The Christmas Movies That Aren’t Christmas Movies
It’s the Season! But what if you have seen about every Christmas movie every year and kind of dread watching them again? Or what if you don’t like Christmas movies, but would not mind movies set at Christmas? Well, there are quite a lot of them. Some are more connected to Christmas than others, but are still set around Christmas. Let’s get into it!
Caution! This article might contain (minor) spoilers for King Kong (2005), Rocky IV, Star Trek: Generations, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mister Toad.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes place before and after Halloween, October 31st. Where are we pulling that from? Superman is shown saving a girl from a building on fire during a Day of the Dead celebration. After this weeks pass. Next to that, we see Martha Kent in her diner which has some Christmas decorations. The movie does not have anything to do with Christmas, but it earns a place on this list. (Set photos showing Christmas decorations from upcoming DC Film Shazam! makes that movie also a contender for this list in the future.)
The first Rambo movie starring Sylvester Stallone has nothing to do with Christmas. However, it is set around Christmas time. Throughout the movie, Christmas decorations sneak into the picture. One example is the Christmas lights outside the police station.
Ghostbusters has Christmas time connections through ornaments and lights, but Ghostbusters II is a lot clearer set around Christmas time. The events of the movie are set over the course of at least a couple of weeks. Because the finale is set on New Year’s Eve it, therefore, stands to reason everything we have seen throughout the movie is set around Christmas time. That and the guys wear Christmas hats at one point.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Hellboy II: The Golden Army is the second live-action movie based on the Hellboy comics created by Mike Mignola and directed by Guillermo del Toro. The opening scene is the Christmas connection here. A young Hellboy is sent to bed by his adoptive father Professor Broom with the warning that otherwise Santa Claus will not come. Hellboy then persuades his father to first tell the story of the Golden Army.
I Am Legend
The Will Smith starring adaption of Richard Matheson’s 1954 sci-fi horror novel I Am Legend has the vampiric epidemic starting around Christmas time. The holiday does not play a big role in the movie, but decorations are seen throughout the movie.
Iron Man 3
A Shane Black movie almost automatically means it is set during Christmas time. This is also the case for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Iron Man 3. The festive season does not play an intricate part in the story, but it has a clear presence throughout the movie.
What has Jurassic World to do with Christmas? Nothing, not a Christmas tree or even decorative lights in sight. But the beginning of the movie sets all the events at Christmas time by using snow and the sweet tones of Tony Bennett singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson’s take on King Kong has the final part of the movie set in New York City at Christmas. You might need to wait more than two hours to get to it, but then we get the Central Park ice skating scene with trees covered in snow and Christmas lights. There’s also no way Naomi Watts’ character does not get at least a cold from wearing just that dress in those icy conditions.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
The seventh EON produced James Bond movie starring George Lazenby for the first and last time in the iconic role is also a Christmas movie. Bond’s archnemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld of SPECTRE is laying presents for supermodels underneath the Christmas tree. Of course, Blofeld has not made a 180 and is now playing a bald Santa Claus, he has a devious scheme planned that only Bond can stop. (A shout out to Skyfall too, as the final part of the movie has a serious Home Alone vibe going on).
No, we are not talking about the Jesus imagery Ridley Scott used in the opening scene in which that Engineer sacrifices himself to create life on Earth. It’s not Easter, it’s Christmas. The Alien prequel Prometheus has a scene that has ship captain Idris Elba putting up a Christmas tree onboard of the USCSS Prometheus.
DC Comics adaption RED (Retired Extreme Dangerous) starring Bruce Willis (Die Hard is not on this list as it’s clearly a Christmas movie), Morgen Freeman, Hellen Mirren, John Malkovich and Karl Urban, is clearly set at Christmas time. It could have taken place at any other time, as it does not matter to the story, but the number of decorations make it very clear when this movie takes place.
Another Sylvester Stallone movie on this list! Rocky IV has a lot of things going on, like the Cold War, but Christmas is also playing a role in the background. After all, the big boxing fight between Rocky and Drago is on Christmas Day.
Star Trek: Generations
The first Star Trek movie starring The Next Generation cast, Star Trek: Generations, has Christmassy themes going on like humanity, death, and family. This is hammered home when Captain Picard enters the Nexus (don’t ask) and is dropped in an idyllic Dickensian Christmas setting. For more Star Trek set at Christmas you can also watch The Original Series episode “Dagger of the Mind” which even has a character called “Helen Noel.” The Next Generation‘s “Devil’s Due” has Data playing Ebenezer Scrooge. Voyager’s “Death Wish” has the USS Voyager turned into a Christmas tree ornament, and “11:59,” which is set towards New Year’s Eve.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mister Toad
Walt Disney’s 1949 “package film” The Adventures of Ichabod and Mister Toad is a Disney movie that puts Halloween and Christmas together decades before A Nightmare Before Christmas. The Ichabod part of the title, called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” tells the spooky tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman of the Dutch settlers’ town of Sleepy Hollow in New York. The Mister Toad or “The Wind in the Willows” part of the movie has a scene set around Christmas, with Toad in jail.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy and world building masterpiece The Lord of the Rings was released just before Christmas on three consecutive years. But that is not the Christmas connection we are talking about! Going with the dates given in novel The Lord of the Ring’s Appendixes the Fellowship departs Rivendell for their quest to destroy the Ring on the 25th of December.
And there you have it. 15 movies with a Christmas connection but that are not Christmas movies. If you know any others, please leave a comment! Have a lovely end of the year!
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