Kermit and son in Muppet Christmas Carol
Credit: Rex Features
Whatever you think of the fuss around Christmas, festive films are the element that twinkles away throughout the season.
Even when it hasn’t been a particularly good year, these films can be relied on to
show the very best in people, and can help restore your faith in magic
and kindness. Of course, some of them are cheesy – but who doesn’t want a
little bit of that at this time of year?
Read on for the greatest Christmas films of all time…
Our favourite ‘grown-up’ Christmas movie, we can’t get enough of the
witty script and overlapping storylines of Love Actually.
film follows a host of Londoners, from unfeasibly hunky Prime Minister
Hugh Grant to has-been rocker Bill Nighy and dutiful mum Emma Thompson,
as their lives criss-cross in the weeks before Christmas.
Last year, Emma
Thompson revealed some major plot secrets as fans were dying to know
what happened to her and Alan Rickman’s character. Be sure to watch the film first before finding out the spoilers!
king Richard Curtis has crafted the perfect Christmas Brit flick – Love
Actually is funny, unapologetically sentimental and packed with moments that
we enjoy more with every repeat viewing (‘Eight is a lot of legs,
It’s A Wonderful Life
Perhaps the ultimate Christmas movie, It’s A Wonderful Life never fails to put festive stress in perspective. In
this 1940s classic, an angel called Clarence helps suicidal banker
George Bailey (James Stewart) see the worth in his life – and then
returns the transformed George to his family, just in time for
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Perhaps the only thing missing from Dickens’ timeless Christmas parable
was Kermit the Frog’s singing voice, because The Muppet Christmas Carol
is seasonal perfection.
This warm, clever adaptation stays
gratifyingly close to the novel – with the well-judged addition of
original songs and Miss Piggy!
Miracle on 34th Street
When a sweet old man working as a department store Santa claims to be
the real thing, it causes chaos – and cynical store manager Doris and her
daughter Susan find their Christmas transformed.
In this 1992 hit, Kevin (Macauley Culkin) is the youngest of a large
family, left at home and forgotten by his parents as they jet
off for the Christmas break.
All would be dandy (jumping on the
bed and chocolate for breakfast!) if it weren’t for a pair of pesky
burglers – who Kevin fights with all manner of ingenious booby-traps,
just in time for his parents’ return.
This charming silent animation by Raymond Briggs is as much a part of
our Christmas as sherry and sprouts. In the cartoon, a young boy builds a
snowman who comes alive for one magical night.
It’s also been given a re-boot, so we’ve now fallen in love with The Snowman & The Snowdog as well as the original.
Buddy the elf notices he’s not like all the other elves in Santa’s toy factory… He’s twice as tall as them, for a start.
he journeys to New York to find his roots – and teaches the cynical,
world-weary inhabitants of the ‘real world’ a thing or two about the
true meaning of Christmas.
Will Ferrell’s credulous Buddy is
hilarious – the moment he comes face-to-face with a ‘fraud’ department
store Santa is a thing of joy.
Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis team up to become a musical act
– and rapidly become smitten by beautiful sisters Betty and Judy.
A series of romantic mix-ups ensue – along with a spine-tingling performance of the timeless hit, White Christmas.
Another wonderful Raymond Briggs cartoon, Father Christmas is the ‘real’ story of the mythical Christmas figure.
curmudgeonly Santa Claus mucks out the reindeer, holidays in Vegas and
of course, visits every child in the world in one very busy night.
A sweet, funny antidote to the usual Christmas schmaltz.
We may be loyal to the Muppets, but this 1951 version of A Christmas
Carol has legions of fans – and a brilliant central performance by