There are a huge number of films set around a Christmas theme. Here we’ve picked out a few of our favourites. There are some you’ll be expecting and also a few you may not have seen yet. They’re all well worth a watch, so get ready to binge on popcorn and entertainment this Christmas.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A live action version of the imaginative Dr Seuss story starring Jim Carey. The titular Grinch attempts to put an end to Christmas by stealing everything Christmas related from the town of Whoville. We see the Grinch learn the power of Christmas, with some pretty funny action along the way.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Mickey’s Christmas Carol was nominated for the animated short film Oscar in 1983. This is a retelling of the classic Dickens’ tale starring Donald Duck and a whole host of favourite Disney characters. Cute, easy to watch and funny too.
Comfort and Joy
A lesser-known classic. Directed by Bill Forsyth this comedy takes place in the run up to Christmas. As a radio disc jockey’s life unravels after his girlfriend leaves him, things take a strange twist when he witnesses an attack on an ice cream van. Well worth getting the popcorn in for.
A lovely reversal of fortune tale with a brilliant twist in the tale. Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd are superb. But for many Denholm Elliot steals the show as the caught-in-the-middle butler. Full of twists, turns and laughs we bet you the ‘usual amount’ that this is the funniest film you’ll see this Christmas.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
B-movie fare that’s brilliantly amusing (not intentionally). The ‘story’ sees Santa kidnapped by Martians and teach them how to enjoy their own Christmas. Perhaps the best moments are when we see the robots that are clearly made from cardboard boxes.
We’re No Angels
A comedy starring Humphrey Bogart. The film feels almost modern in its pace and rhythm. It’s a sharply-scripted, fast-paced film, with superb performances that sees three escaped convicts learn to be nice guys. At Christmas.
Not the archetypal Christmas movie. But it’s still thoroughly entertaining. Watch Bruce Willis get his vest dirty as he ploughs through a huge number of bad guys in the Nakatomi Plaza. Yippee ki-yay.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A sumptuous film from the genius that is Tim Burton. This stop-motion film sees a resident from Halloween Town visiting Christmas Town. He’s so taken with Christmas that he tries to get the bats, goblins and ghouls of Halloween Town to help him celebrate Christmas rather than Halloween. But they just can’t seem to get it right.
It’s a Wonderful Life
James Stewart is in outstanding form playing George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others. As he contemplates suicide, his guardian angel shows him all the lives he has touched and how different life in his local community would have been if he had never been born. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a movie that is often voted amongst the best films ever made.
Home Alone and Home Alone 2
A double feature that’s worth stocking up on popcorn for. The first film sees Macaulay Culkin’s character mistakenly left at home when his family flies to Paris for Christmas. Initially he enjoys his freedom. But when two would-be burglars target the family home, the comedy really starts. The follow-up film sees a similar set up, with Culkin’s character taking a flight to New York while the rest of his family heads to Florida. The same two crooks turn up and receive a similar besting from the young hero.
This madcap comedy sees Will Ferrell as an elf who causes havoc in the elf community due to his ungainly size. He’s really a human who’s been raised by elves. Santa allows Buddy (Farrell’s character) to visit New York to seek out his birth father. Turns out his father is a bit of a jerk. The humour is mixed with emotion as father and son learn to adapt to each other.
Miracle on 34th Street
This old-timer takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and follows the tale of a department store Santa who claims to be the real Santa. The cast includes Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and Natalie Wood and won a host of Oscars.
A boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus ends up on the Polar express train, bound for the North Pole. The lavish animation and excellent voices that bring the characters to life make this a modern classic. There are adventures and reflection as the film builds towards its feel-good ending. Oops – spoiler alert 😉
Recently voted the UK’s favourite Christmas film of all time* this romcom seems to tick all the boxes. A film that weaves ten separate stories together, it starts five weeks before Christmas and looks at what love means to lots of different people. It’s beautifully shot on location around London and the interconnections take this film to another level.
Happy watching. Merry Christmas from all at GTW.
* RadioTimes.com December 2016