by Bridget Richard
Christmas movies playing on family broadcast channels are quintessential to the holiday season. One subgenre of these films are stop-motion animation films. Shot frame by frame, these movies now give a nostalgic and warm feeling, partly due to the fact that the newest stop motion movie on this list was made over twenty years ago, and partly due to the old-fashioned morals and good lightheartedness that they contain.
And while this is a “top 5” list, these numerical rankings do not really indicate that one film is better than another. Because for me, this is really a list of #1 films.
5.) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July: This cross-over style movie features two of the most famous Christmas characters: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. And when their powers combine, they make a surprisingly absurd movie. This movie has wizards and magic in it. In fact, that is one of the most important aspects of the plot. What more, it takes place in July. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t an instant holiday classic as soon as it comes on TV.
4.) The Year Without A Santa Claus: Whenever I ask, either people have never heard of this movie or they absolutely love it. With many of the characters having elemental characteristics–Heat Miser, Snow Miser, Mother Nature–it breaks many of the traditional motifs seen in other Christmas movies.
Also, the film’s 2008 spin-off A Miser Brother’s Christmas is also extremely great. In an age where every movie is getting a remake, this one shows how it’s done right.
3.) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town: Did you know that the voice of the narrator in this movie is none other than Fred Astaire? He is, and Mickie Rooney voices Kris Kringle in this origin story of Santa Claus and how modern Christmas traditions came to be. Mickie Rooney, by the way, has also voiced Santa Claus in the other three movies mentioned earlier on this list.
2.) The Nightmare Before Christmas: Okay, maybe some people are up in arms about this movie and its spot on the list. “It’s a Halloween movie,” you might say. That’s true. But the holiday paradox is what makes this movie so great. It’s a Halloween movie AND it’s a Christmas movie. Maybe it’s best watched about halfway through November in between the two holidays. That’s not what is important, though. This movie is the newest on this list, being released in 1993, and is one of Tim Burton’s greatest successes. Many of the songs are instantly recognizable, including “This is Halloween” and “What’s This?”
1.) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Maybe you still don’t want to become a dentist after this movie, but that is not the only take-away from it. I remember being terrified of the Abominable Snowman when I first saw this movie. And when I confessed this to my mother, she said that she was scared of it when she was my age, too. That is a testament to how long-lasting this movie is. It has now transcended two generations. It has a great moral for young children: the underdog can be successful. Or, should I say, under-reindeer. But that doesn’t mean that it is only good for its nostalgic merit. But because of a different kind of merit: sweet and heartfelt characters that show us real practices of Christmas tidings and spirit.