Classic Christmas Cinemas


Photo Credit: Google Images

Erica Suh, Staff Writer


  The Christmas spirit spurs children to fantasize of places beyond their imaginations, be amused by humorous stories of mythical beings, and pester their parents a little more than usual for toys they normally wouldn’t get. However, this excitement all begins with holiday-themed films that encourage families to gather and reminisce by the fire with hot cocoa and fuzzy blankets. In particular, three Christmas movies released within the last decade, A Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, and Elf, chosen by West High students, will surely rekindle that magical spark in children and adults around the world for the upcoming holiday season.

  Disney’s A Christmas Carol simplifies the essence of Charles Dickens’s classic tale with dazzling animations and top-notch special effects. This motion picture succeeded in its remarkable and effective adaptation of the novel. The lively version revolves around protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Jim Carrey, who refuses to celebrate Christmas and shows absolutely no affection for the people around him. He is offered a second chance to set his life on the right path when he is visited by three spirits that take him on a mind-blowing journey. Carla Orpilla (11) who had the opportunity to watch this movie in IMAX theaters, commented, “I love how the directors portrayed Scrooge as a mean, hostile man in the beginning, but his actual personality was cheerful and silly by the end of his journey with the ghosts. Also, the film’s intense effects gave me that flying sensation as I watched certain scenes.” Ultimately, like Orpilla, many were able to take away the moral of improving on oneself to be a better person.

 The second movie, The Polar Express, a modern Christmas classic, has returned year after year since the time it was released. This film has fantastic execution and heart, and can be considered among the best movies for the entire family. The adventure begins with a young boy, Billy, voiced by Hayden McFarland, who finds it difficult to simply believe in Santa Claus. However, when a mysterious train visits Billy during the night, he is taken on a miraculous trip of self-discovery. Reiko Yoshizawa (10), familiar with the plot of the story, opinionated that “after watching the movie time after time again, it does get a little repetitive. But for the children who will be watching it for the first time, it will surely fascinate them with the film’s breathtaking adventures and the assurance that there may actually be a Santa Claus.”

  Finally, Elf is one of the most popular and amazing Christmas movies of all time, a prime example of the perfect mix of the eccentric humor that Will Ferrell is well known for, and the sensible comedy for viewers of all ages. This sweet movie features Buddy, a human raised by elves. Realizing his true identity, he ventures out to explore his actual birthplace in New York, but is turned down by his own father and the people that have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. As a big fan of Elf, Daniel Tyler (12) explains that “by watching Buddy’s actions of striving to achieve two simple goals, winning over his family and saving Christmas, it really gives us the motivation to do the same for the holidays. The absurdity of this comical yet intimate story line proves that we can always find our own true places in the world as Buddy had done.”

  The holiday season would not be the same without these incredible and imaginative movies. In a way, it teaches children that there is more to believing than seeing and places a deeper meaning on the magical day of Christmas.