Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Movies for Kids Part 1

I love Christmas movies! I'm afraid I'm rather addicted to them. I have so many favorites anymore, that I start watching them just after Halloween. Some are traditional movies that my family has watched for years. In fact, it's a family tradition to watch Miracle on 34th Street every year during the long Thanksgiving weekend. (And it has to be the old version with Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O'Hara, although we enjoy both the black and white and colorized versions.) In honor of this long standing tradition, I thought I would share some of our favorite holiday films with you. Today, we'll start with great holiday films for kids of any age.

Eloise at Christmastime - The first Christmas that this was on tv, we kept missing the beginning. By the time we finally were able to watch the entire movie, we'd seen parts of it 4-5 times. After seeing it so many times, my grandfather said, "Not that little girl again!" It's one of my favorite memories of him. Eloise is a precocious 6 year old who lives at the Plaza hotel. She's a bit of a trouble maker and match maker who somehow always manages to evade punishment for her adventures. We LOVE Eloise and Julie Andrews as Nanny, too!

Eloise: Little Miss Christmas - Eloise and her friends at the Plaza decide to put on a Christmas Spectacular, but with a review of the hotel coming the day before Christmas, Mr. Salamone may cancel the show. What will Eloise do? A fun, short, animated film, this story of the spunky 6 year old will quickly become a favorite with your kids as well. This movie feature the voice talents of Lynn Redgrave as Nanny and Tim Curry as Mr. Salamone.

Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas - Every fan of the Muppets should own a copy of this movie. Featuring the fantastic talents of the original band of Muppeteers, this story is one that shouldn't be missed. Emmett and his Ma both want to give each other the best Christmas present ever, but with money in short supply, they each decide to enter the town talent contest. Will the risk pay off, or will they both lose it all? Watch this wonderful story to find out.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - Featuring three Christmas stories full of love, magic and surprises, this film is sure to delight. In a story reminiscent of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi, Mickey and Minnie remember the year they gave up what they thought was most dear to give gifts to each other. Goofy and Max recall the year Max stopped believing in Santa and the adventure that eventually made him see why belief is important, although a visit from the real Santa always helps. Huey, Dewey, and Louie remember the year they wished for Christmas every day and what it took them to learn what the holiday is really about.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - Featuring four new stories of love and magic. Minnie and Daisy are both a part of the ice skating show. Can they put aside their competition and put on their ice spectacular? Uncle Scrooge warns Huey, Dewey, and Louie that their behavior will keep them off Santa's good list, so they travel to the North Pole to fix the problem. While there, they discover that Christmas is about sharing and caring. Max is bringing home a girl for Christmas, but can he count on Goofy not to embarrass him? Donald just wants to sit at home with his cocoa, but Daisy and his nephews have other ideas. Can Donald find his Christmas spirit before its too late? Finally, Mickey has created what he thinks is the perfect Christmas party, but when Pluto wrecks it and then runs away, he realizes that parties are nothing without your friends.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - This classic animated tale tells the story of the grumpy old Grinch who lives on Mount Crumpet and his hatred of the Whos who live in Whoville below. As the story goes "Every WHO down in WHOVILLE liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of WHOVILLE did not!" Narrated by the incredible Boris Karloff with a song sung by Thurl Ravenscroft (who also voiced Tony the Tiger as well as one of the singing busts in Disney's Haunted Mansion attractions.")

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas - George and the Man with the Yellow Hat are preparing to celebrate Christmas. From Christmas trees with chairs in them to tomato snowman, everything is uniquely perfect for the happy pair. There's just one problem, the Man is having trouble understanding George's wishlist and George doesn't know what to get for the man who has everything. It all works out in typical George fashion and even has a few new songs, like "Are you ready?" and "Christmas Monkey".

Original Television Christmas Classics - There are several different versions of this set available. My favorites from them include: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, narrated by the wonderful Burl Ives, Frosty the Snowman narrated by Jimmy Durante, Santa Claus is Coming to Town featuring Fred Astaire & Mickey Rooney, The Cricket on the Hearth, and the Little Drummer Boy. All are wonderful old classics that are fun to watch at Christmas.
Although not generally included, another old classic is Frosty's Winter Wonderland narrated by Andy Griffith. Frosty makes a Missus and hilarity ensues.

The Happy Elf - This wacky story, narrated by Harry Connick, Jr., is the story of Eubie, one of Santa's elves, who is always deliriously happy, much to the annoyance of those around him. When Eubie learns that there is an entire town of children on Santa's naughty list, he sets out to help them find the spirit of Christmas and get back on the nice list. In the process, he helps himself and his friends to achieve their dream of being part of Santa's sleigh team.

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