Christmas DVDs

 

We have searched the Amazon library for the best Christmas DVDs, so you don't have to. You can check out at our  list of  recommended  Christmas DVDs or take the following link to Amazon's total collection of Christmas DVDs  Alternatively, you can get up to date with the latest Best Sellers list at  Top 100 DVDs  
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Recommended Christmas DVDs

 

"One Magic Christmas"  

Grab an econo-pack of tissues, gather your loved ones around a cozy television, and bring on the hot cocoa--it's time for a dose of Christmas spirit. The tender and charming Mary Steenburgen (Parenthood) dons a sour disposition in her role as Ginny Grainger, a woman who finds little joy in life lately--let alone in the impending holiday season. Money is tight, her husband (beautifully downplayed by nice-guy Gary Basaraba) lost his job, and the family must move out of their house. Ginny cannot even bring herself to say, "Merry Christmas," despite her family's enthusiasm about the big day. With help from Ginny's brave and loving daughter (sweetly performed by Elisabeth Harnois) and a Christmas angel named Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton), Ginny undergoes a life-altering experience la It's a Wonderful Life. The result? Happy endings, hugs and kisses, pass the tissues.

Not a light holiday entertainer by any means, the plot verges on depressing at times, as the family struggles through money issues and the tedium of daily suburban survival. While handled fairly subtly, some of the bridging story--including a shooting, a kidnapping, and a drowning--might prove disturbing to children under 6 years old. And really: if the somber Harry Dean Stanton (Paris, Texas) repeatedly appeared in your neighborhood, cloaked in a cowboy hat and overcoat, would you allow your kids outside? Still, a well-made favorite to cherish. --Liane Thomas

 

"Christmas With The Simpsons"  

For the Simpsons fan who has everything! While The Simpsons is more at home with Halloween horror, their Christmas episodes manage to (somewhat) warm the heart while staying true to the series' subversive muse. "She of Little Faith," to quote a disillusioned Lisa, "could not be more blasphemous," but it does boast guest voice Richard Gere as Lisa's Buddhist mentor. This collection also includes the vintage "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," which launched the series, the classic "Mr. Plow" ("Call Mr. Plow/That's my name/That name again is Mr. Plow"), "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace," and "Grift of the Magi," with Gary Coleman making like Tiny Tim ("Whatchu talkin' bout...everyone!"). As holiday host Krusty the Clown proclaims in "Magi," this Simpsons stocking stuffer is guaranteed to give you and yours "a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a kwazy Kwanzaa, and a solemn and dignified Ramadan." --Donald Liebenson

 

"A Christmas Story"  

A Christmas Story is on its way to becoming an annual holiday classic, one to keep on the shelf with It's a Wonderful Life, the puppet-animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. It may have been directed by Bob Clark (responsible for the Porky's pictures), but it's based on the childhood memoirs of humorist Jean Shepherd (from his hilarious book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash). And it is Shepherd's wry, deadly accurate, and gently nostalgic comic sensibility that shines through in this kid's-eye view of an all-American Christmas in the 1940s. All little Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants under the tree on Christmas morning is a Daisy Brand Red-Ryder BB rifle. He not only wants it, he's consumed with an aching desire for it. Unfortunately, his mother (Melinda Dillon) repeatedly crushes his dreams with the familiar, harsh mantra: "You'll shoot your eye out!" Among the movie's highlights are a surrealistic visit with little brother Randy to a department store Santa, and the childlike mixture of delight, pride, and awe with which Ralphie's dad (Darren McGavin) takes possession of a spectacularly gaudy prize he's won in a radio contest. McGavin should have won an award for his splendid comic work as a middle aged kid turned patriach who alternates between grown-up temper tantrums and unabashed juvenile joy. --Jim Emerson

 

"White Christmas"   

This semi-remake of Holiday Inn (the first movie in which Irving Berlin's perennial, Oscar-winning holiday anthem was featured) doesn't have much of a story, but what it does have is choice: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, an all-Irving Berlin song score, classy direction by Hollywood vet Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood), VistaVision (the very first feature ever shot in that widescreen format), and ultrafestive Technicolor! Crosby and Kaye are song-and-dance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a "sister" act (Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to put on a Big Show to benefit the struggling ski-resort lodge run by the beloved old retired general (Dean Jagger) of their WWII Army outfit. Crosby is cool, Clooney is warm, Kaye is goofy, and Vera-Ellen is leggy. Songs include: "Sisters" (Crosby and Kaye do their own drag version, too), "Snow", "We'll Follow the Old Man", "Mandy", "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" and more. Christmas would be unthinkable without White Christmas. Reviewer :Jim Emerson  


"A Christmas Carol"  

In the same year that he directed a handsome version of The Scarlet Pimpernel for television, Clive Donner also made this worthy 1984 small-screen production of the Dickens tale. George C. Scott can't quite muster a decent English accent, but he does bring some new colors to this movie's interpretation of Scrooge, making the character less nasty for the sake of nastiness and more a product of a life of lovelessness. The supporting cast is first-rate, and the production is far more handsome than most TV fare. --Tom Keogh

 

"Disney Princess a Christmas of"   

We don't have an independent review for this title because it won't be  released until November 1, 2005. But you can order it now and Amazon will ship it to you when it arrives into stock.


 


 

"Nightmare Before Christmas"  

For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is! The full title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternative universe called ... Christmastown! Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, "some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen." --Jim Emerson

 

"It's A Wonderful Life"  

Now perhaps the most beloved American film, It's a Wonderful Life was largely forgotten for years, due to a copyright quirk. Only in the late 1970s did it find its audience through repeated TV showings. Frank Capra's masterwork deserves its status as a feel-good communal event, but it is also one of the most fascinating films in the American cinema, a multi-layered work of Dickensian density. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War Two). Capra's triumph is to acknowledge the difficulties and disappointments of life, while affirming--in the teary-eyed final reel--his cherished values of friendship and individual achievement. It's a Wonderful Life was not a big hit on its initial release, and it won no Oscars (Capra and Stewart were nominated); but it continues to weave a special magic. --Robert Horton

 

."Santa Claus - The Movie" (Widescreen) 

After introducing how Santa and Mrs. Claus came to the North Pole and began their work delivering toys at Christmas time, this routine children's film segues into a story about an evil corporate magnate (John Lithgow). One of Santa's elves (Dudley Moore) goes to work for the nasty tycoon and invents a wild array of far-out toys. Then there is a little boy who does not believe in Santa Claus and a girl who finds out about the toymaker's plans to defraud his company. Santa's reindeer are a little under the weather, not to mention Santa himself. This labyrinth of sub-plots quickly draws attention away from the story ..... whatever it is. Eleanor Mannikka. 

 

"Miracle On 34th Street"  

How can words describe one third of this films goodness? It is a remake of the classic film but with brilliant actors such as Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle. When Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) hires a seemingly insignificant elderly gentleman (Kris Kringle) to be their Cole's Santa she has no idea of the success it would bring Cole's. Just as every thing in life is peachy, Cole's rivals decide to discredit Santa by framing him. When it goes to court to decide weather Kris Kringle is a nut case as he believes he is Santa it is up to the judge to decide if Santa Clause is real, Challenging all that is good and pure about Christmas. It's time to ask your-self "Do you believe in Santa?"
Reviewer: An un-named person from Wales in the U.K.

 

"The Snowman"  & "Father Christmas"  

The Snowman
This charming British animated short film (it's just 23 minutes long) is a 1982 production of London's Channel 4, based on the classic children's book by Raymond Briggs and crafted with a colored-pencils-on-paper look, like fluffy, hand-drawn illustrations. Small children should be entranced by the story of a small boy in rural England whose lovingly constructed snowman comes to life and takes him flying over the white-blanketed landscapes, in a beautiful rotoscoped (traced) sequence based on live-action flying footage. Part of the charm of the film is the gentle, everyday quality of its fantasy adventures: the snowman is invited in to try on clothes and play with the Christmas decorations, then plays host to the boy at a party in the woods, at which his snowy relatives do English country dances. This is one of the very few Christmas tapes on the market that really deserves to be a holiday perennial, a gentle fable of friendship and the power of imagination. --David Chute

Father Christmas
This irreverent Santa breaks from tradition in many ways. He has no Mrs., owns only four reindeer, and decides to convert his sleigh into an airborne motor home for a pre-Christmas vacation. He finds France too snooty, Scotland too cold, and Las Vegas just right. Tanned and rested, he returns to the North Pole in time to sort through the mail, pack up the toys, and hit the skies. Like the Santa of the Raymond Briggs book on which this 24-minute video is loosely based, he narrates his own story (splendidly voiced by Los Angeles stage actor William Dennis Hunt). But fans of the 1973 book will find the animated version far less cranky than the original. Although the book was aimed at ages 4-8, the video may have a wider appeal, depending on how you feel about the children seeing Santa gambling at the casino tables, dreaming of bikini-clad babes, and suffering a bout of diarrhea. --Kimberly Heinrichs

 

 

"National Lampoons Christmas Vacation"  

You know exactly what you're getting in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: another goofball, slapstick comedy of chaos and catastrophe with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and family. This time, there's no traveling involved: Clark and Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) prepare for a nice Christmas with the kids (played by none other than Juliette Lewis and Roseanne star Johnny Galecki), when their home is invaded by backwoods cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his brood, along with assorted other crazy and/or stuffy relatives. Complications, of course, are inevitable. The film is preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and followed by National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997). Directed by Jeremiah Chechik, who went on to do Benny & Joon and the Sharon Stone remake of Diabolique. --Jim Emerson

 

"Bob The Builder's White Christmas"   

Bob the Builder's infectiously optimistic battle cry ("Can we fix it? Yes, we can!") rings truer than ever in a very busy Yuletide in the delightful Bob's White Christmas. Already committed to play Santa Claus at a children's party, Bob finds that Christmas Eve gets a lot more complicated when freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow arrive. Suddenly, Bob and his crew--Wendy, Scoop, Dizzy, and the others--get an SOS from a snowbound Farmer Pickles, help Spud the scarecrow identify a mysterious "snow monster," and save some stranded critters. There's still time, fortunately, for snowball fights and gift exchanges, but the best part of this holiday is the camaraderie between a great bunch of friends. Keen characterizations and a happy, fluid animation style make Bob the Builder one of the best children's TV programs around. If anything, this Christmas special has even more of the show's vitality and good cheer. Reviewed by Tom Keogh.

"A Year Without A Santa Claus"   

Even Santa can suffer a case of the holiday blues. In this 1974 stop-motion holiday family favorite, a sparkly eyed Mrs. Claus (voiced by Shirley Booth) sings and tells about the year her hubby felt too weary and too unappreciated to prepare for his annual Christmas rounds. Mickey Rooney stars as the voice of Santa, a rosy-nosed puppet who travels incognito to Southtown in search of his tiniest reindeer, Vixen, and two well-meaning elves. Seems Mrs. Santa sent them to find proof of Christmas spirit--but all they've discovered is ambivalence about Santa's year off. Luckily, when Santa arrives and befriends a buck-toothed lad named Ignatius Thistlewhite, spirits begin to lift rapidly. Adult fans of this cousin to the 1970 television special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town will remember it as the Heat and Snow Miser movie. Their vaudevillian theme songs, complete with trombone and piano riffs, are hard to forget, but other treasured musical moments include "I Believe in Santa Claus," "I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You," and "Here Comes Santa Claus." --Liane Thomas

"A Muppet Christmas Carol"  

Brian Henson directs his late father's creations in the Charles Dickens classic, the best known (and most oft-filmed) Christmas story of all time. Michael Caine plays the old miser Scrooge with Kermit as his long-suffering but ever-hopeful employee Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Cratchit's wife, and a host of Muppets (including the Great Gonzo as an unlikely Charles Dickens) taking other primary roles in this bright, playful adaptation of the somber tale. At least it starts brightly enough. The anarchic humor soon settles into mirthful memories and a sense of melancholy as the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future take Scrooge on a journey of his lonely, wasted life. Michael Caine makes a wonderful Scrooge, delightfully rediscovering the meaning of life as fantastic creations from Henson's Creature Shop (developed specially for this film) take the reins as the three ghosts. While the odd mix of offbeat humor and somber drama undercuts the power of Dickens's drama, this kid-friendly retelling makes an excellent family drama that adults and children alike can enjoy. Reviewed by Sean Axmaker.

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas"   

Over the past few days, I've gotten into the Christmas spirit; even though  it's only mid-November. So, I figured I'd review one of my favorite holiday memories now available on DVD.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is undeniably my favorite animated Christmas special. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph and Frosty are great, of course, but the Grinch is the cream of the crop. Wonderful narration by Boris Karloff, immaculate animation and that special "Christmas vibe" you get when you're watching or listening to something really special; what's not to like? This is an essential piece of holiday history for your collection.

There's nothing I can really say to make you buy this disc; you've seen it by now and chances are, unless you're the Grinch himself, you absolutely adore it. What I can say is that this particular DVD makes an already perfect Christmas special even better. Not only do you get a few wonderful features that deal with the making of the the Grinch and a few fun games for the kids, but also "Horton Hears a Who," another wonderful cartoon made by animation genius, Chuck Jones.

The review written by Amazon.com summed it up perfectly with just one sentence - this is one of the best Christmas gifts you can get for YOURSELF. Reviewed by Danny from South Philly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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