A Charlie Brown Christmas
– what Christmas is about, straight up, with New Testament reading, friendship, giving, wonderful music and Silent Night at the end. The Best. You’ve got to know the basics, here they are.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version)
– Dr. Seuse’s story, Chuck Jones’ animation, Boris Karloff’s narration. Thurl Ravenscroft’s marvelous singing of the song about the Grinch. Priceless. I sing the song to myself for days after I see it. This and the Charlie Brown movie show how good, family, art can also be entertaining, touching and meaningful. They’re both solid parts of English-speaking culture, today. Long may they wave. Note the role good music plays in both.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – GE Theater stop-motion animation from the 1960s. The one with the elf who wants to be a dentist and Burl Ives giving voice to the snowman -narrator. Because its sweet but a little goofy and a little scarry- kinda like real life!
Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version)
– Makes you want to believe in Santa Claus, or at least Kris Kringle, again. My favorite moment is when the judge hands down his verdict.
It’s a Wonderful Life
– Heartwarming and uplifting. What a great handsome-leading-man Jimmy Stewart was. What an inspired choice of story and staging.
– Unexpectedly sweet and enjoyable. Will Farrell is completely believable in the part, which is an amazing thing to see. The story is very appealing. By far my favorite of his movies.
A Christmas Story
– interesting and made with care and love, but a bit post-modern for me- its funny if you know the premises, mysterious if you don’t.
A Christmas Carol (Mr Magoo animated version)
– Pretty much the straight Dickens story, with Magoo as Scrooge.