The 10 best Christmas films for kids by Bea Toews:

by Bea Toews

Th ten top Christmas movies that won’t scare your kids and some your mother may enjoy. Including two reindeer films (Rudolph and Prancer), a muppet, a Dr. Suess and a Charlie Brown film, there’s lots of choice. But don’t take our word for it – look them up before you commit your family to any of them. 

 

  1. A Christmas Story – 1983 

Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.

 

2. White Christmas – 1954 

Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into General Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys’ commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what’s the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun filled musical extravaganza that’s sure to put Waverly and his business in the black!

 

3. Miracle on 34th St. – 1994 

In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain’s main store in midtown Manhattan. When Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus, it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity.

 

4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) or The Christmas Carol (1951, b&w)

The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Other Muppets — Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle — weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases — past, present and future. They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but the miserable old man seems to be past any hope of redemption and happiness.

 

5. Elf (2003)

Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.

 

6. Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Charlie Brown has the Yuletide blues. To get in the holiday spirit, he takes Lucy’s advice and directs the Christmas play. And what’s a Christmas play without a Christmas tree? But everyone makes fun of the short, spindly never green Charlie Brown brings back – until the real meaning of Christmas works its magic once again

 

7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1998)

It’s up to Santa’s most famous reindeer to save the day when an evil queen conjures up a storm on Christmas.

 

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

In this live action adaptation of the beloved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen).

 

9. Deck the Halls

Steve (Matthew Broderick), suburban dad and Christmas enthusiast, finds a wrinkle in his well ordered existence with the arrival of his new neighbour Danny (Danny DeVito). Danny has big dreams and plans to illuminate his house with enough holiday lights to make it visible from space. Not to be outdone, Steve declares a war of oneupmanship with Danny that threatens to drag the Christmas spirit through the slush.

 

10. Prancer

Refusing to give up her belief in Santa Claus, a child, Jessica Riggs (Rebecca Harrell), discovers a hurt reindeer in the woods, which she believes to be Prancer. With the help of a sympathetic veterinarian (Abe Vigoda), Jessica takes care of the wounded creature. It’s supposed to be a secret, but eventually a store Santa Claus (Michael Constantine), the girl’s dad (Sam Elliott) and the entire town find out about Prancer, leading to big problems for Jessica and her family.

 

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