I like canon questions. I don’t really think the debate about what belongs in the canon can be settled, but that shouldn’t stop us from having the debate (a few months ago we tried to come up with a ‘mini-canon’ of philosophical texts on this blog).
Well this is much more light-hearted. With Thanksgiving coming up, many of us will watch Miracle on 34th Street on Thanksgiving Day. Discussing this with a friend recently, we got into an argument about which Christmas movies are canonical. Here is my list:
Obviously canonical xmas movies (live-action):
– It’s a Wonderful Life
– Miracle on 34th Street
– White Christmas
– A Christmas Carol (various versions, but I like the George C. Scott one).
And less obviously though I think it belongs:
– National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Before I get to a list of a ‘sub-canon’ of animated xmas classics, it is worth mentioning a few snubs that did not make my list:
– A Christmas Story. Many consider this story of the young boy and his yearning for a Red Ryder gun to be a ‘classic’, but I am not sure it belongs on the list above. For me, it is not a first ballot Hall of Famer, but it might get in over time since the voters will get sick of seeing it on the ballot year in and year out.
– I think Elf and Polar Express are too recent to be considered in canonical discussions.
Here are some animated xmas classics:
– Charlie Brown Christmas
– Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 version)
– How the Grinch Stole Christmas (not the more recent Jim Carrey feature film, but the older animated one).
– Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Fred Astaire)
– Frosty the Snowman (1969)
– Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas (this late 1970s Muppet movie was huge for people my age, and it has some really great songs).
Additions? Subtractions? Or am I the only one looking for a break from the work at the end of the semester?