Christmas is just around the corner. It is that time of the year again where you love snuggling under a blanket and spend the holiday season watching movie marathons with your loved ones. Films like 'Home Alone', 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas', 'A Christmas Story' and 'It's a Wonderful Life', among a host of others, are now considered the traditional Christmas-based films to watch during the season.
However, if you are in the mood to watch something different this time, there are some overlooked films themed on the festival that you might just enjoy. Here is a list of some truly underrated Christmas movies that deserve to be watched.
#1 Jingle All the Way (1996)
While this movie isn't rated highly by critics, it surely is a fun little flick about a father who is desperate to get the most popular Christmas toy of the season for his son. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Howard Langston. He is a workaholic and neglectful man who fails to fulfill a promise to his son of getting him the latest action figure for Christmas. Unfortunately, every store in their town is sold out of the toy and Howard must compete with several other frantic parents to get hold of the elusive gift for his little boy before it's too late.
The film is light, funny and short. It has a great message of being there with your family on festive occasions which should strike a chord with everyone.
#2 Arthur Christmas (2011)
'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?'. That is one question almost all children have on their minds when they are little. 'Arthur Christmas' is a gem of a movie that attempts to answer that question while having fun with it. The cute animated film gives a brilliant and detailed depiction of how Santa's factory works hidden beneath the North Pole. It is a unique and charming portrayal that almost feels real at times.
The core of the film, though, is the story of Santa's clumsy son Arthur who is on a mission to return a gift to a little girl. His motive drives the film and draws us into the Christmas spirit with it.
#3 We're No Angels (1955)
This is a classic Christmas film that doesn’t get the due it deserves.
During Christmas, three prisoners, Joseph (Humphrey Bogart), Albert (Aldo Ray), and Jules (Sir Peter Ustinov) escape from Devil Island to a French small coastal town. There they take cover in the house of a genial merchant and learn a thing or two about family and kindness from him. Eventually, the three escaped prisoners find a way to repay that love by helping out the man and his family from a dire situation.
'We're No Angels' is a light-hearted, warm family film that must be viewed once during the festive holidays.
#4 The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Here is another black and white romantic classic that will make for great viewing on Christmas.
Alfred Kralik is the senior salesman of a gift shop. A woman named Klara Novak works at the same store with Alfred and the two don't get along at all. However, unbeknownst to either of them, both have been corresponding anonymously with each other and have fallen in love.
'The Shop Around the Corner' is a charming little film that has a nice blend of wit and sentiment. It might be a tad fluffy, but it provides a pleasant movie-watching experience.
#5 Scrooged (1988)
This is a fine seasonal offering that is a genuinely entertaining adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’.
The film takes place a few days before Christmas. Bill Murray stars as the mean-spirited and cold-hearted television executive Francis Xavier Cross. He doesn’t bat an eyelid while dismissing a co-worker on Christmas eve for daring to disagree with him. Francis also doesn’t get along with his brother and declines his offer for a Christmas dinner. Things change when he is visited by three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and they try to show him the error of his ways.
The director, Richard Donner, has given a fresh touch to the classic story by Charles Dickens. If you enjoyed reading the original tale, then ‘Scrooged’ is likely to be worthy of your time.
#6 Christmas in the Clouds (2001)
If you are looking for a charming little movie with some light romance and holiday cheer, then Christmas in the Clouds should fit your needs perfectly.
The setting of the movie, a Native American resort, is unique and fun. The basic ingredients of the plot – mistaken identity, romance, redemption – all elements that you are likely to be familiar with in movies. However, the film is delightfully funny and is focused on Ray (Timothy Vahle) who has returned from college to help run his family’s shoddy ski resort. There he meets Tina (Mariana Tosca), a beautiful lodge guest, and believing her to be a travel guide critic strives to impress her.
What follows is a marvelous comedy of errors blended nicely with a sweet romance and plenty of fun.
#7 Prancer (1989)
'Prancer' is one of the best contemporary Christmas movies made and deserves more recognition. Prancer is a sincere film with a lot of heart. It is the story about a 9-year-old farm girl who nurses a wounded reindeer and believes that it belongs to Santa. She tends to it and hopes to bring it back to health before Christmas. Her father is initially against keeping the animal and intends to sell it to the butcher. However, the little girl’s sincere spirit changes his heart eventually.
The plot is simple and sweet, and the rural setting of the film, with the farms and woodlands, gives it a real feeling of Christmas. A highly recommended viewing for kids and adults alike for your Christmas holidays.
#8 Annabelle's Wish (1997)
This heart-melting Christmas holiday story is a must-watch for parents with their kids. The plot of this animated movie is about a calf named Annabelle who forms a deep friendship with a mute boy named Billy. Annabelle, who was born on a farm on Christmas Eve, yearns to fly in Santa's reindeer team. The little calf is determined to meet Santa and express his desire to him. However, after befriending Billy, the little calf changes his mind and wishes for his friend to have his voice back.
'Annabelle's Wish' is a cozy watch with its message of friendship, a beautiful setting along with lovely animation.
Watching movies on Christmas is a ritual that will never get boring. Perhaps this year you can try out some of the lesser-known holiday movies from the list above. They might just make your season.