Tag Archives: Festive Friday

[Festive Friday] The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s that time of the week again – Festive Friday! In the spotlight this week is a musical masterpiece directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

IMDb: “Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.”

The film oozes Tim Burton, which is unsurprising as he co-wrote and co-produced it. It is very much an ‘alternative’ Christmas film, and features unique, intriguing characters like Jack, Dr Finklestein and the fabulous Oogie Boogie.

While there are other films that might make you feel more Christmassy, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunning film that features first class stop-motion animation and will always be a festive favourite at Cinematic Delights HQ.

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[Festive Friday] The Muppet Christmas Carol

Greetings, one and all, and welcome to another edition of Festive Friday. This week it is the turn of another seasonal must at Cinematic Delights HQ, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Starring the fantastic Michael Caine alongside a host of your favourite muppets – including Kermit as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit and the Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens – this 1992 film is a fantastic Christmas film that will capture the imagination of everyone both young and old.

Empire magazine sums the film up as: “Vastly enjoyable despite the syrupy, soppy song bit in the middle (go make a glass of mulled wine during it). Michael Caine is perfect in the role and there are many genuine belly laughs.”

I’d agree with the belly laughs part though I must confess that I enjoy the singing!

I grew up watching Seasame Street, and there is something timeless about Jim Henson’s puppets. While animatronics and CGI continues to evolve, there’s something very special about them. The Muppets is getting great reviews and I’m sure – when it’s eventually released in the UK – Kermit and co will be exactly the same characters as I loved 20 years ago.

These are three of my favourite clips from the film, courtesy of YouTube:

– the wonderful Marley and Marley

– Bob and his son, Tiny Tim, an adorable duo

– my absolute favourite scene – it’s such a catchy tune!

[Festive Friday] Elf

Welcome to the very first of my five special Festive Friday posts. This mini series is very much like my regular Favourites Friday series, except I will only being looking at Christmas films. Though you may not feel Christmassy yet – and I don’t particularly either! – we’re now into December so the holiday season will soon be upon us!

First up is one of my favourite Will Ferrell flicks, Elf.

Released in 2003, Elf is the story of Buddy the Elf. These aren’t your Middle-earth style elves, these are proper Christmas elves that are exactly what you’d expect: small and dressed in little felt suits with a hat and pointy shoes. The only thing out of place is Buddy – he’s a little on the large size…

To call him a little on the large size is being very, very polite...

Elf is a wonderful Christmas film, and there’s three particular reasons why it is always a must watch at Cinematic Delights HQ at this time of the year.

1. The comedy element

There are many famous sayings about laughter and the ability to make people laugh. My favourite has to be: “laughter is the best medicine”. I have several films I like to watch if ever I’m feeling a bit blue or under the weather and Elf is one of them. Buddy is certainly one of Ferrell’s best performances, if not the best. Buddy is such a likeable, fun character who is impossible not to like.

Like any good comedy film there are plenty of quotable lines. One of the best has got to be this one:

2. Family relationships

Christmas is undoubtedly a time for family, and Elf is packed full with family. As he soon find out, Buddy has a large extended family. As well as his adopted father he has his birth father, stepmother and younger brother. He also has feelings for the lovely Jovie, played by Zooey Deschanel.

Elf is very much a film about self discovery, and it’s fun to see how the other family members are affected by Buddy’s appearance. Happily, everyone does get along eventually.

James Caan is great fun as Buddy’s birth father, Walter. A high-flying businessman who works at a children’s book company, Walter doesn’t know what to think when Buddy turns up. His stepmother and half-brother are much more welcoming, with Michael acting as Buddy’s romantic guru regarding Jovie.

Bob Newhart is lovely as Papa Elf, Buddy’s adopted father who supports his son in his decision to find Walter.

3. A real Christmas

Elf portrays Christmas is a very stereotypical manner, which I love. Father Christmas is, as I’ve always imagined, an older fellow with a big white beard, glasses and red suit. Like I said earlier, the elves are small and dressed in little felt suits with a hat and pointy shoes. They all live happily together at the North Pole and yes, there are reindeers as well.

New York City is also how I expect it at Christmas, packed full with shoppers with all the department stores bursting with Christmassy goodness. There’s lots of snow on the ground and decorations fill the streets.

Sometimes, you really do just want a film that is literally bursting to the seams with Christmas!

  • What do you think of Elf? Is it a must watch for you?