EMN2 Programming Guide – Christmas


EMN Christmas File ListChristmas Interstitials/Ads File List

Movies | Shows/Specials | Miscellaneous

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Year: 1965
Synopsis: Charlie Brown directs a Christmas play with the people in his neighborhood to get over his sour mood during the holidays.
EMN Notes: I really like Peanuts, but I have a confession. I have only seen this special once in full. That was last year. I watched It’s The Great Pumpkin many times, but I never had the VHS for this one, nor did anyone else I knew. Through cultural osmosis, references, and clips, however, I feel like I’ve watched this special on a Homura time loop. It’s never quite the same, but it hits a lot of the same things, mostly the dancing scene and Charlie Brown’s tree. This is never going to affect me as much as people that grew up with it, but it is very charming, and it gave me cozy nostalgia of the show’s reruns and specials.

A Christmas Movie Christmas
Year: 2019
Synopsis: Two sisters, a Christmas lover and a cynic, wake up in the world of a cheesy Christmas romance.
EMN Notes: Unique isekai premises are a weakness of mine when done right. The idea of a people waking up in a Christmas movie is honestly brilliant. I think if it wasn’t in the hands of a company that makes TV Christmas movies, this could have been completely hilarious with its satire. As it stands, I think this one has a fun enough premise that it is at least enjoyable to watch. Considering the quality of cheap TV Christmas Movies, that’s an achievement.

A Christmas Prince
Year: 2017
Synopsis: An American Journalist is sent to a small foreign nation around Christmas to cover their royal family, where romance blooms between her and its playboy prince.
EMN Notes: From the director of influential films like Inspector Gadget 2, Beverly Hills Chihuaua 2, Tooth Fairy 2, and Jingle All the Way 2, comes A Christmas Prince. This series sucks so hard. It is every terrible Christmas film cliche, just on Netflix. It’s because of that, however, it has its fans. I am not one of them, but I think we need this one. Weirdly, this film and only this film in the series is positive on Rotten Tomatoes, but literally every review for it outside of like 1 or 2 unremarkable ‘fines’ acknowledge it’s Hallmark movie quality and kinda sucks.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
Year: 2018
Synopsis: One year after hooking up, Prince Richard and his American love, Amber, are nervous about their wedding.
EMN Notes: Straight weddings are so fucking boring if you don’t know the people involved, but I pushed on. Having watched both The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, I just want you to know that this is the third worst movie I’ve seen under the ‘Films about weddings’ category on Wikipedia, only behind Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby
Year: 2019
Synopsis: A year after their marriage, King Richard and Queen Amber are expecting their first child, when a priceless family heirloom is stolen. Now, an expecting Amber and the Prince must find the heirloom or the child will be cursed.
EMN Notes: The ‘A Christmas Prince’ series continues brought to us by the director of the second film, John Schultz, who directed Like Mike. I appreciate the ‘just fuck it’ attitude of this one, but it somehow is not any more interesting. The premise tricks you into thinking it’s interesting enough, but it’s still made of quiet, mostly dull talking scenes. I guess between the three, this is the one I would want to rewatch the most, but this is in no way a watchable film series. Maybe if the supernatural elements were hinted to be real it’d be interesting, but they sort of make fun of the idea.

A Garfield Christmas
Year: 1987
Synopsis: Garfield, Jon, and Odie head to Jon’s family’s farmhouse to spend Christmas Eve and day with the Arbuckles.
EMN Notes: Pre-Garfield & Friends Garfield specials are so weird, because they feel familiar. You get the style, and all the cast from the cartoons, but there are fewer non-sequiturs and it’s a lot quieter. You do get a wholesome family Christmas, with a lot of the more classic comic strip humor adapted for the screen. I remember watching this one at a cousin’s house. It’s still charming in the same way the Peanuts one is. Maybe not for everyone, but it’s a good entry to funny lazy orange cat series.

A Goof Troop Christmas
Year: 1992
Synopsis: The Goofs and Petes spend a Christmas together in the snowy hills of Asprin, Colorado.
EMN Notes: I’ve watched the Halloween Goof Troop with Frankenstein’s castle, but I don’t think I watched this one as a kid. I do remember watching Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas which had Goofy and Max in a segment, but I don’t want to include that one because it has the scene where every one of the bird humans are really excited to eat turkey. This one’s not super memorable, outside of the quality of being Goofy and Pete in a wacky adventure. The show is a level of quality down from the A Goofy Movie, but it’s cute. It’s a sitcom but kid oriented and starring the Goofy cast. It’s a Fresh Prince episode meets The Flintstones.

A Karate Christmas Miracle
Year: 2019
Synopsis: A mother looks for her missing husband during the Christmas season.
EMN Notes: I don’t want you to be mislead. This is not the movie you think it is from the title, or the synopsis. I feel like anything I will say will cheapen the experience of watching this movie, but maybe not. This movie is so baffling to me. I have watched it about five times since last December. It manages to be tasteless, confusing, annoying, and unintentionally hilarious basically every second it’s on screen. Every time I have watched this film with people, there was a different theory of how and why this movie was made, and it left everyone stunned. It’s an anomaly, and to think we added it by chance because the name was fun and it was available for free on YouTube.

A Muppet Family Christmas
Year: 1987
Synopsis: All the Muppets surprise Fozzie Bear’s mom with a massive Christmas party hours before she looks to board a cruise.
EMN Notes: Another one I had on VHS, although it took a YouTube video to remind me this special existed. This one is super nostalgic for me, but even if it wasn’t, I think I would love it. It’s so genuinely funny at points. It’s very classic Jim Henson. It has his for-everyone-but-really-i-just-want-to-go-feral style of humor. This one in particular feels special for a non-Muppet movie. I may be wrong, but I think to date this is the only thing that has both Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock cross over with The Muppets at the same time.

A Very Cool Christmas
Year: 2004
Synopsis: A selfish, fashion-forward teenager looking to ditch her family and spend Christmas with a cute boy has her life changed when she gives a mall Santa a makeover.
EMN Notes: I learned about this one from a YouTuber I really like, but I REALLY wanted to get the original version of this movie where everything is the same but the parents of the teenager are a gay couple. Seriously, this is a thing. It is so much harder than it should be, and I do not know why. I actually thought this one was bad, but kind of fun. It’s at least not boring, and it tries for humor. It has some real rejected Disney Channel movie vibes, though. They added goofy sound effects and everything is extremely cheesy. It’s crappy, but it’s not downright terrible.

Ace Attorney
Year: 2012
Synopsis: A young adult mentored by the lawyer daughter of a family of spirit mediums gets into the legal defense world to meet up with an old friend who he lost contact with after his father’s murder.
EMN Notes: This isn’t a perfect movie, but I would go as far to say it is among the few genuinely great video game adaptations. They got Takashi Miike to make this one, who I love the work of. When I can watch it, that is. Thankfully Ace Attorney is a lot more flashy and a lot less violence heavy than his normal stuff, but it adds a focus on sci-fi visuals that are more subtle in the games to keep it very visually interesting. Even people who have only played the first one or two games will appreciate it, I think. It’s a loving adaption of the first game’s story, and yes, it’s a Christmas movie. The main focus is on a case that takes place around Christmas for a reason.

Anna and the Apocalypse
Year: 2017
Synopsis: In this musical, an English high school seniors’s last few months are interrupted by a zombie apocalypse during the Christmas season.
EMN Notes: It’s an R-Rated High School Musical meets Shaun of the Dead. It’s not a parody, though. It’s a full-fledged zombie movie, and more importantly, it’s a great flick. I’m not sure of the actual budget, but it feels like a very strong indie film. It’s among the best hidden gems I discovered while watching the channel. I think the songs are good, not great, but the laughs, the characters, and the story have a lot of genuine heart to it that I wound up smiling. It’s not my all time favorite horror musical, but it’s a damn fun one. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an offbeat Christmas film.

Arthur Christmas
Year: 2011
Synopsis: Santa Claus’s clumsy son goes on a mission to deliver a present to the one girl whose gift was forgotten by his father on Christmas night.
EMN Notes: It’s funny how when two different countries get this similar premise, we get Arthur Claus, Santa’s earnest but clumsy son, and FRED Claus, Santa Claus’ lazy, STUPID brother. I didn’t get a chance to watch a bunch of this, but it’s an Aardman project. It’s kind of hard to hate those guys. I want to give it a fair shake. It didn’t really grab me in the way Chicken Run, or even Flushed Away did, but it seems fun.

Batman Returns
Year: 1992
Synopsis: Batman looks to stop ‘The Penguin’, a deformed crime lord abandoned by his parents on Christmas and raised in the sewers who seeks vengeance against Gotham, and ‘Catwoman’, a secretary-turned-undead maneater who seeks revenge on her former employer that murdered her.
EMN Notes: So, I uh, I own two DVDs of Batman Returns. I really don’t know how it happened. I’m not even a huge Batman fan, but I actually have them next to each other in our cursed movie row. It’s only cursed because I have two of them, though. I actually like this film, and I’m mixed on Batman. I’m sure that I am the only person with this opinion, but this is honestly the only Batman movie I would want to watch again that’s both live action and actually stars Batman. Mostly I just like how weird this one is. It’s just as much a superhero film, as it is a tribute to German expressionist horror. It’s weirdly violent and cold, too. I don’t think it entirely works, but it IS interesting.

Christmas Mail
Year: 2010
Synopsis: A postman falls in love with his suspicious new coworker, a woman whose job is to respond to every letter addressed to Santa.
EMN Notes: I found this on a YouTube video proclaiming it to be the worst Christmas movie ever made out of everything he watched that year. I think the bar was set way too low, because we found MANY films worse than this, but it is still weird and terrible. I think technically speaking, this is probably one of our most inept films. There’s just a lot of really hilariously bad audio, writing, and directing problems that adds charm to what was clearly a rushed film. I think my favorite moment, because I am unable to not see it now, is that right near the start of the movie, there’s a person who gets to their mail, walks to their door, and stares at it blankly because the house he’s walking to is a fake house, so they can’t actually get into it.

Cool Runnings
Year: 1993
Synopsis: A team of athletes from Jamaica look to go down in history by winning the Olympic gold medal for bobsledding.
EMN Notes: I think some aspects of this film haven’t aged all too well, and it’s more winter season than Christmas. It’s not bad, though. It’s a funny little comedy movie that mostly has its heart in the right place, and it feels like it’s more about the concept of the story, then actually trying to be an accurate dramatization of the event.

Deck the Halls
Year: 2006
Synopsis: Two neighbors fight to have the brightest, and flashiest home for Christmas.
EMN Notes: In December 2004, my mother and I went into a theater and watched the film ‘Christmas with the Kranks’. At the age of 11, I walked out of the theater and knew the film was bad. I knew it was bad in a year where I watched Garfield in a theater three times. That was the very last time my family ever had any desire to watch a Christmas movie in theaters, and as I watched the trailer for the film featuring Danny Devito, who we loved, we had absolutely no interest in watching this film. It has been fourteen years since, and this film’s reputation only gets worse, so why did this get added? Morbid curiosity, and neither of us have seen it. I’m expecting literal pain, but we never saw it when it was on, so it lives on another year.

Edward Scissorhands
Year: 1990
Synopsis: A family in a model suburban town attempt to raise an awkward, yet kindhearted unfinished artificial human who has sharp scissors in place of fingers.
EMN Notes: Why did nobody tell me this was like Burton’s best film? I’m mad. The allegory in this one, I’m assuming, gave me a look into Burton that I had never expected to see in any of his films. It honestly hit me hard. I didn’t think I would ever say that about any of Burton’s various gothic fairy tales, especially not as an adult. Many of Burton’s films are style over substance, but this is absolutely not one of them. In my opnion, it’s the best Burton-directed project on EMN, and that’s a stronger list than you would expect.

Year: 2003
Synopsis: An orphan human man raised by elves reconnects with his father in New York City.
EMN Notes: It’s so weird to me that Erin has not actually watched this movie, but I am in that boat with Step Brothers where it feels like everyone besides me has seen it. I will admit, I don’t watch it every year, but I had fun watching this when I was young. It takes me back to when I was ten. I don’t have many deep things to say about this movie, but I like that it never feels mean spirited in the way a lot of Christmas movies around this time did. It has a whole bunch of opportunities to set up them crushing the heart of the man raised by elves, but it doesn’t go for it, and honestly, thank god.

Ernest Saves Christmas
Year: 1988
Synopsis: Santa Claus is days away from retirement, and he needs the help of a bumbling, obnoxious fast-talking redneck to find his replacement in time for Christmas.
EMN Notes: This movie is hilarious. Unironically hilarious. Don’t try and argue with me. The slapstick and small jokes had me laughing hard at points. Is it a smart movie? Hell no. Every Ernest movie is just Jerry Lewis with a bunch of non sequitur and a funny way of talking. I don’t know what was the secret formula Jim Varney had that Lawrence the Cable Worker did not, but I can’t imagine Larry pulling off the Scooby Doo gags in real life where Shaggy and Scooby would dress up as loud, out of place workers to confuse the villains.

Year: 1996
Synopsis: A pregnant police officer investigates a series of murders that take place in a snowy Minnesotan town, all revolving around a kidnapping case.
EMN Notes: I missed this one when it was on, but I’ve been interested to check it out. I’ve heard similar things to Pulp Fiction, which was half of the people I know call this a masterpiece, and half the people I know call this film terrible, and literally nothing in between. That sounds about right given this is a Coen Brothers picture. I’ve loved majority of the stuff they’ve made, so I have enough faith in this one.

Fred Claus
Year: 2007
Synopsis: When Santa’s sleazy older brother lands in jail, St. Nick bails him out and gives him a job making toys at the North Pole.
EMN Notes: Erin actually recommended this one, and I was shocked. I trusted her judgement, but I had literally nobody else I knew had a positive thing to say about this one. It has this kind of cliche School of Rock/Dead Poets Society style plot with the fun employee who brings life to a colorless work environment. I think her feelings echo my own in that it’s a dumb film that doesn’t really try and be anything more than what it is. It’s got the director behind Wedding Crashers, and I think that’s what you’ll expect. It’s an irreverent comedy that’s relevant once a year. Sometimes a film doesn’t need to be Duck Soup, sometimes it can just be Night at the Roxbury. How it makes you feel at the end of the day is what counts.

Year: 1984
Synopsis: A young adult receives a one-of-a-kind pet for a Christmas, but the three rules about raising one are hard to keep with the attention it demands, and all have devastating consequences for breaking them.
EMN Notes: I talked about this one on EMN Horror, but I can go on. This one is probably going to be its home for the foreseeable future. I’m not above putting a film on here if it takes place around winter or Christmas, but this one has a real wholesome feeling, as well. There’s a lot of genuinely cute moments, and even the horror aspects have more of a Looney Tunes comedic undertone to them.

Home Alone
Year: 1990
Synopsis: A young boy is accidentally left home alone to fend for himself against two burglars when his family leaves him for their trip to Paris for Christmas.
EMN Notes: I haven’t watched this one since I was a kid, but I remember enjoying it a lot. I feel like I never hear anyone talk about this one, yet everyone has seen it and agrees it’s good, I think? Can anyone really hate John Hughes films? He has his misfires, but his stuff is just iconic to me when it comes to films that make you feel good, and memorable 80’s/90’s comedies. We have like, five John Hughes movies on this channel alone, and there will be more on Comedy next year now that we have the space.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
Year: 1992
Synopsis: While on vacation with his family, Kevin gets separated from his family again in crowded New York City.
EMN Notes: I’ve seen so many people call this one bad, and I don’t know if it’s the nostalgia talking, but I loved this one. Comparatively speaking, both films to me are as good as the other. It’s a great little follow up, with lots of good gags, and takes advantage of NYC. Maybe it doesn’t have too much more to say, but it’s just a cute film, and I think when you’re looking for Christmas movies, it’s still at the top of the pile.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Year: 1966
Synopsis: A Christmas-hating curmudgeon plans to ruin Christmas by stealing every gift and decoration near the town.
EMN Notes: I watched this so many times as a kid, I actually had it completely memorized at one point. Now, not so much, but I did love Dr. Seuss a lot as a child. I once had a massive book that collected all of his most popular stories, this one included. For the record, I don’t hate the live action rendition of this, but having both this one and the live action one would be overkill, and this one is a lot more iconic, and has a lot less Baby Grinch.

It’s A Wonderful Life
Year: 1946
Synopsis: A self-sacrificing banker under a lot of pressure plans to take his life on Christmas Eve until a guardian angel steps in.
EMN Notes: The gold standard for holiday movies. Surprisingly, I know that this film first got popular due to cable play, but I never saw this on cable. I watched this for the first time at school at a time when I hadn’t watched many black and white films. Even then, I was glued to it the entire time. It’s very easy to see why this film is so iconic, even now. The dialog is interesting, and the story feels fast and suspenseful. On top of that, I loved James Stewart in his many Hitchcock films, but this was his best performance. He’s just so lovable and memorable in this one.

Jingle All The Way
Year: 1996
Synopsis: A father risks life and limb to get the most sought-after toy for his son in time for Christmas.
EMN Notes: The combined efforts of Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Hartman and a special appearance by The Big Show takes this from a somewhat forgettable Christmas movie to…well, a memorable one. Is it good? Not really. Is it fun? Absolutely. If it wasn’t for Santa With Muscles, this would probably be the worst Christmas movie we have added from the 90’s, but it manages to walk a difficult line by being both unintentionally and unironically funny at points. Every trend of bad holiday films that came in the decade after is here, but this one feels more innocent and on the nose with its satire.

Just Friends
Year: 2005
Synopsis: While back in his hometown for Christmas, a successful record producer looks to reconnect with his best friend that he was madly in love with during High School.
EMN Notes: I didn’t even hear about this film until last year, but I’m surprised it’s not a bigger deal now with Ryan Reynolds’ boom in popularity these past couple of years. Erin suggested adding this one as a content creator we loved called it an underrated Christmas film. I couldn’t watch it to confirm that, but while I think the premise can go south really quickly, I trust i-Mockery’s takes greatly.

Year: 2019
Synopsis: A spoiled brat is forced into becoming the postman for a Scandinavian island where he befriends a hermit.
EMN Notes: Watching this for the first time last year, I can see why it was so hyped when it came out. It’s a very heartfelt film, easily one of the most unique Christmas films in years, and a gorgeous spectacle of 2D animation. It’s not without its cliches, but I think if you accept them as a necessary evil, you get a film that will be an actual Christmas classic a few years down the road. It’s honestly much more interesting than anything Disney has put out in the past few years.

Last Holiday
Year: 2006
Synopsis: When a hospital visit confirms she has only a few weeks to live, a department store employee quits her job and uses her life savings to give herself the final holiday of her life.
EMN Notes: This is another one I had never heard of, but Erin watched it, loved it, and recommended it. In spite of the talented Queen Latifah, I would have been turned off by the premise, but now that I’ve seen it it’s a film that I wish I had watched years ago. It’s all about living life to the fullest, enjoying yourselves, and how businesses don’t care about you, so don’t spend your life always working and never taking time for yourself. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s charming, it has great performances, and it has a great message that I think all working adults need to hear.

Let It Snow
Year: 2019
Synopsis: Several midwestern High School students find love in the middle of a snowstorm.
EMN Notes: I’m pretty sure we only added this one out of a desperate desire for more queer Christmas movies. I wish I could say this delivered, but it is painfully okay, and the LGBTQ+ stuff is ultimately minor. I can’t speak on behalf of the original novel, but when this got adapted, in spite of having some pretty major YA novelists behind the novel like John Green and Maureen Johnson, it just wound up feeling like a Hallmark movie with teens. It’s not offensive, but it’s just not anything to write home about. In terms of snow storm movies, I would rather watch it than Snow Day, I suppose.

Love Actually
Year: 2003
Synopsis: Ten separate stories about couples in England begin to slowly intertwine.
EMN Notes: It’s ironic Love Actually and Let It Snow are back to back, because they are basically the same movie, except the latter is American and features teens. As much as I love the midwest and gay things, the English film in this case is leagues better. Unfortunately, it’s still not really my thing, as a film, but it is definitely watchable. Its ensemble cast is unfortunately more impressive than anything else in the movie. It’s kind of like a Christmas version of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World made up of mostly English actors, which in turn, makes it a good ‘leave it on in the background’ sort of film. Sometimes you look over and Mr. Bean is struggling to gift wrap a present for Alan Rickman. Sometimes that’s just Christmas.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Year: 1983
Synopsis: The cast of Disney take the place of Charles Dickins’ iconic characters in this adaption of the novella, with Scooge McDuck taking the role of his namesake.
EMN Notes: We technically have this one twice because of the House of Mouse special airing this in almost its entirety. We limited the amount of Christmas Carol adaptions, and once we realized that, we still kept it on. That’s how much we love this one. It’s not overly long, but it is well animated, hits all the story beats, and all the Disney characters fit so perfectly into their respective roles, from the plucky and optimistic Mickey playing Bob Cratchit, to the small, holy Ghost of Christmas Past represented by Jiminy Cricket. It doubled as both Erin and my first ever rendition of A Christmas Carol, so it has nostalgic value, as well.

Miracle on 34th Street
Year: 1947
Synopsis: A gentle and kind department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real deal is taken to trial by a mean psychologist looking to prove him to be a fraud.
EMN Notes: I wish we had more old, classic Christmas movies, but out of the ones we do have, this and It’s A Wonderful Life are genuinely two of the best films we have on our lineup. They’re both not only great Christmas films, but great films in general, which is not always a given. I love a good courtroom drama, and this is a real engaging and heartwarming one. It helps that the Santa in this one may just be the best movie Santa I’ve ever seen, only really comparable to the one in Ernest Saves Christmas, and this film’s remake, which of course we had to include as well.

Miracle on 34th Street
Year: 1994
Synopsis: A gentle and kind department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real deal is taken to trial after being set up by the mean drunk Santa whose job he had taken..
EMN Notes: While I prefer the original, this is one of the few instances I would say the remake holds up just as well. It’s a pretty straightforward remake, differing mostly by updating it for the modern day, and differing in things like why Santa gets arrested, or how the trial ends. In what was a decade of cynicism, both deserved, and not deserved, the remake still feels very wholesome and genuine. Richard Attenborough is truly perfect in the role as Kris Kringle. Above everything else he has ever done, it feels like the role he was born to play.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Year: 1989
Synopsis: A typical Chicago family plan to have an amazing Christmas, but much like their normal outings, everything that can go wrong does.
EMN Notes: Weirdly enough, neither of us have seen this one, but I know of it to be a classic. About the one time that I was tempted to watch it, I heard from my parents that they didn’t care for it, which is surprising to me as they do love the original, but they also don’t care for Coen Brothers films, so our tastes do differ. It never ended up airing on our channel, but I do hope to see it next year.

Olive, The Other Reindeer
Year: 1999
Synopsis: After mishearing a radio broadcast, a talking dog and her new penguin friend head to the North Pole to help Santa.
EMN Notes: Cartoon Network aired a lot of very bad or weird Christmas stuff that I remember too well. Every single December it seems like they had went all out to find and show every single weird, mostly terrible Christmas specials they could find. Stuff like “The Christmas Dinosaur”, “Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, or the “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” movie. They had everything I would never watch in a million years otherwise. What made this one stand out was that it has a unique 2D/3D artstyle and it’s actually a little funny. Matt Groening’s company and several Simpsons people worked on making this, so it had a team of people who knew what they were doing. It’s still a kid’s special, but it’s a memorable and nostalgic one in my eyes.

Year: 2014
Synopsis: After leaving the jungle for England, a walking and talking bear is adopted by a London family.
EMN Notes: This one’s great actually! It was my introduction to Paddington Bear, and it’s a fantastic one. It’s actually really funny and cute, not to mention Erin absolutely loves Paddington, so we absolutely had to add this one and it’s sequel. Truthfully, it’s only vaguely Christmas related. The ending takes place around winter, but advertising for these films wants you to associate it with winter and snow, so who am I to argue?

Paddington 2
Year: 2017
Synopsis: Paddington is wrongfully imprisoned for theft, and only his family can prove his innocence.
EMN Notes: Incredible film. Well deserving of its status of dethroning Citizen Kane of the greatest movie of all time. Well made in every single way. Paddington is back, and better than ever. I would love to watch this movie one day.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Year: 1987
Synopsis: Two polar opposites brought together through dumb luck travel in the middle of a blizzard from New York to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving.
EMN Notes: While it’s technically a Thanksgiving movie, this film is such a comfy and hilarious holiday movie in general that we added it anyways because it feels like an oversight to leave it off. It’s not like we have a Thanksgiving channel. Besides that, John Hughes writes a Thanksgiving movie better than most people’s Christmas movies. The dynamic of John Candy and Steve Martin as the annoying but lovable Del and the constantly irritated Neal, respectively, make ir one of the most memorable of Hughes’ films.

Rise of the Guardians
Year: 2012
Synopsis: The mythical heroes of childhood like Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny look to recruit Jack Frost to stop The Boogeyman from killing children’s hopes and dreams.
EMN Notes: This movie takes the comic book approach to mythologizing the famous characters of folklore. It feels like one of those ideas that’s surprising that it’s not actually based on a comic book. Because it’s only loosely based on a book series, however, it allows them to make something that feels magical. It reminded me of the Nights games, and how that series feels so wholesome, artistic, and fable-like. It’s not mind blowing, but it’s among one of the most creative and best standalone Dreamworks productions.

Sailor Moon S: Hearts In Ice
Year: 1994
Synopsis: The Sailor Scouts stand together to stop an evil snow queen from freezing the earth.
EMN Notes: This one is famous for the scene where Tuxedo Mask arrives dressed as Santa Claus, before inexplicably tearing it off for dramatic effect. On that note, I love Tuxedo Mask so much. He’s so wonderfully extra. Him and Mercury are my absolute favorites. I’ve loved Sailor Moon since I was a kid, both the good, redubbed version, and the terrible original dub. While we decided to go with the redone version on main, I am so glad we went with the crappy nostalgic dub from my childhood for this one. It really only makes this okay Christmas-themed Sailor Moon movie all the more hilarious.

Santa With Muscles
Year: 1996
Synopsis: After taking a knock on the noggin, an evil millionaire who runs a bodybuilding company thinks he’s Santa Claus.
EMN Notes: This movie isn’t even fun bad most of the time. It’s sort of just weird bad. This is a film where it feels like nobody involved wants to be there or is having fun. That doesn’t stop me from watching it, though. I think what gets me isn’t the cliche sitcom premise, the terrible acting, the weird cartoonish reality, or pretty bad and weirdly dry dialog, it’s that for a movie built around a muscular Santa Claus, Hulk Hogan has never looked less muscular in his entire life. I literally couldn’t recognize him at first, because he just sort of looks like an uncle in this. Basically, if A Karate Christmas Miracle holds the gold medal for the weirdest film we have on here, this is easily the silver.

Santa’s Slay
Year: 2005
Synopsis: After losing a challenge against an angel, the Antichrist was forced to deliver toys for a thousand years every Christmas Eve as ‘Santa’. Now that the bet is over, he has a lot of murdering to catch up on.
EMN Notes: Is this movie very stupid? Yes. Is it a guilty pleasure? Also yes. It’s a silly slasher-comedy movie starring Bill Goldberg as a vulgar, killer Santa. At one point Bill Goldberg Santa laughs maniacally as he is about to run over the main character with a Zamboni. It’s a film that knows what it is in a post-Scream world. It’s as gimmicky and stupid as any other Christmas movie, and is married perfectly with a completely mindless slasher film.

Scooby Doo: Haunted Holidays
Year: 2012
Synopsis: A living Snowman begins to drive off people at the winter festival.
EMN Notes: Unlike the Scooby Doo movies on Horror, there’s not much to talk about with this one. Aside from what’s a cool design for the monster, with a The Thing-inspired Snowman, and the novelty of it being a Christmas special, it’s a fairly unremarkable adventure. That said, Scooby-Doo is just so light and chill for me, even when it’s unremarkable is fun and charming. It was added last minute because we had it for Mystery, but I’m glad we can represent it on Christmas.

Year: 1988
Synopsis: A selfish TV executive gets the ‘A Christmas Carol’ treatment before Christmas Eve.
EMN Notes: Unfortunately the people who were on this film didn’t enjoy working on it, but you can’t tell with the ending product. It’s among one of the most ambitious modernized adaptions of an older story that I’ve seen, and it’s what we agreed upon for the third Christmas Carol adaption to have on the channel for a reason. I would have loved to read the original script, which star Bill Murray and the screenwriters insisted was better. Unfortunately, comedy wasn’t Richard Donner’s strong suit, but as a final product, you still get enough of its heart and humor for a memorable movie, even if it wasn’t the masterpiece Murray was looking for. Christmas Past as the taxi driver especially always killed me. “IT’S A BONE!”

Year: 2001
Synopsis: When two people meet in New York during Christmas, love at first sight turns into one of the most passionate nights of their lives. Ten years after losing contact with each other they find each other once more while preparing for their upcoming weddings.
EMN Notes: When people say “romantic comedies tend to star protagonists who are terrible people who hurt everyone else besides themselves” this is the kinds of film they’re talking about. It has every cliche in the book, and the protagonists are pretty unlikable, contrived and stupid…so overall, I’d say standard stuff for a Christmas romcom, just one that was in theaters instead of an original Hallmark or Lifetime movie. It’s just not Christmas without a stupid, cheesy, sentimental movie on the TV. Just don’t take it too seriously.

Silent Night Deadly Night, Part 2
Year: 1987
Synopsis: Four years after a murderous rampage on Christmas by a man dressed as Santa, his younger brother picks up where he left off.
EMN Notes: I’ve heard of this movie for ages, but only saw it for the first time last year. This crappy horror movie is known for two things: the infamous ‘garbage day’ scene, and only really being half of a movie. It took about 3 million dollars to film what was the most recent Friday the 13th film the year before this movie came out. This movie only had a 250 thousand dollar budget, so they made up for it by including almost the entirety of the first movie in this one to save money. So, you don’t need to watch the first one to watch this one. I don’t have the same enjoyment for this one that I do for Santa’s Slay, but just for the weird novelty of having one of the most infamous Christmas horror films of all time, I’m glad we have it on our channel.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Year: 2018
Synopsis: A New York teen granted similar powers to Spider-Man looks to stop mob boss, The Kingpin, with the help of various Spider-People from other dimensions.
EMN Notes: I’ve watched this film three times in theaters, a distinction only otherwise shared with Power Rangers (2017), Get Out, and hilariously, Garfield. With the exception of Garfield, I would consider all of them to be among my favorite films. It’s such a gorgeous experience of art, music, animation, story, characters, etc. Everything works, and I’ve not seen anyone who walks out of it not loving Spider-Man. Its Christmas connection is limited to some snow scenes, and Spidey Bells, but that’s juuuust the stretch we need to make it Christmas film. You won’t see either Erin or I complaining.

The Christmas Chronicles
Year: 2018
Synopsis: Two siblings sneak onto Santa’s sleigh on Christmas, but accidentally bring it crashing down. It’s up to them and Santa to get things back on track and save Christmas.
EMN Notes: GOD I really hate this movie. I like Kurt Russell, but for a film that’s all about how we need to get the Christmas spirit back, a lot of this film feels kind of mean spirited? The elves are monstrous, there’s kind of an ongoing fatphobic joke. I really wanted to like this one, but it did not sit well with me. It’s inventive enough that I’d be willing to give it one more shot if it was on again.

The Christmas Train
Year: 2017
Synopsis: A former couple runs into each other while taking a several days long train ride from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles in time for Christmas.
EMN Notes: I grabbed this one for the terrible title, I stayed for the uh…okay, maybe there’s not a lot to this one. So yes, this one, the title just spoke to me. For what very clearly had a time crunch and strict budget, and what is the straightest film genre I have ever seen, this one could certainly be worse. I didn’t expect any plot twist in this entire movie, and I think I got one, but I can’t tell. I remember this one vividly, for the record, it’s just kind of confusing.

The Knight Before Christmas
Year: 2019
Synopsis: A knight from the medieval times is sent to modern day Ohio, where he befriends a high school teacher.
EMN Notes: You’re not going to believe me, but while building this channel, I found out time traveler who comes to the modern day at Christmas is a genre. This one easily looked like the best, and I have to be honest, this one is unironically good? Even when it’s stupid, it’s fun stupid. They take advantage of every ‘Fish Out of Water’ joke you can possibly think of, and the entire movie ends on a Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan cover of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. When that hit, I realized I literally could not hate this movie. I would honestly recommend this one. It’s not incredible, but it’s fun.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Year: 1992
Synopsis: In this musical based on A Christmas Carol, a Christmas hating capitalist miser is visited by three ghosts to try and change his ways. Oh, and some of the people around him are Muppets.
EMN Notes: I can say hands down, this is the absolute best adaption of A Christmas Carol that I have ever seen, and a least in the top three best Muppet movies. I watch this one just about every year, or every other year. The musical numbers are fantastic, the casting of both the Muppets and the actors are great (Michael Caine is honestly my go to Scrooge), and they bring classic Muppet humor, while never feeling like it goes off the rails. It even captures some scenes usually ignored by most adaptations. This was a must have for the channel.

The Night Before
Year: 2015
Synopsis: After a young man loses both of his parents in December, his two best friends decide to spend every Christmas Eve with him so he’ll never be lonely. Fourteen years later, they have one final Christmas together as friends, where they attempt to get to a Christmas party that had been a dream for ages.
EMN Notes: I have to admit that I liked every Seth Rogen movie I’ve seen a lot more than I thought I would, but I’m still surprised how much I loved this one. Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are fantastic, too. I’ve always dug them. This one honestly got me really emotional at points, made me smile or laugh at others, and I died laughing at one point near the end. It was one of my favorite surprises from last year, and I would happily watch it again.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Year: 1993
Synopsis: In this animated musical, the beloved leader in a town full of monsters dedicated to Halloween becomes weary of his position, until a wave of inspiration hits him when he learns about Christmas.
EMN Notes: My feelings with this one don’t change between Halloween and Christmas, so check Horror for my full feelings on it. Basically, I believe this one to be a very lovable and well-made self-contained Halloween-Christmas film. I’m not entirely heartless or too mature to enjoy it. We all get a little Hot Topic sometimes, and that’s fine.

The Polar Express
Year: 2004
Synopsis: A boy gets an opportunity to take a train ride to The North Pole to meet Santa Claus when its train to it pulls near his house.
EMN Notes: This one is based on the famous book by Jumanji creator, Chris Van Allsburg. This story was one that was very nostalgic to me, because I had it as a kid. The movie is famous for two reasons: the uncanny valley realistic CG and many of the characters being voiced by Tom Hanks, but it’s all stuff I can forgive. It’s super corny, and while it works much better as a book than it does as a film, I can’t help but have sentimental value for it. For all it flaws, it succeeds at being a good vibes kind of Christmas movie, one that was really needed in what was a very mean spirited era for mainstream Christmas films.

The Princess Switch
Year: 2018
Synopsis: A baker and a duchess switch places with both looking to get out of the limelight for their busy Christmas seasons.
EMN Notes: This is the one film I had completely forgotten about until reading it on here. To its credit, it got good reviews, but a retelling of The Prince and The Pauper starring Vanessa Hudgens feels a lot more standard when compared to the rest of our lineup. I actually chose this one over a low budget Christmas body swap movie, and I don’t know if I would do that again, but I’m willing to give this one a proper shot to see if it will surprise me.

The Santa Clause
Year: 1994
Synopsis: After Santa Claus falls off of his roof, a single father puts on the suit, an act that slowly begins to turn him into Santa Claus.
EMN Notes: The body horror Christmas classic. It’s sort of hard to describe this film if someone doesn’t know what it is and you don’t follow it up with “it’s a kid’s movie by Disney”. Santa dies. A man slowly turns into Santa Claus because he wears the suit and has to convince his family. It sounds very dark comedy, and it probably would be if Tim Allen wasn’t the star of Home Improvement at the time. It’s fun, though. Not anything special, but it’s a childhood movie I have affection for. The humor is chuckleworthy, and the story is an all ages deal.

The Santa Clause 2
Year: 2002
Synopsis: After eight years, finally getting used to his life as Santa Claus, the North Pole finds out that Santa must get married or he will stop being Santa forever.
EMN Notes: It’s a dumb and very het premise, but I can’t lie, it’s very entertaining. I’m literally only describing half the plot. The other half is about the elves building a toy robot version of Santa to hide Santa’s condition, like the stuff you’d hear in a conspiracy theory, only for the toy robot Santa to become a dictator who builds nutcracker drones. Why it’s that and also a romantic comedy where Santa has to be married at a time gay marriage was illegal, I have no clue, but I enjoyed this one. I like it probably more than I did when I first watched in in theaters.

The Snowman
Year: 1982
Synopsis: A young English boy’s snowman comes to life at midnight, and they have fun. This Snowman can fly somehow.
EMN Notes: I first watched this from my library’s VHS section when I was young, and I had forgotten about it until the past few years where it jogged my memory. I never knew the name of it, but I was shocked to learn that it’s apparently very famous in England. I can see why. It’s such a genuinely gorgeous animated film. It’s so unlike anything I’ve really seen. I can’t think of anything that matches its fantastic colored pencil picture book aesthetic. It’s heartwarming, and the beautifully haunting song stuck with me even when I couldn’t place where it came from.

The Star Wars Holiday Special
Year: 1978
Synopsis: In this variety show featuring the cast of Star Wars, Chewbacca’s family watches television and the Imperial Army tries to stop the rebels.
EMN Notes: This is much worse than anyone can describe to you, including me. This one is rough with a captial ‘R’. 95% of this is wookies talking to each other in Wookie language nobody can understand and watching terrible comedy skits. There’s a part where grandpa wookie watches alien-human porn that goes on for what feels like fifteen minutes minutes with no jokes. Watching this movie really changed my life, although I don’t know if it was for the better or worse. Heed my warning.

The Year Without A Santa Claus
Year: 1974
Synopsis: Mrs. Claus and the elves try to convince Santa not to take a year off from delivering Christmas presents.
EMN Notes: I’m going to give a lukewarm take. The more time goes on, the more we all begin to realize that Rankin-Bass wasn’t really all that good to begin with. If you have actual options beyond the ‘G’ rating, there’s truthfully very little reason to watch them. This one isn’t an exception, but it’s one of the better ones, if just for the Heat and Snow Miser songs alone. Above all else, as you can probably expect, it can be summed up in EMN Christmas’s unofficial tagline “it’s there for the vibe”.

Tokyo Godfathers
Year: 2004
Synopsis: Three homeless people find an abandoned baby on Christmas.
EMN Notes: My all time favorite Satoshi Kon film. I’ve been meaning to watch the film it’s based on, Three Godfahers, but I know it can’t stand up to this one. It’s honestly a good contender for the greatest Christmas film ever made. I watch it every year. It’s legitimately hilarious, heartwarming, and has fantastic animation, characters, dialog, and story. It’s funny, because I’m a drawn to the more artistic and interpretive films, but this was Kon’s one mostly down to earth and literal film. Let that speak on behalf of how good this one is. The dynamic of the three main characters and the world around them is simply incredible.

Wallace & Gromit in: A Close Shave
Year: 1995
Synopsis: In the continuing adventures of an eccentric inventor and his loyal, protective dog, the two look to stop a dog trying to capture all the sheep.
EMN Notes: Can never go wrong with Wallace and Gromit. At least, I think so. Is this one Christmas? Well, Aardman goes all out around Christmas with new shorts, commercials, and merchandise, and from what I gather, England airs the shorts every December nowadays. That’s about as good of a justification as I will ever need, because I absolutely love these two. Although I’ve always loved this short since Cartoon Network aired it, the (new) dog in this one freaked me out a little as a kid, until I realized it was a reference much later. That’s the most I’ll say to avoid spoilers, but the reference is very well known.

Wallace & Gromit in: A Grand Day Out
Year: 1989
Synopsis: In the first adventure of an eccentric inventor and his loyal, protective dog, the two build a rocket to get to the moon after running out of cheese.
EMN Notes: The one that started it all and introduced us to two of England’s most charming characters. This one is just a little uncanny nowadays, but all the same it’s still very impressive and funny. It’s smart, it’s cute, it’s fun…it’s Aardman.

Wallace & Gromit in: The Wrong Trousers
Year: 1993
Synopsis: In the continuing adventures of an eccentric inventor and his loyal, protective dog, a diamond thief penguin uses Wallace’s newest invention to commit crimes..
EMN Notes: This one is my personal favorite. The animations of the Techno Trousers is hilarious, and the penguin who disguises himself as a chicken by wearing a latex glove on his head is such a great character. This one really set the bar for the shorts afterwards, plus the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It’s also the most Christmas-related one on the channel, if just because of the penguin.

When Harry Met Sally…
Year: 1989
Synopsis: After graduating college, the titular two share a drive to New York City where they share many chance encounters over the course of the next few years..
EMN Notes: So, this one’s technically a New Year film, but I think we can let it slide. This channel goes on until December 31st, after all. The comedic chemistry of Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are fantastic. It also helps that Rob Reiner is very funny and hits it out of the park most of the time, and the screenplay is from the late Nora Ephron, who excels way too well at this genre. What you end up with is some of the most realistic, yet entertaining conversations you’ll hear in a film, even today. It’s a familiar set up, but a brilliant pay off.

While You Were Sleeping
Year: 1995
Synopsis: A woman gets caught up in an act pretending to be the fiancee of her crush, after he falls into a coma on Christmas Day.
EMN Notes: This movie was way better than it had any right to be, honestly. The premise lends itself well to a comedy, but it has to be done right, and thankfully they did. It helps that the main character is likable. She wasn’t the one to get herself into it, and the reason she can’t get out of it is both funny and understandable. Lastly, as an actual romance it could get creepy, but without giving it away, it sidestepped that entirely in what I would say is a very smart move. Overall, a very good 90’s romcom set around the holidays.