At the cinema
Meet the Claus family, consisting of Santa and sons, Steve and Arthur, Mrs Claus and dear old Grandsanta. It’s Christmas Eve, and the North Pole operation has had a technical upgrade with Santa at the helm, assisted by the rather military Steve, who runs the process of present dropping with extreme efficiency. The old sleigh has been de-commissioned, and the presents are now delivered in a sonic super-sled. Meanwhile, scatty younger brother Arthur works in the mail room, answering children’s letters – and he realizes that one child’s present has not been delivered. Cue the adventure of a lifetime, as he and Grandsanta dust off the old sleigh, bring the reindeer out of retirement and attempt to save the day.
Opens in UAE cinemas December 22.
Jingle All The Way
This goofy festive comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, follows the exploits of Howard Langston, a workaholic mattress salesman who embarks on a last minute Christmas Eve shopping spree in an attempt to secure the latest ‘it’ toy for his son as a present. The movie focuses on the downsides of the commercialism, but is nonetheless very festive and did very well at the box office when it was first released in 2001. And anyway, it’s on at the perfect Dubai time – 4pm on Christmas Day, post-turkey and best accompanied by a large tin of Quality Street.
December 25, MBC2, 4pm .
Deck The Halls
This wacky holiday comedy is centered around two neighbours in a small New England town who go to war when one of them decides to decorate his house with so many Christmas lights that they are visible from space. The neighbourhood is then turned upside down as the families try to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Starring Danny Devito and Mathew Broderick, this is definitely one the older kids will enjoy.
December 24, MBC Max, 8pm.
The Polar Express
Train-mad little boys above all else will be utterly enchanted by this visually stunning CGI movie starring Tom Hanks. Ben, a young boy, is losing faith in the existence of Santa, until one Christmas Eve at midnight, when a huge steam train arrives outside his house, and takes him of on a fantastical journey to the North Pole. We defy even adults watching this movie not to get a lump in their throats during the penultimate, Christmassy scenes.
Miracle on 34th Street
A wonderfully heart-warming Christmas classic, this Miracle on 34th Street 1994 re-make, starring Richard Attenborough is a movie the entire family will enjoy. Kris Kringle is outraged when the ‘Santa’ used in the Christmas parade is intoxicated on duty. He complains to Doris Walker and she persuades Kris to take the job instead. He does such a fine job that he is hired to be the Santa for Macy’s flagship New York City store on 34th Street. But it turns out that there is more to this Santa than meets the eye – much, much more.
A modern-day version of Charles Dickens’ much loved A Christmas Carol , Scrooged tells the tale of miserly television executive, Frank Cross. Like the original Ebenezer, he is visited by three ghosts who show him the error of his ways, and the sins of his past, present and future. Tiny Tim comes from a beleaguered single parent family in the Bronx, while Cross’ spurned love interest is a helper in a shelter for the homeless. Very eighties – but in an off-beat and humorous good way, this is the perfect evening movie for bigger kids after a hard day’s present opening.
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas
This wonderful Muppet movie classic tells the tale of Emmet Otter and his widowed mother, as they scrape by on the small amount of money she gets from doing laundry and Emmet earns from doing odd jobs around their home of Frogtown Hollow. As Christmas approaches, they hear of a talent contest in the nearby town of Waterville, and separately decide to enter to buy nice presents for each other – a guitar for Emmet, or a piano for Ma. However, in a twist on The Gift of the Magi, they must sacrifice each other’s livelihood for the talent contest. Heartwarming and with a strong moral message, this classic is a guaranteed favourite with children and adults alike.
This stunningly animated Christmas cartoon was adapted from the illustrated novel by Raymond Briggs. James wakes up on Christmas Eve to discover it has snowed in the night. Delighted, he decides to build himself a snowman. But at midnight, the snowman comes to life, and he and James have a wonderful adventure together. An absolute must-watch for all ages.
All DVDs are available on Amazon.com.