By Mylo Fisherman
It’s December and you know what that means. It’s time to get cozy under some warm blankets with a hot cup of cocoa and watch a Christmas movie. But is the movie you want to watch actually a Christmas movie? What criteria does a movie need to meet to indeed be a Christmas movie? Here is a list of some of these movies that The Delphian surveyed people on whether or not they deserve the title of “Christmas Movie.”
“The Nightmare Before Christmas:” In the 1993 film, the main character, Jack Skellington, King of “Halloween Town,” discovers the neighboring “Christmas town” and schemes to bring Christmas back to his hometown. Of the poll participants, 19 of 21 (79 percent) believe that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Christmas movie.
Valery Vasquez, a senior ethics and public policy major, argued, “`The Nightmare Before Christmas' is absolutely a Christmas movie because it’s about the people of `Halloween Town' discovering how Christmas is good and they don’t only have to celebrate Halloween.”
Contrary to the majority opinion, Jamie Gesell, a sophomore communications major, argued, “Even though it has Christmas in the title, it’s more of a Halloween movie due to focusing more on Halloween related characters (skeletons, ghosts, zombies, etc.).”
“Gremlins:” In the 1984 film, struggling inventor Randall Peltzer visits a Chinatown antique store where he bought a small, cute, furry creature called a mogwai, which he names Gizmo, for his son Billy for Christmas. When he bought the Gizmo, he was told three important rules on how to take care of the mogwai: Do not expose the mogwai to light; do not let it come in contact with water; and above all else, never feed it after midnight. When Billy and his friend Pete slowly break all three rules, they are forced to deal with the consequences. Of the poll participants, 13 of 21 (62 percent) believe that “Gremlins” is a Christmas movie.
Alyssa Krell, a YEAR communications major, said, “Gremlins is a Christmas movie because Christmas is a plot catalyst. Gizmo was a Christmas gift. Who’s to say if the dad would have bought Gizmo any other day or holiday?”
“Die Hard:” On Christmas Eve, NYPD detective John McClane goes to a Christmas party at Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. When German terrorists take his wife and others hostage, McClane attempts to save them. Bruce Willis, the lead actor, declared in 2018 that, “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie. Conversely, in 2017, the screenwriter Steven E. de Souza tweeted, “`Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie, Exhibit B: Santa.”
Of the poll participants, 10 of 23 (43 percent) seemed to agree with Willis’s sentiments, believing that “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie.
Ghila McBrien, a junior communication major, believes that “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie. They said, “Although it does take place on Christmas Eve, it is more of an action film. Mclane has to save the party’s hostages from terrorists in high-paced thrilling events.”
“Frozen:” In this 2013 film, newly crowned Queen Elsa of Arendelle accidentally uses her ice powers to create an eternal winter. Her sister, Princess Anna, teams up with an iceman, Kristoff, his reindeer, Sven, and a snowman, Olaf, to find Elsa. Of the poll participants, 18 of 24 (75 percent) believe that “Frozen” is not a Christmas movie.
Krell said, “`Frozen” isn't a Christmas movie; it’s a princess movie–a great princess movie. Not only does it have zero references to Christmas, it was also released for Thanksgiving (like most major Disney animated movies.)”
The Harry Potter Movies: In the movie franchise inspired by British author J. K. Rowling’s book series, we follow Harry Potter learning to be a wizard and take on challenging foes, such as Voldemort. Of the poll participants, 19 of 24 (79 percent) believe that the Harry Potter movies are not Christmas movies.
Gesell said, “Harry Potter focuses on magic and sorcery rather than the holidays. It’s all about Harry Potter becoming a master wizard and stopping evil forces and magic. Christmas is not paid attention to a lot in the Harry Potter movies.”
Do you agree with the majority of people polled? Who knew Christmas movies could strike up so much controversy? But as Sox Pottsmiller, a first-year neuroscience major, said, “All of the movies in question can be Christmas movies if you watch them around Christmas time.”
It’s hard to beat that logic!