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Best holiday movies to watch over break

Holly, jolly classics to check out

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Winter break offers up the perfect time to gather around the television and spend time watching movies with family. Here are some of the best flicks that the holidays have to offer.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

In what is certainly a laugh-out-loud holiday movie, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) yearns for an “old-fashioned” time with his family. The Griswold family are soon faced with a cornucopia of shenanigans on Christmas.

In one scene, Clark attempts to impress by riding his metal sled down a massive hill. He takes off past the hill and rams himself square into a metal box.

Between Clark’s epic rant and a SWAT team storming the Griswold home at the end, this film is surely a wild holiday ride.

Elf (2003)

Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) takes on the big city. Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) reveals he isn’t Buddy’s father, leading Buddy to go in search for his parents.

What he soon discovers is that the big city doesn’t have the same holiday joy as the North Pole does.

Buddy tastes fragrance, freaks out over a mall Santa Claus and playfully gets down to Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is” in a mail room. Buddy’s spaghetti recipe that he conjures up (which includes M&Ms and marshmallows) is also entertaining to watch.

Elf is a movie you can’t miss if you turn on the TV during the month of December, so you can luckily watch this at any time.

The Santa Clause (1994)

After Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) tragically kills Santa Claus atop his roof, he must fill in for St. Nick at the North Pole. Upon learning about his father’s new role, Calvin’s son Charlie introduces his dad as Santa at his school.

Calvin’s look then becomes reminiscent to that of Santa - growing a beard and getting a bit heavier. He then struggles to keep up with the new role while also being a father to Charlie.

In the words of Charlie, “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” “The Santa Clause” and its two sequels make you believe in the spirit that the holiday season provides.

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

Unlike the remake of the film starring Jim Carrey, this holiday cartoon short is iconic.

The animated film finds the Grinch and his dog Max stealing presents from the village of Whoville. The lesson that the Grinch learns after his robbery is that “Christmas doesn’t come from a store” and his heart soon grows in size.

The movie’s musical numbers are also unforgettable.

The diss track featured in the film, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” has very unpleasant things to say about the character. The singer tells the Grinch that he is similar to a “bad banana” and he wouldn’t touch the Grinch with a “39 and a half foot pole”.

This classic cartoon is a short but sweet answer to what the meaning of the holidays really is about.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)

In the sequel to “Home Alone,” Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is forgotten yet again by his parents. In what is a sure case of child neglect, Kevin is left to fend for himself in the Big Apple.

He decides to check into the Plaza Hotel using his father’s credit card and runs into a very interesting man. Not-yet president-elect Donald Trump makes a cameo at the hotel and doesn’t question the boy who asks for directions to his lobby.

Despite his stay at a fabulous hotel, Kevin confronts the pair of crooks he brutally tormented in the original movie. He does everything from ejecting staples into the backside of one criminal to lighting another’s head on fire.

This adventure-comedy is a thrilling ride from the very beginning to the spectacular end.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This stop-motion animation ran on TV more than 50 years ago and has remained the go-to movie of the holidays.

Rudolph, a reindeer inflicted with a devastating disease that gives him a glowing red nose, doesn’t fit in well with his peers. His status as a “misfit” leads him to an island full of ostracized toys where he meets an elf named Hermey who dreams of becoming a dentist.

The pair link up with a prospector and together, they save the North Pole from a gigantic yeti.

The animated special is assisted by a magical soundtrack with the help of singer Burl Ives. On songs like “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold,” Ives (who plays Sam the snowman in the special) richly sings over a slew of mesmerizing instrumentals.

The soundtrack decorates what is a fine re-telling of the story of Santa’s lead reindeer.

Benjamin Blanchet is a staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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