4 More Merry Films To Watch for the Holidays
Last week, we explored five festive holiday films to watch. We had so much fun writing it, that we figured we’d do it again this week. So, without further ado, here are four more merry films to watch this holiday season.
1. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
The holidays mean tradition. What traditions you follow depend on your family and history. There are just as many holiday traditions as there are people in the world. That’s the subject explored in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.
Released in 2017 (four years after Frozen) the 21 minute film finds Olaf, Sven, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff in Arendelle preparing for the holidays. Anna and Elsa are lamenting the fact that their lives include no family traditions, and the lovable Olaf sets out to find some for them.
As he travels through Arendelle, Olaf learns about Christmas, Hanukkah, and the Winter Solstice. As you might expect, Olaf manages to get into a bit of trouble. This time it involves a fruitcake and wolves. There are a plethora of new songs in the movie, including “That Time of Year” and the heart warming “When We’re Together.”
Keep your eyes peeled as you watch, there are a few Easter Eggs in the film: Baymax’s fist can be seen in one scene, Wayne from Prep & Landing in another, as well as Nessie from The Ballad of Nessie.
If you’d like your own experience of the film, you can stop by the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration in Hollywood Studios during the holiday season. The finale includes songs from “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” and includes an appearance by Olaf himself.
We at Celebrations can’t get enough Olaf. If you feel the same, you can check out this piece written by Tim Foster:
I’ll let you in on a little secret: my dream is to be Santa Claus one day. I like elves, I’d love to live in a toy factory, and I can’t think of a better profession than spreading joy and giving gifts. It’s a dream I share with the title character of Noelle, the holiday movie released in 2019 on Disney +.
The movie stars Anna Kendrick (who also starred in Disney’s Into the Woods) as Noelle Claus, daughter of Santa Claus. She’s dreamed of becoming Santa Claus since she was a little girl. Unfortunately, the next in line is her brother Nick (played by Bill Hader). The only problem? Nick doesn’t want the job and decides to run away. It’s up to Noelle to save the day.
Our family fell in love with this movie after our first viewing and we’ve watched it multiple times since. Along with Kendrick and Hader, the movie features Billy Eichner and the legendary Shirley Maclaine.
When you watch the movie, keep an eye out for plethora of Hidden Mickeys. There is one on the rug in the movie’s opening scene, some on Noelle’s pajamas, and one in the Kringle’s fireplace. According to movie producer Suzanne Todd, those are just the tip of the iceberg.
Another fun fact about the film: they built the entire North Pole. You aren’t looking at any CGI. Like Disney’s dedication to authenticity in their parks, the movie was dedicated to creating an immersive and real experience for their actors to perform in.
3. The Muppet Christmas Carol
Last week we talked about Mickey’s Christmas Carol. It’s a brilliant and entertaining adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic. However, as much as I love it, my all-time favorite version of the story is the Muppet version of the story. Michael Cain is brilliant as Ebenezer Scrooge and the Muppets perform their roles as entertainingly as you would expect. It’s a brilliant blend of pathos and humor.
As brilliant as the acting is, the songs take the movie to the next level. Musical numbers like “Marley and Marley,” “Bless Us All,” “It Feels Like Christmas,” and “Thankful Heart” are sure to get stuck in your head. I find myself singing them in midsummer. It’s no surprise that they’re catchy. They were written by Paul Williams, who co-wrote the song “Rainbow Connection” featured in The Muppet Movie.
The movie was Brian Henson’s feature debut. Henson honored his father Jim during the song, “One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas.” At the end of the song, Kermit looks up at the sky and watches a shooting star which was placed in the movie as tribute to Jim.
Of course, the Muppets are an essential part of the Walt Disney World Experience. To read more, you can check out this article by Britta Stephens:
4. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
The debate about this movie rages on: Is it a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie? Frankly, I fail to see why it can’t be both. In fact, it’s an all the time movie. There’s no time of year when it isn’t appropriate to walk around singing, “Kidnap the Sandy Claus,” “Oogie Boogie’s Song,” “What’s This,” or “Sally’s Song.”
For those who haven’t seen the movie, it follows Jack the Pumpkin King as he seeks to understand Christmas and make it his own. The movie was based off of a poem written by Burton in 1982, and was directed by Henry Selick. The cast is an all-star collection of talent which includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, and Danny Elfman as the singing voice of Jack.
Apart from being a brilliant story, the movie is a technical wonder. Filmed in stop motion, the movie used 227 puppets and was filmed on 20 sound stages. Jack Skellington had approximately 400 heads made, so that the filmmakers could capture every possible emotion for the character. Every second of film required 24 frames, with the movie consisting of 110,000 frames total.
For more about Jack, check out this article written by Tim Foster:
Characters like Jack, Sally, and Oogie Boogie make appearances in Walt Disney World during the Halloween season, and take over the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland from September to January each year.
The holidays are such a wonderful time of year. For us Disney fanatics, it’s always a treat to sprinkle a little Disney magic on top of the tasty traditions of the season. These four Disney films are a great way to get in the spirit. No matter what or how you celebrate this holiday season, we hope it is full of warmth, magic, and good memories.