We are on the eve of another Christmas and, it got me feeling all nostalgic about my younger years. Back in the good ole days where your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a sad family friend that doesn't have a family of their own and even the family dog would find themselves jammed together at your grandparents' home for Christmas. Then after gouging down on some ham and sorrel, we would gather around for the traditional Christmas movie viewing. Now being in my 30s, becoming a brand new father myself and a mad lover of all things animation, I got the idea to recommend to my family for us not to watch Home Alone for the gazillionth time and instead choose a new movie to watch, preferably of the animated variety. So I instantly grabbed a pen and submitted 5 recommendations to the Mcfarlane clan. Here's my list:
bah, humduck! A Looney tunes Christmas Special
Like the Christmas ham/turkey, sorrel/eggnog, pepper lights and Christmas trees, there exist a few items that are simply synonymous with this season. Charles Dicken's timeless tale, A Christmas Carol, is another one of those must-have for Christmas to feel "Christmas-y". So much so, that tinsel town has revisited this classic numerous times over the years, especially in the world of animation. But, in the end, I decided to go with the Looney Tunes version (it was a close call between this and the excellent Flinstone version) as I see it as a more appealing bridge between the young kids who love wacky cartoons and the older generations who grew up when Bugs and company were in their prime.
the Polar Express
Did you ever wish you could leave home and take your sibling on a grand adventure? Go on a magic train ride to the North Pole? Meet Santa? And save Christmas before making it back home before your parents had any clue? No? Then no offence, your childhood sounded pretty boring or, you missed out on watching the stellar 2004 CG animated movie, The Polar Express. This sense of wonder and adventure would be a great watch with the younger kids in your family and provide an interesting look at CG technology from the early 2000s for those animation enthusiasts in the family.
We move on from one CG animated movie to one from the modern masters of the genre. Pixar's UP is our next recommendation, and yes, I know this list could have been filled with a plethora of Pixar/Disney classics. But, for the sake of variety, I chose what many would consider being Pixar's best work. And again, yes, I know this is not a Christmas themed movie, but it contains an almost endless amount positive life lessons about love and valuing life that makes it a great family watch regardless of the occasion. Plus, you always need an excuse to watch this masterpiece of animation and storytelling again.
"But Marlon...my family has watched all these movies before"
"Got anything new?"
You are correct that the movies so far on this list are a bit on the older side as none were released within the last decade. Lucky for you, my next recommended movie is not only seen as one of the movies of the year but, it also only released one month ago. Klaus is a modern classic, a triumphant spin on the origin story of Santa Klaus. The movie currently sits at a score of 93% from Rotten Tomatoes with reviews praising its innovative animation, heartwarming story, and vocal performances. Truly...a must-watch.
A charlie brown Christmas
Modern animation is great but, sometimes, you just can't beat the classics. The last animated movie on my list is none other than A Charlie Brown Christmas which stars the legendary Peanut Gang. This television special first released all the way back in 1965 but is so good, so heartwarming, that it airing on Christmas day remains a beloved annual tradition. Introduce it to the younger members of your family the story of poor, depress Charlie Brown on his personal journey in rediscovering the true meaning of Christmas. I can't recommend this timeless classic enough.
And there you have it, My 5 recommended movies to watch with the family on Christmas day. If possible, watch them all but, if you can only choose one, you can't go wrong with either UP or Klaus. Also, lets us know in the comments below of your own Christmas movie traditions.
Have A Safe and Happy Christmas/Holidays!
-YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN:
Hey I am Marlon Mcfarlane the writer here at Blue Crescent Studio & a longtime lover of all things Animation & Gaming.