It’s that time of year again. Now is the time for shopping, embarrassing jumpers, mince pies, family dinners, putting up Christmas decorations and of course, watching festive films. Christmas is the only time of year when you can embrace your inner child so here’s a list of Yuletide-appropriate movies which can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
1. Little Women
This isn’t strictly a Christmas film, even though it begins during the festive season with Jo moaning that, “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.” It does, however, contain the Christmas spirit of nostalgia and generosity. Little Women tells the tale of the March sisters during the American civil war. There’s vain Amy (Kirsten Dunst), bossy Meg (Trini Alvarado), angelic Beth (Claire Danes) and headstrong Jo (Winona Ryder). Jo is the one character that stops the film from choking in its own self-improving message.
2. Love Actually
From the writer behind some of the best British romantic comedies – Notting Hill, Bridget Jones and Four Weddings and a Funeral – Richard Curtis’ seasonal feelgood comedy was an inevitable success. Love Actually employs a multi-stranded format, cleverly intertwining ten stories, loosely connected by family and friends of friends. Featuring a star-studded cast (including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley), the film centres on love in all of its various forms with no shortage of festive cheer.
Everyone loves Jon Favreau’s hilarious tale of an elf raised by Santa, who learns that he is actually a human. Will Ferrell plays Buddy, and elf who travels from the North Pole to New York City in search of his real family. Elf’s fairy-tale reality is sentimental and heartfelt but still believable. This one is at the top of everyone’s favourite Christmas films list, probably due to its sheer quotablility. You would have to be a ‘cotton-headed ninnymuggins” not to love this film.
4. The Snowman
It’s less than thirty minutes long and wordless with the exception of Walking in the Air, yet The Snowman is essential Christmas viewing. Based on Raymond Briggs’ picture book of the same name, the film explores the spirit of Christmas through the eyes of a child, and by extension, innocence. The heart-breaking image of the boy mourning his snowman at the end of the film leaves a melancholy feel. The pencil-drawn animation is endearing, the music is beautiful and the story is full of bittersweet wonder.
5. A Muppet Christmas Carol
The beloved Dickensian tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of all Christmases is timeless, but it has to be said that the Muppets’ version of the classic story is a must-see during the festive season. Even though the film has been muppetised with Michael Caine as Scrooge, Kermit as Bob Cratchett and Gonzo as Charles Dickens, there is no attempt to sugar-coat the classic tale. The film delivers a sentimental and saccharine sweetness but it is also much darker than and not as silly as other Muppet flicks.
What’s your favourite festive flick? Let us know in the comments below!