by Daniel Lucas
Scrooged – NowTV – 1988
Starring – Bill Murray / 12 / 1h 41mins
Dir. Richard Donner
Are you a big TV executive, whose cold attitude has driven away the love of your life? Is the lifestyle of being the boss getting you down? Have you been visited by a series of benevolent Christmas ghouls intent on turning your heart from coal to gold through various dramatic visions of your life and death? Then maybe you’ll have something to relate to with 1988’s Scrooged.
Arthur Christmas – Prime Video – 2011
Starring – James McAvoy / U / 1h 37mins
Dir. Sarah Smith
Santa runs a tight ship when it comes to the delivery of millions of presents all across the world in one night, but when he misses just one child it’s up to his son Arthur to deliver the forgotten gifts. If only all our deliveries could be made by Arthur, then those porcelain animal statues we all regularly order could arrive in one piece. Oh, am I the only one who buys those? Noted.
Nailed It! Holiday! – Netflix – 2018
Nicole Byer / 2 Seasons / PG
It takes ten-thousand hours to master a skill. But what if you only had one? In Nailed It! Holiday! a trio of amateur bakers have no time at all to remake masterfully made seasonal treats, and despite what the title might suggest, they so rarely manage to nail it. It’s for bakers and non-bakers alike to enjoy, because either way, you’ll feel much better about your own skills with a whisk when it’s over.
Love Actually – Prime – 2003
Starring – Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley / 15 / 2h 9mins
Dir. Richard Curtis
Nine stories focused on the complex world of love intertwine over Christmas. There’s the one about the Christmas number one, the one with the man who holds the sign about Carol Singers (whoever she is), and the one where Mr. Bean annoys Professor Snape by taking too long to wrap something up. So, something for everyone, really.
Edward Scissorhands – Disney + – 1990
Starring – Johnny Depp / PG / 1h 45mins
Dir. Tim Burton
Edward is the creation of a scientist, who dies before he can finish his work, leaving Edward with a strange appearance and bizarre scissor-like hands (this is where he gets the name Edward Scissorhands, because his hands are scissors – coincidentally, this is also where the film gets its name).
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Prime Video – 2000
Starring – Jim Carrey / PG / 1h 45mins
Dir. Ron Howard
The Grinch wants to ruin Christmas for the people of Whoville – presumably because of the local house prices, or something like that – and comes down from his mountain home to steal all of their presents. However, he finds himself torn about his plans when he meets the charming Cindy Lou Who. It’s a fun family watch, with enough staple Tim Burton essence to make it memorable even two decades since its initial release.
Robin Robin – Netflix – 2021
Starring – Bronte Carmichael / U / 32 mins
Dir. Dan Ojari & Mikey Please
Made by Aardman Animations, the good people behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, this short film follows a young robin who has been raised by a family of mice, and upon seeing a Christmas star wishes that they could learn how to fly. I think if I had a wish, and already had wings, I’d probably wish for world peace or something, but I suppose the goals of a robin aren’t going to be very lofty so I should cut them some slack.
Krampus – Netflix – 2015
Starring – Adam Scott / 15 / 1h 38mins
Dir. Michael Dougherty – Warning – Horror
When a dysfunctional family begin to fight over Christmas, they are visited by Krampus, a creature of ancient European folklore that punishes naughty children. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t your Ebenezer Scrooge style of yuletide punishment, and the toll of angering Krampus can be one of life and death. Krampus follows in an age-old tradition of trying to make Christmas scary, and is one of the few success stories in doing so (apart from Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney, and, of course, the jokes from Christmas crackers).