Christmas Movie Must-Sees and Must-Avoids

Alonso Duralde, author of Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, provides us with an updated list of some Christmas films that fall under both the must-see and must avoid categories!  Listen for Alonso today on the Frank DeCaro Show on SiriusXM Radio Channel 106.

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas: Update!

By Alonso Duralde

Christmas is a time when we dig out the old music, the old movies, the old recipes and the old tacky sweaters, the ones we’ve enjoyed our entire lives, that have become part of our annual holiday tradition. But there’s always room to mix things up a little, and that’s the idea behind my holiday movie guide Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, a book that contains lots of the Christmas movies you already love and that will, I hope, point you toward some new ones. 00332930

New movies keep coming every year, of course, and not just the ones that Lifetime and Hallmark crank out in December. Here are two must-sees (and must-avoids) that emerged since the book’s original publication.


Arthur Christmas (2011): The fine folks at Aardman Animation (the people behind Wallace & Gromit, among many others) crafted this sweet and wildly funny animated adventure about Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy), the younger and most enthusiastic son of the current Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent). When the high-tech and super-efficient gift delivery system of Santa’s older son Steve (Hugh Laurie) leaves a single toy undelivered, Arthur must team up with his Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and enthusiastic gift-wrapping elf Bryony (Ashley Jensen) to make sure no child gets left behind.

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (2014): OK, forget what I said about Lifetime: For all the sappy romances they’ve delivered over the years, they at least got this one right. Aubrey Plaza provides the snarky, snippy voice of Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, who befriends a lonely young girl and helps prevent a dognapping at Christmastime. It’s a silly movie, but it knows how silly it is, with plenty of self-aware jokes about the nature of Lifetime films.


The Nutcracker in 3-D (2009): Awful 3-D, terrible dancing, contemporary hip-hop lyrics added to Tchaikovsky music, and Nathan Lane as Albert Einstein. Oh, and did I mention the Nazi-ish rats, filling in for the mice? The pits.

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas (2014): OK, calling this one a “movie” is stretching the word far past its accepted definition; this is more like an extended Sunday School PowerPoint demonstration full of the former child star’s anti-historical and anti-scientific theories. Also, breakdancing, which made me wish I was watching The Nutcracker in 3-D again. Not really.

Merry Christmas!



Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on December 3, 2014, in Film & TV and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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