Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! It’s been forever since I’ve done a post of this sort, but I feel inspired because it’s Christmas.
My all-time favorite Christmas movie (and probably one of my favorite movies of all time, tbh) is A Muppet Christmas Carol. It came out the year I was born, and I’m pretty sure my parents showed it to me every year since then. I love it so much that I wrote about this in a post last year as one of my favorite Xmas traditions. This movie is special because it’s sentimental, but also because it’s one of those that has layered humor. In the beginning, when Scrooge is telling Bob Kratchit (Kermit) that he has to work on Christmas Day, the other accountants are complaining about how cold they are and one of them says “Our assets are frozen!” I definitely get that as a kid but it cracks me up every time as a (not super mature) adult. It’s really a funny movie.
I read recently that Michael Caine regards this as one of his most memorable roles, which he should because his acting in this is wonderful and as serious as if there were humans, and not puppets, acting beside him. I think that this version is perhaps more poignant than others because of the adorable felt beings. It certainly has some of the best childrens’ movie songs ever. “It Feels Like Christmas” has such a great message! I talked about “When Love Is Gone” in my post last year, but it really still gets me every time. Granted, I am very sentimental about Christmas movies (I cried through 3/4 of Love Actually last week) but it’s just so hard to watch older Scrooge sing with young Belle and relive likely one of the biggest regrets of his life. The versions without this song are the worst, I had to pull up the Youtube video of the song and now my current mood is crying off all of my mascara. Thanks a ton for all those feels, Henson Jr.
Bonus fun fact about A Muppet Christmas Carol that I read here (thank god there are other major MCC fangirls out there): the ghost of Christmas past is actually a puppet that was green-screened in water! I always thought it was a truly disturbing human child, so this is better.
This is not particularly related to this movie, but I got a dope Muppet mug at Disneyland two weekends ago and I am really happy about it.
Enough about The Muppets. My second favorite Christmas movie is Annie. Specifically the 1999 Wonderful World of Disney version. I have also watched this movie at Christmas every year since it came out 16 years ago. I love Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan and I love Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks.
My parents and I watched this last night and I realized that this is by far the best made-for-TV movie ever. The sets are incredible, the choreography is wonderful, and the acting is great. If you haven’t seen this version, you should.
The last movie I’ll talk about is It’s a Wonderful Life. Another movie that never fails to make me cry, this movie was made in 1946 and it has such a poignant message to it.
I love Jimmy Stewart because of all the Hitchcock movies he did, but he is also excellent in this movie as a beaten-down man who is disappointed in his life. He didn’t get to travel, or go to college, or have the life he thought he would, so he doesn’t see the beauty in the life he does have. He gets so sad that he tries to commit suicide, but his guardian angel saves him and shows him what the lives of everyone he knows would be like if he hadn’t been born. The result is incredibly more depressing than his current existence, and he realizes how good he has it just in time to sing Christmas carols with his small children.
My favorite scene is at the end, when Harry has realized that he is back in his real life. He goes running through the streets, yelling “Merry Christmas” to people and buildings alike, on his way home to his family, who he greets so, so enthusiastically. It’s lovely.
I hope that you have a chance to watch one or all of these wonderful films this Christmas. Happy Holidays!