The Polar Express
If you can get past the dead eyes and the lifeless movements of the full-CGI characters, you’ll find a warm story with excellent voice acting, courtesy of Tom Hanks. Director Robert Zemeckis has excelled at making these motion-capped films, having three under his belt now — unfortunately, his film studio that specialized in it has closed down. Celebrate (and mourn) the closing of the studio by streaming this classic on Netflix this holiday season.
Miracle on 34th Street
Despite the age, every time I watch Miracle on 34th Street I reconsider Santa’s existence. An independent single mother raised her young daughter to not believe in Santa Claus, but when the real Santa Claus ends up working for Cole’s Department store, the family, the store and the entire city of New York fill with Christmas cheer and believe in Santa Clause again. This movie is a Christmas classic, and rightfully so.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A Christmas flick or a Halloween movie? Technically, this movie falls in both categories, and though you can certainly argue that it leans more towards the spooky than the joyously festive, its message still makes for a heartwarming Christmas tale. Tim Burton’s trademark weirdness is on full display here, and it’s neither overdone nor grating. Revisit your childhood with this movie.