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A truly great Christmas movie should channel the mood of the holiday season. Since we all have different traditions, that means Christmas films can take many chestnut-roasting, Jack Frost-nipping forms: unrelentingly cheery musicals, vaguely religious dramas, defiantly grim horror films, or gleefully vulgar comedies. We don't want to make any assumptions about what your family or friends are like -- maybe they're all claymation characters. But you probably don't ring in yuletide cheer by fighting off terrorists at Nakatomi Plaza.
So, with apologies to John McClane and fellow "set your action thriller on Christmas" enthusiast Shane Black , the movies you're about to read about are actually about Christmas -- with all the joys, anxieties, and surprises they bring. Like Santa Claus himself, we're making a list, but we're checking it more than twice because -- seriously -- this is important. Who only checks a list twice? We're also telling you where to watch them right now, with an emphasis on services that include them with a subscription, though you can usually rent most of these movies from the likes of Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, and YouTube.
What would Christmas be without instant gratification? With its cutesy Ben Lee song on the soundtrack, endless fat-suit jokes, and portrayal of the music business as a lucrative career path un-ravaged by piracy, Just Friends is an oddly revealing artifact of mids rom-com-dom. Amy Smart plays his best friend and teenage-crush who Brander becomes obsessed with winning over while home for the holidays.
Thankfully, Anna Faris and Chris Klein are around to steal scenes in supporting roles.
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As a film, it's a slice of cringe-inducing nostalgia, like flipping through an old Abercrombie catalog. But as a Christmas movie? It captures that underexplored feeling of being stranded in your hometown with a surprising degree of specificity. The Seth Rogen formula has been streamlined to the point that you probably know what to expect from a Seth Rogen holiday movie: jokes about smoking weed, some broad physical comedy, and characters struggling to adjust to the challenges of adulthood.
It works, for the most part. What's impressive about The Night Before , which also features Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as Rogen's childhood buddies who reunite every year for a wild, drug-fueled holiday celebration, is that the film's four credited writers manage to give the gag-heavy material just enough of a melancholy touch to get you misty-eyed.
It's a stoner comedy with a gooey, sentimental heart. Horror-comedy is a dangerous enough genre already. Adding "Christmas movie" to the mix? You're asking for trouble. Take a look at most of the movies on this Christmas horror list. But somehow Krampus , a folklore-inspired fright-fest from director Michael Dougherty Trick 'r Treat , manages to skate between goofy parody and genuine terror.
Not every element works -- Adam Scott's dry wit is mostly wasted as the family's straight-laced patriarch -- but any movie with a scene where sinister gingerbread men shoot David Koechner in the leg with a nail gun deserves some love. Like the plastic toy that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad feud over in this barbed kiddie comedy, Jingle All the Way is a cynical product marketed to children. The plot spirals out from there, turning the potentially relatable parental anxiety about fulfilling a child's consumer needs into a madcap action-comedy with an occasionally wicked sense of humor.
For his animated take on the classic Charles Dickens serial, Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis recruited living-cartoon Jim Carrey to play Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Ghosts of Christmas through the magic of motion-capture technology. The twist turns this time-honored tale into a more psychedelic ride through time -- that may all be a figment of Scrooge's imagination and lends credence to the aging businessman's gut instinct on the Ghost of Christmas Past: "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.
The psychology doesn't undercut the grandeur; from the candlelit extravagance of Christmas Present's grand entrance to the legitimately terrifying horrors of Christmas Future, Zemeckis doesn't hold back, giving us the blockbuster take on the material that we didn't know we needed. Notable for introducing the world to "Silver Bells," this Bob Hope vehicle is based on a short story by big-city newspaperman, Damon Runyon whose short fiction also inspired Guys and Dolls.
Hope stars as the title character, a greasy charlatan whose horse-race ruse screws over the wrong gangster. As you can imagine, he learns an important lesson, finds a little love in his life, and wisecracks in ways only Hope does. Mixing surreal comedy, slasher-film tropes, and some beautiful cinematography from Louis Malle collaborator Ricardo Aronovich, the movie has lofty themes articulated in this recent interview with director Lewis Jackson but it never feels weighed down by them. This is everything a cult film should be: fun, puzzling, and hard to shake. Few holiday movies actually capture the chaotic feeling of a house under siege from family members.
Almost Christmas , an ensemble dramedy from writer-director David E. Talbert, isn't the most ambitious movie on this list, but it understands the way families bicker, tease, and ultimately come together over the holiday season. Danny Glover anchors the proceedings as the family's grieving patriarch, giving the movie a melancholy tinge, which allows scene-stealers like Mo'Nique, Romany Malco, and J. Smoove to sugarcoat the story with jokes. In one, she's a put-upon everywoman thrust into an absurd, convoluted action movie scenario. In the other, she's a put-upon everywoman thrust into an absurd, convoluted romantic comedy scenario.
She adapts to both. Also, one is about a bus, and the other is about a train. But only one of these films -- specifically, the one where Bullock's character pretends to be engaged to a man in a coma Peter Gallagher and then falls in love with his charming brother Bill Pullman -- is also a stealth Christmas movie. What can't she do? Praise Sandra Bullock, bringer of holiday amnesia comedy cheer. Don't worry -- we didn't forget about the original. But we have to shout out to a sequel that probably would have been a disaster if not for writer John Hughes, who drops Kevin McCallister in the Big Apple for a completely different taste of the holiday season.
The magic of a New York December is on full display as Kevin shacks up at the Plaza Hotel, torments Tim Curry's bellhop, runs into the future President of the United States, convinced a generation to invest in voice-alteration technology, and saved a toy store by once again foiling the Wet Bandits. Home Alone 2 is the right amount of "more of the same" -- gangster movie sound bites, massive amounts of junk food, booby traps galore -- and fresh, coming-of-age detailing. Like his Christmas Carol , director Robert Zemeckis rendered Chris Van Allsburg's illustrated children's classic, a dazzling mix of surrealism and 20th-century Romantic art, for a three-dimensional canvas.
Through the magic of motion-capture, Tom Hanks stars as The Boy, the Train Conductor, and Santa Claus, who all suffer from the Uncanny Valley mistiness, but beam with excitement and cheer. The Polar Express is basically a tech display for Zemeckis's new toys, but since when is Christmas not about the decorations? Elizabeth Barbara Stanwyck is a revered food columnist who spins yarns of her white-picket-fence existence in Connecticut with a loving husband and newborn.
But when her boss tasks her with hosting a Christmas dinner for a returning soldier Dennis Morgan , her actual status as a single New Yorker puts her in a precarious and sitcom-ready position. Christmas in Connecticut gift wraps criss-crossed relationships, gender dynamics, and burning desire into a romantic, holiday romp. Stanwyck and Morgan require no mistletoe to conjure their endlessly watchable chemistry.
If this were a list of the best psycho-sexual odysessy films, Eyes Wide Shut would definitely be sitting in the top spot. At the same time, the last scene of marital reconciliation does play out during a light-strewn shopping trip. It's the most mind-bending, brooding, orgy-filled Christmas movie ever made.
Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov star in this gleefully absurd, yuletide tale about three criminals who break out of jail a few days before Christmas only to become live-in, fix-it guys for an impoverished family and their picturesque corner store.
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Michael Curtiz, who directed Bogart in Casablanca and helmed White Christmas just the year before, keeps this paradise escapade light on its feet. Dwell on the fact that the three "wise men" lie, cheat, and steal their way to holiday harmony, and We're No Angels loses all its charm.
Indulge in Bogart's old-fashioned charm and Curtiz's Technicolor redemption, and you may have new required viewing. Carol is as exquisite as a shiny new ornament removed from the box. Writer Phyllis Nagy adapted Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price of Salt for director Todd Haynes, who bathes each image of seduction and enchantment in an otherworldly glow. The visual approach puts you in the mind of Therese Belivet, a young department store employee played by Rooney Mara, as she falls under the spell of the titular Carol Cate Blanchett.
Just don't get too close to the flame. The two main characters in Tangerine -- Sin-Dee Rella Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Alexandra Mya Taylor -- have the type of kinetic, exhilarating, and occasionally lurid day centered around a Hollywood donut shop that would make Quentin Tarantino's head spin off. That it takes place on Christmas Eve -- well, that's just icing on the donut. For many, Christmas is about friendships that serve the same purpose as family, and director Sean Baker's stylistic whirlwind of a movie is a bracing study of how those relationships sustain people in times of emotional crisis, violence, and reconciliation.
Its final scene of two trans women quietly enjoying each others company in a laundromat is a genuine Christmas miracle. Turns out the only thing more threatening to Ernest P. Worrell's life than sticking two fingers into an electrical socket is the Kentucky fried nincompoop placing his entire hand into Santa's magic bag. This mandatory Christmas adventure finds Ernest and Mr. Claus on a mission to retrieve the powerful gift-giving knapsack. White Christmas is the fruitcake of Christmas movies: a holiday standard that you either love or hate. The musical sequences -- including the stirring rendition of the Irving Berlin-penned title track and the charming "Sisters" -- are spectacular.
What's not to like? Well, the plot, dialogue, and characters are paper-thin, but the film's minute running time is the perfect sedative for anyone too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve. Denzel Washington isn't known for his comedies -- the Oscar winner's long career is packed with bullet-ridden action movies and tough-minded dramas -- but he's more than capable of delivering light-hearted laughs when called upon by the Lord. Washington is a delight as a dapper angel named Dudley summoned to New York to rekindle a sparkless marriage between Whitney Houston's choir singer and Courtney B.
Vance's pastor. The story, updated from 's The Bishop's Wife starring Cary Grant, might feel a little hokey, but the performances and the showstopping gospel numbers give this fairytale a holy glow. Writer-director Richard Curtis Notting Hill specializes in tart-tongued retorts, silly verbal gags, and witty banter, which help leaven some of the movie's cheesy sentimentality.
Be warned: This is the only movie on this list that boasts a claymation character exposing its genitals. In the third installment of this underrated comedy series, stoner buddies Harold John Cho and Kumar Kal Penn go on another Homeric quest, this time looking for a new Christmas tree to please Harold's pissed-off father-in-law Danny Trejo , which means more sly social commentary slipped in among hefty helpings of gross-out gags, weed jokes, and vulgar Neil Patrick Harris cameos.
It just might be the sticky-icky strain you're fiending for this holiday season. Also, shout-out to WaffleBot , the funniest holiday robot of all time.
What if Santa was real and buried in a mass grave somewhere in Finland? That's the bizarre and hilarious question posed by director Jalmari Helander in this whimsical horror romp about a young boy Onni Tommila and his reindeer-herding father Jorma Tommila , who investigate a mysterious mountain-excavation company and wind up in over their heads. Packed with winking John Carpenter references, bursts of gun-churning violence, and a surprising amount of older male nudity, the movie occasionally struggles to nail its anarchic, storybook tone down the home stretch, but it's more than worth a post-milk-and-cookies viewing.
He doesn't like kids; he lives a life of decadent luxury; he seduces and discards vulnerable women; and he rejects Christmas cheer, a scorn he's carried ever since his father penned the joyfully tacky novelty hit " Santa's Super Sleigh. Watching Grant's heart grow a couple sizes has never been this fun, and a moving supporting turn from Toni Collette -- along with a sneaky-great Badly Drawn Boy soundtrack -- make this essential droll holiday viewing. In a brutal one-star review of Scrooged , critic Roger Ebert called this Dickens update "one of the most disquieting, unsettling films to come along in quite some time.
Is Bill Murray why some families return to this proudly rude holiday movie every year? Put your love for the confectionary remake behind you: Laurel and Hardy's black-and-white original is where it's at. With enough holiday DNA -- the duo play fairytale dolts who build toys for Santa, and the overt connections end there -- and toys to fill a forest of Christmas trees, the musical sings, dances, and slapticks through a magnificent fantasy world, made all the more surreal by the blend of live action and animation.
Why does a Mickey Mouse seizure on the dance floor while a cat gawks and plays the fiddle in this movie? Just go with it. In , director Bob Clark made holiday-movie history with A Christmas Story , a hilarious, sweet, and nostalgic slice of Americana with just enough rough edges to keep audiences watching every year on cable. But real Christmas-movie fans know that Clark also helmed this brilliant bit of '70s slasher heaven about a murderer running rampant at a sorority holiday party. No one gets their eye shot out with a BB gun, but there's plenty of Christmas carnage to be found here.
Casting tough-guy Robert Mitchum in a lighthearted Christmas movie might sound counterintuitive, but keep in mind this is a lighthearted Christmas movie about economic hardship, war widows, and extramarital affairs. Mitchum plays Steve, a drifter who falls hard for the soon-to-be-married Connie Janet Leigh. True compassion, as Steve displays and Connie realizes, is spending your last dime on a Christmas gift for a kid you barely know. It's Christmas with the preppies in Whit Stillman's satirical examination of puerile Manhattanites coasting through young adulthood.
Like he does in 's underrated Love and Friendship , the writer and director chronicles the social-climbing, romantic foibles, and petty skirmishes of the wealthy and the pretending-to-be-wealthy with mischievous glee. With '90s indie star Chris Eigeman delivering lines like, "It's a tiny bit arrogant of people to go around worrying about those less fortunate" and "I'm not tiresome," the film mocks its tone-deaf heroes while still inspiring you to root for them. It's yuppie Christmas heaven.
This Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire musical debuted Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" before the composer repurposed it for the film of the same name -- so points there. But Holiday Inn is also the rare movie that depicts Christmas as the year's decrescendo. The musical acts at the "Holiday Inn," where Crosby and Astaire's characters put on Valentine's, Easter, and Fourth of July shows, begin and end with Christmas, a respite from shitstorms that's oh so relatable.
It's surprising more sequels don't take the same approach as The Best Man Holiday : The characters you liked from the first movie get together over the holidays and just hang out. The plot is a sudsy mix of romance, secrets, and disease, but the movie floats along on the chemistry of the cast and the surprising poignancy of seeing them together again. Whenever Noddy threatens Bumpy, Tessie gets upset, and sometimes even begins to cry.
The Tubby Bears live next door to Noddy. They are gold and chubby teddy bears. Tubby Bear frequently help Noddy. It is clear that Mr. Tubby Bear are the superiors of Noddy, as if he were a child. Their first names are never mentioned and Noddy always refers to them as Mr. They have one son, also named Tubby, who is occasionally referred to as Master Tubby. Tubby is naughty and is usually in trouble for breaking rules, being rude, or doing something wrong. Noddy often attempts to scold or punish Tubby, with little result.
On one occasion, Tubby gets tired of always being bossed around and being punished and decides to run away to sea. Noddy and Bumpy accidentally join with him. By the end of the journey, Tubby misses his parents and brings them back presents from his trip, as an apology. Noddy has many run-ins with Mr.
Some are caused by Noddy's lack of understanding of how Toyland works. Other times it is because of a case of mistaken identity. Plod is generally long-suffering towards Noddy and Noddy likes Mr. Plod and frequently goes out of his way to help him. Plod often catches the mischief makers on his police bicycle, by blowing his whistle and shouting "Halt, in the name of Plod!!
Early Noddy books have become collectibles , along with other Blytons. The total number is hard to count: the Noddy Library Sampson Low of two dozen titles, which became the New Noddy Library when revised, was just part of a big production in the s, with Big Noddy Books of larger format, and strip books. There were numerous spin-offs, also. Widely differing estimates can be found.
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Sales of Noddy books are large, with an estimated , annual sales in France alone, and growing popularity in India, a large market for Blyton books. On 17 November , it was announced that Enid Blyton's granddaughter, Sophie Smallwood, was to write a new Noddy book to celebrate the character's 60th birthday. Noddy and the Farmyard Muddle was illustrated by Robert Tyndall, who has drawn the characters in the Noddy books since ,  ever since the death of the original illustrator, Harmsen van der Beek. In the s and early s TV series adaptation, as well as a new series of books, Noddy has been updated, with the original Golliwog characters replaced by other sorts of toys.
For example, Mr.
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Golly who ran the Toyland garage was replaced by Frenchman Monsieur Polly in the series, and later on Mr. Sparks who in the new version of the series appears to be Scottish, and Dinah Doll, described as "a black, assertive minority female", was added to the franchise by the BBC during the — series. Noddy first appeared on stage at the seat Stoll Theatre in Kingsway , London, in The very large cast were all children or teenagers, mostly from the Italia Conti acting school.
There was a full theatre orchestra. The finale was a scene at the "Faraway Tree", with many of the children dressed as fairies, flying on wires. It ran for several years, but the Stoll was knocked down and replaced by an office block in the late s. In , Noddy was featured in the animated short film called Noddy Goes to Toyland, which is animated by Arthur Humberstone.
In , a stage production of Noddy opened at Wimbledon Theatre , followed by a long UK national tour, including a Christmas season in London at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith , and was released on home video in The production was presented by Clarion Productions. The production was written and directed by David Wood with scene and costume designs by Susie Calcutt. The show was very well received among critics, audiences and even Enid Blyton 's daughter Gillian Baverstock.
David Wood adapted a successful sequel to the play entitled "Noddy and the Tootle" which opened at the Wimbledon Theatre and endured on a long UK National Tour in — This production was too presented by Clarion Productions. The characters returned between September and January for a computer-animated series, which was eventually named Make Way for Noddy. This was created by Chorion , on Five , and the episodes were filmed from to externally. It originally aired in minute segments as part of the Milkshake!
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In the autumn of , a set of new two-minute TV interstitials were created by Chorion. These interstitials, entitled Say it With Noddy , feature Noddy learning words in a variety of foreign languages. They also introduced Noddy's new friend Whizz from Robot Village, who presses a button on his chest to play recordings of native speakers saying the new foreign words Noddy was to learn.
The interstitials were featured on commercial breaks on Five and featured as segments for the American release of the show on PBS. The series features much more detailed faces for Big Ears and Mr. Plod, a new wardrobe for Tessie Bear, and incorporates Whizz as a full-time character. Sly and Gobbo's cousins, Sneaky and Stealth, are introduced and usually work alongside them. The full series is available digitally on iTunes. It premiered on Channel Five 's preschool block Milkshake!
There was a spoof page of "Noddy-ana" in Hot Rod magazine U. IDW 's The Transformers introduced the character of "Tappet", a robot who is based on Noddy visually and clearly transforms into Noddy's classic car. In an episode of Last of the Summer Wine , all of the characters dressed up as fairy tale characters for a parade.
Smiler is dressed as Noddy complete with a smaller version of his car in order to tow a bouncy castle with the rest of the characters on it. But it deflated while they were taking part. It featured Larry The Lamb as its chief character. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fictional character. This article needs additional citations for verification.