Maybe it's the chilly weather or the festive lights and decorations, but there's something truly special about the holiday season. If you're not out shopping for gifts or sipping peppermint-flavored drinks, this winter is the perfect time to curl up and watch a good holiday movie at home.
Although old-school holiday movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" may have once reigned as the best holiday classics, new movies and remakes of old films are working their way into our hearts as household favorites. Whether your ideal film stars Will Ferrell traipsing around New York City dressed as an elf (mustard-yellow tights and all) or Jim Carrey sporting head-to-toe green fur and a set of whiskers, there are plenty of holiday movies, both old and new, for you to enjoy.
To help get you into the holiday spirit, we've rounded up some of the best holiday movies. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a family-friendly story or a side-splitting comedy—you can't go wrong with these top five holiday movies.
Best Holiday Movie for Families
"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
Inspired by the classic children's story by Dr. Seuss, Mr. Grinch originally made his small screen debut in 1996 as a TV special and was then remade into a major motion picture featuring Jim Carrey in 2000. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" became a box office hit and even won an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. The cast and crew were fully committed to making the characters in this holiday movie come to life. The prosthetic makeup Jim Carrey and others wore took up to eight hours to apply, demanding over 40 makeup artists on set some days. With fun holiday songs including "Where Are You, Christmas?" by Faith Hill and "Green Christmas" by the Barenaked Ladies, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is a great holiday film to watch with the family and will make even the biggest holiday cynics feel holly and jolly. Just remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear, or so says Cindy Lou Who.
Best Holiday Comedy Movie
"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" is only one of many favorite one-liners that became popular following the release of hit holiday comedy movie "Elf." Although the film was only released a little over a decade ago in 2003, it took no time at all for this holiday comedy to become an instant classic, making over USD 31 million during opening weekend alone. This holiday movie tells the story of "Buddy the Elf" (played to perfection by comedian Will Ferrell) who leaves the North Pole to search for his biological father in New York City, and is the perfect choice if you're looking for a holiday film that will have you in tears laughing. And even though "Elf" is a newer holiday film, that doesn't mean it won't bring quintessential holiday charm. The soundtrack includes favorite holiday songs like "Sleigh Ride" by Ella Fitzgerald and "Jingle Bells" by Jim Reeves.
Best Holiday Adventure Movie
Considering "Home Alone" was the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time at the North American box office, you've probably seen child actor Macaulay Culkin's famous "surprised face" more than a few times already. "Home Alone" follows the escapades of Kevin McCallister (played by Culkin), an 8-year-old who was accidentally left home alone by his family during the Christmas holiday. When two burglars threaten to rob the house, Kevin has to step up to protect his family and his home through a series of elaborate tricks and traps. For one of Kevin's crafty schemes, he tricks the burglars by using audio from an old black-and white-movie; the gun shots and shouting in this scene will have you jumping in your seat! "Home Alone" is an exciting holiday adventure movie that also reminds you of the importance of family and being with loved ones during the holidays.
Best Holiday Classic Movie
"A Christmas Carol"
If you're looking for a heartwarming holiday movie to watch this winter, you can't go wrong with "A Christmas Carol," a classic tale originally adapted from Charles Dickens' novelette from 1843. In this story, a ghost takes infamous Christmas cynic Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey through time to explore his past, present, and future in order to help rid him of his bitterness. This story has been told many times, spanning from the original holiday film released in 1938 up to the most modern interpretation released in 2009, which features Jim Carrey. In fact, this story is so popular that it's been repurposed into more than two dozen different film adaptations, including musicals, animated films, and versions with popular children's characters like Mickey Mouse, The Muppets, and Barbie. The original holiday music for the most recent 2009 film adaptation was composed by Alan Silvestri, and some of the holiday songs were even based on actual Christmas carols. With its mix of new and old influences, this classic story continues to be a holiday favorite.
Best Holiday Movie for Kids
"The Polar Express"
For a kid-friendly holiday movie, "The Polar Express" is the perfect choice to enjoy with your children. Based on a 1985 children's book, this holiday film features groundbreaking 3D animation technology. Through innovative animation techniques, "The Polar Express" uses virtual characters in combination with real human movement to bring a realistic feel. The holiday movie tells the story of a young boy's journey to the North Pole. While battling his doubts of if Santa Claus really exists, the boy's journey leads to new friendships and discoveries and a restored belief in the magic of the holidays. In addition to a feel-good plot, "The Polar Express" has an excellent original motion picture© soundtrack that will bring some holiday cheer right to your living room. One popular holiday song from the movie, "Believe," was even nominated for Best Original Song at the 77th Academy Awards.
Watch Holiday Movie Classics in High-quality Sound
If you want the best quality for your holiday movies this year, consider investing in the Sony UHP-H1 Premium Audio and Video Player. With High-Resolution Audio and DSEE HX™ sound technology, this device works with just about everything you choose to play through it, from DVDs, to High-Res Audio files, and more. Additionally, the UHP-H1 comes equipped with Dual HDMI outputs for A/V separation and anti-vibration construction to deliver crystal-clear sound. With this high-tech audio gadget, you won't miss a note of your favorite holiday movies.
Tis the Holiday Season for Movies
Whether you're looking for a true classic or a modern comedy, there are plenty of great holiday movies to watch this season. So if you're feeling like having a relaxing night in this winter, grab some hot cocoa and a warm blanket and get in the holiday spirit with these five classic holiday movies.