrified. Nobody will go to their show if they can go to one that has the Star. If theres only one star, and the church has it, how can they get it? What will they learn when they do?
As much as I love a sappy, sentimental Christmas movie there are times when something a little different is in order. The Ref is the most un-Christmas Christmas movie Ive ever seen. Its smart, witty, and leaves you cheering for the villain.
Gus (Denis Leary) is a cat burglar who botches a job and ends up taking hostages. What does he get? A bickering couple on their way home from a therapy session. How could he know that this kidnaping will bring him into the most dysfunctional family every? The family is trying to go on with their Christmas Eve dinner to avoid rousing suspicion, but the attempt is hilariousas Gus is forced into pretending to be a marriage counselor so the extended family wont catch on.
#6Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
I know most people find the original version of Miracle on 34th Street to be the finest version of this film, but I am one of the few who prefers the 1994 remake. It follows the original story pretty closely, but its got a different feel and a magic thats all its own. Through in the adorable Mara Wilson and for me this is a top choice!
Kris Kringle gets a job as the Coles Department Store Santa for their main store after their original Santa showed up drunk for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kris believes that hes Santa, but Dory (the head of special events for Coles) thinks hes crazy. Santas not real, and everybody knows iteven Dorys young daughter Susan. After everything Susan sees she wants to believe in Kris, but shes not sure. She decides to ask Kris for something that nobody else could give her, and if she gets it shell know that truth. Just days before Christmas some employees of a competing department store set Kris up to discredit Coles, and Kris is on trial to prove whether or not hes insane. How can Kris continue to give the world something to believe in?
Okay, now were getting to the sappy movies on my Top 10 Christmas Movies list! When I saw commercials for The Family Man starring Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni I thought it looked kind of cute, but it was definitely a renter. When I finally got around to seeing the movie, about two years ago, I fell in love. It was a sweet, tender, touching story of how sometimes what we think we want isnt really what we want.
Jack Campbell (Nicholas Cage) is a high-powered investment broker, with money to burn and too many women to count. There was a time when his life was simpler. His girlfriend hadnt wanted him to go overseas to study, but he did and they split up. A guardian angel of sorts sends Jack Campbell into an alternate reality, to the life he would have lived if he hadnt made the trip. Gone is the posh apartment and the fancy car, in its place is a home, a wife, and some kids. At first hes miserable, but by the time his angel sends him back to his real life he isnt sure he wants to go.
My mother-in-law bought this movie for my children to view when they are visiting her, and they fell in love quickly. Ive seen it many, many times myself and its got everything a movie needs to be truly greatheart. A hero who loves so completely that they sacrifice their own happiness for another. Its such a good lesson for little kids, whether its at Christmas time or all year long!
Billy cant talk, but that doesnt stop him from enjoying life. Well, life everywhere but in the barn of his grandfathers farm. Then Billy gets a heifer calf from Santa for Christmas and his fear of the barn is forgotten. When Billy and Annabelle accidentally break through a neighbors fence while sledding the mean-spirited neighbor demands Annabelle as payment. Billys grandfather sells a very sentimental music box (it belonged to Billys mother) to an antique shop to get the money to pay for her and get Annabelle back, Billy needs her. Also, Billys got a rich aunt (his fathers sister) who originally hadnt wanted Billy but now decides she does, and she ALWAYS gets what she wants. Aunt Agnes even convinced a judge that the farm is unsafe for Billy because he cannot talk. Without his voice, Billy will have to move in with Aunt Agnes. Is there enough magic in Santa to give Billy back his voice?
#3The Toy That Saved Christmas
Yes, I know that this is the second appearance of VeggieTales on my Top 10 Christmas Movies List, but who wouldnt love a Christmas movie filled with talking vegetables, super-silly songs, and a toy with a fully functional buzz saw built into his right arm? Last year, just before Christmas my youngest son had a serious ear infection my son decided to watch this movie over and over until he felt better. Im not kidding, I saw this movie more times than a sane person should. Just a warning, after repeated viewing youll find yourself saying things like, Ive come to step on your chickens...and soil your quilts!
Mean ol Mr. Nezzer has a toy factory, and hes made a television commercial designed to convince all the kids that they just wont be happy without a Buzzsaw Louiea toy with a fully functional buzz saw and a voice box that says things like, Billy has more toys than you. Why? Because according to Mr. Nezzer thats the true meaning of Christmas. Then a group of veggie kids stumbles over a runaway Buzzsaw Louie who just doesnt like the words that are coming out of his mouth. They all go in search of the true meaning of Christmas, but can they get the message to everyone in time?
This movie is punctuated by an extremely silly song featuring Larry, a bank robber, a savage Norseman (hes the one in charge of chicken stepping and quilt soiling) and Santa (Bob the Tomato).
#2National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
My husband is the type who really doesnt like to watch holiday movies year-round. For the most part, he doesnt really like to watch holiday movies. The rare exception to this is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. This movie is quite likely the funniest Christmas story ever told, taking a humorously irreverent angle on one of the most popular holidays in America!
Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) is intending to plan the PERFECT holiday get together, complete with all the family. Thats his wife and two children, his parents, his in-laws, and other assorted family members. Everything that can go wrong doesfrom the Christmas lights on the house not lighting to the overly dry turkey to the Rottweiler chasing a squirrel through their living room. The only thing that keeps Clark going is the thought of his bonus check, the one hes already written a check against to cover the cost of an in-ground pool for his family. What will happen when he finds out the bonus check isnt coming?
#1Its a Wonderful Life
Okay, okay, okay, I know youre all disappointed. Im sure everyone reading this knew that Id have this movie as my number one choice. Just about everybody I know has this movie high on the listif not atop it. I just cannot help but fall in love with the magic of Frank Capras tale of one man who thought his life was worthless. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it makes me thinkhow many lives have I touched that I might never know?
Yes, its sugary sweet, but thats why I like it. It is an enduring tale that has been loved for almost 60 yearsand will likely go on being loved for many generations to come.
I dont own this movie yet, but Ive rented it time and time againin addition to my yearly Christmas season viewing on television. I will ONLY view the original black and white version. Ive seen colorized versions of this movie advertised, but its the type of movie I dont want to see tampered with at all.
For anyone who has somehow missed this wonderful movie, the story is quite simple. Its a Wonderful Life opens with some angels (shown only as stars in a night sky) discussing a man in dangerGeorge Bailey. Through a flashback of sorts we get filled in on Georges lifesaving his brothers life only to lose his hearing, keeping the local druggist from giving a boy the wrong prescription, keeping a small time savings and loan open to offer people a choice that doesnt involved the greedy town banker, and so much more. The George gets a chance to see what nobody else haswhat the world would be like if he had never been born.
Whether you like sweet and sappy Christmas movies or smart and snappy Christmas movies, I think that just about anyone of any age can find a movie theyll like off of this list!
As always, I would love to have your comments on movies you think Ive overlooked!