By Michelle Jines, Class of 2013 and Isaiah Harris, Class of 2013 —
It’s another holiday season and that means new movies hitting the big screen, as well as the classics popping back up on our own little screens. There are plenty of films to flip through during the month of December and the hardest decision of it all is deciding which tops them all. From the original belief of Christmas magic in a “Miracle on 34th Street”, to Tim Burton’s scary twist on the joyous holiday, and every fun filled with laughter holiday movie known to man. So how do you decide what to watch? We’ve got that answer for you.
Spanning from the early 80s up to 2012 we picked five of our best holiday movies and why you shouldn’t miss the chance to experience the adventures of every child, adult, and Pumpkin King if you haven’t already.
To start off the Top 5 is the classic and beloved movie “Miracle on 34th Street”. In the 1994 remake of the ’47 classic, the true miracle of the Christmas holiday shared what believing was all about. Kris Kringle is put to the test to make six-year-old Susan believe in him, by fulfilling her wish list, but when set up by the stores former Santa Claus, he must prove not only his true identity to little Susan but his innocence in court to the people of New York. You want to know the real miracle of Christmas? In this story of betrayal, belief, family and love you learn to know you are never too old to believe in good old Kris; every and anything is possible when you have faith. This family movie will have everyone wishing it was Christmas all year round.
Continuing with family togetherness is our number 4 film, “Home Alone”. The 1990 film started a series of mischievous Christmas adventures of 8-year old Kevin McCallister. Waking up to an empty house the morning of his family’s departure to Paris, poor Kevin is left stranded on his own for the holidays. Though it doesn’t take long for him to realize his situation to be not bad but a good thing, with no authority and free to do as he pleases, Kevin ventures out enjoy his family- free time in the suburb Chicago. What Kevin is not aware of is that he has visitors waiting to shake up his Christmas and thus begins the adventures with the robbers, all while Kevin’s mother struggles to make her way back home to her child in time. The first film of its series brings us the dreams of any 8-year old on Christmas, the stress for a perfect vacation and most of all, the love of family that brings them all together. You will cry, you will laugh, and you will wonder how this kid put these bad guys in their places all in one night.
Being mischievous isn’t something we’re new to, our number 3 movie, “A Christmas Story”, reminds you that not everything you wish for is what you really want. We can all remember that short chubby Ralphie begging to his parents, telling his teacher why he wants one and pleading to his local department store’s Santa for that Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Though he receives the same answer from them all, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” So we follow the days following up to Christmas with nine-year old Ralphie and his misadventures of getting the perfect gift and once receiving that gift from his father, comes to find out it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be.
At number 2 is the twist on the jolly Christmas spirit that Tim Burton puts on in “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. In this city of ghost, ghouls, vampires, and werewolves, Halloween Town’s own Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington, finds himself in a new town filled with Christmas cheer. With hopes of sharing this new world he has discovered, Jack returns home to convince the towns people to take a new turn from their extravagant celebration of Halloween. But when those plans fail, Jack decides to instead take over Christmas Town and take his place as Santa Claus. This animated filmed of determination, love, and the fight for one’s wish is Burton’s vision that even the undead can have the holiday spirit we all experience.
So which jolly filled filmed made it to number 1 on my list? Well, as Christmas time surrounds us with not only family, joy, tears, but none the less it gives us laughter and tons of it, so why shouldn’t this spot go to the one and only “Elf”. Will Ferrell gives his audience that humorous character to love for his determination to be one of Santa’s elves, feel sadness for when rejected by his biological father, and laugh at all while trying to explain where he has been all his life and bring the belief of there being a real Santa into the lives of his family. This 2003 film brings a real sense of the Christmas feeling, the togetherness of a family separated, the belief of one imaginative Kris Kringle, and love.
Tis the season for everyone to come together for such a celebrated holiday, but none the less should we forget the real reason we await this holiday season every year, the endless movies that pop on our screens to enjoy. Together with family, friends, and loved ones these films and the many more out there are all surely enjoyable in this time of cheer.