After the hectic 2020 year, The Puyallup Post staffers believe everyone deserves a little more holiday cheer. The Post has compiled a list of our favorite holiday films that we have enjoyed over winter break, along with submissions from the great students and staff at Pierce College. We hope that you have enjoyed winter break and look forward to seeing you in the virtual classroom in 2021.
As always, thank you for reading.
-Alec Jensen, Editor-in-Chief
Alec Jensen, editor-in-chief
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
When I think of essential films for the winter, especially in the lead up to the New Year, 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally…”tops my list. Though the film is not rooted in the holiday season, “When Harry Met Sally…”feels like a movie you watch with a roaring fire, a mug of hot chocolate and a warm blanket wrapped around you and a partner. The chemistry between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is electric, the screenplay by Nora Ephron is both funny and believable. The direction by Rob Reiner cements the film as the ultimate romantic-comedy. A story of an unlikely bond, “When Harry Met Sally…”asks the question if men and women can be friends. Viewers watch as the pair grows together, learning what it means to love and to be loved, all the while we wait for them to realize that it’s always been the other person. Hitting its climax on New Year’s Eve, the film leaves the viewer with butterflies as Billy Crystal delivers an incredibly powerful monologue backed by Frank Sinatra’s “It Had to be You.” A subversion from the typical offerings of the rom-com medium, “When Harry Met Sally…”is an essential film for anyone who loves love or simply loves the idea of seeing Billy Crystal don an array of ‘90s sweaters.
Elissa Blankenship, online social media manager
Home Alone (1990)
Lighthearted childhood memories shine with the 1990 motion picture “Home Alone”, bringing families and friends together during the cold winter nights that loom over our heads. The tale follows actor 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, a child facing accidental neglect and a need for resourcefulness when his family travels to Paris for the holidays. The audience follows Kevin throughout his lonely journey, warding off intruders with his clever imagination, as he learns valuable lessons and offers the viewer great comedic moments along with some emotional ones as well. After the family realizes their crucial mistake, his mother pulls at the heartstrings as she attempts everything in her power to get home to her son. Accompanied by a soundtrack nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score, the film features classic Christmas music and Best Original Song nominee “Somewhere in My Memory”. The music and scenery remain true to the ‘90s era of filmmaking, following the trope of what could’ve been an unforeseen holiday disaster. With Christmas day approaching, Kevin realizes the true meaning of family, ending with circumstances fit for the warm holiday spirit… a movie perfect for those who enjoy festive films and a meaningful family-oriented plot.
Alexis Garcia, online social media manager
Batman Returns (1992)
Films in the superhero genre certainly aren’t brought up when thinking of holiday movies. This would especially apply to the world of Batman, with his dark gritty character, along with his films which are known for being more serious and intense. However, the 1992 hit flick “Batman Returns” is undoubtedly one of the best and most underrated holiday films. As soon as the movie opens with the Warner Brothers logo fading to reveal Gotham City covered in snow, viewers could tell this movie would be different from the rest. Starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito, it’s one of the best-casted films ever. Pfeiffer proves to be the real scene-stealer of the film with her perfect portrayal of Catwoman. Although the main plot doesn’t involve the holidays, it’s clear that it takes place during the season with the recurring scenes involving Christmas trees, lights, gifts and a great scene of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Selina Kyle (Catwoman) talking about mistletoe, which gets referenced again at the end. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of more traditional types of holiday movies, “Batman Returns” is the perfect type of film.
Jayden Fenske, reporter
“Klaus” is by far one of the most heartwarming and meaningful holiday movies. Receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, “Klaus” shows that “a true selfless act sparks another,” as said by Mr. Klaus. At the beginning of the film, Jasper Johanssen was a selfish and careless postman at the royal postal service academy. The academy’s principal, Jasper’s father, then decides to send his son to the northern town of Smeerensburg where there has been no established post office. He’s tasked to develop a successful postal service on the bitter island where the people are violently divided by centuries of fighting, or else he will be cut off from his father’s riches. Jasper travels to the island and, for the longest time, is unable to run a successful post office. On the verge of giving up, Jasper stumbles upon the woodsman cabin where he meets Mr. Klaus, a toymaker who lost sight of who he once was. Together, they spread joy by delivering toys to the children of Smeerensburg. Throughout Jasper’s journey, he transforms from a self-conceited individual into a passionate and caring person. It’s inspiring to see how one person’s actions can make such a significant difference. Not only is “Klaus” a must-watch holiday film, but it offers an essential message everyone can benefit from hearing.
Nathan Moreland, reporter
I like a lot of holiday movies, but if I had to pick on,e I would go with “Frozen”. Elsa and Anna’s adventure isn’t only entertaining, it’s relatable. Whether you’re young or old, “Frozen” has something for you. At my holiday gatherings, “Frozen” is never a controversial pick and you can always guarantee someone will be watching. The film allows young children to imagine they have magical ice powers while reminding the family that true love can come from anywhere. Because of the general enjoyment “Frozen” gives my family, I know that when it’s my turn to pick what to watch with my family there’s a movie that I can always rely on. The plot and humor is perfect entertainment for those who watch from beginning to end and those who drop in during the middle. If you’re like me and don’t really mind what movie is playing, I would suggest putting on “Frozen” as it checks all the boxes for being a good holiday film. It’s humorous, it’s adventurous, it’s sappy and, most of all, it’s popular.
Eliza Myers, reporter
Every Christmas morning after our stomachs full from breakfast, my family gathers to watch “Elf”. This comedy has wiggled its way into being a family favorite for not only my immediate family but the families of my cousins and friends. In my mind, this film with Will Ferrell is an iconic representation of the holiday spirit. The movie captivates the audience through the cheerful story it presents. It’s difficult to not be put into the holiday spirit when the film uses a mix of new and classic Christmas songs. Ferrell plays the part of Buddy, a human who as a baby stowed away in Santa’s bag and ended up at the North Pole. His adventure begins when he’s told he’s not an elf, rather a human raised by elves. Buddy’s new knowledge of his biological parents sends him on the mission to meet his dad and find what it means to be a human. Along with becoming a family-friendly favorite, the movie is also bound to make the audience want to try syrup on their spaghetti, one of Buddy’s favorite meals.
Celine Paez, reporter
Arthur Christmas (2011)
During winter break of my seventh grade, I came across the film “Arthur Christmas” on Netflix. Looking at its poster, it seemed like another children’s film with Santa Claus, elves and Rudolph. It’s a family film that delivers a wholesome message about the magic of Christmas but also updates the story of Christmas by including a lineage of Santa Claus who grew with the times and uses new technology. Arthur comes from a long line of Santa Clauses and his father, the current Santa, is passing the mantle to his oldest son, Arthur’s brother. On his final Christmas, Arthur’s father forgets a child and it’s left to Arthur to deliver the present before Christmas morning. This is a nostalgic and heart-warming film with beautiful animation and is perfect for the whole family.
Teresa Josten, adviser
The Grinch (2018)
“The Grinch” is a fun yet message-worthy movie that features amazing animation and storytelling. The movie is based on the classic story of the Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who lives by himself in a cave and only comes out to buy food in the nearby town. He detests his neighbors, but it’s when they grow louder and louder each Christmas, his hatred grows. When he steals their Christmas presents, it’s one little girl who convinces the Grinch to change his heart-much to his dismay. The little girl, Cindy-Lou Who, is sweet as she is caring. The message in the movie is that even the coldest of hearts can change. The best part of “The Grinch” is the narration by Pharrell Williams and the animation, especially of Max, the Grinch’s faithful dog.
“Two holiday films are a must-see every year for me, ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ Ever since ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’ was released, I would watch it with my dad on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we watched ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ I lost my dad at 19 and by watching those movies it reminds me of the special times we shared; this is something I have passed onto my kids.”
“My favorite movie to watch during the holidays is definitely ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. It’s become a tradition in my family where we watch it every year, and we’ve also watched it so many times that we sing along to the songs and recite some of the dialogue. It’s a way of bringing us together and is probably my biggest source of nostalgia.”
“I Would have to say ‘White Christmas’ because we watched it growing up and my dad would cry every time. We have a running joke when he fake cries that he must be watching ‘White Christmas’. Also, I have a lot of sisters, so we love the ‘Sisters’ number in that movie.”
Kate Cofell, professor
“In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of holiday movies and in most years I’m more likely to go out to see local performers put on their own holiday shows rather than watch movies. This year, of course, local shows aren’t happening in the same way! That said, I really love a holiday movie with an LGBTQ storyline. So many holiday movies center around straight relationships or straight love stories, but that’s just not my life, so movies like ‘Carol’ and the new movie ‘Happiest Season’ feel really exciting and refreshing for me.”
Brian Heaven, professor
“My favorite is ‘A Christmas Story’ from 1983. The mom in the movie reminds me of my own mom, keeping me out of trouble with my dad, and I too had a BB gun as a kid and was also counseled not to shoot my eye out. That advice worked out well, both eyes are intact!”
Nikki Poppen-Eagan, professor
“My favorite holiday film is ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’. Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens as he writes the Christmas Carol. I love it because his character is up against impossible odds and he takes an enormous risk and succeeds. And because his story has survived the years and redefined the way a holiday is celebrated, proving that words matter, they have power.”
Movie: “Krampus” (2015) “The idea that there’s an evil Santa who punishes bad kids is amazing. It’s my favorite movie because it’s a nice break from the constant barrage of holiday romance movies. It’s not too scary but still keeps you on your toes. I also love the ending when you get to see the ungrateful family dragged to hell.”
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