Christmas is a time of spending time with family, eating far too many nice treats, and hopefully watching some classic movies. These days there’s no need to hope that the television networks put on our favorites to celebrate the season, they’re all at our fingertips through streaming. Netflix has got you covered this Christmas with a selection of Christmas Classics – both festive themed and ones you may associate with crowding around the tv with the family to watch. Here’s a look at the best of Netflix for Christmas 2017.
Actual Christmas Movies
This one has been called out for being slightly problematic (the doorstep scene in particular), but for me it tends to give me the warm fuzzies. Alright, so if Hugh Grant and Martine McKutcheon – or Billy Joe Thornton for that matter – were getting up to the shenanigans they were and wound up in the public eye in 2017, it would likely create a HUGE scandal. The airport scene would lead to an international incident, most likely. And that funeral scene at the start is even more poignant when you consider Liam Neeson’s real life tragedy. But still – it’s all about love being all around us in the run up to Christmas, and who can really fight with that?
Miracle on 34th St
This is my personal favorite Christmas movie of all time. And yes, I know, the 1994 version apparently doesn’t compare to the original, but it’s the version I love. Mara Wilson is the smart-alec kid who is all too aware (thanks to her mother telling her) that there is no Santa. That is, until Kris Kringle comes into all their lives and starts to make them all see just how likely it is that he’s the real deal after all. It culminates in Santa being put on trial, lessons being learned by all and some serious belief being exercised. But will it all be resolved in time for Christmas?
We’ve already kicked off the season by watching this the other night. Do be prepared for MANY questions from smaller kids who may start to question while watching – we had to explain about helpers, and how certain people pretend but they’re not nice people, within 10 minutes of it starting. Be warned!
Jingle All The Way
I remember going to see this in the cinema as a child on our yearly excursion to the cinema with my grandmother. Arnie, in his pre-governor, post-action hero days, is a dad who just can’t get it right, but is trying his best this year to make Christmas perfect for his son. If you’ve been a parent trying to get THAT Christmas present that is on EVERYONE’S list, you’ll definitely relate to his plight. It’s funny, it’s festive, it’s feel good and it’s suitable for all the family, which for me ticks all the boxes for a good Christmas film.
Arthur Christmas reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’ The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the center of the film is a story about a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns. Perfect for kids who start doubting the scientific possibility of Santa’s great overnight work – this should set them on the right path as well as giving giggles galore.
Primary school teacher Paul Maddens is charged with producing the school’s nativity play. Competing against the posh rival school for the honor of best reviewed show in town, the stakes are raised when Paul idly boasts that his ex-girlfriend Jennifer, a Hollywood Producer, is coming to see his show with a view to turning it into a film. The only trouble is – they haven’t spoken in years. With eccentric assistant Mr Poppy fuelling his ‘little white lie’, Maddens suddenly finds himself a local celebrity and at the center of quarreling parents and over-excited children desperate in their bid for fame and fortune. Maddens’ only hope is to get back in touch with Jennifer and lure Hollywood to town so that everybody’s Christmas wishes come true.
Frank Cross runs a US TV station which is planning a live adaptation of Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Frank’s childhood wasn’t a particularly pleasant one, and so he doesn’t really appreciate the Christmas spirit. With the help of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Frank realises he must change. As retellings of Dickens go, it doesn’t quite give the feel-good spirit of the Muppets Christmas Carol, but it’s a decent festive watch.
Blackadders Christmas Carol
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol is a one-off episode of Blackadder, a parody of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It is set between Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth, and is narrated by Hugh Laurie. In 1850, Ebenezer Blackadder’s loathsome relatives pay him a visit on Christmas Eve. The incredible comic timing of Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson make this a fantastic watch.
Family Classics Associated With The Season
Back To The Future 1-3
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. Sent back in time to 1955, Marty meets his future parents in high school and accidentally becomes his mother’s romantic interest. Doc Brown who helps him repair the damage to history by helping Marty cause his parents to fall in love. Marty and Doc must also find a way to return Marty to 1985.
Ah the 1980s, a time of making classic movies that you’ve completely forgotten just how inappropriate they are. The Back To The Future Movies are Classics with a Capital C, but perhaps for older kids who aren’t likely to repeat new words they may learn by listening to it. It’s worth taking a look at the Parents Guide over on IMDB before watching with kids. That aside, they are an absolutely brilliant watch. Netflix has all three in the trilogy to check out over the holidays.
It’s such a long film that there’s really no other time of year you can fit it in. The story of Rose and Jack, where we all know how it ends from the very beginning (yet might wipe away a tear at the end anyway – damn you Tir na nOg woman!), a love story of budget breaking proportions. A very young Kate and Leo will fill up your screens. I compel you to not have the theme stuck in your head (alongside the Christmas songs) for at least a week after watching.
This one is a bit of a mixed bag, isn’t it? Personally, I love it for the cheese but I have one friend in particular who nearly physically recoils at the idea of watching it. I think as long as you’re perfectly well aware you’re not watching it for the excellent singing, it’s a really good feel-good watch. Just maybe put your fingers in your ears for the butchering of “S.O.S” by Pierce Brosnan. Turn off your brain, and enjoy.
La La Land
LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia (played by Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards earlier this year and came away with six of them – including Best Actress for Emma Stone – as well as getting 7 Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture, breaking any historic records for most awards won by a single film. Normally it can be a bit questionable as to whether or not the award winning films are actually good for entertainment value, but in this case, it’s a fab watch and definitely one that I’ve on my list again this Christmas.
More Mara Wilson – the girl may not have done many roles, but they were definitely ones which have stood the test of time. In this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book, she plays the eponymous character who while growing up in a rather abusive family, in a school that should definitely have been shut down by the authorities, develops magical powers to help her survive. It’s a proper family classic and if your kids (or you) haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely one to stick on over the festive season.
Robin Williams was full of family fun movies, and Jumanji is a great example of his comic timing. The 1995 movie circles around A magical board game, which unleashes a world of adventure on siblings Peter (Bradley Pierce) and Judy Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst). While exploring an old mansion, the youngsters find a curious, jungle-themed game called Jumanji in the attic. When they start playing, they free Alan Parrish (Robin Williams), who’s been stuck in the game’s inner world for decades. If they win Jumanji, the kids can free Alan for good — but that means braving giant bugs, ill-mannered monkeys and even stampeding rhinos! There are some scary bits which might not be suitable for super little ones, but it’s a great watch.
So, there we have it – 15 Christmas Classics to enjoy with the family on Netflix this Christmas. What is your go-to Christmas film each year? Let me know in the comments, or over on Twitter or Facebook.
Disclosure:I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a Netflix subscription and an iPad Mini in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own, and I already had a personal subscription before joining the Stream Team.
If you’re hunting for gift ideas for new parents, look over here for some ideas they’ll love.