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My Top 5 Favorite Film Scores from Holiday Movies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This time of year is when we find ourselves watching our favorite holiday movies, most of which are those from our childhood. These movies have iconic moments that make their way into pop culture, clothing, or even our playlists. Film scores are often unrecognizable by their title, but these iconic pieces of music have memorable sounds you just might know. Here are some of the best film scores from well-known holiday movies. 

  1. “Somewhere in my Memory” by John Williams from Home Alone (1990)

This iconic opening to the movie Home Alone is a film score many have come to recognize. It instantly brings feelings of winter and childhood. The jingle bell sounds in the background bring a holiday feel into this piece. Honestly, you won’t regret listening to any piece of music by John Williams. Home Alone is a fan favorite we all love to watch this time of year. 

  1.  “Ice Dance” by Danny Elfman from Edward Scissorhands (1990)

This beautiful, tranquil, and emotional film score by Danny Elfman plays over the scene where it begins to snow and Kim steps outside to dance under the falling snow while Edward creates his ice sculpture. This piece brings all the romantic and emotional feelings that come with this scene. 

  1.  “Suite from the Polar Express” by Alan Silvestri from The Polar Express (2004)

The opening of this film score is the iconic moment where the boy from The Polar Express takes the courageous leap to board the train. Everything about this film score embodies the powerful moment this is, and how it made us all feel. As a child, this scene and the music always made me feel powerful, and highkey jealous that I couldn’t board a train on Christmas Eve to the North Pole. 

  1.  “Buddy and Santa’s Flight” by John Debney from Elf (2003)

This film score sounds somewhat similar to Silvestri’s piece from The Polar Express. It plays over a scene similar in the emotional influence and narrative moment in both movies. This is the score for the scene where Buddy takes off on the sleigh with Santa over New York City, after struggling to find enough holiday spirit to make it fly. So many iconic pop culture references have come from this movie, so it’s one you definitely have to watch this holiday season.

  1.  “Ice Skating” by Alexandre Desplat from Little Women (2019)

This film score has a magical and whimsical feeling to it, and comes from a light-hearted scene in the movie where Laurie and Jo go ice skating. Little Women is a movie for everyone and we don’t talk about the film score enough. The buildup in this score is amazing, and the tone from the beginning is drastically different to the tone in the ending, similar to the scene in the film. 

Classical music may not really be everyone’s favorite, but give these scores a try. These film scores are iconic and add power and emotion to their scenes. When you watch your favorite holiday movies this season, listen closely to uncover more meaning in their music.

Sara is a third-year Visual and Media Arts Major at Emerson College. Raised in Port Chester, NY she spends most of her time in her favorite city in the world: New York. She uses writing as a creative and healing outlet, writing about her passion for music with concert/album reviews, film and photography, and discovery and personal growth.
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