In the spirit of the season, UHS News hopes you and your loved ones get an opportunity to cozy up around a fire, drink some hot coco, and enjoy a Christmas cinema classic. Here are the news team’s five favorite films for the holiday season.
5. Home Alone (1990)
One of the most iconic holiday films of all time, Kevin McCallister never fails to bring a smile to the audience’s face as they are forced to watch his wild antics as he accepts his newfound freedom of being “the man of the house.” The writing for this film was handled by John Hughes, one of the prominent Hollywood figures in the 1980’s, most recognized for his teen films such as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Hughes manages to pull off the same charm that those films have into this Christmas favorite. It’s quotable to no end, the performances are stand-out and memorable, and the characters are actually well written for the most part, as Kevin has to endure bitter loneliness in a time where spending time with family is most celebrated and shows considerable growth as he goes on a journey to learn what he actually values, and the lengths he will go to to protect them. Love it or hate it, Home Alone will stand the test of time as one of the most iconic Christmas films of all time.
4. Frosty the Snowman (1969)
“Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul…” The song revolving around the tale of the good-hearted snowman is a Christmas tune that is known extensively, as many people have been singing it’s joyful lyrics since childhood. Along with the iconic song, the film adaptation is a childhood favorite to many, and it’s quite easy to see why. The journey of the jolly snowman after he’s given life is one of the most charming stories to watch, as the bond between Frosty and Karen seems to be out of this world, and the bittersweet ending leaves the audience with a sense of fulfillment and joy. It’s short and sweet, it doesn’t demand anything out of its audience except simple enjoyment, and it’s just iconic.
3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Another classic holiday film that’s as iconic as the catchy song it’s associated with. In this popular Christmas movie we see Rudolph, a reindeer born with a red nose try to figure out his way through life as he’s met with constant judgement for his nose. Luckily, Rudolph meets new friends, who also are misfits themselves, and they help Rudolph embrace his unorthodox condition. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer teaches its audience what it means to be brave and stand up for what’s right, even when the odds are stacked against you. With a crucial message for young audiences, a palpable yet interesting story, and charming stop-motion animation, this holiday favorite is perfect for any family to sit down and enjoy together during the Christmas season.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Being the oldest on this list, It’s A Wonderful Life might be missed by a large generation of younger viewers, but it’s also one of the best holiday films ever made. The 1946 classic movie tells the story of George Bailey, a well-intentioned man who has unfortunately ran into many plights in his adult life, as he’s on the verge of ending his life when a guardian angel arrives to assure George that he has led a wonderful life. The writing is extremely well done and memorable, with consistently engaging characters and strong thematic messages of hope and the value of family and life itself, making this enjoyable for audiences of all ages. It’s A Wonderful Life stands the test of time as one of the most iconic holiday films of all time, and it even has an effect on our community here in Ukiah, as the local theater typically does a showing of the film on Christmas Eve. This year though, that’ll be impossible unfortunately due to the Covid-19 circumstances currently. Still, this classic should not be missed this holiday season.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
A Charlie Brown Christmas is simply one of the best (if not THE best) Christmas films of all time. It’s charming to no end as the iconic Peanut’s character Charlie Brown attempts to find his place in the community’s local Christmas play, and all he seems to be met with is resentment from the other kids. The lines are memorable, and the thematic messages on what Christmas is truly about is one of the best instances of storytelling on this list. This film cohesively provides a thorough and important message to its viewers about the danger of straying away from Christmas’ true meaning, and Charlie Brown and Linus are at the front of the line when figuring this out of course. What’s arguably just as iconic as the film though is the soundtrack, composed and performed brilliantly by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Every song elevates the film to a higher standing, as the smooth Jazz pieces and heavenly choir compositions transition back and forth flawlessly. A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the films that will never be forgotten in the vast catalogue of Christmas films, as it near flawlessly communicates a story with a positive message that children and adults alike can walk away with.