Entertainment, Opinion

Agora’s favorite festive holiday films


If you’re looking for a cozy family-friendly movie to enjoy this Christmas season, “Klaus” is the movie for you.

“Klaus,” a 2019 film available to watch on Netflix, takes on the origin of Santa Claus.

After fumbling his way through postman academy, spoiled and lazy Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) graduates at the bottom of his class. His father, the Postmaster General, gives him an impossible task as punishment: establish a postal service in the town of Smeerensburg, or lose the family fortune.

Smeerensburg is a town of two warring clans who despise each other so much that they do nothing but terrorize each other. Jesper quickly realizes that no one in the town will send mail and heads off to talk to Klaus (J.K. Simmons), a gruff widower who lives in the woods.

Their meeting sets off a wacky chain of events that cause significant change in the once cold, sad town of Smeerensburg.

The animation in “Klaus” is vibrant, expressive and beautiful. It captures the dreary, frigid landscape of the little town and creates an immersive winter atmosphere.

In “Klaus,” the characters drive the story. While the characters are not complex, their simplicity lends itself to the whimsical tone of the movie.

“Klaus” is a story about loss, love and magic. Not Christmas magic, but the magic of how, as Klaus says, “A true selfless act always sparks another.”

It’s a Wonderful Life

Sometimes a holiday movie can age gracefully like fine wine.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a Christmas film that truly stands the test of time, with no others coming close to its charm and personality.

Released in 1946, the movie centers on George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), an adventurous man with dreams of seeing the world.

Yet his plans of adventuring are put on hold when his father unexpectedly dies of a heartache, leaving George to help run his family’s building and loan company for what he thinks will be a  short while.

This taking up of his father’s position is a start to a long line of selfless decisions George makes in his life to help the others around him, cancelling trips he makes to help those in need.

One night on Christmas Eve, due to financial hardships from the building and loan, George contemplates suicide. Yet, before he jumps in a river to his demise, an angel jumps in instead to save him.

Clarence the angel (Henry Travers) was sent to earth to show George what his life is really worth.

Upon the two meeting, George tells Clarence that he wishes he was never born. Clarence then makes that wish literal by showing him a world in which he never had existed.

Upon the discoveries of all the people he’s affected having awful lives, and even his brother no longer being alive, George wishes to be brought back to his world. George then returns home to find all the people of his town are at his door to give him money to help with his financial struggles, adding up to make him the richest man in town.

This film just oozes with charm. From the romance that builds up with his wife, to the way historical events of the era play a part in the plot, it’s really a film that can’t be compared to.

This is a film I would not only recommend you just watch, but make it a part of your yearly Christmas traditions. It is that good.

Plus, after all, everyone can be reminded of the truth Clarence gives to George at the end of the film: “No man is a failure who has friends.”

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Yes, “The Santa Clause 3.” Not “The Santa Clause,” nor “The Santa Clause 2,” we’re talking about the third movie.

While the first two films have a charm that encapsulates the spirit of the Christmas season, “The Santa Clause 3” stands out as a truly unique experience.

This absurdist, awkward and surreal comedy is the kind of thing that you don’t see often in a holiday film, so it’s a nice change of pace.

In this threequel, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is busy at work as Santa Claus, making little time for his now-pregnant wife, Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell).

As a result of his neglect, Carol begins feeling homesick, but Scott obviously can’t bring her parents to the North Pole or else his secret would be blown. This leads to Scott and the elves decorating the North Pole and pretending to be Canadians, with forced accents and stereotypes galore.

Of course, Carol’s parents are suspicious of everything at first, especially given the short stature and young appearance of the elves. But as Scott rebuts, “Have you ever actually been to Canada? Well, this is what they look like.”

However, in the meantime, the Council of Legendary figures have concerns over the actions of Jack Frost (Martin Short), who has been trying to claim Christmas as his own holiday.

This conflict leads to time-travel shenanigans which only adds to the absurdity of this already surreal film.

It may not be the most timeless or classic film in the world, but I know that I can’t help but laugh every time I watch it