Our All Time Favourite Christmas Movies
The Polar Express
Classic Quote: “The bell still rings for all who truly believe.”
Why we love it: For many folks this movie has its sentimental beginnings in the original, beautifully illustrated children’s book that hit the shelves in 1985 — where a boy takes a train ride to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. But of course, the journey is much more than that as we learn that our young hero is really on a mission to rekindle his Christmas spirit. The movie is breathtakingly beautiful to look at and manages to capture the same celebration of childhood wonders and imagination as the book. And there is a whole song dedicated to HOT CHOCOLATE! We love hot chocolate.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Classic Quote: “A toy is never truly happy until it is loved by a child.”
Why we love it: Currently holding the record as the longest running Christmas special in TV history (it’s been broadcast every year in the US since its creation), this movie was inspired by the famous Johnny Marks carol of the same name. Rudolph was created in 1964 and features wonderfully retro stop motion animation. For this reason alone, it deserves a place on our list. But throw in the wonderful narration by Burl Ives (playing Sam the Snowman) and the poignant collection of not quite right toys on the Island of Misfit Toys, you have all the ingredients for the perfect nostalgic Christmas special.
Interesting fact: When the special first aired, Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to return to the Island of Misfit Toys and bring them back. But they never do. The producers were inundated with angry letters from kids demanding that the Misfit Toys be helped. To console the children, they produced a short scene where Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the reindeer arrive on the Island and deliver the Misfits to new homes. This scene has been included every year since 1965.
Home Alone – the original
Classic Quote: “Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back.”
Why we love it: Apparently this is the biggest Christmas movie ever (in the US it was the number one box office for 12 straight weeks). On paper it doesn’t really grab you as a Christmas classic — 8 year old Kevin is forced to defend his house from a pair of burglars after his family accidentally leave him behind when they depart for their holiday!! But don’t underestimate how strongly enforced the movie’s message about the importance of family at this special time of year is brought home. Oh and how much the kids will love all the slapstick silliness and Kevin’s adventures without ANY grown up supervision.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Classic Quote” “Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.”
Why we love it: Celebrating it’s 25th year this Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol got a lot of votes in the TT head office. And it easy to see why… With Kermit and the muppet gang starring alongside Michael Caine as Scrooge, this 1992 reworking of the Charles Dickens classic is totally delightful! It has a wonderful soundtrack (One More Sleep ’til Christmas and It Feels Like Christmas are just perfect) and heartwarming performances by humans and puppets. There is a lot of classic Muppet humour. But the main reason we love this film is its enduring theme. Just like Dickens’ original story, it is all about redemption, second chances, and the power of kindness.
Elf – with Will Ferrel
Classic Quote: “There’s room for everyone on the nice list."
Why we love it: This Christmas classic seems to be the popular vote with Dads and sons! Yes, the film is funny. With a 192cm elf, how could it not be! And highly quotable. But don’t think for one minute that it has no heart. Will Ferrell's character, Buddy the Elf, is a human ‘raised by elves’ who travels to New York City to meet his biological father. His innocence, humour, and true Christmas spirit are both endearing and inspiring. And there are loads of lessons for little ones too. Buddy reminds us of the power of believing. Whether you're believing in God, Santa Claus, or Christmas spirit, a strong belief is how amazing things can happen.
Miracle on 34th Street
Classic Quote: “Oh, Christmas isn't just a day. It's a frame of mind.”
Why we love it: We’ve gone with the original 1947 B&W classic (not the remake from 1994). In our humble opinion its the original that really captures the Yuletide sense of magic and wonder. And surprisingly, the one that best stands the test of time. Kris Kringle turns up in New York because he’s feeling very sad that Christmas has become so materialistic. A sentiment that resonates even more strongly today. He is hired as a big department store Santa. When he insists he is the REAL DEAL, his sanity is questioned and he goes on trial. And we soon learn that it’s not just Kris Kringle on trial but everything he stands for… “kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.” Be swept up in believing too!
PS It’s also awesome to watch a 70 year old film with a story that centres on a single mother (who happens to be an executive) and her daughter.
Classic Quote: “Maybe Christmas he thought doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Why we love it: This is a tricky one. Opinions are divided on the greatness of this film. It seems its a love/hate type situation and that is definitely how it went down at TT headquarters. So… in considering this might be one for the families with kids over 10… here are the things we love:
- Jim Carrey’s amazing, mostly ad-libbed performance as the Grinchiest Grinch ever
- The film’s ultimate message about finding joy after going through hardship is very touching
- Cindy Lou Who is completely adorable
- The hilarious sledding scene when the Grinch and his dog Max lose control coming down the mountain