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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Here are some holiday movies to watch with your family

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Various traditions take center stage during the holiday season. One of those traditions may be sitting down and enjoying any of a number of timeless Christmas movies or even newer holiday films that are quickly becoming favorites.

Film fans have their own ideas about the best films to watch during the holidays, but the following movies are some families can enjoy together.

• The Polar Express (2004): A young boy enjoys a magical adventure to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express train. He learns about the true spirit of the holidays and the value of bravery and friendship along the way.

• The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): Charles Dickens’ classic story about a bitter miser might be a little frightening for young children to enjoy in its more theatrical offerings. However, when the Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale, the story becomes much more family-friendly.

• A Boy Called Christmas (2021): Based on the book by Matt Haig, this movie is a reimagined take on Father Christmas. It focuses on Nikolas as he goes on an adventure to find a magical town called Elfhelm.

• Jack Frost (1998): When a father dies in a car accident, he comes back to life as a snowman in his son’s front yard. Jack learns to keep his promises and make things right with his son in things he wasn’t capable of doing as a human.

• Christmas with the Kranks (2004): The Kranks decide to forgo thir annual Christmas party and plan a vacation since their daughter will be out of town. But when said daughter decides to come home after all, chaos sets in as the couple tries to figure out how to put together an extravaganza at the last minute.

• Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997): The Beast does not favor the holiday season, so Belle must change his mind on the matter in this animated Disney offering.

• Elf (2003): As a youngster, Buddy was magically transported to the North Pole and raised by Santa’s elves. As an adult, he’s determined to find his real dad in New York City and uncover a way to fit in.

• Santa Hunters (2014): A young boy teams up with his sibling and cousins to try to capture new footage of Santa in action and prove that the man in red truly exists.

• The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018): This is a newer take on the classic Nutcracker tale. This adventure sees Clara defending the Land of Sweets from the evil Mother Ginger.

The holiday season is steeped in tradition. Few traditions may elicit more collective belly laughs than holiday movie night, a tradition in millions of households across the globe.

Families can consider these classic holiday films as they plan family movie night this holiday season.

• Miracle on 34th Street (1947): This classic is centered around a man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) who claims to be the real Santa Claus after a successful stint as a department store Santa in midtown Manhattan. A trial to determine if Mr. Kringle is telling the truth soon follows. This version of the tale has earned a 96 percent rating on the popular film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

• A Christmas Story (1983): Though it airs all day long on Christmas on the cable television network TBS, families can get a head-start on that marathon and watch the film uninterrupted whenever they choose. Families can laugh together as nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) hopes to unwrap his official Red Ryder BB gun on Christmas morning. The film, which boasts an 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, includes a memorable performance by Darren McGavin, who plays Ralphie’s father.

• Babes In Toyland (1934): Also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers, this nearly century-old classic stars the legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy as two helpful tenants living in Mother Peep’s shoe in Toyland.

• How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1967): An animated version of the Dr. Seuss classic, this film has entertained scores of children since it was first released more than 50 years ago.

• Holiday Inn (1942): Hollywood legends Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire star in this classic that is perhaps most remembered for introducing the Irving Berlin class White Christmas to the masses. The film boasts a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has something for fans of song, dance and romance.

• Arthur Christmas (2011): Not all Christmas films date back to the 20th century. This animated tale tells the story of Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy), Santa’s youngest son who is thrust into the Christmas Eve business of delivering presents when his father fails to deliver a present to one child out of the hundreds of millions of kids on his list.

• A Christmas Carol (1951): Many holiday season celebrants cannot imagine letting a season go by without watching at least one adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. The 1951 version is widely considered the most faithful to Dickens’ 1843 novella that recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Alastair Sim stars as Scrooge, and many consider his performance the best of any actor to take a turn as the notorious 19th century miser.

Holiday films enhance the celebratory nature of the season. Certain movies are tailor-made for families to watch together during this special time of year. Check your favorite streaming service and broadcast listings for these movies.


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