The festive season is well and truly upon us, which can only mean one thing: Christmas films, on repeat. What’s better than curling up on the sofa, putting on a great movie, with a big box of chocolates nearby?When it comes to the best festive films there are a few key ingredients. Here’s what’s needed to make a classic…
A dash of humourThe main ingredient of so many great Christmas films is humour; they have to bring smiles to our faces – after all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the ultimate example of a roaring feel-good film set at Christmas time, when in true National Lampoon style, nothing quite goes to plan. It’s a total classic that ticks all the boxes, time and time again.
A sprinkle of adorable animalsIt’s rare to find a Christmas film without a few cute animals vying to take centre stage. Sweet, furry creatures come out of hiding during this period to delight audiences and deliver a few wise-cracks along the way. Happy Feet, the animated film about dancing emperor penguins, gives audiences exactly what they’re looking for, as lovable penguin Mumble goes on an all-singing, all-dancing adventure of his own.
A pinch of catchy jinglesChristmas carols are at the centre of any festive celebration, and the tradition definitely continues into film. Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas is a stop-motion animated Christmas musical, retelling the story of Will Ferrell’s Christmas hit, Elf. The songs in this musical extravaganza are silly and spontaneous, great for capturing children’s imaginations and for singing along to.
A flurry of mischievous elvesElves aren’t only essential for helping Santa back in the North Pole, they’re also vital for a good family film. Get Santa stars Jim Broadbent as Father Christmas, who is unceremoniously thrown into prison before Christmas Eve hits. It takes a nine year old boy and some mischievous elves to help break Santa out and get the festive season back on track.
A dollop of Santa ClausThe star of any ultimate Christmas film is the man himself, Santa Claus. He appears in endless festive films, but it’s the ones that put a new twist on the classic story that really capture the imagination. Fred Claus, starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti, gives us a glimpse into the family of old Saint Nick, including his rowdy brother Fred. Giamatti’s portrayal of Santa is hilarious and memorable, and Vaughn’s Fred Claus stands out as a modern Christmas hero we won’t forget.
A heart-warming storyThere’s something about a good Christmas film that gives us a heart-warming feeling we want to relive year after year, and at Christmas time The Polar Express tops them all. Robert Zemeckis’ beautiful CGI feature follows the story of a young boy who begins to question the existence of Santa Claus, but a magical train ride to the North Pole helps him regain his belief. The voice of Tom Hanks is the cherry on the top for this modern day favourite.
Now that we’ve gone over the essentials, which Christmas film have you been inspired to watch?