Blog | 10 brilliant Christmas movies you’ve (probably) never seen
Sick of Scrooge? Weary of It’s a Wonderful Life? Check out these gems this holiday season for some alternative festive cheer...
Suitable for all...
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (U)
Director/producer Jules Bass pioneered a handful of stop-motion, animated classics in the 60s and this is one of his best. A huge influence on Will Ferrell’s Elf (Santa’s workshop and the elf costumes are all based on this film), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeeris a fantastic bundle of festive loveliness for all the family.
A Christmas Story (PG)
A holiday favourite and household name in the US but sadly relatively obscure in these parts, Bob Clark’s classic is a nostalgic look at one boy’s eventful Christmas and his obsession with the perfect present. Both warm and hilarious, A Christmas Story also includes a potent reminder of why you shouldn’t attempt to lick an icy lamppost!
Frosty the Snowman (U)
A 60s classic based on the song of the same name, this super sweet film focuses on Frosty, a snowman who is magically brought to life by a very special hat. This is another Jules Bass favourite featuring legendary voice actress, June Foray (look at her credits on IMDB – she’s amazing!).
A Charlie Brown Christmas (PG)
Everyone’s favourite Peanuts character goes in search of the true spirit of Christmas in this first animated special for Charlie Brown and friends. Again, it’s a staple holiday favourite in the US and the second longest running Christmas special on network television (first is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). It’s got a great soundtrack too.
For older Scouts...
During the lead up to Christmas, two brothers discover a bagful for money, but with Britain about to switch to the Euro, Damian and his older brother, Anthony must decide whether to use it or lose it. This is director Danny Boyle at his most sentimental and sweet, but sadly it’s one of his lesser-seen films.
Tokyo Godfathers (12)
On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby and set out on a journey across the city to find its parents. Not as out there as your average Japanese anime and far more family-friendly than it sounds, Tokyo Godfathers is a delightedly simple tale that’s sure to fill you with good cheer.
Joyeux Noël (12)
You’ve seen this year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert with the chocolate bar and the football match in the snow – this is the same deal – but better. On Christmas Eve during World War 1, soldiers from France, Germany and Britain momentarily set their differences aside for a kick about and some soul-searching. Dedicated to the soldiers of WW1...
For teens and older...
Rare Exports (15)
A small town has been guarding a secret for too long and it’s time to unveil the terrifying truth about Christmas! Santa’s not as jolly as we were led to believe according to this weird and wonderful Finnish film that takes its cue from the Brothers Grimm and puts a decidedly creepy spin on Christmas.
Though Terry Gilliam’s bonkers Brazil has little to do with Christmas, this mind-bending sci-fi/comedy is set at the height of the festive season (albeit in the future) where a poor old bureaucrat becomes mixed up in a surreal, fantastical misadventure. A welcome alternative to yet another viewing of that Vicar of Dibley Chirstmas special.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (U)
For so-bad-it’s-good festive weirdness – Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is unrivalled. The plot sees Santa being kidnapped by Martians as they have no-one to deliver their Christmas presents (honestly, we’re not making this up). Unintentionally hilarious and notable for the first (apparent) documented appearance of Mrs. Claus in a movie!
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