Edited by Janie Walenda and Ben Konuch
How do you spending your December nights? For the Walenda family, we often bunk down after a long day of Christmas festivities and turn on a Christmas movie. I cherish this time with my family as we revisit old favorites and explore new festive films. Just as we did last year, several Arts and Entertainment writers have shared their favorite Christmas movies below to help you and your family find your next holiday watch.
Janie Walenda: “Jingle Jangle”
It’s hard for any modern Christmas movie to cut through the nostalgia of my childhood favorites, but “Jingle Jangle” is a recent Netflix film that earned a spot on my must-watch list for the holiday season. An upbeat and magical original story, “Jingle Jangle” uses infectious songs, captivating costumes and set design as well as a heartfelt story to craft a near-perfect family Christmas movie. The film follows Journey, a young girl seeking to reconcile her grandfather and her mother while uncovering the magical inventions hidden within her grandfather’s workshop. It’s the definition of a feel-good film and one that I hope to enjoy watching with my family for many more years to come.
“Jingle Jangle” is available to watch on Netflix
Janie Walenda is a junior Global Business major and the A&E editor for Cedars. She is overly passionate about animation, caffeine and weirdly enough, Dracula.
Ben Konuch: “Jingle All the Way”
When it comes to my favorite Christmas movies, very few are as beloved in my eyes as “Jingle All the Way.” Perhaps it’s my inner child that loves dumb slapstick comedy more than I should or perhaps it’s just the hilarious novelty of having Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Christmas film. Either way, “Jingle All the Way” is a fun family adventure that follows Schwarzenegger as Howard, an absent father whose son only wants one thing for Christmas, and even though he told his dad months in advance, Howard forgets.
When his wife reminds him on Christmas Eve, Howard sets out in a desperate attempt to find this toy and prove to his son that he does love him, only to realize that every other parent in the city is also trying to hunt down this mythical action figure. Part fun holiday classic and part tongue-in-cheek commentary on the commercialization of Christmas, “Jingle All the Way” is the perfect dumb fun holiday movie.
“Jingle All the Way” is available to watch on Disney+
Ben Konuch is a junior Strategic Communication student and the A&E assistant editor for Cedars. He enjoys getting sucked into good stories, playing video games and swing dancing in the rain.
Sophia Monastra: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
For as long as I can remember, as soon as the Christmas season begins, my family sits down and watches “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It’s a tradition we share with thousands of other families and one that I greatly cherish. The simple animation, snappy jazz soundtrack and familiar jokes hide a surprisingly sweet message, one that reminds us to step back from the bustle and hurry of the season and remember the true reason why we celebrate.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is available to watch on AppleTV.
Sophia Monastra is a sophomore Professional Writing and Information Design major and writer for Cedars’ A&E who enjoys reading and writing comics. She will forever be mad she can’t use the serial comma in Cedars.
Ella Smith: “Elf”
“Elf” is the epitome of a good Christmas movie. Sure you could call it cheesy and overrated, but sometimes it’s that cheesiness that makes it so memorable. It’s filled with color, humor and a few heartwarming moments. The best part of “Elf”, however, is watching it with others. It’s one of those movies that’s so well-known that most people can quote at least one line from it. It’s chock-full of these quotable lines and ridiculous actions. Who hasn’t had the urge to look their siblings in the eyes and declare, “You sit on a throne of lies?” or the irrepressible urge to hop across the crosswalk with your friends? It’s scenes like these that make “Elf” a memorable and endearing Christmas movie and one of my personal favorites.
“Elf” is available to watch on Hulu, Max or Amazon Prime.
Ella Smith is a sophomore professional writing and informational design student as well as a writer for Cedars. She enjoys a stack of good books, a warm cup of tea (with a fair bit of honey,) and cuddling with her dog
Thomas Cromer: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was probably one of the first Christmas movies that I remember seeing. The claymation that it utilizes gives the film a feeling that is unlike anything from normal animation. Even though the characters are all made from clay, the animators were skilled enough to make the movement smooth. The design of the set in many ways is simplistic without taking away from the movie or its charm. The setting is still beautiful, but the film focuses more on the characters and songs. All of the songs are either a classic hit or a nostalgic fun listen. It is easily one of the most memorable Christmas movies from my childhood.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.
Thomas Cromer is a Social Studies Education major from Ohio.
Header created by Ben Konuch.
Images courtesy of Netflix, 20th Century Studios, CBS, New Line Cinema and NBC.