The Best Christmas Movie Remakes

Christmas movies are as much of a Christmas necessity as Christmas cookies, Christmas ornaments and Christmas presents. They are the must-do activity each holiday season, and due to the festivities and warm feelings, no matter how old or over-watched some of these movies are, we relish them every Christmas. Most Christmas movies are too classic, and won’t get touched as a remake, but there are three classic Christmas movies that have at least one remake, if not more. 

A Christmas Carol

In its original form, A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and was an instant bestseller. The iconic story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge meeting three ghosts of Christmas transforms him from the inside out and changes the trajectory of his life. Even though ghosts are more commonly associated with Halloween, these three ghosts, and Jacob Marley in ghost form, teach Scrooge an important Christmas lesson. The first movie based on the book was made in 1935, starring Seymour Hicks as Ebenezer Scrooge, and running just over an hour. Since 1935, A Christmas Carol has been remade and adapted over 60 times, and though there are low-lights and high lights (here’s to you Muppets Christmas Carol from 1992) in these remakes, the enduring message remains: serving others is always better than serving yourself. 

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

He’s the color of Christmas and internationally recognizable. Though the Grinch is everywhere, his movie has only been remade three times. Also based on a book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, written by Dr. Seuss in 1957, it was made into a cartoon version of the story less than 10 years later. This iconic cartoon became a yearly Christmas tradition watched every year by families everywhere. Gleefully, it was remade in 2000 starring Jim Carey. He took the Grinch to the next level, filling out the story and creating many quotable lines. The mean one became a lovable one at the end and the theme of the redemptive power of forgiveness endured through the live-action remake. The third remake was released in 2018 as an animated version featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, and Rashida Jones. Continuing with the grumpy, funny, filled-out Grinch character, this most recent version of The Grinch is an enduring version of the story. 

The Miracle on 34th Street

The original 1947 movie, starring Santa and Macy’s department store in New York City, was remade in 1994 with a similar plot and a few adjustments. Kris Kringle replaces a tipsy Santa in the Thanksgiving Day parade, and in a series of events changes the mind and beliefs of a young girl who is a Santa skeptic. Her specific and elaborate wishes seem impossible to grant, but in typical magical style, as only Santa can, her wishes are granted on Christmas morning, and she is a believer. In the more recent remake, Macy’s department store chose not to be featured claiming “the original stands on its own and could not be improved on.” 

Though some people only cling to originals, these Christmas remakes deserve a look and consideration. Make this Christmas the year of the remake, and trade the tried-and-true classic for the freshly minted remake. 

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Written by

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.

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