With the holiday
season approaching it is time to take a look at some of the greatest Christmas movies of all time.We
will be focusing on modern Christmas classics and films since the year 1980.You will not find It’s
a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th street on this particular list.We will also be examining
the Greatest Christmas TV Specials of All Time.
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Christmas is a comedy film starring Jim Varney.It is the third movie to feature the character
Ernest P. Worrell, and chronicles Ernest's attempt to find a replacement for an aging Santa Claus.The
movie is rated PG.It opened at #2 at the box office and grossed $28 million.
A Wish for Wings That Work (1991)
A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story is a children's
book by Berkeley Breathed that was published in 1991.It was made into an animated television
movie that same year.The story is 30 pages long and centers around Opus the Penguin, who is a sad
because he has been denied the ability to fly. He longs to soar in the air with the other birds, so
Opus decides that he will do whatever it takes to fly.The animated film was directed by Skip Jones
and produced by Steven Spielberg.
13. The Family
Family Man is a comedy-drama film, directed by Brett Ratner and starring Nicolas Cage and Téa Leoni.The film is centered on a man who gets a glimpse of what his life would have been like had he made a different
decision thirteen years earlier.It is similar to It's a Wonderful Life in that it
begins on Christmas Eve with a life-and-death situation, involving an angel, who tries to convince the main character
into taking an earnest look at his life.The film has also been compared to Charles Dickens’sA Christmas Carol.
12. Gremlins (1984)
is an American comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante.It is about a young man who receives a strange
creature named Gizmo as a pet.Gizmo soon spawns a liter of creatures who transform into small, destructive,
evil monsters, named Gremlins.The film is balanced against a Christmas-time setting.
Funny Farm is a film directed by George Roy Hill, starring Chevy
Chase and Madolyn Smith.Chevy plays Andy Farmer, a New York sports writer who moves with his
wife to the seemingly charming town of Redbud, Vermont, so he can write a novel.This is a funny movie
with a good Christmas feel.
10. The Muppet
Christmas Carol (1992)
Muppet Christmas Carol is the fourth feature film starring The Muppets.It is one of many adaptations
of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.The movie is set on Christmas Eve
in 19th century London.Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed by Michael Caine.The Muppet Christmas Carol did not make much of an impact during its theatrical release, having to
face competition from Home Alone 2and Disney's Aladdin.The
film grossed a total of $27 million domestically.
9. Elf (2003)
is a Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau.The movie follows Buddy, who is a human boy that
was raised at the North Pole, living among elves. Buddy learns from Santa Claus that his father is
a businessman in New York City who is on the naughty list.He decides to travel from the North Pole to meet his dad in New York.The film grossed $220 million at the worldwide box office.
8. Joyeux Noël
Joyeux Noël is a film about the World War I Christmas truce of December 1914.The movie is depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish, and German soldiers.It was written and directed by Christian Carion.The production was nominated for Best Foreign
Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards.It is a touching picture and tells a great Christmas time story.
7. Edward Scissorhands
Scissorhands is a comedy-drama fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.The
movie tells the story of an artificial man named Edward who has scissors for hands. Edward is taken
in by a suburban family and falls in love with their teenage daughter Kim.The film was a commercial success and received numerous nominations at the Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Saturn Awards, as well
as winning the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
Edward Scissorhands has some great Christmas-time scenes and a wonderful musical score.I
have included one of my favorite clips from the film, while the family is setting up Christmas decorations Edward carves
an ice sculpture from a block of ice.The ice shavings create the effect of falling snow, under which Kim dances.
The Polar Express (2004)
The Polar Express is a computer-animated
feature film based on the children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg.It
was written, produced, and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the human characters in the film were "animated" using "live action" performance capture technique.The movie stars actor Tom Hanks in
five distinct roles, including the role of Santa Claus. The Polar Express has grossed over 300 million
dollars worldwide and was nominated for three Academy Awards, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Original Song
5. National Lampoon's
Christmas Vacation (1989)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a Christmas comedy
film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik.It is the third installment in National Lampoon’s Vacation film series.The movie chronicles a Griswold family Christmas. Since
its release in 1989, Christmas Vacation has been ranked on many top 10 favorite Christmas movie lists and is considered
a modern holiday classic.
4. The Santa Claus
Santa Clause is a Christmas film released by both Walt Disney Pictures and Hollywood Pictures.The
film stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, a father who finds himself contractually bound to become Santa Claus when he unintentionally puts on the previous Santa's suit.This movie is great for kids and will bring
out the holiday spirit for the entire family.The Santa Clause grossed over $144 million
in the United States alone and $189 million worldwide.
is a comedy film and modernization of Charles Dickens' novella, A Christmas Carol.The cast
is headed by Bill Murray, Karen Allen, and Bobcat Goldthwait.The film was marketed with
references to the film Ghostbusters, which had been a great success four years earlier in 1984.In the U.S. the tagline for Scrooged was, "Bill Murray is back among the ghosts, only this time, it's three against one."
The movie revolves around Francis "Frank"
Cross, who is a conceited, cynical television programming executive.Frank has found great success
and wealth, but lives a coldhearted and cruel lifestyle.During the film Frank is visited by three
ghosts.They show him how life would have been different had he made more generous decisions.
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone is a Christmas film written
and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film features Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas
vacation.Kevin initially enjoys the freedom of an empty house, but is later greeted by two house
intruders.He eventually manages to outwit them with a series of booby traps.Home
Alone is the highest grossing live action comedy of all time in the United States.It has
grossed over $478 million worldwide.The movie has a great Christmas soundtrack and original music.
1. A Christmas
Christmas Story is a film based on the short stories and semi-fictional anecdotes of author Jean Shepherd.The movie is set in the fictional city of Hohman and follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker who wants only one thing
for Christmas, "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle.”This film tells a good story and has become a holiday classic.It is known for being
shown numerous times on television during the holiday season.
Some Other Great Christmas Movies
Home Alone 2
Top 10 Greatest Christmas TV Specials of All
10. The Smurfs'
Christmas Special (1982)
The Smurfs' Christmas Special is a 1982 animated television special produced by Hanna-Barbera staring the
Smurfs.The Smurfs are a fictional group of small blue creatures who live in Smurf Village somewhere
in the woods.The Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced the Smurfs to the world in a series of comic
strips, making their first appearance in the Belgian magazine Spirou on October 23, 1958.
9. The Fat
Albert Christmas Special (1977)
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is an animated series created, produced, and hosted by comedian Bill Cosby, who
also lent his voice to a number of characters.The show ran for 13 years and produced many television specials, including a Christmas based story which originally aired December 18, 1977.
8. A Chipmunk
A Chipmunk Christmas is an animated Christmas television special based on characters from Alvin and the Chipmunks.The TV special tells a good Christmas story and is accompanied by holiday music.The soundtrack serves as the group's third Christmas album and their twelfth album overall.
7. The Best Christmas
Pageant Ever (1983)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a 1983 TV special.It was based on the best-selling children's
book of the same name, written by Barbara Robinson. Beth Bradley, played by a young Fairuza Balk, narrates periodically
throughout the story.Loretta Swit plays Beth's mother, Grace, who is roped into directing the annual church Christmas pageant by her fellow church ladies.
When the rambunctious Herdman kids bully their way into the pageant, taking all the lead roles for themselves, everyone
is sure that the production will be a disaster.But the results are far from what anyone expected,
and the lives of all those involved are remarkably changed.
Christmas Carol (1983)
Mickey's Christmas Carol is a twenty-four minute animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions
and originally released in the United Kingdom on October 20, 1983.It is an adaptation of the Charles
Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, featuring Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge and Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit.
5. A Garfield
Christmas Special (1987)
A Garfield Christmas Special is a Christmas special based on the commercially successful newspaper comic strip
Garfield.It has enjoyed traditional holiday time airings since its premiere.
4. A Charlie
Brown Christmas (1965)
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by
Charles M. Schulz.It was initially sponsored by Coca-Cola and aired on CBS from 1965 through 2000.The special has been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody award.It remains one of CBS’s
most successful TV specials of all time.
3. Yogi Bear's
All Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982)
Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper is an animated television special starring Yogi Bear and friends.It first aired on December 21, 1982.
Yogi's First Christmas is a holiday-themed television film
first aired on November 22, 1980.The plot follows Yogi and
his little pal, Boo Boo, who are usually hibernating during the Christmas season, but this year they are awakened
when Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Doggie Daddy come to Jellystone Lodge for the holiday.
2. Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman is a thirty-minute animated television special based on the popular song of the same name.The program, which first aired on December
14, 1969 on CBS, was produced for television and features the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as narrator and
Jackie Vernon as the title character.
1. How the Grinch
Stole Christmas! (1966)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is an animated television special
directed by Chuck Jones.It is based on the children's book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.The special, which is considered a short film, is one of the very few Christmas specials from the 1960's that
is still shown regularly on television.
Some Other Great Christmas TV Specials
A Christmas Special (1985)
John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979)