The meandering truth of a Christmas movie
It is suggested that there are only a couple of stories; ‘a stranger comes to town’ or ‘a hero goes on a journey’.
Great Christmas movies seem to be a bit of both, and they amplify the emotional content of these stories; they have less concern about the audience ability to suspend reality, and they can be unashamedly ‘gushy’. We are taken on an emotionally liberating rollercoaster that takes us from “Bah Humbug” or ‘same old same old’ to “Merry Christmas Everyone!’ and ‘I love you’.
But we can’t get into a joyous state without working our way through some tension. We have listed our favourite Christmas Movies below and created a map of their emotional journey:
It’s a Wonderful Life
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
- George is suicidal
- Clarence gets the job of saving him
- Clarence reviews his life
- Clarence jumps in and George saves him
- George wishes he had never been born
- Clarence grants his wish
- Clarence gets his wings
Miracle on 42nd Street
A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.
- Santa takes a job in a toy store
- Susan tells Santa her Christmas wishes
- Santa gets taunted and then arrested
- Everyone believes in Santa
- Santa is not real
- Santa is real!
- Susan gets all of her wishes
After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.
- Buddy grows up as an elf
- Buddy finds out he is not an elf
- Buddy travels to New York
- Buddy finds his dad and is rejected
- Buddy decorates the grotto for Santa
- Buddy helps Santa by making people believe
- Buddy’ dad publishes a book
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.
- Scrooge is miserly and mean
- Jacob Marley Visits
- The Ghost of Christmas Past
- The Ghost of Christmas Present
- The Ghost of Christmas yet to come
- Scrooge Realises he is alive
- Scrooge changes his ways forever!
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.
- The Grinch is annoyed by the happy Whos of Whoville
- The Grinch steals Christmas
- The Grinch Gets stuck on the mountain
- The Whos discover Christmas stolen
- The Whos are happy regardless
- The Grinch’s heart swells
- The Grinch joins the people for Christmas
- We can’t get into a joyous state without working our way through some tension!