Friday, December 2, 2011

Feliz Navidad! Friday: Christmas Movies

I've heard a lot of people (women) tell me lately that they can't watch the Hallmark Channel during this time of year because it makes them cry.  I don't have the Hallmark Channel (or any cable channel), but if I had it, I'm pretty sure I'd only watch it when "Little House on the Prairie" is on.  I like that show.  But most of the other stuff on that channel kind of makes me squeamish, and I have a feeling that most of the stuff they play during this time of year would also make me squeamish. 

I'm not a big fan of sappy Christmas movies.  ...unless I grew up watching them, of course.

I've got a few Christmas movies that I have to see every November-December of every year...and sometimes in the summer, too.  Most of them are movies that I did grow up watching, but there are a few that have become favorites just in the past few years.

Elf is one of my newer favorites, which is weird, because I'm not a huge Will Ferrell fan.  In fact, the only movies I like (and, in fact, love) with him are Elf and Megamind.  I think the reason that I love these movies and love Will Ferrell's characters in them is because there's a reason why these characters act the way they do.  In some Will Ferrell movies, he acts like an idiot, and there's no reason for it.  He's a normal guy in a normal life with a normal family, and yet, he's acting like a complete idiot.  I don't like that.  But in Megamind, he's a cartoon extraterrestrial villain with a gigantic blue head.  It makes sense for him to act ridiculously.  In Elf, dude was raised by Bob Newhart wearing bright yellow tights elves.  It makes sense for him to act ridiculously.  And this movie has Ed Asner, James Caan, AND Zooey Deschanel, so it has to be pretty good.  My one issue with this movie is that I really can't help but wonder why Buddy the Elf hasn't developed DIABEETUS.

One of my favorite scenes:

Another movie I have to see every year is the one they play on TBS for 24 hours every Christmas. A Christmas Story. Now, I don't have cable, but that's okay. My mom bought the dvd for me a couple Christmases ago, so I can watch it anytime--even if it's not Christmas Eve. I can relive the tongue stuck to the flagpole, the scary Santa slide, and the Red Ryder BB Gun joy all year long! Last Christmas, my mom gave me a rather remarkable puzzle that is shaped like the leg lamp. It came in a wooden box marked FRAGILE. Fra-gee-lay? Must be Italian.

Now, last week, I think I wrote in my blog that I only liked one version of "Deck the Halls" (the Mannheim Steamroller version). I now realize that there's another version I really like:

I'm not a huge fan of chick flicks, but I don't consider this next movie a chick flick. I guess it technically couldn't be considered a Christmas movie, either, but the plot does take place around Christmas and New Year's. While You Were Sleeping is one of my favorite, favorite movies. I think it has something to do with the fact that I've got a huge celeb crush on mid 1990s Bill Pullman. Or maybe it's just because those mashed potatoes are so creamy...

Now, when I was a kid, I think I could have watched Mickey's Christmas Carol every day and not gotten tired of it. I think the reason that I think this is because I DID watch it every day, and I never got tired of it. I've watched several versions of this classic tale, and I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't read Charles Dickens' book until last year. Really, after seeing so many versions of the story, I pretty much felt as though I had already read it. It's good to know that most adaptations, including Mickey's version, are fairly accurate.  And by the way, the book is totally worth the read.

This is probably my favorite version of the movie, but probably only because Patrick Stewart is my favorite Scrooge:

A few years ago, I found a copy of Mickey's Christmas Carol on dvd along with a Pluto Christmas cartoon, and another cartoon short film entitled The Small One. I got the dvd because I really do like Mickey's Christmas Carol and the Pluto cartoon, but the real movie I wanted was The Small One. No Christmas movie can reduce me to tears quicker than this sweet story about a boy and his elderly "pet" donkey. The boy's father wanted the boy to sell the donkey, but the boy couldn't find a buyer. I don't want to reveal the ending, but the theme of the story is that "There's a place for each Small One, God planned it that way." The fact that Disney (even old school Disney) produced something so clearly Christian is amazing. If you really want a great Christmas story with a good message and fun songs, I suggest you try to get your hands on a copy of Classic Cartoon Favorites Vol. 9: Classic Holiday Stories, which contains The Small One and a couple of other great cartoons.

Okay, so my absolute favorite Christmas movie has to be A Charlie Brown Christmas. I like a lot of things about this. Love the music. Love the characters. I even love the ridiculously simple animation. But the main reason I love this movie is because of this scene right here:

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

I have a lot of other Christmas movies I like, but if I were to blog about them all, this would be a really long blog. So why not leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite Christmas movies are? What are your favorite scenes? Any Christmas movies you hate?

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