Each person has a beloved Christmas movie that they return to every year, from Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney’s classic to Macaulay Culkin’s charming comedy; here is our selection of holiday films that hold special meaning for us. Find out the best info about Classic Movies on DVD.
Tim Burton’s trademark flair for the bizarre shines bright in this gripping tale about a lab-created man with scissors for hands (Johnny Depp). This movie alternately scares and delights.
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol, one of the classic holiday movies ever made, tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his interactions with ghostly visitors on Christmas Eve. It beautifully illustrates the hardships many people experience during holidays and the importance of giving freely and generously. It is a timeless classic that continues to be reworked, adapted, and dramatized yearly!
This movie takes place during England’s Industrial Revolution. At this time of transition, Scrooge found himself struggling and found solace only through alcohol and smoking – both things he lost during this period of turmoil. Unfortunately for him and those around him alike, depression set in, leaving him incapable of enjoying spending his holidays with loved ones or friends.
However, Scrooge was shown an alternate viewpoint of life through his encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. For example, Stave Four features the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, depicting an impoverished man lying dead without anyone to care for him and profit off of his belongings; Scrooge realized from this image that his life hadn’t been lived to its fullest potential.
Charles Dickens began writing A Christmas Carol to support his family after struggling to meet finances with previous writing efforts. It was completed quickly in two weeks, becoming one of the most famous Christmas stories ever told; its characters (Scrooge and Tiny Tim in particular) have since become holiday cliches.
A Christmas Carol is a timeless reminder that everyone should show kindness to those in need, regardless of financial standing. Additionally, its message has inspired generations to be generous and thoughtful towards one another. The story’s relevance dates back over 150 years, inspiring generations to be generous towards others!
As such, A Christmas Carol continues to be adapted and recreated each year – an estimate suggests there may be over one hundred different versions in film, television, and video game form alone! Still, the original remains the most influential version.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol is more than just a holiday classic; it is one of Jim Henson’s signature projects. After an eight-year hiatus from filmmaking, His team of frogs, bears, chickens, and Gonzo returned with this modernized version of Charles Dickens’s classic novella from 19th century England – creating an instant connection with audiences that cemented its place among cult films.
The Muppet Christmas Carol appeals to children and adults with its blend of traditional family entertainment and physical puppetry, drawing parallels from classic family entertainment with physical puppetry art. Its charming puppet characters add humor while recalling what made its predecessor so beloved; Fozzy Bear, Miss Piggy, and Animal are recognizable characters from TV and theater shows. Statler & Waldorf perfectly represent Scrooge’s dead partners who died alongside him.
The Muppet Christmas Carol stands apart from most adaptations by respecting its source material uniquely. While some slight modifications were made to dialogue, allowing more witty remarks from characters and creating a smoother rhythm, much of Dickens’ original text remained intact. It gave its characters greater authenticity within their roles and a closer representation of his descriptions than other adaptations could.
Kermit’s casting as Bob Cratchit is genuinely inspiring, as his humble demeanor more accurately represents other versions of him while remaining true to their trickery. Additionally, this version takes some risky approaches, allowing Scrooge’s own words against him in his confrontations with Ghosts of Christmas Present and Yet to Come.
The final scenes of A Christmas Carol are also notable in their ability to stir emotion and convey a sense of loss. The Ghost of Christmas Present leads Scrooge to Bob and Emily Cratchit’s home, where they host a Christmas party. However, in a lighthearted tone, Scrooge remains unaware of how people with modest means can still find happiness while living compassionate lives.
The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause stood out from other Christmas movies by taking an entirely different approach: instead of depicting specific events such as Jesus’s birth or nativity scene, The Santa Clause focused on Santa himself and his life story. This hilarious and family-friendly comedy challenged young viewers’ misconceptions of Santa and even inspired a film series with fans today; plus, it laid the groundwork for more adult-themed Christmas films featuring tougher Santas than expected in children’s flicks.
This film takes place during an era of changing economics and new technology when VHS tapes became widely accessible. At the same time, studios realized they could produce more films for less cost than ever before – leading to an unprecedented run of holiday films that wouldn’t have been possible or economical just years earlier.
Tim Allen stars in this first installment of the Santa Clause franchise as Scott Calvin, an ordinary person who accidentally causes Santa to tumble off his roof by shouting at him. Hired to stand in until an actual Santa can be found, Scott quickly learns that he must embrace belief to help his son Charlie do so.
Though primarily comedic, The Santa Clause doesn’t shy away from serious themes like divorce and its impact on children. Additionally, it doesn’t glorify Santa’s role, instead showing Scott as an ordinary individual facing challenges in his new position as Santa.
The film shows the value of believing in childhood as an essential aspect of life while touching on materialism and giving back to those in need. It effectively balances elements of Christmas (i.e., material goods) and religious celebrations such as church gatherings, family values, and faith. For dramatic effect, it culminates with business people from department stores reconciling with Santa and his family.
A Christmas Story
At Christmas time, A Christmas Story is one of the quintessential classic movies. Its catchphrases (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”), its iconic leg lamp (which didn’t survive production – though a replica can still be purchased for $200), its cast of cruel bullies, dramatic teachers, and adult authority figures has become part of the popular culture lexicon; its significance even reaching Chickasha, Oklahoma where an impressive 50-foot leg lamp stands in a park!
A Christmas Story’s success lies in its storytelling. Director Bob Clark crafted a film that feels like “a waxy, dreamlike ode to the childhood many white kids in postwar America enjoyed, especially those living in small Midwestern burgs,” as noted by author Joanna Wilson. From its warm holiday music and screenwriter Jean Shepherd’s honeyed narration, all the way to Peter Billingsley as put-upon protagonist – A Christmas Story brings back memories of another time when children still yearned for presents while dodging bullies and having their mouths washed out with soap after swearing out loudly enough.
But A Christmas Story also serves as a nostalgic ode to an earlier, more straightforward form of American Christmas that’s long since been lost – one in which local department stores still existed. Children wished for red-Ryder BB guns from Santa Claus. Achieving such a feat is no mean feat: this film captures both childhood nostalgia as well as an increasingly remote holiday that has seen its glory days during World War II and Cold War II fade away since.
The cast and script of A Christmas Story give it its unique charm. The supporting cast features vivid characters such as cruel bullies, dramatic teachers, adult authority figures, and snot-nosed kids – and it even boasts one-star actor Darren McGavin from Steely Dan. Donald Fagen from Steely Dan also provides entertaining narration that elevates this comedy from simply funny to truly special.
AdditionallyThisodic, the structure makes it especially well-suited for television viewing. No matter where one starts watching from within two hours, each scene and sequence tells its unique tale before returning to Ralphie peering through a store window with his prized BB gun.
As ratings began to polarize further, networks realized the significance of holiday classics as part of year-round programming strategies. That is why, over three decades, A Christmas Story has made numerous appearances on cable and satellite channels – often even running for 24 hours straight!