Happy Day 3 of Blogmas!
Today I’m going to write a blog post purely focusing on my favourite Christmas films. My choices aren’t necessarily films adapted from books, which makes a nice change from my What I Watched Wednesday (film review) series, but are the films I grew up with and loved
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1997)
For me, The Nightmare Before Christmas is both a Halloween and a Christmas film, and it is one of my favourite films of all time. It tells the story of Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman), the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. He gets a little bored with Halloween and stumbles across Christmas town, falls in love with the winter holiday, then thoughtfully decides to relieve the duties of “Sandy Claws”, giving a traditional Christmas a spooky twist. I think the cinematography of The Nightmare Before Christmas is beautiful, and I love the songs, characters and all its little quirks. It’s a brilliant Halloween/Christmas crossover and if you haven’t seen it, you need to.
Also, there’s now a beautiful book version of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I want it so much!
2. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Ron Howard, 2000)
This is another classic that I grew up watching, based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Dr. Seuss, 1956) starring Jim Carrey as The Grinch. I haven’t actually read the book (I’m sorry) but from what I gather, there had to be quite a bit of adaptation/adding in order to create a feature-length film, so if you’re a die-hard fan of the book, you might not enjoy it as much. The film is about Whoville, a town with an unrivalled obsession over Christmas, and how this antagonises The Grinch, an outsider shunned for his unusual appearance (and yet Whovians having ridiculously pointy noses is okay), so much that he decides to steal Christmas. Although it’s a silly film, I still like The Grinch because it’s funny, heart-warming and, as an older viewer, I can now #relate to some of The Grinch’s cynicism – it reminds me of Eeyore’s pessimistic outlook from the Winnie-the-Pooh series.
3. Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990)
Home Alone is a Christmas comedy film, starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a young boy who is accidentally left at home, while his family travel to Paris for the Christmas holidays (that’s the 90s for you), and then has to single-handedly defend his home from two attempted burglars, Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Joe Pesci). I think I have a love-hate relationship with Home Alone; the level of suspension of disbelief you must have in order to accept the plot of this film is quite high, and I got annoyed once they started making lots of – in my opinion, unnecessary – sequels. Nonetheless, this film is good fun (if you can overlook the depressing fact that a child was literally abandoned by his parents at Christmas) and I grew up with it, so I feel a sense of nostalgia.
These are some Christmas films I still enjoy, but haven’t seen as many times as I’d like.
- Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003), starring Will Ferrell
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (Jerry Juhl, 1992), based on Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol*
*I’m yet to find a live-action film version of A Christmas Carol that fully satisfies me (Scrooge never feels “quite right”), and so The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best adaptation of the story for me.
Those are my favourite Christmas films; what are yours?