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Home Alone

When it came right down to it, Kevin McCallister had a few more sadistic leanings than your average eleven-year-old. And it turns out, that we rather like that in a young hero, especially during the season of giving. And make no mistake, Kevin had plenty to give, in the way of bowling balls, staple guns, BB guns, and that old archaic standby, a good old blast of fire – all in the name of protecting his beloved family home. His violent antics and precocious demeanor won the hearts of millions of moviegoers who made 1990’s Home Alone one of the most successful movies of all time. Continue reading...

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It’s a Wonderful Life

A family favorite. A holiday perennial. An American classic. Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life was all these and more, a crowning achievement of both the director and his leading man, Jimmy Stewart. Capra and Stewart had recently returned from World War II, and both wanted to make a film reflecting the unsung hero, the small-town common man who endured hardship after hardship in search of the good life. Capra found his inspiration in "The Greatest Gift," a story written by Philip Van Doren Stern as a Christmas card to the author's friends. Under the banner of his new production company, Liberty Films, Capra debuted It's a Wonderful Life just before Christmas, 1946. Continue reading...

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

The residents in the town of Halloween take delight in fright. Each creepy and ugly, they aren’t malicious; scaring is just part of their job - in the delightful 1993 holiday offering by director (and former Disney animator) Tim Burton - The Nightmare Before Christmas. In this merging of two beloved holidays, Burton brought his delightfully macabre story to life with the utilization of stop-motion animation and a wonderful musical score by composer Danny Elfman. The result was a film that quickly became a must-see during every holiday season. Continue reading...

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Anyone who has ever endured the horrors of holiday travel can appreciate this endearing tale of a man simply trying to get home to see his family. His adventurous and hilarious journey made Planes, Trains and Automobiles, released in 1987, a box-office hit for John Hughes and remains a beloved favorite among millions. Continue reading...

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Sleeping Beauty

In what would become the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney to be based upon a fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty was one of the most ambitious endeavors Disney ever embarked upon. Costing $6 million to produce (an unheard of sum in 1959,) requiring nine years of planning and three years of filming, and utilizing a new 70MM “Super Technirama 70” process, the result was an animated feature that was simply stunning - perhaps one of the finest achievements ever in animation and a film destined to become a timeless classic. Continue reading...

Follow That Bird

Follow That Bird

The Muppets were able to turn their humble beginning on the long-running children’s educational show, Sesame Street, into their own highly successful television show, and eventually a few box office successes as well. At some point, Big Bird must have thought, “If they can do it, so can I,” so he took his own stab at film stardom in the 1985 feature film, Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird. Continue reading...

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The Wizard of Oz

Somewhere over the rainbow lies a land of munchkins, witches, wizards and more. MGM brought the magical land of Oz to Technicolor life through image and song in 1939's family classic, The Wizard of Oz. The story of L. Frank Baum's unlikely adventurers had been brought to the big screen twice before, but never with such vibrant life and imagination. Continue reading...

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

There are plenty of scary films worthy of mention, but none that shocked the population at large quite like The Exorcist. The story of a young girl possessed by the devil was the highest-grossing film of 1973 and is still considered one of the scariest horror movies ever made. Continue reading...