One of our favourite holiday pastimes is to gather together and watch Christmas movies as a family. While we can’t gather in person it doesn’t mean we can’t keep up the tradition! There are different apps to synch your film viewing (like watch party or scener), or you can use your favourite method of video chat and press play at the same time on your viewing platform of choice. However you choose to watch those Christmas classics, the hardest part is picking one. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites for you to watch (once you’ve finished watching our concert films of course).
A Christmas Carol
While there are several film retellings of this famous Charles Dickens novel, ranging from 1901 Scrooge, Or, Marley’s Ghost to the 2009 animated film starring Jim Carrey, only one reigns supreme; A Muppet Christmas Carol
While some of you may not agree (like this person who ranked all the Christmas Carol film adaptations), we are pretty sure this one is a cinematic masterpiece. It’s fun for the whole family, full of great music, and muppets! What more could you want?
Special mention goes out to Scrooged mainly because this post writer loves almost any movie with Bill Murray in it.
It’s a Wonderful Life
This, now classic, holiday film was directed by Frank Capra and released in 1946. Starring Jimmy Stewart in his first post war-role, the movie was not the instant classic that the studio had hoped for. Even though it won five Academy Awards it wasn’t until the film became public domain that It’s A Wonderful Life grew into the Christmas classic we all know and love. Because films in the public domain can be broadcast without licensing or royalty fees broadcasters played the film repeatedly over the holiday season. The more people saw the 1940s film, the more popular it became. Now it’s hard to think of holiday films recommendations without this, now, classic!
When Irving Berlin wrote the music for Holiday Inn the winning number was White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby. It was so popular that it took very little convincing for Paramount Pictures to agree to another film based on the song White Christmas. It’s a loose remake of Holiday Inn (because why mess with a good thing), and once again starred Bing Crosby as the lead. While working on songs for all the holidays Irving Berlin actually found that writing a Christmas tune was the most challenging due to his Jewish upbringing. His struggles were worth it as we are fortunate to have a film and hit song synonymous with Christmas.
Charlie Brown Christmas
The 1965 animated TV special was based on Charles Schultz’ comic strip Peanuts. Charlie Brown is feeling down despite it being the holidays. His attempt to direct the Christmas play don’t go over well and nothing seems to bring him good cheer until Linus explains the true meaning of the holiday. This special has an incredibly iconic and jazzy soundtrack that was created by pianist Vince Guaraldi.
Fun fact: Did you know this special was commissioned and sponsored by Coca-Cola?
More of our favourites include:
Shop Around the Corner – A 1940s film that inspired You’ve Got Mail.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – We’re partial to the original, but there are several remakes to explore!
A Christmas Story – As we get older we find we agree with Ralphie’s mom more and more, but who can forget that Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun or that leg lamp.
Elf – Who doesn’t love Will Ferrel running around in New York City in yellow tights. This film was heavily influenced by another classic Rankin & Bass’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Meet Me In St. Louis – Judy Garland sings well known hits including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. We’re all for the original lyrics as we muddle through the end of 2020.
Die Hard – Christmas movie? Not a Christmas movie? Who can really say. This year we vote that any movie we watch in December is a Holiday film. We’ve earned it.
What holiday movies are you watching this year? Tag us on social media @ssoyxe with your picks and let us know if you watch our holiday concert films!