This year, in view of the sanitary situation, the Holidays probably won’t be quite the same as usual. To help you forget about these dire circumstances and to revive the magic of Christmas, we’ve got a selection of 11 must-see Christmas movies to watch in their original version to help improve your language skills.
Animation movies to practice with the family
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
French title: L’Étrange Noël de monsieur Jack
The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t your average Christmas movie, to say the least. And yet, in spite of the skeletons, ghosts and other monsters that populate Mr. Jack’s disturbing universe, this unique tale straight out of the genius mind of the brilliant Tim Burton, fills us with a sense of awe and quite literally tempts us to sing Christmas carols (in English of course!).
French title: La Légende de Klaus
This feature-length animated movie released last year enthralles everyone with its stunning graphics and moving story. Jesper, a young and somewhat clumsy postal worker, meets Klaus, an unwieldy woodsman, and Alva, the Smeerensburg town schoolteacher. Together, they revive the zest for life, sense of community and solidarity of the residents of this small town. In a nutshell, a genuine Christmas tale to watch in English with your children and a hot cocoa.
The Polar Express (2004)
French title : Le Pôle express
This is the story of a young boy who, on Christmas Eve, is filled with doubt. Does Santa Claus REALLY exist? As the clock is about to strike midnight, a fantastical train erupts below his window. The conductor invites him on board for an amazing ride to the North Pole. During his journey, he meets extraordinary people and experiences a magical adventure that will change his perspective on Christmas. This film features a special treat: Tom Hanks’ voice, that alone makes it worth watching it in English.
American Holiday Movies from the 90’s
Home Alone (1990)
French title: Maman, j’ai raté l’avion !
You might have already watched it tens of times, but have you actually seen this film in its original version? No? During the holidays, cozy up on your couch with a comfy blanket and drift back to childhood with this 1990s seasonal classic. Kevin McCallister’s adventures, who was left behind alone at home during the Holidays, are much more hilarious in English than in French!
Jingle All the Way (1996)
French title: La Course au jouet
There’s more to Arnold Schwarzenegger than the Terminator! In Jingle All the Way, Arnie plays the role of Howard Langston, a very busy executive, willing to do whatever it takes to get his offspring his dream toy for Christmas: a Turbo Man. Christmas shopping doesn’t go as smoothly as anticipated and the struggle to secure the much sought after toy soon takes its toll. Despite its somewhat awkward comedic style, this movie has the merit on the whole of exposing the often way too commercial side of the festive season.
“So British” Christmas movies to perfect your English
Love Actually (2003)
French title: Love Actually
We can’t talk about Christmas movies without mentionning Love Actually. If you enjoy rom-coms, British accents, fairy lights and tinsel, or watching Hugh Grant wiggle uncannily, then you’ll absolutely relish Love Actually in English.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
French title: Le Journal de Bridget Jones
Does this cult movie and its star-studded cast really need introducing? Bridget Jones’s Diary was bound to become a huge hit with the likes of Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant ( yep, him again!) and Colin Firth. American actress Renée Zellweger had to work extremely hard for this part to drop her Texan accent and speak English like an authentic Londoner. An endeavor you can only trully appreciate when you watch this film in its original version!
All time classic Christmas movies to watch (again) in English
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
French title: La Vie est belle
Fans of noteworthy Christmas movies will undoubtedly be delighted to discover or rediscover It’s a Wonderful Life. In 1945, on Christmas Eve, Clarence, angel in the making, is sent on a mission to save George Bailey from committing suicide so that he may earn his wings. Though it was not unanimously acclaimed at the time of its release, it has become one of the most widely broadcast and most popular Christmas features in the United States. Moreover, the film is ranked in the American Film Institute’s Top 100.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
French title: Le Miracle de la 34e rue
“It’s hilarious! It’s romantic! It’s delightful! It’s charming! It’s tender! It’s exciting! And it’s groovey!“ No, no, this is not a mistake. The word “groovey” is spelt with an -e. It would appear that when this film was released, the spelling of groovy, a pretty new word at the time, had not yet been defined. That’s also the magic of Christmas: seeing the evolution of languages over time through films in their original versions. In any event, no need for additional adjectives to describe Miracle on 34th Street. This trailer gives us plenty already!
Recent Christmas movies to watch in their original version
Operation Christmas Drop (2020)
French title: Un Noël tombé du ciel
Who says there has to be snow for Christmas to be perfect? This film features fine sand instead of snow and palm trees instead of Christmas trees. Other than that, Operation Christmas Drop features all the typical Christmas movie ingredients: a feel good factor and a romantic plot.
French title: Holidate
Fed up with being the only single woman in her family, Sloan resolves to find herself a “holidate“, in other words, a man she will only date during the Holidays. Thus, she hopes that her relatives will stop harping on about her love life. She meets Jackson, a golf instructor and confirmed bachelor. You can guess what happens next… Though this movie is rather predictable, it will surely delight fans of wacky rom-coms.
We can imagine that you are eager to get cracking and watch these movies to polish up your English and get into the festive spirit, so we won’t keep you any longer. Hope you enjoy your viewings… Happy Holidays from the whole team at 1to1PROGRESS !