Top 20 best Christmas movies: according to Nick

Nicholas Ebelhack, Editor-in-chief

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While my Christmas hype started back on Nov. 1, now that we have finally trudged through Thanksgiving no one can complain about the timeliness of Christmas decorations, music and most of all, movies. Freeform will be presenting the annual “25 Days of Christmas” month-long marathon of Christmas movies this year, but not every Christmas movie is created equally.

 Thus, the idea of a true “Christmas Movies Top 20” was born. The rules for qualifying are simple: The movie must be shown at least once during the “25 Days of Christmas Marathon,” and it must contain at least one Christmas scene (for example, “Frozen” doesn’t count, even though it is in the lineup, and “Die Hard,” doesn’t count either, because even though it has a Christmas scene, it’s not in the lineup).

 20. “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”: A relatively new film compared to some of the more classic movies on this list, but a sleeper pick for the top 20. Jim Carey as Ebenezer Scrooge brings one of the best renditions of Dickens’s famous Christmas story to big screen, and beats the original Disney retelling with Scrooge McDuck by a mile.

 19. “The Nightmare before Christmas”: Would I rather watch this movie before Halloween? Absolutely. Will I still watch it two months after Halloween is over? Yes. Jack Skellington brings his own kind of Christmas magic and Wonder that differentiates itself from the rest of the pack, breaking away from the traditional Christmas movie tropes.

18. “Unaccompanied Minors”: Most people wouldn’t expect much from this comedy, especially considering Lewis Black is the least “Christmas-y” actor many would probably think of, but this comedy still leaves me laughing. I strongly recommend watching it with a small child, since I guarantee this would be one of only a few movies you’d get to see them experience for the first time on this list.

17. “Fred Claus”: This movie did not turn a profit at the box office surprisingly,missingit’s budget by just over $2 million. Regardless,the movie is hilarious, but it ranks at the bottom of  the “unconventional Santa Claus” movies.

16. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: I have a feeling that I’ll get a little bit of hate for
this ranking, but honestly it has not aged very well. While it’s unforgettable and the best rendition of the Rudolph story, it cannot compete against other more popular Christmas films, not to mention that this movie’s Santa Claus is meaner than any other one on this list, all the other ones would have made sure Rudolph could play in the reindeer games.

15. “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”: Let’s just all agree that this movie saved the series after Santa Clause 2. Martin Short as Jack Frost and Tim Allen as Santa have a dynamic set of interactions in this film, and it features a lot of strong secondary characters as well.

14. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: The cartoon version, obviously, not the creepy garbage live-action version. It doesn’t matter if you are big or small, the Grinch is the most likeable Christmas villain of all. Plus, the whole thing rhymes, meaning that you can’t possibly have a better time.

13. “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown”: By far the best Charlie Brown movie of all time, and although it’s one of the oldest films on this list, unlike Rudolph, the movie has aged so well because of its display of relatable Christmas conflict and attractive art style.

12. “The Muppet Christmas Carol”: It’s the Muppets, the kings of family-fun comedy. Combining their comedic stylings with the traditional tale makes for a fantastic story that’s still grounded in the gang’s wacky antics.

11. “Frosty the Snowman”: The songs from this movie are the least forgettable compared to anything else on this list, and if you tell me you don’t shed a tear every time Frost starts to melt, you are lying.

10. “It’s A Wonderful Life”: The old-time fantasy still brings the Christmas spirit each year. For a 71 year old film, I don’t think that any other Christmas movie holds a candle to this film, especially considering it was nominated for 5 Oscar Awards.

9. “The Santa Clause”: The original and best rendition of the “unconventional Santa Claus” story, Tim Allen proves that he is one of the best family-comedy actors in this film. “The Santa Clause” is one of the funniest Christmas films of all time and still stands tall 20 years after its release.

8. “A Christmas Story”: Whether you’re sticking your tongue to a street pole or you’re begging for your official Red Ryder, carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle this movie will remind you of just how hectic the holidays can be, and is one of the closest thing to a true depiction of Christmas that you can get in a film.

7. “Mickey’s Once Upon
a Christmas”:
This movie has a very special place in my heart. I think I might be able to quote each of the three timeless stories word for word. Each of the three stories are touching displays of compassion and cheer, and while short in length, the movie packs more of Christmas magic into just over an hour than anything preceding it on this list.

6. “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”: Ranking “Home Alone 2” so high may seem a bit odd, but the setting compared to the original allowed for more creativity in this classic Christmas flick. Professional critics may hate it but the series as a whole has been one of the most creative Christmas portrayals, not to mention that it reminds me of a time when Donald Trump was just a real estate mogul.

 5. “The Year without a Santa Claus”: Out of all the stop-motion Christmas films, this one has the most heart, and some of the best original music from a Christmas movie. The contrast between Heat Miser and Snow Miser might make for two of the most memorable songs, and the voice acting is solid throughout.

4. “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation”: Sometimes you don’t need discipline in your Christmas comedy, you just need mindless, continuous laughs that can only be given by the Griswold family. It has nothing meaningful to take from it, but considering how stressful the holidays can be, I suggest that everyone take the time to laugh at their constant misfortune.

3. “Home Alone”: The original “Home Alone” is one of the best Christmas films of all time. Based on a ridiculous but slightly probable story, watching Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) use his wits to defeat the intruders as he figures out how to have Christmas by himself is highly entertaining.

2. “Elf”: “Elf” is the best non-traditional Christmas movie. It’s goofy even by Will Ferrel’s standards, but right out of the gate the movie hits you with joke after joke, and it’s hard to find a Christmas film that balances comedy with a sense of heart just as well as “Elf” does.

1. “The Polar Express”: The best Christmas movie of all time is the captivating journey of a group of youngsters on their way to visit Santa. The movie is theatrical, whimsical and brings together enough Christmas magic to be appreciated by all young and old.

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