It is now that time of year for putting up the tree, drinking mulled wine and sitting in front of your favourite Christmas film. I will be letting you all in to my Top 10 Christmas films that I’ll be watching this year, and have been watching for many years, and what I regard as classics.

10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life

This film is a classic in every sense of the word. Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, a small town man who has got to a point of such desperation that he considers suicide.  He feels like his whole family and his town would be much better off if he had never even existed, and he wishes that he’d never been born. (Feeling festive yet?) Then an angel named Clarence, played by Henry Travers, is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George then realises how much of an impact he did have on his small town and all of its inhabitants.

Even though it has dark undertones, it is full of heart, and real emotions that many of us have felt, which is one of the reasons it’s held up so well. Its is a Christmas film as it shows you that no mater what hardships you face, you can combat them with the help of your friends and family.

09. Father Christmas (1991)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Father Christmas receiving all of his letters

This is a short animated film adapted from the two short stories by Raymond Briggs (author of The Snowman). It follows a rather grumpy Father Christmas, voiced by Mel Smith, and what he does with the other 364 days of the year. You see him dealing with domestic chores in his small house, and go on various holidays to places like France, Scotland, and Las Vegas.

The reason I have chosen this film rather than the other Briggs story, The Snowman, is because this story has a sense of humour, mainly due to Mel Smith’s incredible wit and delivery. Also the fact that Father Christmas was given a more down to earth twist, without losing the sense of magic.

08. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Santa on his Sleigh

This film tells the origins of Santa Claus, played by David Huddleston, who, along with his wife Anya,played by Judy Cornwell, goes from being a peasant woodcutter, delivering handmade toys in his small village, to becoming the infamous face of Christmas. At the same time, the film also tells the story of one of Santa’s elves named Patch, played by English actor Dudley Moore. When Santa becomes overwhelmed with the workload, due to the rise in the population, the dissatisfied Patch runs away to New York.  There, Patch accidentally threatens Christmas by taking a job at a failing toy company run by a conniving businessman called B.Z., who is played by John Lithgow.

The reason that I like this film is because it is almost like Santa Claus’ origin story. It’s full of magic and I feel that it gives a real sense of Christmas.

07. The Grinch (2000)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Jim Carrey as The Grinch

This is a live-action adaptation of the children’s story by Dr. Seuss. In it the reclusive Grinch, played by Jim Carrey, hatches a plan to ruin Christmas for the inhabitants of Whoville. The Grinch comes down from his home in the mountain and sneakily steals everything Christmas related from the Whos. However, his plans get interrupted when he meets the charming Cindy Lou Who, played by Taylor Momsen, who teaches him the true meaning of Christmas.

Full of colour and featuring some brilliant physical comedy from Carrey, this is a great family film. It also features wonderful narration from Anthony Hopkins, who uses the original material to great effect.

 06. Scrooge (1951)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Scrooge and Bob Cratchitt

Victorian businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Alastair Sim, has no time for frivolity, especially at Christmas. When he returns home on Christmas Eve, after dismissing his clerk, Bob Cratchit, played by Mervyn Johns, Scrooge is greeted by the ghost of his late partner, Jacob Marley, played by Michael Hordern. He warns Scrooge that he will be visited by three more ghosts who will show the resentful man the error of his hard hearted ways.

There is a colour version of this film but I prefer it being in black and white, as it really helps give it that dark, eerie feel, but without it being scary, but then with more light added at the end you can see Scrooge’s true transformation.

 05. Home Alone (1990)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister

When 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, misbehaves the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother, played by Catherine O’Hara, sends him to sleep up in the attic. After the McCallisters accidentally leave without Kevin, he wakes up to an empty house and assumes that his wish to have no family has come true. But his elation soon ends when two criminals, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, plan to rob the McCallister house, and he realises that he must protect the family home.

With great physical jokes and underlying sentiment, this is a classic film. It may have increased the likelihood of children wanting to be left home alone.

04. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Kevin visiting the tree in New York

When Kevin McCallister (again played by Macaulay Culkin) loses sight of his family at the airport, he accidentally gets on a plane going to New York City, while the rest of his family fly to Florida. Alone in the Big Apple, Kevin manages to bluff his way into a room at the Plaza Hotel. Kevin learns that the Sticky Bandits, Harry and Marv, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, have escaped from prison. He attempts to stop them from stealing from a toy store just before Christmas.

It is unusual for a sequel to be better than the original, but with Home Alone 2, the development of the characters and the humour make it much better. There are some cheesey lines and jokes but I don’t think this took away from the film.

03. Elf (2003)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf

Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, was accidentally taken to the North Pole as a child and raised alongside Santa’s elves. Once he had grown into an adult, Buddy couldn’t get rid of the feeling that he didn’t fit in, so he goes to New York in search of his real father. His father is Walter Hobbs, played by James Caan, a businessman who doesn’t believe Buddy’s stories. Walter hesitantly attempts to start a relationship with Buddy and himself, with comic results.

Being the newest edition to my list, it might not appear to be a classic, but it has the same wondrous Christmas warmth that many of the classics have. And what adult hasn’t wanted to feel the same way about Christmas as they did when they were full of childhood enthusiasm and excitement?

02. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Jack Skellington dressed as Santa Claus

The film follows Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same routine of scaring people every year. When Jack discovers Christmas town, full of bright colours and warm spirits, it gives him a new vitality.  He conspires to bring Christmas to Halloweentown by abducting Santa Claus, and taking over the position. But Jack soon realises even the best plans can go gravely wrong.

This film gives an alternative look at Christmas in a dark almost scary way, but still maintaining the colourful spirit of the festive season. Filled with memorable songs and even more memorable characters, it can be enjoyed at both Halloween and Christmas.

01. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

10 Christmas Films That Would Even Make Scrooge Feel Festive
Michael Caine as Scrooge with the Muppets

Need I say more?!?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Muppet Christmas Carol, is the Dickens classic told by the cast of The Muppet Show. It follows Charles Dickens, played by Gonzo the Great, narrating the story of A Christmas Carol. Telling the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Michael Caine, a stubborn miserable old man who is unkind to everyone including his employee, Bob Cratchit, played by Kermit the Frog. Many of the Muppets (including Fozzie Bear, Animal, Miss Piggy and Sam the Eagle) appear throughout the narrative as Scrooge is visited by three spirits who show him the error of his ways.

Unlike the 1951 version, which is darker and grittier, depicting the Victorian era more realistically, this adaptation is more fun and colourful. It has taken a classic story and made it accessible to children and adults alike. They have taken a slice of Christmas culture and made it for everyone to enjoy.

 

Let me know what would be in your top ten Christmas films list in the comments section below.