As Liberty Bowl preparations are put on hold for the next few days, let's take a step back and look at some of the most memorable Christmas classics known to man. Who doesn't love turning on the tube and seeing a movie that takes you back to simpler times? Consider this our FWtCT Christmas gift to you.
25. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Sally, and of course Snoopy keep this television classic a favorite for us; the music alone is identifiable for most. This 25-minute story by Charles M. Schulz was broadcasted on CBS from 1965-2000. ABC, who shows it today, picked it up in 2001.
Christmas Time is Here (via HITSOFTHECENTURY)
24. Frosty the Snowman: This animated television special first aired on CBS December 7th, 1969 and is often ranked very high on most family holiday specials lists. SPOILER - The part where Frosty melts in the greenhouse still brings me to tears. Did you know Jimmy Durante narrated and sang most of the songs in the special? So freakin' awesome.
23. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Old stop-motion animation at its finest. NBC first aired this timeless piece December 6th, 1964, and is one of only four 1960s Christmas specials (Charlie Brown, Grinch, Frosty) still being telecast annually. Of course, our favorite character isn't Rudolph... it's the Abominable Snow Monster. Does anyone remember the Godfather parody FOX's MADtv did back in the day? Here you go:
Raging Rudolph - MADtv (via ragingmike)
22. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: We aren't talking about the atrocious 2000 film Jim Carrey and Ron Howard butchered. We all love Mr. Ace Venture but goodness, that one doesn't hold a candle in the wind compared to the beautiful Dr. Seuss cartoon. Warner Bros. Television Distribution's Chuck Jones, of Bugs Bunny fame, directed and produced it. This ageless classic even has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now that says a lot in our book.
21. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: P.T.A. is not typically deemed a Christmas movie, but it definitely gets you prepared for the holidays. This is one of four John Hughes affiliated films we will visit on the list. Steve Martin is trying his best to get to his family for Thanksgiving, but John Candy keeps foiling his plans. Plenty of scenes in the movie will keep your belly aching from constant laughter. Watch the infamous "You're going the wrong way!" scene.
Going the Wrong Way - Planes, Trains & Automobiles (via movieclips)
20. Die Hard: While most are snuggled up in their beds on Christmas Eve awaiting the arrival of the big guy, Bruce Willis, in this 1988 action film, is taking on criminals and Hans Gruber in Los Angeles. In 2007, Willis donated John McClane's white shirt to the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. Not sure if that legendary shirt was washed or not. Let's hope it wasn't. Personally, Die Hard with a Vengeance is the best of the franchise. But anyway... yippie-kai-yay!
"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." -Hans Gruber reading John McClane's message
19. Babes in Toyland: Watch Neo's second-best performance... in it's entirety. No, really:
Babes In Toyland (via MrNostalgic85)
18. The Family Man: Nic Cage in a bizarro, what-if future Christmas story. Need we say more?
The Family Man Trailer (via micarone)
17. Jingle All the Way: Hard to not like this epic 1996 masterpiece when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad grace the silver screen together. Hey, we have all been in the position when we are shopping for an action figure at the last minute. Believe it or not, high demand and low supply products inspired Chris Columbus, also credited with directing Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone, to write this movie.
16. Trapped in Paradise: Nicolas Cage shows up again but with Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey this time. Due to overcrowding Lovitz and Carvey are released from prison and placed in the care of Cage. From here, chaos ensues which includes robbing a bank, stealing a car, and pretending to be people they're not in a small tow. This film is usually very underrated around the holidays. Give it a try if you haven't.
15. Four Christmases: This is the most recent film on the list. 2008's Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon experience literally four Christmases due to the fact that their families are both split. Pretty neat situation when you think about the many gifts you could get, but that goes both ways, too. Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, and Tim McGraw all make an appearance. Romantic comedies are hard to beat around the holidays.
Four Christmases Trailer (via videoschristmas)
14. The Santa Clause: Tim Allen, or Scott Calvin aka S.C., kills Santa by accident, almost convinces everyone he is crazy, and eventually becomes him. Yes, that is what happens in this 1994 fantasy family flick. Judge Reinhold also stars in this comedy, but you can't help but think of Axel Foley every time you see him. That's not necessarily a bad thing though.
"Can we take a direct flight back to reality, or do we have to change planes in Denver?" -Scott Calvin
13. A Christmas Carol: A time-honored classic copied and mimicked, enough said.
A Christmas Carol - Marley's Ghost (via mreesm)
12. The Ref: By far the most vulgar and crude film on our holiday list. This 1994 black comedy features Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey. A robbery gone horribly wrong has Leary in the middle of a family mental breakdown at Christmas. WARNING - This might not be the ideal family movie for you and your kids, but it does have a few laughs amid the "F" bombs. You've been warned.
The Ref - Dog Scene (via TouchstoneOnDemand)
11. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton makes a Halloween splash with this 1993 stop-motion musical/fantasy horror film. It tells us the story of Jack Skellington opening a portal to another dimension that celebrates Christmas. Jack, who celebrates Halloween 24/7 now wants to celebrate Christmas. Common problem we all face, right? This film was actually a poem written by Burton while he was working as a Disney animator in 1982. TNBC is the most unique story of our entire list. Hard to keep it outside of our Top 10, but that goes to show you how coveted these next ten spots are.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Trailer (via freedogshampoo)
10. Elf: The 2003 Jon Favreau comedy is easily becoming one of the most well-liked Christmas films in the last decade. Will Ferrell left Saturday Night Live with hopes of doing more big-screen flicks in early 2000. And boy did he make a good one here. It doesn't have the best story in our list, but Ferrell really sells his character, Buddy. He makes the character so lovable and genuine. This is why most people, regardless of age, love this holiday movie. Speaking of Favreau, did you know he's the man behind the Iron Man movie franchise?
Elf - Santa Announcement (via grungels)
9. Gremlins: What is a mogwai? Who really knows, but keep it away from water, sunlight, and don't feed it after midnight. Which always made me wonder something: How in the world can an animal live without water or a bath? And when does "after midnight" technically end? Not to mention the sunlight thing. Anyway. The Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg, and Chris Columbus 1984 dark comedy has a priceless theme song. It's actually a lot scarier and more violent than its sequel. Big ups to Howie Mandel for his Gizmo the mogwai voice contribution. We would much rather hear that voice than his regular one.
Gremlins Trailer (via warnervoduk)
8. Ernest Saves Christmas: This isn't Ernest P. Worrell's greatest performance... that would easily be Ernest Goes to Camp, but we should all be grateful for Ernest's contribution to saving Christmas in this 1988 comedy. Much like The Santa Clause, Ernest is responsible for finding a worthy replacement for an aging Santa Claus. Don't hate on Jim Varney too much; the film had a budget of $6 million and made $28 million at the box office.
"I am one with the Yuletide, know what I mean?" -Ernest
7. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: John Hughes and Chris Columbus return again with this 1992 sequel to Home Alone. Kevin and the Wet Bandits reprise their roles but this time, he's booby-trapping them in the Big Apple. This was the third-most successful film of 1992, behind Aladdin and The Bodyguard. John Williams also returns with his signature musical score. Other than laughs and bad guys getting hit in the face with metal pipes, the two Home Alone films are widely known for their heartfelt Christmas tunes.
"You can mess with a lot of things, but you can't mess with kids on Christmas." -Kevin McCallister
6. A Christmas Story: Yep. Here's the movie that's shown 24-straight hours on Christmas Day. Some might say that keeps this one from being No. 1. It's a classic but it being played over and over and over and over by TBS keeps this one out of the Top 5. The 1983 comedy is loosely based on short stories and somewhat-fictional anecdotes from the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. This year, the film was selected by the National Film Registry and the Library of Congress for preservation. It's hard to not think about pink bunnies, leg lamps, Chinese-prepared duck, Red Ryder BB guns, and triple dog dares without thinking of ACS. Wonder what the NRA thinks about this holiday classic? Did you know Ralphie, or Peter Billingsley, is a big buddy of Jon Favreau's, and also starred in the movies Four Christmases as well as Elf?
A Christmas Story trailer (via wichitaorpheum)
5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: One of the most popular movies during the Christmas season. It's extremely funny, very quotable, and highly rewatchable. Here's the thing: Most people who put this 1989 comedy astheir favorite probably couldn't name ten other Christmas movies. Another obvious fact is this film isn't even the best one of the National Lampoon's Vacation series. Nothing will ever beat "Wally World, dad." John Hughes, again, produced and wrote this modern day grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights, eggnog refilling, boss kidnapping, rubber eating holiday favorite. The Griswolds are truly the jolliest bunch of ______ this side of the nuthouse.
"Is Rusty still in the navy?" -Aunt Bethany
4. Miracle on 34th Street: Putting Santa on trial seems so wrong... yet SO right.
"Mr. Collins, I hope you've taken down that old TV antenna. I ripped my pants on it last year." -Kris Kringle
3. Scrooged: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with a Bill Murray and Bobcat Goldthwait twist? Sign us up. This 1988 comedy has an obvious storyline and ending but that's completely OK. It also features cameos by Jamie Farr, Buddy Hackett, Robert Goulet, Lee Majors, Mary Lou Retton, Miles Davis, and Paul Shaffer. Danny Elfman's score helps a little, too. Dust off the 15- pound VCR and enjoy this one before Tuesday. "Yule love it!"
Scrooged Trailer (via londonforchristmas)
2. Home Alone: Easily the best Christmas flick in the last 50 years. This 1990 comedy by film-making buddies John Hughes and Chris Columbus hits on all cylinders. Whether you're a child scared to stay at home or an adult fearing you have left something important when leaving for a trip, this movie is all-around masterpiece. This movie also did very well with early 1990s marketing. Pizza Hut, VHS sales, and a popular movie-going time period made this the highest grossing comedy film of all time per the 2009 Guinness Book of World Records. Another huge part of HA are the memorable and iconic quotes by the lovable characters. Do us a favor and watch this video to see exactly what we mean. Try not to laugh.
Home Alone Quote-athon (Part One) (via outisthroughtube)
1. It's a Wonderful Life: No shocker. The 1946 classic was adapted from the short story The Greatest Gift. Like a few others, it deals with the what-if storyline by going back in time or seeing future possibilities. It was nominated for five Oscars, recognized by the American Film Institute, and even referenced quite a bit in many other popular Christmas movies. Jimmy Stewart's perfect performance is something that can't be touched. The film touches on love, depression, poverty, capitalism, suicide, religion, economics, war, and alcoholism. Definitely a movie ahead of its time. Before you put your head down Christmas Eve, make sure you watch it with your loved ones.
It's A Wonderful Life Trailer (via AsRobbyDoes)
So... there you go. What do you think? Did any classics get left out? Do some need moving up or down? Let us know.
Regardless, Merry Christmas... ya fifty animals.