Though it could be argued that most films are aimed at children (and then our inner child), there a few that are flat out kids Christmas flicks no matter which way you swing it. Though we might want to think these films are universal, some are tailored perfectly to capture the young one’s imagination. Here are our Top 4.
4. The Polar Express – Dir. Robert Zemeckis
Though the dead eyes only highlight the advances still required for Zemeckis’ motion capture technology, this film’s use of CGI is a thrilling Christmas ride through the (dead) eyes of a child discovering the wonders of the North Pole via The Polar Express. Though Steve Tyler in CGI is scary enough, the intricate detail of the North Pole only exacerbates a child’s excitement for the big day and gives a fool-proof belief in Father Christmas.
3. A Miracle on 34th Street – Dir. Les Mayfield
Further establishing our belief in the big man, this beautifully written film with an impeccable performance by the late Sir Richard Attenborough is a subtle, subdued look at Christmas through a child’s eyes. Struggling to believe in Christmas or a happy ending, Susan’s journey of discovery is charming to see in this day and age of playground bullies with little faith. The goosebump-inducing ending is fitting for this charming film.
2. Nativity! – Dir. Debbie Isitt
Nativity! is an incredibly unique British film that has warmth, charm, humour and tension wrapped up in the nightmare world of a primary school nativity. This ingenious rendition of the birth of baby Jesus – set in my familiar Coventry – will have you howling and will have children vying for the best parts of this unique nativity. Martin Freeman is on fine form in this film.
1. Arthur Christmas – Dir. Sarah Smith
Aardman Animations are no strangers to Christmas, with Wallace & Gromit providing the chuckles each Christmas morning. With this wonderfully unique if slightly surprising interpretation of the North Pole’s operations, the lead character is a charming and vibrant child-like believer in the traditional way of Christmas, ensuring every kid gets their present on Christmas morning. It will leave your kids with no doubt that Father Christmas is real.
TOMORROW: Christmas Classics – It’s A Wonderful Life