Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and what better to celebrate it with than a fun film? There are plenty of Christmas movies to choose from, however, and so it can be difficult to decide which one to go with. To make that decision easier, here is a list of the ten best movies you can watch with loved ones to pass the time waiting for the most special day of the year to come around:
10. Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire
Aardman, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, never fails to create delightfully-entertaining worlds with a hilarious mix of cartoony and snarky humor. While technically Robbie was not made directly by them, a number of Aardman employees worked on it and it shows. In this Christmas special, Rudolph’s son Robbie with a bouncy nose comes to the North Pole to lead the sleigh team of reindeer on Christmas night, but there’s just one problem: He’s out of shape and lazy! Unless he can shape up for the Reindeer games with the help of a senile Santa to prove himself, there’s no way he’ll be able to lead the reindeer and all will be lost.
Spoilers: Things work out, and well enough for the special to get two sequels. These are less Christmas-oriented, but still involve the reindeer crew at Santa’s workshop, so making them into a Christmas triple feature wouldn’t be such a bad plan. The claymation will entertain kids, and some of the more adult humor will likely fly right over their heads like magical reindeer, so the adults can have a laugh too.
9. Jack Frost
The actual horror comedy movie, not the Keaton family film that accidentally resembles a horror movie.
Jack Frost is an oddball affectionate parody take on the slasher genre set to a backdrop of white snow and coated in crimson blood. When a serial killer with the name of a popular Christmas figure gets hit by some snow chemicals by accident (this isn’t Citizen Kane here), he becomes a living snowman with the ability to melt and reform at will, shoot out sharp icicles, freeze things he touches, and more. With these powers, he plans on terrorizing a town and killing its inhabitants one by one, all to get revenge on the cop who arrested him back when he was more man than snow.
Think Freddy Krueger, but in the shape of Frosty the Snowman. This movie is not for the kiddos nor is it for the feint of heart, but the pitch black sense of bizarre humor contained within it should be more than enough to entertain those with equal cravings for Christmas spirit and unconventional murders. It does have a sequel, but be warned that it takes on a much goofier (though still vulgar) tone than its predecessor if you decide to watch it after the original.
8. The Polar Express
When most people think Christmas, they generally don’t think “CG Tom Hanks.” That’s just what this thrilling ride to the North Pole by magic train offers up though, and it does it with a style that few Christmas films have ever been able to replicate. This movie is a visual and audio treat, and its pro-belief message is something that everyone, even those who have grown up, can understand and appreciate.
7. A Christmas Carol (Carrey)
Perhaps the most oft-revisited Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol has been retold and parodied a million different times in a million different ways. Like The Polar Express, however, this specific instance is one that is a visual masterpiece and a talented celebrity actor to bring it all together. Jim Carrey plays against type as the miserly Scrooge, but does a surprisingly good job. Nobody will be surprised by the now well-known plot, but the ride is so much more than the destination in this case.
6. Frosty the Snowman
Oh, Frosty. He’s a magical snowman in a top hat and he likes marching around and sliding on his belly like a penguin. What a life, right? This one will keep the young ones more actively engaged than adults, but it’s still fun to watch it again after so many years and feel those warm, nostalgic fuzzies each year. Will Frosty be back some day? You can bet he will.
There was also a really weird kind-of-sequel that got released later about a guy who tried to eliminate snow from the world, but we don’t talk about that one.
5. A Charlie Brown Christmas
You know, the one with the tiny tree? Pretty much everyone’s seen this one at least once, and for good reason; it’s an absolute classic. It’s short enough for a viewing as something of a warmup for a longer Christmas movie, and watchers of all ages can enjoy the animation with Snoopy and the gang getting together for a festive gathering that brings them all a little closer.
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
There are two versions of this one – here we’re talking about the one that wasn’t a weird Jim Carrey vehicle. The art is reminiscent of the Dr. Seuss novel come to life, the sight comedy is on-point like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and the message of giving’s value is timeless. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s hard to go wrong with the story of the green monster who literally pookied Christmas only to learn that it felt better to share it with others.
Plus it has an adorable dog with little reindeer antlers tied to its head, and that’s worth seeing it for all by itself.
The famous red nose of this Christmas legend is impossible to forget for those who grew up with the tale, and it’s just as much fun to introduce it to the little ones. It’s a story about being accepting of others’ differences and it’s told through an instantly recognizable stop-motion style that is sure to bring back good memories of watching and create new ones as well.
2. The Year Without a Santa Claus
This is the one with the Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs in it. That’s literally all you need to know about it to justify watching it on repeat.
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
One of the only Christmas specials that you can actually justify watching twice a year, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a dark musical classic from the twisted mind of Tim Burton. Combining the frights of Halloween with the festivities of Christmas, is just the right film for anyone who wants to celebrate the season but without too much of the sugary sweetness that most Christmas-themed movies have, and it’s plenty of fun for ghouls and elves of all ages. This one wins the top spot for originality, entertainment value, longevity, and theming – no bones about it.