30 greatest Christmas movies of all time

POLAR EXPRESS - The Polar Express is an inspiring adventure based on the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. The Academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) reunite to tell the tale of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. "The Polar Express" airs on Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas. (WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT)THE CONDUCTOR, HERO BOY
POLAR EXPRESS - The Polar Express is an inspiring adventure based on the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. The Academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) reunite to tell the tale of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. "The Polar Express" airs on Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas. (WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT)THE CONDUCTOR, HERO BOY /
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Photo Credit: The Santa Clause/Disney, Attila Dory Image Acquired from Disney ABC Media
Photo Credit: The Santa Clause/Disney, Attila Dory Image Acquired from Disney ABC Media /

6. The Santa Clause

Release Year: 1994
Directed By: John Pasquin
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Larry Brandenburg, David Krimholtz, Peter Boyle

The fun part of Christmas movies is that we watch them when we’re young. They are one piece of the puzzle that gets us into the holiday spirit, more often than not because these movies push the “magic” of Christmas on us hardcore. But when we grow up, these movies and their magic don’t fade away. They’re nostalgic and fun, like The Santa Clause, a unique take on Christmas and the reason many ’90s kids were confused about the real spelling of Claus.

For a children’s Christmas movie, Disney’s The Santa Clause is rather dark. Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, who’s divorced and has custody of his son Charlie on Christmas Eve. Their evening is more or less unmemorable, but it takes a turn when Scott accidentally kills Santa. Soon, he and Charlie travel to the North Pole, where Scott learns that he must take over Santa’s duties. Because he put on the suit, he’s the new Santa Claus, and there’s no looking back.

The Santa Clause reteamed Tim Allen with Home Improvement producer John Pasquin, whom he would later work with again on Joe Somebody, Jungle 2 Jungle, and Last Man Standing. The film holds a 74% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was a box office smash resulting in two less celebrated sequels, 2002’s The Santa Clause 2 and 2006’s The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. No matter how you feel about the sequels, the original is an all-time best and annual must-watch.