Classic holiday movies, ranked


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A cover of classic popular Christmas movies to watch, including “Home Alone”, “Elf” and “The Polar Express”.

By Vaughn Malamut, Online Editor

“Home Alone”

This is undoubtedly the greatest Christmas movie of all time. “Home Alone” has the intensity of an action movie mixed with the humor of a comedy movie. “Home Alone” came out in 1990 and took the world by storm. It is a PG movie with a run time of one hour and 43 minutes long. The premise of “Home Alone” is that a young kid named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left home alone when his family goes to Paris. While Kevin is left alone, con men (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) try to break in causing a load of chaos. Throughout the movie, viewers see Kevin create elaborate schemes to stop the robbers. One year after its release, “Home Alone” won the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Movie.


“Elf” is a childhood classic for the majority of WCHS students. Released in 2003, “Elf” has an 85% rotten tomatoes rating. “Elf” follows Buddy (Will Ferrell), who was transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Clearly, Buddy does not fit in as he is feet taller than all the elves. After realizing his misplacement, he heads to New York to find his biological father. At first, his father dislikes him, but as he starts to understand where Buddy comes from, they create a special bond. The nostalgia and personality of Buddy make this “Elf”  a top-tier Christmas movie.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is unlike any other Christmas movie on this list. The movie uses animation instead of reality. The movie follows the adventures of Jack Skellington (voiced by Danny Elfman). Jack, from Halloweentown, discovers Christmastown, the polar opposite of his hometown. Jack Skellington plots to take over Christmas by kidnapping Santa Claus. When he succeeds, he takes over Santa’s place and identity. This movie is proven to be one of the best movies with a rotten tomatoes score of 95%. Tim Burton produced the movie and provided inspiration for the director, Henry Selick.

“The Grinch”

While the rest of these movies are from over a decade ago, “The Grinch” remains the most recent. Released in 2018, “The Grinch” has the most impressive animation out of all the movies on this list. The Grinch’s character development causes the viewers to be dragged in and engaged in the film. Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his roles as Dr. Strange and Sherlock Holmes, does a fantastic job as the voice actor for the Grinch. Though what stands out the most is the cinematography, specifically the phenomenal detailing on Whoville and the Grinch’s cave lair.  The heartwarming message about the true meaning of Christmas through the touching moments between the Grinch and Cindy Lou brings it to number four on the list. 

“The Polar Express”

“The Polar Express” was released in 2004 and has a different feel than any of the other movies on this list. It follows a young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. This movie shows that believing in magic will provide joy. Viewers follow the young boy’s journey to see what present he will receive from Santa Claus. “The Polar Express” is the first movie to use motion capture for its entire length. While the movie originally underperformed, it later grossed $314 million worldwide.