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This month The Communiqué will be launching a special feature: a tournament pitting traditional and non-traditional holiday movies against one another. In this first round of the tournament, traditional movies will be battling other traditional movies, while non-traditional movies will be battling non-traditional movies. In the end, only one can win!


“Miracle on 34th Street” – Julie Park

     “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) is a must-see Christmas classic. The story takes place in New York City, during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Before the parade begins, an old man named Kris Kringle finds a man dressed up as Santa drinking in the public. Kringle scolds at Santa for ruining the hopes of innocent children, who still believe in real Santa. When the parade starts, the drunk Santa accidentally falls off the sleigh and the parade is in trouble. Doris Walker, the organizer of the parade asks Kringle to be the Santa for the parade. After the parade as Kringle continues his job as a Santa, he claims that he is the real Santa Claus to the employees and the people around him. This shocks everyone and eventually leads to a court case to decide whether Kringle is really Santa. One of Walker’s friends decide to help Kringle get out of trouble and prove to the public that Kringle is the real one. But even with his help, Kringle will need a christmas miracle to save him. Will Kringle successfully prove the fantasy and the miracles of Christmas to be true?

“It’s a Wonderful Life” – Luca Antonio Colannino

     Christmas. A time of care, love, and happiness for all to share and enjoy. What better movie to demonstrate the virtues of this wonderful holiday than “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which shows its audience that we take the joy of life for granted and only focus on the sadness. George Bailey, a beloved man, is suicidal on Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls, New York. Prayers for him reach all the way to Heaven, where Clarence Obdoby, Angel 2nd Class, is assigned to save George in order to gain his angel wings. When George says he wish he never had been born, Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born. There was no happiness, care, or love in a life without George Bailey, leading him to beg Clarence for his life back and never take anything for granted again. One of the most critically acclaimed movies ever made, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and is the perfect message of happiness for the Christmas Season.

Which is the better traditional holiday movie?

  • "It's a Wonderful Life" (57%, 16 Votes)
  • "Miracle on 34th Street" (43%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 28

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“A Christmas Story” – Sierra Mehlbrech

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”- every mother’s default response to almost all things projectile, and arguably one of the most iconic phrases in Christmas cinema history. Even if you haven’t seen “A Christmas Story,” you’re probably familiar with this iconic line. Maybe you’ve even seen the miniature replicas of the “leg lamp” lit up in window sills in your neighborhood. This 1983, low budget film has continued on as a Christmas classic and has captured the hearts of Americans for over thirty years with its humor and holiday spirit. Unlike many movies that simply highlight the joys of Christmas and family, “A Christmas Story” makes light out of the parts of this season every child hates. Being that this movie was made in the 80’s some of the humor is less “PG” than a movie like “Elf”, for example, since the jokes are aimed towards kids they are more obvious and censored and get old and corny as you get older. However “A Christmas Story” can be passed down from generation to generation with its timeless humor and subtly executed jokes. Without a doubt, this movie will continue on as a holiday classic, long after Will Ferrell’s tacky “cotton headed ninny muggins” insults.

“Elf” – Luke Caslin

The movie “Elf” brings an excellent modern twist to Christmas movies, as it presents viewers with a traditional yet modern story. “Elf” is the epitome of a Christmas movie. The movie features major actors such as Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, and Bob Newhart. “Elf” is a comedic family movie that features the lovable character “Buddy” the elf who is a human, but a very jolly elf at heart, who cannot find his place in the North Pole. When Buddy finds out he is a human, he wants nothing more than to meet his real family who live in New York City. “Elf” is a very lovable movie that will make you laugh non-stop, and will warm you heart at every moment. “A Christmas Story,” directed by Bob Clark, is merely about a boy whose only wish is getting a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. “A Christmas Story” makes Christmas feel like it revolves around presents. In contrast with “A Christmas Story,” “Elf” revolves around family and love, which is the true meaning of Christmas. “Elf” is perfect for everyone as it has jokes for both kids and adults. “Elf” is the type of movie that you can watch year after year without feeling bored. You will take pride that you can recite the movie line by line. “Elf” is a must watch Christmas movie that will make you wish it was Christmas tomorrow, which is why it triumphs over “A Christmas story.”

Which is the better traditional holiday movie?

  • "Elf" (85%, 23 Votes)
  • "A Christmas Story" (15%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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“A Year Without Santa Claus” – Kate Klein

The Christmas classic, “A Year Without Santa Claus,” is the best Christmas movie because it focuses on the spirit of the holidays, introduces two exciting characters defined by iconic songs, as well as relays a fun story about why Santa Claus is needed. When Santa Claus gets a bad cold and wants to take a vacation from Christmas, Mrs. Santa along with two of the lead elves, Jingle and Jangle, set out to prove to Santa that there still is Christmas spirit and that he can’t take a vacation. Along the way, Vixen, the reindeer that brought Jingle and Jangle to find the Christmas spirit, gets taken by animal control and the mayor of the town won’t believe the elves until they make it snow in his southern town. This causes the elves to confront Heatmiser and Snowmiser, two uncooperative characters that control the weather. Including these “struggles” in the plot makes it more dynamic, interesting to watch, and fun to sing along with the great catchy tunes of these new characters. Not only this, but the ultimate resolution to getting snow to fall in the southern town includes women’s power saving the day; it is Mrs. Santa reaching out to Mother Nature, the mother of Heatmiser and Snowmiser, to get the brothers to agree to help the town so that Mrs. Santa gets what she needs.The catchy songs and sweet story line keep the viewer remembering this movie long after they see it, making “A Year Without Santa Claus” the best Christmas movie.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” – Jacob Hamburger

Set inside a single snowflake, in the bustling town of Whoville, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the quintessential Christmas movie. On the surface, the movie’s stunning visual graphics and impressive makeup work (which won the movie an Academy Award in 2000) evoke wonder in the viewer, similar to the holiday it pertains to. But beneath the bright colors and creative makeup, there is an intricate story centered around a man (well a Grinch, really) who is simply misunderstood and scrutinized by the society he was raised in. In trying to deprive the Whos of their treasured Christmas by stealing their gifts, the Grinch learns that Christmas isn’t centered around presents and material wealth but rather goodwill and togetherness.

Its themes are thoughtful, and its characters, well developed. Its interweaving of humor and meaningful lessons, with plenty of Christmas cheer in between, helps capture Seuss’ poetic charm, making it the ultimate holiday movie.

Which is the better traditional holiday movie?

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (67%, 20 Votes)
  • A Year Without Santa Claus (33%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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“Polar Express” – Ethan Martin

When you think of Christmas what do you think of? A reindeer, Santa, the Grinch? No. The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is the “Polar Express.” This iconic Christmas movie is a household favorite across the world, and it has it all; from great characters played by famous actors, such as the great Tom Hanks, to famously known songs that will have you singing along. Upon watching, there is no way that by the end of the day you will not be singing the “Hot Chocolate” song. The movie takes place from the perspective of a doubting young boy known as hero boy who embarks on an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, where he goes on a journey of self-discovery that shows him the fascination in life never fades for those who believe. The movie teaches people of all ages that being a believer helps make you be happier and, inspires you to never give in to what others say and stay true to yourself. Other Christmas movies are great but, no other Christmas movie teaches kids such a valuable lesson that shapes who they will be when they grow up. “The Polar Express” does not only teach a valuable lesson, it’s also a holiday favorite for the whole family to watch. It is obviously the most iconic Christmas movie ever and is sure to be a classic for the rest of time.

“Rudolph” – Colleen McQuillen

The word “Christmas” creates visions of presents, cookies, Santa Claus, trees, ornaments, and candy canes. However, nothing represents Christmas more than Santa’s sleigh and the nine reindeer that take the presents all over the world, with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer leading the way. His story and movie captures the hearts of viewers; With songs and lessons, the classic 1964 version is an amazing holiday movie. The story follows Sam the Snowman as he narrates the life of outcast Rudolph, who is shunned by many because of his red nose that lights up. As Rudolph grows up and tries to figure out how to fit in, he meets new friends like Hermey the elf, Clarice the reindeer, and Yukon Cornelius. He also meets other outcasts on the island of misfit toys, such as King Moonracer, Charlie-In-The-Box, and more! As Rudolph embarks on an adventure with his friends, he learns to accept himself and save Christmas Eve with his “shiny nose”. While “The Polar Express” is another excellent Christmas film, it doesn’t have the same element of Christmas that “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has. And of course, who could forgot the catchy song beloved by many “Rudolph the-Red Nosed Reindeer”. Overall, “The Polar Express” may have a modern twist on Christmas, but the classic and timeless movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a holiday movie that truly represents what Christmas is.

Which is the better traditional holiday movie?

  • "Polar Express" (52%, 55 Votes)
  • "Rudolph" (48%, 50 Votes)

Total Voters: 105

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