CHRISTMAS FILMS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…
A big part of Christmas is getting together with the family, enjoying a slap-up meal and then dissolving into a sluggish, tired mess around the television. Far from sprawling out in front of repeats of Cash in the Attic though, there are dozens of family-friendly Christmas films you can gorge on! And you might as well because they’re not half as magical if you watch them in July.
As per usual, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Christmas films – some obvious choices, some less so. If you’ve already seen these films, watch them again – they’re brilliant. If you haven’t seen them, you’ll enjoy discovering these classic along with your little ones and, who knows, maybe they’ll become Christmas traditions in your house?
FYI we chose to omit The Snowman. Not because it isn’t good, but because it’s incredibly depressing. Besides, Aled Jones has already made enough money off the back of it.
So here are our choices…
5. MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (1947/1994- U)
Depending on when you were born, you may have a different incarnation of this film in mind. For some it will be the 1947, black and white classic, others the 1994 version with Matilda and that bloke who let all the dinosaurs loose in Jurassic Park. Either way you get a heart-warming story of a young girl having her faith restored in Santa. Set against a courtroom drama – like a Christmas episode of Law and Order – it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in the magic. And we can’t think of a more believable Santa than Sir Richard Attenborough.
4. ELF (2003, PG)
This film isn’t that old and yet it has already become a classic. No small thanks to Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf – never has a grown man in tights been so adorable. The film follow’s Buddy as he travels from the North Pole to New York in search of his father. These days you could probably find your dad with a quick scan of Facebook, but it was a different time back in 2003. Possibly the funniest Christmas film ever, Elf is packed with jokes for both parents and kids and if you haven’t seen it, well then you’re a cotton-headed ninnymuggins!
3. THE GRINCH (1966, U/2000, PG)
The Grinch is possibly the greatest villain of all time. Sure, Darth Vader might have been bad but he never stole Luke Skywalker’s presents, and to be fair to the guy, he clearly had undiagnosed asthma. The Grinch meanwhile, is really evil. That said, there’s something exciting about following the green mean machine as he steals Christmas from the Whos’ – little ones will cackle with delight. The Chuck Jones cartoon special is perfect for little tots to enjoy and once they get older, the live action film with Jim Carrey is as funny and crazy as you would expect! If the ending doesn’t make your heart grow three sizes, then maybe you should see a medical professional.
2. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946, U)
As well as narrowly missing out on our top spot, It’s a Wonderful Life also has the honour of perhaps being the greatest film ever made, which is quite an accolade. It’s definitely a film for the whole family. While the title is It’s a Wonderful Life, for the most part George Bailey’s life is less than wonderful. On the brink of bankruptcy and suicide, he is saved by Clarence, an angel, who shows him how different the world would be without him. We’re welling up just thinking about it. They even re-release it in cinemas every year – track down the nearest showing and give in to the magic. The sooner you make this film a Christmas tradition, the better.
1. HOME ALONE (1990, PG), HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (1992, PG)
Technically speaking, this isn’t one film but to split the two Home Alones up would be like separating Hall and Oates or bangers and mash – it could create a disaster of biblical proportions. Home Alone and its sequel go hand-in-hand as a great Christmas movie marathon. While they don’t depict the type of parenting we would endorse – namely, leaving your child alone while you flee the country, twice – it is the funniest instance of child neglect ever submitted to film. A real life Tom and Jerry cartoon shot through with feel-good Christmas tunes. Make sure you’ve hidden all the power tools to avoid giving your little ones ideas, though!
Any films you think have been unfairly overlooked? Let us know below!