Top Christmas Family Movies
’Tis the season to be jolly – unless you’re being dragged to some awful, syrupy, schmaltzy festive flick. Luckily, we’ve got the antidote: every film on this list of Christmas movies is guaranteed to charm, entertain and in the odd case terrify. From psycho Santas and home-invading thieves to feelgood fireside frolics and cockle-warming cosiness, our cinematic sack is bulging with treats.
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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
A cosy, child-friendly Christmas treat, this faithful adaptation of CS Lewis’s novel sees its young kids entering an eternally snowy Narnia through the wardrobe, and encountering Father Christmas – while the villainous White Queen (Tilda Swinton) is lurking with evil intent.
The Polar Express (2004)
A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.
Home Alone (1990)
Kevin McCallister, who is a 8-year-old boy, is forsaked at home while his family is on holiday in France. When Kevin realizes that he is forgotten, he knows that he must take care of himself. Meanwhile, 2 thieves – Harry and Marv are keeping eyes on Kevin’s house because of knowing this fact.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself in New York City, and the same criminals are not far behind.
The Snowman (1982)
Midnight one Christmas Eve, and a young boy finds that the snowman he built that day has magically come to life. The Snowman takes him on a magical journey, flying across countries and to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The ultimate in cuddly Christmas afternoon movies, this original stars Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, who must prove he is in fact Santa Claus – not least to a young girl (Natalie Wood) who has lost the true meaning of Christmas.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Jim Carrey puts in an exuberant turn as the grumpy green Grinch of the Dr Seuss books. A hermit who lives on a rubbish dump near Whoville, the Grinch takes a dim view of the consumerist little town – except for child Cindy-Lou, who might just be the one to melt his heart. A great family Christmas movie.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
How Michael Caine kept a straight face playing miserly Scrooge opposite a hectic gaggle of frogs, rats, pigs and Great Gonzos is anyone’s guess. But the result is fabulous, a riot of songs, jokes and general silliness that, amazingly, still manages to respect Dickens’s story.
Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Bridget (Renée Zellweger) thinks she might have met the man of her life (Colin Firth) – but spots him sporting a hideous Christmas jumper. This seasonal wardrobe error plays a pivotal part in the sharp romantic comedy-drama, which also features fellow festive favourite Hugh Grant.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Leave it to Tim Burton to give Christmas a dark edge, although this stop-motion animation still has plenty of heart, too. Jack Skellington is the anti-hero who decides he’s had enough of Halloween and wants to stand in for Santa. Terrific fun.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
It’s only 25 minutes long, but this beloved cartoon manages to pack in more warmth, more wit and more honest seasonal spirit than most full-length Christmas movies. It’s largely down to Vince Guaraldi’s flawless, jazz-tinged score, a key part of any self-respecting festive record collection.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Christmas is a time of both joy and fear for Edward (Johnny Depp) after he and his new host family are ostracised from the community. It’s a typically bittersweet story from Tim Burton which, with Danny Elfman’s score, has a magical festive feel: just picture Winona Ryder dancing around that ice sculpture.
Is there a more memorable soliloquy in the Christmas movie canon than Phoebe Cates’s tearful recollection of her father’s death – suffocated in the chimney, wearing a Santa suit? It’s the dark heart of Joe Dante’s timeless monster movie, a film that takes all those twinkly festive classics you loved as a kid and vomits – lovingly – all over them.
Bad Santa (2003)
It’s a brilliant scheme: Billy Bob Thornton dresses as Santa, hires himself cheap to desperate shopping malls then robs them blind with the aid of his foul-mouthed elf sidekick. A flop that became a cult Christmas classic, ‘Bad Santa’ may be gleefully tasteless but it’s also brilliantly sarcastic, enormously funny and – in the scenes with Billy Bob’s goofy kid sidekick Thurman Merman – impossibly sweet.
A gift to Christmas TV programmers, this festive comedy makes full use of Will Ferrell’s man-child charm by casting him as a naive human raised by elves and thrown into a cynical modern-day New York. Highlights include a duet of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ with an unwitting Zooey Deschanel as she sings in the shower.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A moving tribute to the power of the individual, Frank Capra’s snowy festive classic is a true delight, as entertaining as it is message-driven. James Stewart puts in the performance of a lifetime as a potential suicide who’s given a chance to look at life with fresh eyes. Merry Christmas George!
Batman Returns (1992)
After the spectacular success of his first ‘Batman’, Tim Burton had carte blanche on this sequel – and boy did he go to town. As snow falls on Gotham, Bruce Wayne finds himself facing not just the creepy, grubby Penguin and his flippered minions, but a psychotic Catwoman and Christopher Walken in a crazy wig.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Another hard-quipping festive shoot-’em-up from ‘Lethal Weapon’ writer Shane Black, as Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer play a ham actor and a private dick on the trail of a missing woman while sleigh bells ring out over LA. The dialogue’s fast and funny, and somehow the constant gunplay never dents its Christmas spirit.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
It’s Christmas every day for Arthur, son of Santa, in the most recently released entry in our countdown. Sarah Smith’s humorous animation sees the clumsy kid leaving the North Pole on a mission, complete with reindeer and comedy elves. James McAvoy and Jim Broadbent provide voices.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
An animated retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale tells the story of people living near the Korvatunturi mountain, Finland who discover the secret behind Santa Claus, the secret no one should know about.
Disney’s Frozen (2013)
When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.
When his dysfunctional family clashes over Christmas, young Max ends up accidentally summoning Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children, to his family home. Now their family has to band together or bad things happen.
Simply click on the image to enjoy your Movie. Don’t forget to share 🙂