Christmas is upon us and with it comes the urge to watch a batch of tinsel-topped movies and festive TV. Films and shows we have generally seen countless times before wake from hibernation with the sole purpose of warming the cockles of our hearts.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you enjoy slipping into the depths of the sofa with the whiff of Irish cream and gingerbread on your breath, ready to get lost in some Christmas comfort blanket viewing.
In honour of this most simple, yet rewarding, seasonal tradition here is a rundown of five utterly charming slices of Christmas fare to jingle your bells and light your pudding.
Big light off, fairy lights on, and let’s get festive…
From the moment Klaus begins it is clear this is something special. The tale of how Jesper, a selfish and spoilt young man is sent away by his father to the furthest reaches of the land where he is to establish a post office. There he meets a reclusive toymaker named Klaus, and what builds is an origin story for Santa.
The power of the film lies in a perfect marriage of spellbinding artwork and beautiful writing. Klaus is a delightful, magical film that captivates in every scene. The story touches upon themes such as compassion and love, redemption and forgiveness and it does so in a way that never bogs it down.
Instead, it keeps the whole journey one of joy and celebration. Moments of laughter will meet sentimental tears against a backdrop of masterful animation, and Christmas viewing is a better place for the appearance of Klaus.
Check it on Netflix right here.
Stick Man, based on the book by Julia Donaldson is a story about family. When Stick Man gets lost far from the family home – a hollowed tree upon a small hill – his only desire is to return to his wife and children. What we witness in this wonderfully animated and retold story, is that love can carry us through.
The story keeps to the rhythms of the book, meaning it moves along at a steady pace and is just about right to keep young minds from distraction.
Christmas is a time for certain themes to run wild. Themes of family and of love, of the spirit and resilience, and of helping one another. Stick Man touches upon all of these as we follow a journey blessed with moments of adventure, peril and ultimately joy. It is a sweet story that never outstays it’s welcome but also manages to stay long in the mind after the credits roll.
Check Stick Man out on Amazon Prime right here.
The story of Arthur Christmas, one of Santa’s two sons and the least likely to become heir to the big man’s job is so beautifully told and animated that it became an immediate Christmas classic.
Arthur is a young man who understands the meaning of Christmas more than anyone. When a child is missed on Santa’s rounds, he takes it upon himself – with the help of an elf and his Grandfather (A now retired former Santa) – to make sure the little girl gets her present.
This film is a total celebration of the festive season. It is a magical ride upon Santa’s reindeer led sleigh through falling snow and towering trees blazing colour through the night sky. It has a huge heart and a hero it is impossible not to love. A funny, lovely, heartfelt film perfect for this time of year and to be honest, welcome at any time of the year.
Check out Arthur Christmas on Amazon Prime right here.
Angela’s Christmas delivers 30 minutes of absolute Christmas whimsy. Set in early 20th century Ireland, this animated short tells the story of a young girl named Angela and her desire to make sure the baby Jesus from her local church’s nativity scene is warm and loved at Christmas.
Based on the book by Frank McCourt, this lovingly retold story about young wonder and the simplicity of a world viewed through innocent eyes, is utterly drenched in heart-warming beauty. At times sweet, at times funny, and at others poignant, Angela’s Christmas is a true classic about the power of family and the potency of love. It is a short, but intoxicating ride.
Check out Angela’s Christmas on Netflix here.
The Flint St Nativity
Grown adults playing kids in a primary school nativity? I’m in!
The Flint St. Nativity has become a Christmas tradition in my house. Sometime, usually around Christmas Eve, we will gather to watch this delightfully funny take on the nativity and recognise every real-life nativity we’ve ever sat through.
With a strong cast including, John Thomson, Frank Skinner, Jane Horrocks, Dervla Kirwan and Ralf Little among many others, the story is full of belly laughs and sweet moments that consistently ring true. The backstage clashes about who is playing Mary, the naughty kid causing havoc, the friendships and break-ups, and the pure chaos is a thing of perfect, sweet Christmas magic.
Oh, and there’s an iguana named, Michael Owen. What more could you want?
Check out The Flint St. Nativity on YouTube below.
And there we have it. Five Christmas-soaked classics to warm you on the long winter nights as you wait patiently for Santa to visit and hope this year it’s not socks.