This list contains my own opinions and my personal biases to an extent towards all films.
The Polar Express (2004)
Follow a young boy’s journey to the North Pole in this animated movie, where Josh Hutcherson (Five Night at Freddy’s, Zathura) interprets a doubting boy, and Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Toy Story) interprets the machinist of this mysterious, but magical train headed to Santa Clause’s home during christmas eve. During his journey, the boy faces magical experiences, which includes one of my favorite scenes of the movie: their journey through the ice fields. His struggle with skepticism fades away throughout the movie, as he rediscovers the wonders of christmas.
This movie is definitely a must-watch that gets you into that magical holiday spirit, and teaches people of all ages the spirit of generosity, kindness, and joy.
This christmas comedy film follows the story of Buddy, an human raised as an elf in the North Pole, played by Will Ferrel (The Anchorman, Megamind). Buddy then goes to New York after discovering he is not a real elf to try to find his father. As he walks in the human world he brings his holiday cheer alongside him, and spreads it throughout New York City’s frenetic lifestyle.
The heart-warming moments combined with comedy, together with Will Ferrel’s amazing delivery as Buddy, makes this movie a holiday classic and should be watched by all in the festive spirit.
The Grinch (2000)
Starring Jim Carrey (The Mask, Ace Ventura), this movie is about a green creature named The Grinch, who absolutely despises Christmas. He then makes it his objective to ruin it for the citizens of Whoville, who love to celebrate Christmas every year.
This film demonstrates how transformative the spirit of Christmas can be, following the Grinch’s character development as the story unfolds. Jim Carrey’s iconic performance together with the set designs of the film brings unique visuals to a movie where it is taught that the true meaning of Christmas goes beyond material possessions.
Home Alone (1990)
This incredibly iconic christmas film, played by charismatic Macaulay Caulkin, was directed by Chris Columbus (First three Harry Potter films, The Goonies) in 1990. I know, you probably always rewatch this when holiday times come, but it never gets old to see the disastrous duo of burglars fall into the traps of a child. Seriously, the kid builds a fortress. This movie’s humor and heartwarming moments make it an absolute classic Christmas movie.
Within this film, we learn about the importance of our family, and how we underestimate the value of this aspect in our lives.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The story of this movie revolves around the story of a man named Kris Kringle who becomes the replacement for Santa Claus at a thanksgiving parade. It turns out that he claims he is the real Santa Claus, which leads to a court case. Although this movie is more than 3/4ths of a century away from nowadays, it still contains a very important message. Miracle on 34th street emphasizes the importance of kindness, generosity, and as stated with other films, the belief of having something more important than material objects.
All of these movies mentioned capture the essence of the holiday season, as it is the time of celebrating the spirit of giving and compassion, even if Santa Claus may not exist (I hate to break it to you).