The holiday season is almost here, bringing with it the tide of holiday films that go back decades. With so many films to watch, it raises the questions of which movies should be on your list this holiday season?
The Christmas Chronicles
Released in 2018, “The Christmas Chronicles” stars Kurt Russell, Judah Lewis and Darby Camp and is directed by Clay Kaytis. The film follows Lewis’ and Camp’s characters, siblings Teddy and Kate Pierce, as they attempt to catch Santa Claus (Russell) only for things to go awry. Suddenly tasked with saving Christmas before it’s too late, the siblings undergo an adventure they’ll never forget.
While a bit cliche, the film’s strength lies in Russell’s performance as Santa Claus. Russell isn’t the typical Santa Claus, but he steals the show throughout the film.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Released in 1993, “the Nightmare Before Christmas” is directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington’s discovery of Christmas and Halloween Town’s attempts to celebrate the holiday.
This movie is a classic for a reason, being a delightful mesh of Halloween and Christmas for lovers of both. The music is amazing, the animation is beautiful and the story is fun and unique. No matter how many times you’ve seen this film, it always deserves at least one more watch.
Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
Released in 1976, “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” is a sequel to the 1964 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which is another must-see for the holiday season. The film includes the voices of Red Skelton, Billie Richards, Morey Amsterdam, Frank Gorshin and Paul Frees with iconic characters like Father Time, Rudolph and Santa Claus. The story focuses on Rudolph and friends trying to find Happy the Baby New Year before midnight on Dec. 31 or else time will stop forever.
This is a whimsical film that is sorely unappreciated for how fun it is. It creates a delightful and unique world that viewers get to explore with Rudolph and others as they search for Happy. It connects well with the previous film, but isn’t necessary to understand or enjoy this movie.
Released in 2003, “Elf” stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay and Ed Asner in the classic Christmas comedy. Buddy, played by Ferrell, is a human adopted by Santa’s elves. When he discovers that he was adopted, he heads to New York to find his biological father. Chaos and humor ensues.
Honestly, there isn’t much that needs to be said about this film. It’s a well-known and well-loved classic, but I would be remiss if I left it off the list. It’s funny due to Ferrell’s sincerity and enthusiasm and the bewildered response from everyone around him. Also, Steenburgen’s character Emily is an under-appreciated aspect of the film and deserves more attention.
With so many great holiday films available, there are bound to be even more phenomenal movies to be released in the coming years to add to the must-see list.