James and Bailey: Movies to Watch to get you in the Holiday Spirit

James Fink and Bailey Kuhn

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

James: This movie is about a monster who lives up in the mountains near a town. He has been forgotten by the rest of the town and no one seems to care about him. Because of this, he hates the townspeople, called Who’s,  and does everything he can to ruin their Christmas. This movie is more of a comedic holiday movie, and to be honest, it creeps me out a little bit. Maybe that is because I am more used to the original cartoon “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” but this is definitely a different take on that. I heard about this movie, but this was the first time that I had ever seen it. I always wondered how they would make a whole movie out of this story because the cartoon version is relatively short. This movie goes much more into depth about the story of the Grinch. There is a portion of the movie that shows you the Grinch’s childhood and why he hates the townspeople. The reason I would say this movie creeps me out is because of the way that all the people look in it. They have really weird hair as well as really strange facial features which makes it a little uncomfortable. But I do have to say that if Who’s were a real thing then I would assume that is what they would probably look like. I would recommend this movie to anybody who would like a comedy while still getting in the Christmas spirit. I just recently watched the movie with a large group of friends and I think that it was probably the best holiday movie that you could watch with a group of friends. 


Rate: 6/10


Bailey: This is by far my favorite Christmas movie. I have been watching it since I was little and it still is so exciting for me to watch once Christmas swings around every year. Comedy is my favorite genre of movie and this movie definitely hits the spot when it comes to a holiday comedy. In the movie, the Grinch is talked about around Whoville as sort of a legend that lives up in the mountains away from the rest of the town, and Jim Carey, who plays the Grinch in the movie, fills this role perfectly. He acts just like the psychotic, off-centered monster that you would expect him to be. He is very funny yet very creepy and uncomfortable all at the same time. I have always thought that the Grinch looked surprisingly very real in the movie, and I just read an article that said that Jim Carey spent hours everyday getting his makeup done which just proves his dedication to the role and makes me gain so much respect for him. I also think that the makeup and hair jobs done on the rest of the actors are incredible. Especially the character Cindy Lou Who. I can’t begin to imagine what they did to her hair to make it look the way it did. In the classic cartoon version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the people of Whoville always seemed like the absolute nicest most charitable people in the world, and there was no reason for the Grinch to act the way he did. I like in this version that the people of Whoville have been mean to the Grinch, so it actually gives him a reason for acting the way he does. I love watching this movie with my family and with my friends, but I love it so much that I would watch it all by myself.


Rate: 10/10


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


James: To me, this movie is just a classic Christmas movie. This is one that I have sat down and watched with my family every year since I was little, and the tradition continued this year. I love all the stop motion animation Christmas movies made by Videocraft international, but this is by far my favorite one. There are so many different problems that Rudolph has throughout the movie. For example, the other reindeer not liking him and the abominable snowman coming after him. Also, there is a little bit of romance between Rudolph and a female reindeer he likes, which makes the film even more exciting. Once I learned that the movie was made using stop motion animation, I gained a lot of respect for the company. All the characters are really well done and so is all of the animation. I love the different songs sung during the movie because it is a movie I watch yearly, so they always remind me of the holidays. 


Rate: 8/10


Bailey: I used to watch this movie with my family when I was little, but I have not seen it for the past few years. But when I saw this movie again recently, it was just as good as I remember it. I recently read that there was some controversy about the movie in that there were some people that were angry saying that they did not like that Rudolph was harshly bullied in the movie. But I think that a big part of the movie is that Rudolph overcame his difference and everyone became accepting of him. I think it teaches lessons of not letting your adversities affect you and eventually having everyone appreciate your differences which I think is a really good Christmas message. My favorite part is the Island of Misfit toys. They all have something wrong with them, but they are still given out to people one Christmas which again shows the message of appreciating differences. Rate: 7/10


Disney’s a Christmas Carol


James: Disney’s a Christmas Carol is a great animated version of the classic tale written by Charles Dickens. I first saw the movie when I was in sixth grade in school after we finished reading the story, and I have watched it every year since. It is set back in 19th century England and really gives you a feel of what Christmas was like a couple hundred years ago. It is technically a horror story because Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character, is haunted by three different ghosts who teach him to be kinder and more generous. So it is scary but yet at the same time, it is kind of a feel good movie. I think nowadays people especially children become very greedy around Christmas time and want a bunch of different materialistic things, but in this movie, so many people are so happy just to get a hot meal. And the genuine joy people have in the movie, even if they have nothing shows what Christmas should really feel like. 


Rate: 10/10


Bailey: I had never seen this movie until this year. And honestly it was not my favorite. In my opinion, Christmas movies should not be scary because it takes away from the holiday spirit. I think that they should be light, humorous, and make you feel good. But this movie is much more serious. However, I do like the animation. It is so life-like that you almost can’t tell that it is animated. There is so much detail that goes into each character’s facial features; it is amazing. I do also enjoy that this movie shows the true meaning of Christmas. That people should look out for each other and do everything they can to help other people out that have less than them. And also that you should enjoy spending time with your people and the other people that you are with, even if you don’t have much. 


Rate: 4/10




James: Elf is a fantastic movie that really gets me in the holiday spirit. The use of childish comedy mixed with plot twists, makes this movie an easy pick to watch with your family. The movie primarily takes place in New York City, where an elf (Will Ferrell) is on a journey to reunite with his father. The movie opens with a beautiful and magical scene in the North Pole, with Buddy. A human raised in an elf’s world. His adopted father notices how Buddy feels out of place in this world, and decides to tell him about his real father. He gives him a photo and a snowglobe of the Empire State Building in New York City. Buddy then goes on an adventure to find his dad. He goes through the candy cane forest and the Lincoln Tunnel. When he finally arrives after a long heartfelt search, and his dad doesn’t want anything to do with him. With some convincing from his wife and son, he decides to let Buddy stay with them. Buddy decides to show his father the Christmas spirit, as he is on the naughty list. Through some elaborate and heart-warming character development, Buddy’s father decides to take Buddy in. This is truly a movie that embodies the true meaning of Christmas, and all the holidays around this time of year; family. 


Rate: 7/10


Bailey: Elf is a Christmas comedy that puts a modern twist on the classic myth of Santa having elves that help him in his workshop. The concept of Buddy the elf being a human that accidentally made his way to Santa’s workshop. He thinks that he is actually an elf even though he does not fit in with the rest of the elves at all. He is way too big to sit in the chairs or even take a shower. He sits on his adopted elf father’s lap even though he is much bigger than him. I love Will Farrell’s other movies like “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights” and he definitely increases his number of fantastic movies with this performance. He eventually makes his way to New York City to find his biological father and Will Farrell truly acts as a person that has never been integrated into society before. This is an extremely funny movie and is good to watch with friends, family, or even by yourself. 


Rate: 6/10