Christmas in the Nineties

There are many films our generation grew up with, these films uplifted our spirits and usually awoke our Christmas joy from hibernation. Whether these are ones we have forgotten or replaced, or ones we continue to watch with growing fondness; we can all agree that these are purely nostalgic and somewhat cringe-worthy. Either way, it’s time to revisit the 1990s for, arguably, the best Christmas films and implode with Christmas spirit. Whilst Die Hard and The Nightmare before Christmas soar alongside Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone, it’s time we dug deeper into the treasure trove.

Batman Returns (1992) – it’s dark and snowy, and there are penguins. Tim Burton’s sequel proves that Christmas does not need Santa or reindeers; it needs Batman in a winter wonderland. The juxtaposition of Christmas decorations surrounding destruction creates a grotesque yet unique Christmassy atmosphere that will linger for many Christmas’ to come. Released before The Nightmare before Christmas and after Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton masters the genre of the fine dark Christmas flick.

The Santa Clause (1994) – because who doesn’t want to see the death of Santa? We find that the Santa Clause states that Santa’s murderer must take on the responsibilities of Santa Claus. Tim Allen quickly grows a beard and a big belly, becoming Santa. Dealing with the age old theme of family at Christmas, we see how the season brings together even the most broken of families. Giving Christmas a more realistic touch, this film makes you believe in magic all over again. Recommended for families and the more traditional viewer.

Jingle all the way (1996) – I don’t even know where to begin, this film is Christmas perfect. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the dad who leaves Christmas shopping till the very last minute and embarks on a quest to find the impossible: a Turbo-Man action figure. Safe to say this materialist-madness is a silly adventurous classic. This film has everything: crazy Christmas shoppers, a rival mailman and a Santa factory (where Santa’s come in all shapes and sizes). Watch out for the reindeer! This film is proof that even a beefcake badass like Schwarzenegger can play a teddy bear.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)  Whilst  a grandmother tells her grandchild the story as to why it snows every year, we embark on a tale of Burtonesque enchantment and strangeness with a curious appeal. Edward, an incomplete project turns out to be the missing link between the townspeople and snow. Full of beautiful imagery, this film leaves you with a strong appreciation for the simpler things in life. Most importantly, the ice dance has always and will always pull on my heart strings.

The festive season is upon us, which means it is now time to dip into the past and seek out lost treasures of the 1990’s.

BISMA KHAN

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