Is A Christmas Story the best Christmas movie?

 

Let’s talk about why A Christmas Story should be crowned the greatest Christmas movie. Holidays are ostensibly about family and the memories we make when we are with our family. The plot of A Christmas Story is not a big, showy production. It is simply about young Ralphie’s Christmas with his family and his hopes for the perfect Christmas present. Remember your childhood? Remember when you thought about what you would get for Christmas for at least a month? This is the highly effective hook of A Christmas Story. The story is told through the unique story device of an adult Ralphie providing the voiceover in retrospect.

As a child, my father sat the family down to watch A Christmas Story. I was initially uninterested. In the years holidays that ensued and the highly effective 24-hour cable marathons, pre-cutting the cord, watching A Christmas Story at least biannually became one of my family’s traditions.

This film is intentionally dated and intentionally cheesy. It is a way to connect to the child you were. When I watch this film with my father, it takes him back to his childhood. This is not because his childhood was exactly the same as the film. As an adult, I too experience nostalgia with this film.

This movie touches on many childhood struggles that a lot of us went through: the perfect Christmas toy, wearing giant snowsuits against your will, performing like a monkey at your parents’ request, meeting Santa, childhood fights, and dares. Most importantly, A Christmas Story is so effective at putting us in Ralphie’s shoes that we get to experience our own childhood again, even if it was actually superficially different. It is family friendly fare that is perfect to put on when everyone is gathered together this holiday season.

C’mon, let’s choose A Christmas Story as the greatest Christmas movie! Please join me in checking out the rest of the contenders over on the LAMB

“a major award”

Movie Review: Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

Credit: Disney DVD Copyright: disneydvd.disney.go.com/PressKit
Credit: Disney DVD
Copyright: disneydvd.disney.go.com/PressKit

I do not watch many children’s films because I am not a parent. When I do, I prefer them to be like this one, without any cursing, double entendres or a bunch of pop culture references. This film succeeds on all counts. The only thing I would make sure to make clear to children is not to feed dogs candy or cookies. Most importantly it features adorable puppies and a Christmas story.

It’s your basic “We need to save Christmas story” but with a twist, told from the perspective of puppies. The protagonist is Puppy Paws, soon to be successor to his father Santa Paws. Santa Paws is Santa’s (George Wendt) right hand dog. Puppy Paws is bored with North Pole life and decides to see how normal puppies live.

These “normal puppies” are the infamous Buddies. I’ve only seen one other of these series of films (so far), the not as good but still adorable Space Buddies. However, if you’ve never seen any of them you still get a brief introduction to the characters. They are Budderball (likes to eat), Mudbud (likes to get dirty), B-Dawg (enjoys rap and dancing) and Rosebud (fashionista). Human co-stars include Christopher Lloyd as the evil dog catcher and Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as an Elf.

Puppy Paws tries to fit in and make friends but stirs up trouble. Of course Puppy Paws learns that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about toys. I smiled a lot and even laughed out loud at some of the puppies antics.

Many movies tend to drag in the middle, including the aforementioned Space Buddies but this one was pretty entertaining all the way through. I could be nitpicky and mention that the film didn’t include enough reindeer screen time and that I’m not sure of Wendt as Santa. Why complain about an awesome holiday movie though? The film clocks in at 88 minutes so if it isn’t your thing, you won’t be bored for too long.

You can buy it from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu-ray, the super cute Santa Buddies Gift Set (DVD + Five Plush Buddies) or as a part of the Buddies DVD 4-Pack (Air Buddies, Snow Buddies, Space Buddies, Santa Buddies).

Notes: This originally appeared on Yahoo on November 5, 2009. This review includes Amazon affiliate links.

You may also enjoy:
Movie Quotes: Disney’s Tangled
Top Animated Disney Movies on Netflix Streaming
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Pocahontas
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Beauty and the Beast