It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. All those markets, movies and songs are a right give away.
We’re spoilt for choice these days. For Christmas lovers there are festive films galore and even for those who are a bit more Scrooge than Santa, there are Christmas films in disguise; Die Hard, Gremlins, Batman Returns, Trading Places…that warm fuzzy feeling sure is hard to avoid.
But there’s more still. What about Christmas films that have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas but for some strange reason we still associate with fairy lights and a half empty box of Quality Street? It’s a weird one but Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without…
Why? Let’s face it: it literally couldn’t be further away from anything Christmas-related and yet somehow Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Isla Nublar, some raptors and Ian Malcolm’s weird laugh. It’s probably because, on British telly at least, Jurassic Park is typically always shown on Christmas day.
When? Just after you’ve crammed your belly full of turkey and stuffing and you’re sat in front of the telly like that sick Triceratops, all sleepy and content. Man creates food. Man eats food. Cinema creates dinosaur. Man watches dinosaur. Dinosaur eats man. Women inherits the Earth. Or something.
Why? Maybe it’s because it’s the ultimate animated kids film. Maybe its colourfully subliminal focus on retail makes it weirdly relevant. Either way, you can bank on Woody and Buzz making an appearance at some point during the festive season.
When? As soon as you wake up while you’re gleefully ripping open presents and embracing your inner consumerist freak. This one’s typically found on Christmas morning, although you may not notice as you’re probably nose deep in wrapping paper.
Why? There’s something about the delicious mixture of fantastical magic and down-to-Earth modern British life that makes all eight of these undeniably impressive movies oddly suited to Christmas. Most of us grew up with this cast and story; it’s the familiarity, the nostalgia and the storytelling expertise that makes the Harry Potter series perfect for this time of year.
When? After all the excitement has passed. You’ve opened the presents, eaten all the food and settled down for the night. If the scheduling people have been doing things right, you’ll likely have been watching a Potter movie a week throughout December, leaving you proper invested. All that’s left now is to eat all the good Celebrations before anyone else gets their mitts on them.
Why? Like genetically cloned dinosaurs, an abandoned alien with a glowing finger and penchant for a few midday beers doesn’t really have much to do with Christmas, if we’re being honest. However, that trademark Spielberg wonder and homespun sentimentality somehow perfectly align it with the Holiday season.
When? In the movie, Elliott’s intergalactic buddy arrives during Halloween but in real life, we’re probably most likely to see E.T on Christmas Eve. Spielberg’s most personal movie is the perfect way to ease yourself into the big day and ideal background noise for when you have to do all that wrapping that you stupidly left to the last possible minute.
The Wizard of Oz
Why? Besides the fact that it’s a cinematic classic, The Wizard of Oz has been around long enough to have done the TV rounds countless times. Its quaint, colourful palate and wholesome moral message do what every good Christmas film attempts to do: hark back to a simpler time, instill a sense of wonder and reinforce the importance of home. The flying monkeys? Not so much.
When? A weird place like Oz needs a bit of a weird time slot, that’s why you’re guaranteed to see The Wizard of Oz during that strange, confusing no-man’s-land that exists between Christmas and New Years. You don’t know whether you should work or relax, you’re living in denial of the impending return of ‘real life and you have no idea whether it’s a weekend or weekday. It’s the perfect time to escape to cinema land, basically.
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