LAMBracket: Best Christmas Movie – Quarter-Final 1

by Jay Cluitt · December 17, 2018 · Featured, LAMBracket, LAMBracket Christmas, Periodic Features · No Comments

From December 1st until Christmas Eve, here on the LAMB, we’ll be determining what is the BEST Christmas movie of all time. We’ve asked you all which films are the main contenders, and twenty-four of you replied with your choices, which will bauble battle it out for seasonal supremacy. It’s a head-to-head, single elimination tournament, so whichever film wins today moves onto the next round. However, here is not the only place to vote. No, head to FacebookTwitter and Instagram to see the same poll there, and it’ll be the total of all four results that determines the winner.

Today’s tinsel tussle is the first quarter-final, and the decider for the overall winner of the Mythology group. So far there have been no surprises in this category, and the two films fighting it out today are the top two seeds from the group, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Nightmare Before Christmas:

It’s a Wonderful Life vs The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s A Wonderful Life, championed by Amanda Kirkham from Hollywood Consumer

It’s A Wonderful Life is the quintessential Christmas movie. Set on Christmas Eve, it is the ultimate story of Faith, Family, and Friendship. A broken man, desperate in his darkest moment contemplates suicide. Divine Intervention steps in just in time to show him how valued life is, and how much one person can touch so many others. We, as the audience, witness George Bailey’s life, and what he has viewed as years worth of sacrifice, in a series of flashbacks. Wishing to never have been born, Bailey is shown, thanks to his guardian angel Clarence, an alternate world in which his wish is granted. After seeing how the lives of his friends and family are impacted by his own by seeing how things would have gone were he never born, George Bailey finally breaks the spell by crying out, “I want to live!” The film closes on Bailey’s friends and family coming through for him, paying back all those years worth of favors and sacrifice. The film is full of the theme of the Christmas spirit of giving, which we see in George Bailey’s flashbacks when he time and time again chooses to do the right thing over following his dreams, as well as in the final scene when his loved ones come to his aid. It also heavily features the Christmas theme of faith in the divine and your fellow man. God literally intervenes in George’s life by sending Clarence to save him. Then, again, through flashbacks, and the final scene we see that people can be good, and that human life is precious and more influential than some would believe.

If that’s not enough to convince you, how about the fact that It’s A Wonderful Life is used as ambiance in other classic Christmas films including Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Christmas Vacation, and Gremlins? Even other films (including contenders on this bracket) recognize its status as the ultimate Christmas movie.

The Nightmare Before Christmas, championed by Doug Jamieson from The Jam Report

The twisted mind of Tim Burton combines with the ingenious talents of master stop-motion director Henry Selick to create a Christmas classic that has stood the test of time. With its delicious mix of elements from both Halloween and Christmas, the film is the perfect accompaniment for either holiday season. But at its core, this is inherently a Christmas film, mostly thanks to Danny Elfman’s glorious songs and score, which put a dark spin on traditional festive music fare.

Led by Chris Sarandon as the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington (with help from Elfman as Jack’s singing voice) and supported by a gorgeous cast of characters including Catherine O’Hara as Sally and Ken Page as Oogie Boogie (one of the greatest Disney villains), the film bursts to life from its rousing opening number right through to its sweet romantic conclusion. It’s a film that’s been milked to death with merchandise by Disney (those Hot Topic emo kids have deep pockets), but it still stands as one of their most unique and daring properties and one of the best Christmas films of all time.

Which is the better Christmas movie?

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