Fans of Christmas and holiday films might be surprised at just how old some of their favorite Christmas movies are. Here are 10 timeless classics.
The holiday season takes place in an imaginary world as much as it takes place in a real one. Film and television are touching vehicles for spreading the Christmas spirit, teaching the true meaning of the season, and entertaining viewers who might be on vacation from regularly scheduled life.
Some of the greatest Christmas films of all time have reached milestone ages. Children of many generations have watched these movies, which goes to show that the works are timeless in many ways. Just how old are these holiday classics now?
10 It’s A Wonderful Life Was A Pioneer In Home Video Release
It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) might not be everyone’s favorite film of the season, but it is surely one of the most enduring. The title spent some time in the public domain, which made it more widely available for a number of years.
In the early 1990s, It’s a Wonderful Life was one of the first movies to become available on CD-ROM. Not a DVD, but a CD that buyers had to watch on their computers.
9 The Very First Christmas Film Is 122 Years Old
How long has St. Nick been on screen? Over 100 years. The first Christmas film of all time, Santa Claus, was created by a filmmaker in the U.K., George Albert Smith.
Deadline reported that the short silent movie was also the first to incorporate “parallel action,” which allows “viewers to see the rooftop action and the nursery scene sharing the screen at the same time.” Santa Claus is a testament to the age of cinema and the long tradition of Santa.
8 Frosty The Snowman Arrived Just After The Moon Landing
Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment created the most iconic animated Christmas specials ever, right up there with Charlie Brown. Though not all the Rankin/Bass titles are watched every year, most people remember Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Frosty the Snowman.
Frosty’s first Christmas was the same year as the moon landing, 1969! The jolly snowman isn’t even the oldest Rankin/Bass holiday character, either.
7 Christmas With The Kranks Is Older Than The iPod Nano
The first generation iPod Nano went on sale in September of 2005. Although older forms of the iPod existed, the popular Nano was not yet around when Christmas with the Kranks was released in 2004.
The hilarious Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis movie doesn’t show its age much, though. Its focus isn’t on the technology of the day, but on Luther Krank’s obsessive urge to skip Christmas and use the money for other things, like a sunny cruise vacation.
6 Holiday In Handcuffs Came Out The Same Year As The iPhone
The very first iPhone was unveiled in 2007, and it was a luxury that not everyone bought in the very beginning.
Holiday in Handcuffs premiered on ABC Family (now Freeform) in December of 2007. That means that the hysterical yet heartwarming comedy lived to see iPhone’s first Christmas in real-time. An iPhone sure would have helped Mario Lopez when Melissa Joan Hart kidnapped him.
5 The “New” Miracle On 34th Street Is Old Enough To Rent A Car
With the exception of “young renters,” who often pay fees, people typically begin renting cars around the age of 25 in the United States.
The 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street is more than old enough to rent a car — it’s already 26 years old. This “new” take on the 1947 classic has become a special tradition of its own, just in time to kick off the holiday season on Thanksgiving.
4 The Santa Clause Can Drive A Car, Too
Another movie that can rent its own car and pay for its own health insurance is The Santa Clause. This Tim Allen film was released in 1994 and garnered two sequels in 2002 and then 2006.
Allen plays Scott Calvin, a divorced dad who must become Santa Claus when his predecessor in the red suit has an accident on Scott’s property. Kids who grew up in the 1990s love this funny movie, and it has found its way to new generations.
3 A Christmas Story Was Released During The Reagan Administration
One of the most quoted Christmas movies ever is, without a doubt, A Christmas Story. The annual classic was released in 1983, fairly early in Ronald Reagan’s career as President.
It’s hard to believe that Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) has been entertaining audiences for 37 years now. It’s even better that the movie is set in the 1940s, which makes it feel even older.
2 How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Live-Action) Is 20
The animated Dr. Seuss classic came out in 1966, but its first live-action predecessor did not arrive until 2000. Jim Carrey was a convincing Grinch, Taylor Momsen was an adorable Cindy Lou Who, and the rest of the cast filled out the town of Whoville nicely.
The latest take on the Grinch’s tale came out in 2018, but two decades later, the 2000 movie is still the only live-action version.
1 Home Alone Is 30
Home Alone’s 30th anniversary was widely celebrated on social media, especially by the millennials who watch it every single year.
Kevin McCallister was the Christmas kid of the 90s and is still a huge holiday fixture, three decades later. There is so much to love about this movie. Even though it is a staple of its decade, Home Alone has a timeless quality that keeps new viewers laughing.
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