Joy to the world for the filmmakers who took their time to craft Christmas films that embodies the spirit of the holiday (or basing their premise on the festivity) whether through stop-motion animation, an adaptation of a classic children’s book or even an action movie that has become the template of a macho man fighting through obstacles solo.
#5: ‘Die Hard’
Yippee-ki-yay because it’s not all about child-friendly Christmas movies to play on the telly while the relatives chat around the snacks in the kitchen. Die Hard is just simply a classic action movie of the 80’s that launched a greater theme of the lone ranger overcoming the chaos during one of the most wonderful time of the year.
Based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, the book was written as a sequel to The Detective which was turned into a movie starring the incomparable Frank Sinatra. This somehow explains the narration of Die Hard in the telling of a New York detective and a veteran of the police force amidst the challenge of incredible action sequences.
#4: ‘Rise of The Guardians’
In the sea of producing generic animated movies that is written heavily on slapstick comedy, this was an unexpected turn taken by Dreamworks Animation studio seeing how the film was under the wings of masters like Guillermo del Toro as executive producer known for his imaginative and original characters in monster-centric fantasy movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water.
With cinematography directed by Roger Deakins, the beauty of the worlds of the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin) are translated in unique versions that have never been set in film which further elevated the role of Rise of The Guardians in being a Christmas movie for all ages.
#3: ‘Tokyo Godfathers’
An odd movie considering director, Satoshi Kon‘s filmography that usually centers on the concept of the reality and dreams with Paprika and Millennium Actress. Tokyo Godfathers is rather straightforward but not immune to the unpredictable writing of Satoshi focusing on three estranged characters; a transgender woman, a runaway girl and an alcoholic man.
On the eve of Christmas, the three who are also homeless ravaged through garbage and found an abandoned baby in a bag with clues to who her parents are. Together they embark in the search of her identity which also led to the resolutions of their own problems in the spirit of giving back.
#2: ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’
“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot. But the Grinch who lived just North of Whoville did not!”, and Dr. Seuss through every rhyme and page seeks to explain this enigma of why the Grinch seems to hate the celebration so much.
Re-watching the film again, it’s quite difficult not to relate to how the Grinch (Jim Carrey) perceives the narrow view that Christmas is a materialistic holiday but there is still a lot of heart in the final act that warranted a change in the scrooge and in all of us.
#1: ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’
This film showcases a rare situation in which the producer, Tim Burton is more well-known than the director, Henry Selick (behind hauntingly creepy children movies like James and The Giant Peach and Coraline). The charming King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) woos and croons about his boredom at only being known for one persona during a single primal event before he stumbled upon Christmas.
In the pursuit of altering the motive of his existence, Jack took it as his duty to oversee Christmas with a touch of his own Gothic panache complete with spiders, ghouls and flying skeletal reindeers in this musical stop-motion animation that has aged through the years as a classic for the holiday.
There has been many versions of the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol like the 1980’s Scrooged starring Bill Murray and smaller productions on TV like the Doctor Who‘s darker sci-fi take with the same name as the novella. However, we must give a nod to a more recent cinematic adaption, the 2009’s 3-D animated A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey voicing (and performing in a motion-capture suit) the titular characters of Ebenezer Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
And we couldn’t leave out the beloved comedy, Home Alone with the elaborate mechanics and schemes taken by Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) as he goes against burglars in his own home after being accidentally abandoned.
We hope that you and the family will have a very merry tropical Christmas and one that is not mundane because of our list of best holiday movies to watch and to revisit over hot chocolate while unwrapping the gifts.
Featured Image source: A Christmas Carol Movie.