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The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Vivre Le Rêve2 comments
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

It’s that time of the year again. Merrymaking, friends, family, gift giving, eating and drinking – Christmas is most definitely upon us.

Christmas movies are a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit! Enjoy the best Christmas movies in no particular order, from old school classics like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life, to newer favorites like Elf and Arthur Christmas, for a festive evening at home.

I’ll admit, I also have that Christmas 24 TV channel on all the time over Christmas. I have a love for cheesy, predictable, cheaply made Hallmark Christmas movies. You know the ones where the two main characters find true love through a series of Christmas related mishaps? Usually involving a cute kid and the real father Christmas. Perfection.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

I am not exaggerating when I state that this is the best Christmas movie of all time! This is all despite some of the worst on screen singing in a musical of all time by Michael Caine – and some of the cheesiest song lyrics ever to grace our ears.

This movie is a masterpiece that celebrates a classic Charles Dickens tale, Christmas and Fun. It combines masterful storytelling with world class humour – with just a dash of pantomime fun.

Everyone needs to see this movie at least once in their lives. But you should preferably watch it once a year at Christmas, whilst snuggled up with loved ones and friends.

Polar Express (2004)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

A modern yet retro take on the Christmas theme. The ideals and hopes of one young boy with new acquaintances and friends, are all express-bound for the North pole on Christmas Eve. An almost ethereal town-scene is created as Santa and his elves bring a certain rational to the festive gift-giving extravaganza. A real North Pole community, a real Santa and real helpers assist the film to appeal to both old and young alike. Most of the characters learn something about themselves on this journey north, largely courtesy of Tom Hanks’ ticket collector but in the end the festive feeling of warmth and goodwill rounds off a quite delightful film.

 

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

An excellent re-telling of the Dickens’ classic. Also a wonderful reunion of classic Disney friends who have not appeared on the screen in a very long time. Characters from “Ichabod and Mr. Toad” appear in here (including Mr. Toad himself as Fezziwig) and of course, the original classic Disney villain, Pegleg Pete, take a terrific turn as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The Giant from Mickey & The Beanstalk is here as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Jiminy Cricket as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Goofy as Jacob Marley. The list of classic characters just goes on and on.

 

Home Alone (1990)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Introduce your kids early to the ‘Home Alone’ movie, and I can almost guarantee they will love it. More over, it will become a Christmas tradition in your home for years to come.

Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin, a young lad who feels like a fish out of water in a family who doesn’t treat him with any respect. This Christmas, he is accidentally left behind while his family flies to France on holiday. He isn’t all that upset about that, and enjoys all the trappings of being able to do what he likes in the house all by himself. However, he finds himself having to defend his home against a pair of idiotic burglars. Laughs and action in equal measure are ensured.

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

This is one of those films that divides opinions. For some it’s rubbish, for others it’s a masterpiece. In my household the Christmas season doesn’t truly start without having watched Christmas with the Kranks. It’s a fun movie about a couple trying to skip Christmas because their daughter has gone to join the peace corps, but the only problem is they are from a very traditional christmassy neighbourhood, who are adamant they will follow the Christmas traditions i.e. putting up frosty the snowman. Great fun, never seems to get old (we’ve watched it for over 10 years now) and full of true christmassy spirit! We absolutely love it!

 

Home Alone 2 (1992)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

‘Home Alone 2’ is an exception in the movie world, it’s one of those sequels that is every bit as good as the first, if not better.

The quite brilliant Macaulay Culkin reprises his role as Kelvin, whose family, as strange as it might seem, somehow manage to leave him ‘alone’. He makes it to the airport this time, but whilst his family hop on the plane to their holiday in Miami, Kevin takes the wrong plane to New York City. Of course, the resourceful kid ends up having the time of his life in the big apple, but there are lots of twists, turns and adventures along the way. The rest of the main original cast are also in here, including the hapless bandits who have escaped from jail, as well as a wonderful part for Tim Curry as a hotel manager.

It’s funny throughout, particularly heart-warming towards the end, and just good fun. As the second doesn’t follow on from the first, you can jump straight in and watch it without seeing ‘Home Alone’, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll want to watch it more than once.

 

Elf (2003)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Ferrell starts as Buddy, the ‘elf’ of the title, a baby mistakenly taken to the north pole and raised along with the rest of Santa’s elven helpers. As he grows up he can’t understand why he towers 4 feet over all the other elves, or why he doesn’t have pointed ears? Eventually, he learns of his origins and sets off to the big city to find his real father.

Once there, he becomes comically confused by the modern day interpretation of Christmas and starts to despair when the true spirit of Christmas seems to be lost. Think of this film as a cross between Dudley Moore’s ‘Santa Claus The Movie’ and Steve Martins ‘The Jerk’ and you will get the idea. Most of the fun in this film comes from Ferrell’s charming and at the same time manic performance, and he clearly carries the whole film, although the supporting cast are also strong.

A wonderful family film, this is one the most delightful Christmas films ever made!

 

Arthur Christmas (2011)

 

 

 

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

The plot centres around the dysfunctional Claus family – three generations of them, anyway – each beset by their own insecurities, age-related issues and family disputes, apart from the family matriarch, a kind of Christmas Wonder-Woman, clad in plaid sweaters and capable of phenomenal technical feats and knowledge.

Comparisons with that other animated Christmas features are inevitable, but where that was almost industrial in its portrayal of the Christmas concept, Arthur Christmas is delightfully cheeky and very British. Laughs abound, with a lot of fun being poked at Sat Navs, bright children, discordant family Christmas dinners, youthful enthusiasm and board games but, working on several levels, the film also examines frustrated ambition, competitive families and misguided motivations. It’s rare, but this film pulls off the trick of appealing to all ages yet avoiding sentimentality.

 

Miracle on 34th street (1994)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Out of all the films which have a Santa in them, I have to say that this is probably the best. The story is basically this; Kris Kringle is the department Santa at ‘Cole’s’ and when rival toy stores realise that they are losing business, they set about trying to get rid of what they consider to be, an old loony who claims that he is Santa. But they are very wrong.

The plot of the whole film is great, the acting can’t be faulted, especially from Richard Attenbourgh who plays the role of Santa very convincingly. If you are looking for a nice festive film that you can warm to immediately, and that the whole family can enjoy, then this is the film for you.

 

 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Griswolds, Clark is food additives expert who works for a company that doesn’t appreciate him. He sets high standards for holiday events that no one can live up to and is notorious for dragging his grudging family along on every painstaking detail of every scheme.

But now Clark just wants to stay at home in the snowy Chicago suburbs for a ‘fun, old-fashioned, family Christmas’ and he’s going to let nothing stop him. His enthusiasm for the holidays manages to infect the audience and you’ll be rooting for him the whole way. He’s an anti-Scrooge and if you’re having a Christmas crisis then you need to watch this movie. Any disasters can be overcome.

But that’s easier said than done. He didn’t bargain on bickering family members, a house covered in non-working Christmas lights, a seriously over-cooked turkey, snotty neighbors making fun of him or Cousin Eddie and his family turning up unannounced to sponge some Christmas cheer off him. This movie has become a Yuletide classic in this house and must be watched every year. Since Christmas is full of annual traditions this film is definitely one you should add to the list.

 

All 3 Tim Allen Santa Clause Movies (1994, 2002 & 2006)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

There are some movies that just have to be watched every Christmas, and this is one of them. It is a feelgood film for a feelgood time of year. The story is simple. Scott Calvin (note his initials) is a divorced father who frequently lets his young son down due to his busy working life. That is until he accidentally kills Santa Claus. To his disbelief and dismay, and his sons delight, he has to become the new Santa. The film follows his changing life and attitudes and shows the newly developing relationship between father and son. There is nothing taxing or complex about this movie, just a heartwarming, funny story that is ideal for all the family. Watch and enjoy.

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Jim Carrey stars as the onion eating Grinch, who resides upon mount crumpet. Who’s contempt for the happy-go-lucky people of Who-ville has made his heart 2 sizes too small. When he decides to sabotage Christmas for all the residents of Whoville he comes upon little Cindy-lou Who, who teaches him the value of Christmas and family gatherings etc. As the story unravels you find out why his heart is undersized, and why he shuts himself off from Whoville. Anthony Hopkins narrates. An all round feel good comedy, suitable for all ages.

 

Jingle All The Way (1996)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Who would have thought one of the greatest action hero’s of the cinema, would be in a Christmas kids film, about a father trying to get his son a turbo man doll for Christmas? Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Howard a man on a mission to get his son the present he has always wanted, TURBO MAN! Still even though it’s a kids film that doesn’t mean there is no action. It has comedy, action, happiness and a great level of Christmas fun.

 

Santa Paws 1 & 2 (2010 & 2012)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

It’s Disney, it’s got Santa Claus and talking dogs so how could it not be great family entertainment? Yes small children get locked in the basement by the wicked witch type character and yes Santa does appear to be on his deathbed but everything is made right in the end by love and the magic of Christmas, that’s what its all about. The movies tell a timeless story about love and Christmas in an enjoyable way and it’s great fun.

 

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

This is a wonderful story for the whole family. It’s brilliant from the word go, just one word of warning, really young children might get a bit scared of the baddie! What makes Rise of the Guardians such a fun movie to watch is that it has the same story concept that made Marvel’s The Avengers fantastic. Team up all your favorite heroes against a common enemy, in this case it’s not against the God of Mischief, but rather the Boogie Man himself.

We have all watched Santa and Easter Bunny movies, but when have we ever seen them teamed up? The Guardians are a super hero team comprised with unique team members with specific skill sets. Sandy (The Sandman) has an intense, almost Japanese anime style, battle with Pitch using the powers of his shape shifting sand. E. Aster Bunnymund (The Easter Bunny) has an Australian accent and duel wields boomerangs that he accurately blasts demon nightmare horses. North is a warrior armed with two cutlass swords and drives a sleigh. Guardians may not have Joss Weadon writing and directing the movie, it does have the vision of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy franchise/Pan’s Labyrinth/Book of Life) as the film’s executive producer.

 

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Frank Capra’s seasonal classic originally began life as a Christmas card and amazingly was a big flop at the time of it’s release. It was only through television showings that it became one of the best loved movies of all time. Strangely enough for a movie which turns up most Christmases. It’s actually a quite dark movie taking in despair and suicide.

James Stewart was born to play George Bailey and Donna Reed is beautiful as his wife and then there’s Henry Travers, unforgettable as Clarence the guardian angel. Sentimental without being slushy this is a movie that demands you feel good having watched it. An essential part of Christmas. Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings!

 

Scrooged (1988)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

I watch this movie several times each year, starting about October time and finishing with a Christmas eve viewing! Its an excellent, entertaining, funny, emotional and heart-warming version of A Christmas Carol. The ending scene and end-title soundtrack never fail to bring a tear to the eye and a warm fuzzy feeling. Light those candles, pour the mulled wine and enjoy!

 

The Holiday (2006)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

A romantic comedy set in two locations; Surrey, England and L.A, USA. When Amanda breaks up with her cheating boyfriend, she decides she needs to get away from it all so she searches online for ‘vacation hotspots’. While trawling through the internet, she comes across a House Exchange. Where she meets Iris, a writer for who also wants to get away from it all. The two decide to swap houses for two weeks, so Iris jets off to L.A while Amanda is stuck in Snowy Surrey.All in all a definite must have in your movie collection.

 

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

One of those nearly perfect movies: a film musical that incorporates its story and songs seamlessly. Featuring a cast of superb performers and all the technical ‘know how’ that Old Hollywood was so great at. Recreating a world gone by that the movie audience could step right into, in this case 1903/04 St. Louis, Missouri. Judy Garland added to her immortality with this portrayal of a young woman in love with ‘The Boy Next Door’. A family comedy/drama with dark overtones, this beautiful Technicolor musical is one of the great classics of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

 

The Family Man (2000)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

One of Nicolas Cage’s best performances. The Family Man is just great entertainment. Cage plays Jack Campbell who is a wheeler-dealer on Wall Street, wealthy, womanizer who loves his Ferrari! One night he says the wrong thing to an angel. Who decides to give him a glimpse of what his life could have been had he made a different choice. He wakes up the next morning in the arms of Kate and two adorable children! There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, as well as moments that will bring you to tears, and an ending that doesn’t spoon feed you an answer.

 

Trading Places (1983)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper has seen many incarnations from Disney to The Simpsons. But none have been as funny as Trading Places. Which proves just how funny Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy used to be.

Louise Winthorpe III is a spoiled, snobby managing director at the Duke & Duke commodities brokerage. Billy Ray Valentine is a poverty-stricken street hustler. Randolph Duke makes a wager with his brother Mortimer that the men can be successfully swapped. The con is on as Valentine is plucked from the streets and Winthorpe is ungraciously dumped on them. There’s loads of fun watching him hit absolute rock bottom while Valentine quickly becomes spoiled and snobby himself.

Who cannot resist Eddie Murphy’s foreign exchange student disguise or Ackroyd’s Lionel Josef. Even the gorilla in the train is a brilliant character. For those of you who love dark, cruel comedies Trading Places is utterly essential. It may be very 80s, but it never gets old.

 

Gremlins (1984)

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!
The Ultimate Christmas Movie List!

Gremlins is one of those fantastic Christmas films that can be watched anytime. But has an added magic when watched during the Christmas season. It’s a film that nearly everyone has seen and so unites the land in the knowledge that a gremlin can only survive for so long in a microwave. The film is playful and fun, so as a child I loved it. It courted controversy when it first came out but it is essentially a family comedy and the violence is basically cartoon style and adds to the general naughtiness of the film.

The film was a marketing success with the cute Gizmo and a few Gremlins with distinct individuality. The humour of the film was typical of the emerging comedy-horror genre of the 80s. With other blockbusters such as Beetlejuice, Critters and Ghostbusters. The film was always going to be a success and a family favourite.

Vivre Le Rêve
Welcome to Vivre Le Rêve™, my online lifestyle magazine, featuring all things luxury, family, food, fashion, beauty and travel. I’m Rose, a full time multi-award winning blogger, journalist & author.

2 Comments

  1. Wouldn’t it be great to build up a box of Christmas DVDs to come out with the decorations each year and watch them daily like an advent calendar. Looks like I need to watch a few more films this year…

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