5 Underrated Christmas Movies You Need to Watch

Everyone loves a good holiday movie. Oftentimes, we love certain ones so much that we watch them over and over and over again, leaving no room to explore any of the other fantastic films out there. But, fear not! Sometimes, falling for a new Christmas favorite is as simple as browsing Netflix, flipping through channels or taking a recommendation from an article written by a Christmas-obsessed college student. (Like this one). Here are five underrated Christmas movies that are a must see. 

1. "Annabelle’s Wish"

If you are looking for a holiday movie that puts everything into perspective - friendship, family, selflessness, togetherness - "Annabelle’s Wish" is for you. Released in 1997 and narrated by country music legend, Randy Travis, this animated film tells the story of a young calf who befriends a young, mute boy living on his grandfather’s farm. As with many holiday movies, "Annabelle’s Wish" features great music, a fantastic voice cast (Rue McClanahan, Cloris Leachman and Jim Varney, to name a few) and enough Christmas magic to get you all the way through to New Year’s. Be prepared, though; you will probably shed more than a few tears, so keep some tissues handy.

2. "Christmas With the Kranks"

Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star in this underrated, yet absolutely hilarious, holiday film. Portraying an empty-nest couple who will do anything to ensure their newly-engaged daughter has the best Christmas homecoming ever, the pair perfectly embodies a stereotypical crazy, stressed out, holiday family. Comedy legend, Dan Aykroyd, also gets in on the yuletide action, playing the couple’s next door neighbor. With a funny trio like that, "Christmas With the Kranks" is sure to delight!  

3. "The Year Without A Santa Claus"

Let’s consider this film to be the less popular, but just as wonderful, siblings of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Also a Rankin/Bass production, "The Year Without a Santa Claus" tells the story of every child’s worst nightmare; Santa has become too discouraged with the state of the world to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve. So, to boost his morale and convince him that the world does, indeed, need Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and a cast of characters set out to prove him wrong. Featuring some classic, good-natured comedy and snappy songs, people of all ages will love "The Year Without a Santa Claus."

4. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys"

Nearly 40 years after the original "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released, this movie is a much weirder, but just as fun sequel. Just like with the first Rudolph film, everyone’s favorite reindeer is still self-conscious about his red nose. Rather than capping it with dirt like in the 1964 version, though, Rudolph visits a magical, singing, dancing (and flying?) hippopotamus, who promises to make Rudolph normal with the help of her squad of cosmetic surgery-trained gingerbread men. Sound strange? You haven’t heard the half of it. In addition to his self-image, Rudolph must solve the mystery of the mysterious "Toy Taker" who has been stealing toys all over the world - even from Santa’s Workshop! As odd as it may sound, this Rudolph ‘remake’ is actually quite entertaining. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy laughing at both the cheesy humor and terrible early 2000s animation.

5. "Barbie in "The Nutcracker"

Released and sent straight-to-DVD in 2001, "Barbie in 'The Nutcracker'" was the first film in every 90s girl’s favorite collection; the computer animated, relatively cheesy, but oh so sparkly, Barbie movie series. In this holiday adventure, Barbie plays Clara, a young girl who gets caught up - and shrunken down to doll size - in the middle of a high-stakes battle between the valiant Nutcracker and the evil Mouse King. Don’t even try to pretend like you weren’t obsessed with this movie. If you watch it now, your 5-year-old self will thank you and you will absolutely want to binge-watch every single Barbie movie afterwards.

So, are you ready to branch out into the potentially new, uncharted, (or just forgotten) holiday movie territory? Curl up with a blanket and hot cocoa and get watching!

Photo credits: Cover image, 12, 3