The festive season is upon us and with it comes a sleigh-load of cinematic gems. That wonderful scenario is galloping towards us: you’re sat warm and cosy on Christmas day, your family and friends gathered around you, you’re belly filled with copious amounts of turkey, and you’re all ready to settle down in front of the TV to share a glorious film experience.
However, chances are you won’t be watching a Christmas film.
There is obviously a wealth of Christmas-themed movies out there that deal directly with the holiday and all its icons (Santa, Baby Jesus, Turbo Man etc.). But how often do we actually watch these films on the day? In the weeks leading up to it sure, but on the big day itself we’re usually faced with an admittedly classic family film that has nothing really to do with Christmas. The reason for this phenomenon is unknown: perhaps beloved family moments are as festive as mince pies anyway, or maybe the Christmas programme scheduling is carried out by the Grinch, who knows?
Below, is a small list of the very non-Christmas-themed movies to which I have alluded to, with some (very) tenuous links as to why they might be linked to Christmas…
10. Ice Age
The Film: A mammoth, a sloth and a sabre-toothed tiger a thrown together in order to save a human baby. Hilarity ensues.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Ice… Snow… December… Christmas!
The Film: The classic musical retelling of one of Charles Dickens’ finest stories. A young orphan falls into the wrong crowd before finding his true home. Cockneys a-plentiful.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Let’s face it, the best thing about Christmas is the food….glorious food.
8. Any Connery/Moore James Bond film
The Film(s): The longest running franchise in cinema history. The adventures of super-spy James Bond as he kills, drinks and womanises in the name of Queen and Country. Puns galore.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Christmas is a time to release your inner child, and what better way to do that then to remind every dad, grandfather and uncle of what they wanted to be when they grew up.
The Film: Fairy tales get turned on their heads as a grumpy ogre and his wise-cracking donkey chum battle to save the fair princess.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Honestly, what’s a nativity without a donkey? Even if there are butchering a Monkees classic.
6. Any of the first four Harry Potter films.
The Film(s): Back before it went tits-up at Hogwarts and the leads were still adorable. A young boy discovers he’s a wizard, and a famous one at that.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Most of the it seems vaguely Christmassy for some reason. Magical creatures, the opening theme, and the fact that Richard Harris basically is Father Christmas.
5. Mary Poppins
The Film: Lovable nanny (and apparent witch) comes to take care of a wealthy bankers two children. Fake cockneys a-plentiful.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious could help you dominate the Boxing Day Scrabble Tournament.
4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The Film: Crackpot inventor tells the story of a magic car, a child-catcher and an evil baron. None of which actually happens.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Something about Dick Van Dyke is just festive isn’t it?
3. The Great Escape
The Film: Allied prisoners of war set about tunneling their way out of a prison camp. Very few actually survive.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Christmas songs get stuck in your head for days on end, as will this theme tune.
2. The Wizard of Oz
The Film: Kansas girl wakes up in a magical world and must seek out the great wizard in order to get home. Turns out he’s not so great.
Tenuous Xmas Link: 3 out of 4 of the main characters don’t really get what they asked the Wizard for. We’ve all been there…
1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
The Film: Roald Dahl’s classic story told in the zaniest way possible. 5 children receive a tour of a chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Willy Wonka.
Tenuous Xmas Link: Augustus was greedy. Violet ate something she shouldn’t have. Veruca was spoilt. Mike watched too much TV. Charlie spent all his time with his family. Add these things together and you pretty much have Christmas day!