With the holidays fast approaching, it can be a time where people gather around to watch their favorite holiday movies and specials. Here at Lifestyles for the Disabled’s Media Center, we came up with a list of our favorite holiday specials for everyone to check out–and we also included some not-so-favorable specials.
The Best Holiday Television Specials and Movies
HOW MURRAY SAVED CHRISTMAS
This 2014 special stars Jerry Stiller as Murray, a grumpy diner owner in the town of Stinky Cigars. When an injury leaves Santa Claus unable to deliver presents for Christmas, Murray steps up to fill Santa’s shoes. In doing so, he delivers everyone’s presents with the help of an elf named Edison. “It is kind of weird, but it’s a good special,” said Anthony DiFato. You can watch it now on YouTube, and it will be aired on NBC at a later date! (Anthony DiFato)
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
In this 2000 remake of the widely beloved Christmas story, the Grinch (Jim Carrey) goes around to attempt to “steal” Christmas by taking presents and decorations away from the residents of Whoville. But, a wrench is thrown in his plans when a young girl from the village befriends him. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is available to watch on Netflix and will be broadcast on FreeForm throughout the month leading up to Christmas. (Gregory Perosi)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Another beloved Christmas movie, also starring Jim Carrey! This time, he’s classic holiday villain Ebenezer Scrooge, who despises Christmas. With the help of three spirits-the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come-he embarks on a path to redemption. This holiday season, you can catch “A Christmas Carol” on FreeForm or on Disney+ with a subscription! (Joseph Padalino)
This relatively new anime has a focus on science, and the Christmas episode is no different. Set more than 4,000 years in the future in a desolate world, the main characters are able to invent lights to light up their Christmas tree. You can watch Doctor Stone for free on Crunchyroll or on Youtube, and watch out for the upcoming second season! (Aaron Bialer)
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
This holiday special has been broadcast every year since 1965, making it a classic and a must-watch for many. “I like the part where Charlie Brown looks in the mailbox and says ‘hello in there!'” said Andrew Moszenberg. You can catch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on PBS and PBS Kids on Sunday, December 13th at 7:30pm, or anytime on Apple TV+! (Andrew Moszenberg)
THE POLAR EXPRESS
Tom Hanks voices six characters in this magical 2004 film about friendship and Christmas spirit! The hot chocolate musical number and the arrival at the North Pole are two favorite scenes in the movie. Want to watch it? It’s being broadcast at various dates and times on AMC all month long, and you can also stream it on HBO Max or Sling TV! (Kevin DiStefano)
The Worst Holiday Movies
STAR WARS: HOLIDAY SPECIAL
Perhaps one of the least favorite spin-offs (if not the least favorite spin-off) in the entire franchise, this movie has a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s viewed annually in the Lifestyles Media Center! Due to the abysmal reception, it hasn’t been aired again since its first broadcast in 1978. But, if you’d like to view it for yourself, there are many versions of it available to watch on YouTube. (Eddy Gregory)
SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS
In this sci-fi film, a Martian ruler kidnaps Santa Claus from Earth to try and motivate the Martian children to be more active, but things go awry when two children from Earth are also kidnapped. “People have said it’s bad, but I haven’t actually seen the movie, so I can’t judge,” Anthony DiFato remarked. There are many options to stream this film on services like Tubi, Pluto TV, Vudu, and Amazon Prime, all for free! (Anthony DiFato)
A CHRISTMAS STORY
This movie is widely appreciated by many, but it also has many people who are not a fan of Ralphie Parker. “The kid is so irritating. Everyone tells the kid ‘you’re going to poke your eye out’ and then he does and nothing happens,” Anthony DiFato said. The movie is available for streaming on Hulu and Sling TV. It will also air on TNT at 8 and 10pm on December 21st! (Anthony DiFato)
SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN
In this 1970 stop-motion film, the narrator tells the story of Santa’s origins. In the town of Sombertown, Burgermeister Meisterburger is the leader who bans all toys, until Santa is able to melt the heart of evil characters that block his path to Sombertown so he can deliver presents. You can catch this classic film on Freeform on December 20th and 21st. (Gregory Perosi)
THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE
The Escape Clause is controversial in the Media Center! A friendly debate ensued, with people on either side.
“It’s the worst movie ever.” Joe Padalino said.
Anthony DiFato responded by saying, “I didn’t think that was so bad… The ending is kind of hokey, but it’s made by Disney, so what do you expect?”
If you’re part of the population who’d like to watch it, you can see it on FreeForm all month long. It’s also available to stream on Disney+!