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What better way to spend the Christmas season than binge-watching your favourite Christmas movies! This holiday season, apart from watching timeless Christmas classics, why not venture into movies that weren’t made for Christmas, but nevertheless channels the holiday spirit – snow, kindness, nostalgia – to gear you up for the season of giving. 

Disney+ is home to an abundant amount of classic Christmas movies, including Home Alone, A Christmas Carol, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, subscribers are spoiled for choice. But forget those for a minute, and tune in to these movies that exude a Christmas charm despite not falling into the category of “Christmas”. 

HOPE 

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

A novel to screen adaptation penned by C.S.Lewis, Narnia is a childhood classic. This film of the trilogy was chosen, particularly because snow and Father Christmas were involved in the movie. The Turkish delight that the White Witch offered Edmund when he first discovered Narnia has also remained the ultimate guilty pleasure. 

Narnia follows the story of four siblings – the Pevensie children – who are destined to rid the White Witch’s rule over the fantastical world of Narnia. Faced with many obstacles and perils along the way, they are aided by Narnia’s many animal inhabitants. Spurned by the prophecy that two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve will usher their kingdom into a Golden Age, freeing the Narnians of the plague of eternal winter, the Pevensie siblings become a symbol of hope.

Aided by the great lion Aslan, known across Narnia as its creator and a representation of all that is good, the siblings reclaim the throne and end the White Witch’s wicked reign. Narnia’s stunning scenery and hopeful storyline set against an amazing musical score creates a whimsical, fantastical imagery that sets viewers in the Christmas spirit. 

JOY

Secret of the Wings (2012)

The fourth instalment of the Disney fairies franchise, Tinker Bell discovers that she has a twin sister named Periwinkle. Making preparations for the oncoming winter, Tinker Bell and Fawn are tasked with taking the animals to the Winter Woods to get them ready for hibernation.

Tinker Bell discovers a border leading to the woods and attempts to cross it out of curiosity, but is pulled back by her friend Fawn, stating that as fairies of warmer seasons, they were forbidden to cross the border. Tinker Bell attempts to cross the border a second time, by which she succeeds, and discovers that she has a twin sister, a winter fairy named Periwinkle. However, due to the laws forbidding the interaction between warm and winter fairies, they are separated. The sisters are reunited again after Tinker Bell and Periwinkle decide to form an alliance to save Pixie Hollow from a massive blizzard. 

Saving the fairies from the blizzard and now finally able to cross the border safely, Tinker Bell and her sister never had to be apart from each other from then on. The joy of familial bonds is sure to keep your eyes on the screen during a holiday movie night. 

LOVE 

Eight Below (2006)

Inspired by a true story, the late Paul Walker stars in this survival drama film that tugs on your heartstrings. A guide at an Antarctic research base, Jerry is bonded with his eight sled dogs, Max, Maya, Truman, Dewey, Shorty, Old Jack, Buck, and Shadow. 

Evacuated to the United States because of an incoming snow storm, Jerry is forced to leave his dogs behind because of the limited space in the aircraft, promising that the pilot would return for his dogs. However, they are unable to return as no one was willing to finance the risky expedition to fly back to Antarctica and risk the impending snow storm. The dogs were left to fend for themselves for 6 months while Jerry tirelessly searched for any possible way to get his dogs back safely.

A tale of love, survival, and grit, Eight Below wonderfully presents the bond between humans and our furry companions. Have a box of tissues on hand as you watch the film and gear up for a waterfall of tears this holiday season. 

PEACE

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

Another film inspired by a true story, Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson star in this family comedy-drama film. 

Grieving the loss of his wife, Benjamin Mee is constantly on edge about getting his life back together. His son’s expulsion from school prompts him to start life anew by purchasing a house, which turned out to be in the grounds of a dilapidated zoo. Benjamin takes it upon himself to restore the zoo to its former glory and goes head on with challenges including finances, morale, and family troubles. He later finds out that his late wife bequeathed him with an investment account, stating that he should use the money wisely while listening to his heart, and uses the money to pay for the costly repair fees for the zoo. 

We Bought a Zoo is the perfect family film. Faced with constant struggles and emotional episodes, the characters eventually find inner peace as everything falls into place. 

These subtle Christmas movies, a far cry from the holiday jingles, overwhelming Christmas spirit, and present giving, introduce the holiday as a serene, tranquil celebration that focuses on inner emotions and sentiments in contrast with the glitzy, commercial Christmas festivities.

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Gabrielle Chua

Nanyang Tech '24

With a stash of Roald Dahl novels in her possession from childhood, Gabrielle seldom has a tight grip on reality. In her spare time, she enjoys printmaking and writing for her local animal shelter.
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