-Benny Warnick, A&E editor
Many college students often complain that Christmas movies get pretty cliché pretty quickly. If college students can’t think of a movie without thinking of its commonplace, overused nature, chances are they will not watch it. With that thought in mind, many big-name Christmas movies still satisfy the entertainment desires of the collegiate crowd without being over-the-top cliché.
For starters, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” leaves most college students in stitches with its raucous humor and unfortunate events surrounding the Griswold family. The film stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a husband and father of two, seeking to create the ideal Christmas holiday for his family. Clark’s plans go haywire when his cousin Eddie, a boldly embracing yokel played by Randy Quaid, decides to join them with his own family for the holiday season, living on the Griswold’s property in their run-down RV. To make matters worse, the Christmas bonus that Clark was relying on to make the season enjoyable gets cut out from under him, creating the ultimate holiday hell for the Griswolds and the film’s humorous nature that college students are sure to enjoy.
For lovers of artistic animation, Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” offers a unique twist on the typical Christmas movie. Labeled as both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie, the film centers around Jack Skellington and the other spooky occupants of Halloweentown. Jack is known as the pumpkin king in the town, a town driven by their love to scare those living in the real world outside of their town. When Jack discovers the joyfully bright Christmastown, he seeks to take over Santa Claus’s role through an elaborate kidnapping scheme. This adventure and the ups and downs around it create the quirkily artistic plot of the movie, with a series of catchy songs intertwined within the film’s generally dark scenes.
Lastly, “The Polar Express” may not be as old or as classic as the previously mentioned movies, but its uniquely detailed animation style and joyful holiday vibe certainly make it a notable movie in the Christmas genre. The movie follows a young boy, uncertain about the validity of the Christmas festivities, and his adventure with other children on a special train en route to the North Pole and the home of Santa Claus. Tom Hanks voices many of the main roles in the film directed by Robert Zemeckis, famous for his directing roles in such films as the “Back to the Future” series and “Forrest Gump.”
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is currently streaming on Netflix, and the other films can be found at most public libraries and most major movie retailers.