I love the classic Christmas movies as much as the next person, but don’t you get tired of watching the same few films every single year? Some of my favourite Christmas film never make any of the “What To Watch This Christmas” lists floating around so I decided to complile a list of the best underrated Christmas movies that should be an annual tradition!
Get yourself some milk and cookies because it’s time to get cosy and watch these top underrated Christmas films, who knows one of these movies might become a new must-watch every year from now one!
Best Underrated Christmas Movies List
1. The Harry Potter Movies
I sometimes see the Harry Potter films on Halloween watch lists, and I see the logic, wizards and witches are pretty spooky and they almost all have a Halloween at Hogwarts scene (and Christmas) but I’ve always felt they’re more suited to Christmas films list.
The first film came around around Christmas time and I remember I saw it the same day I went to “meet Santa” at a Christmas party as a kid, so they’ve always felt very Christmassy for me. Plus after the Carol of Bells cover in the Prisoner of Azkaban I just can’t hear that song without thinking of Harry Potter.
(Disclaimer: out of respect for the trans community I would suggest boycotting buying official HP memorabilia as a gift this year – if you’re buying books for Christmas for a fan, I’d recommend these magical reads.)
2. The Polar Express
I don’t think The Polar Express ever caught on quite as much as other Christmas films did.
The film is about a little boy who is struggling to believe in Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve a train shows up at his house and offers him a ride to the North Pole, there he meets other kids on the journey to met Santa but finds himself in trouble when he goes out of his way to help the other kids.
Tom Hanks plays several characters in this movie, so what could be a more comforting underrated Christmas film than just listening to Woody talk?
My favourite movies as a kid were always about animals so I’m actually disappointed that this Christmas film was so underrated I didn’t even see it at the time!
A little girl sees a reindeer Christmas decoration fall from a house and later finds an injured reindeer in the wood. She deduces that it must be Prancer and helps nurse the reindeer back to heath so she can return it to Santa in time for Christmas. However, her story is picked up by the local newspaper and she’s found out.
They say if you can’t do then teach! Paul Maddens is a teacher in a Catholic primary school who wanted to be an actor, producer or a director and instead gets stuck directing the school’s Christmas nativity play.
Every year the school competes with their rival Protestant private school to see who can produce the best play. However, Paul hates Christmas and doesn’t think much of his new teaching assistant either.
If you like Martin Freeman in this underrated Christmas movie then you’ll definitely like him in Love Actually, but, Nativity! is much more appropriate for children.
5. Jingle All The Way
This underrated Christmas film stars none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Howard Langston is always busy at his job, as a mattress salesman, and regularly lets his son down. He tries to make it up to his son after he missed his karate exposition, and tries to find his dream Christmas present; Turbo Man, except, it’s Christmas Eve. Howard travels everywhere to find the toy.
6. Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather
Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather is an adaption of the novel by the same name, and is very much an alternative Christmas movie.
The Christmas in the Discoworld is Hogwatch, but the Hogfather (basically Santa) has disappeared so Death has to step in and replace him while his granddaughter sets out of find him.
7. To Grandmother’s House We Go
I was a big fan of the Olsen twins as a kid, and this underrated Christmas film was an annual tradition for me.
The twins hear their mom say that she wishes she could have a Christmas without the girls and they decide to spend Christmas with their great grandmother, but they don’t know how to find her so hide in a delivery driver’s truck. The driver tries to take them home but is knocked out by burlgars who steal the truck, the girls, and his lottery ticket.
8. A Muppets Family Christmas
A Muppets Family Christmas is fairly underrated, especially when you compare it to the more popular Muppets Christmas Carol.
A Muppets Family Christmas is a crossover special that even features characters from Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock. The Muppets spend Christmas at Fozzie Bear’s mothers house and have a big family reunion with unexpected guests.
9. Olive The Other Reindeer
Olive The Other Reindeer was based on the childrens book by Vivan Walsh and was produced by Simpsons creator Matt Groeining. It’s a 1999 2D computer-animated film… and well, looks like it came out of 1999.
Olive is a Jack Russell who feels like she’s not like the other dogs. She hears that Christmas could be cancelled because Blitzen is injured by Santa pleas for “all of the other reindeer” to help save Christmas. Olive’s flea, Fido mishears it as “Olive the other reindeer” and tries to travel to the North Pole to save Christmas.
10. Rise Of The Guardians
Rise of the Guardians is a bit of a holiday mashup which is why I think it’s an underrated Christmas movie, but despite the fact that the Easter Bunny is one of the main characters, it’s mostly about Christmas.
After years of mischief, Jack Frost is finally made a Guardian and has to help the others as they try to fight of Pitch who is killing off the other holidays and destroying the spirt of the children around the world.
11. Christmas Vacation
I’ve always thought Christmas Vacation is a criminally underrated Christmas movie, which is an annual traditon for me. In fact, I think the Vacation franchise as a whole deserves more love.
The Griswold’s always have disaster vacations, so feel that a safe family Christmas at home is a good option. Except Clarke’s Christmas bonus doesn’t arrive and the family have unexpected guests and bickering in-laws to cater too. As always, the family find themselves in a hilarious mess of a holiday.
12. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
This version of Rudolph is my favourite one of these underrated Christmas films and my favourite Christmas movie of all time. I think it’s the top underrated Christmas movie that should be an annual tradition, it’s been a tradition for me since forever!
Most people prefer the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer but I liked this one the best. I prefer the animation, the songs, and think Santa was much nicer.
Stormella closes off her ice bride to the town when two elves destroy her ice sculpture and warns Santa that if anyone crosses the bridge again she’ll brew the storm of the century. When Rudolph runs away after he’s disqualified from the reindeer games, his friend Zoe crosses it to find him and is captured. Rudolph has to save both Zoe and Christmas.
What do you think of these underrated Christmas movies? Have you seen any? What do you think is the most underrated Christmas film?