Family Fun Movies to Cozy Up To This Christmas

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Reel Movie Reviews: Tinsel Tales
By Donovan Darling, Staff Writer

Family Fun Movies, Muppets Christmas Carol Movie Poster“The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992)

Like all Jim Henson movies, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is an instant classic. Full of many upbeat musical numbers, funny animal characters, solid jokes, heart and humanity, this is a family-friendly take on Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel “A Christmas Carol.” In the classic story, Ebenzer Scrooge, played here by a curmudgeonly Michael Caine, has grown into an old, lonely miser near Christmas. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit him on Christmas Eve and show him the folly of his ways — choosing money over love, family and friends — and the dire, lonely future that awaits him unless he decides to change. This movie is equally funny and heartwarming as it is a sobering wake-up call to the things that matter most. Also starring Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Steven Mackintosh, Robin Weaver and more. Rated G — 5 & up due to some scary visuals.

Family Fun Movies, The Movie Poster for the Grinch“The Grinch” (2018)

Yet another Grinch movie begs the question — how many do we need? Apparently a few more, as this iteration inhabits its own little modern world and adds to the ever-expanding Grinch mythology. Narrated by Pharell Williams and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch, the story is simple — the Grinch hates Christmas and the Whos want to make it bigger and brighter than ever, much to his annoyance. A nod and protege to Ron Howard’s “A Grinch Stole Christmas” with a scene-stealing Jim Carrey, this movie is fast-paced, quick-witted and incredibly scored. The music, however, is a very modern take, done by Pharrell Williams and including a combo of classic Christmas, pop, hip hop and acapella. Because this is fully computer-animated, the movie has no limits and is a true visual spectacle. Also starring Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Mindy Sterling, Angela Lansbury and more. Rated PG for brief rude humor.

Family Fun Movies, The Movie Poster For Home Alone“Home Alone” (1990)

By far my favorite Christmas movie, Chris Columbus’ “Home Alone” is a hilarious and heartfelt movie about family and redemption. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), troublemaker and the youngest child in a large family, always feels forgotten and resented, and that’s even more apparent when he’s left home alone while his whole family flies to Paris for Christmas. Instead of panicking, Kevin relishes his time alone and becomes more independent — watching inappropriate movies, eating junk food, shooting a BB gun inside, but also grocery shopping and doing laundry. Eventually he runs into local cat burglars Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), who plan to rob his house. And that’s when the fun and chaos escalate into what I consider the greatest prank scenes ever filmed. Scored by John Williams and also starring Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, Kieran Caulkin, John Candy and more. Rated PG for violence and coarse language.