Gizmodo Movie Night: Best Christmas Movies That Have Nothing To Do With Christmas

Gizmodo Movie Night: Best Christmas Movies That Have Nothing To Do With Christmas
Image: IMDB
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Watching Christmas movies on Christmas can, for some, become very tedious very quickly. If you tend to get bored of the same storylines and the clichés then your Christmas luck has taken a turn for the best.

I always like to look for movies that make it feel like Christmas rather than throwing it my face. Not to mention that most of the movies about Christmas are also about love. I just don’t need the constant reminder each year that I am alone for the holidays.

In honour of those who get bored of having to watch the same Christmas movies every year, this week’s Gizmodo Movie Night is dedicated to movies that are about Christmas without actually being about Christmas.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Image: Marvel

Iron Man 3 is, in my opinion, the ideal Christmas movie for 2021.

Sure, maybe Iron Man 3 could take place any other time of the year besides Christmas and it would still make sense. But the sole fact that Christmas is involved gives it an automatic spot on this list.

In the movie, Tony Stark has one hell of a Christmas Eve. Mostly because he is trying to save the world, the President of the United States and Pepper Potts. That’s a lot more chaotic than charging your way down to the shops to buy presents for your loved ones because you forgot to do it, again.

Oh and not to mention that Tony is trying to stop Aldrich Killian from weaponising the Extremis virus.

See, sounds just like 2021. We are all familiar with viruses right?

You can watch the trailer here.

Iron Man 3 is currently streaming on Disney+.

Gremlins (1984)

Christmas Movies

Quite literally nothing else screams Christmas without screaming Christmas like the Gremlins.

Yes, I’m aware that the movie is somewhat based around Christmas but I think we can all agree that it’s not the central plot point of the movie.

Gremlins begins with Randall Peltzer going down to Chinatown to find a present for his son Billy so he can have the perfect Christmas. He stumbles upon Gizmo, a Mogwai which has a clear message that a pet is for life and not just for Christmas time.

I just would not have gotten Gizmo as a gift for my child, no matter how cute. But hey, I guess we all have different parenting styles, and I am not a parent.

My reason for this is because, like most children, Billy does not heed the instructions he is given on how to take care of Gizmo. As a result, Gizmo unleashes a bunch of monsters including Stripe, the villain of the film.

These monsters, especially Stripe, are hell-bent on destroying the Christmas vibes. How rude.

The best part about the Gremlins is that we will always have the image of Gizmo in a Santa hat.

You can watch the trailer here.

Gremlins is currently streaming on Prime Video.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Image: 20th Century Fox

This is one of my favourite films of all time but for some reason, I only yearn to watch it during the festive season.

The film doesn’t centre or revolve around Christmas at all until the last third of the movie. There are a lot of Christmas references though, like Edward carving an ice sculpture whilst creating the illusion of it snowing.

The Christmas atmosphere actually brings an important shift in the film and in Edward himself. Whilst he is still in the good graces, the weather is warm and the colours are vibrant. When he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and banishes himself, it’s suddenly a cold, wintery Christmas.

Oh and to break your Christmas heart even more. Edward’s inventor dies near Christmas which led to the snowball reaction of where Edward ends up.

You can watch the trailer here.

Edward Scissorhands is currently streaming on Disney+.

Batman Returns (1992)

Image: IMDB

Okay so this one does kind of revolve around Christmas but it still doesn’t use it as a central plot point so I’m adding it to the list.

Batman Returns is set during Christmas as Max (an entrepreneur) and the Penguin create an evil team to wreak havoc in Gotham City. Many people have associated Max with a Grinch/Scrooge characterisation.

It is almost like Tim Burton threw Christmas up all over the city as there’s snow (very Christmas), decorations, carols, and of course a recurring Christmas tree. There’s also a little mistletoe action between Selina Kyle and Batman.

The Penguin also has a sob Christmas story mostly because he was thrown into the sewers as a child by his parents on Christmas. So I can kind of understand why he wants to ruin Christmas.

Something I’ve realised is that Tim Burton loves Christmas, a lot. Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns.

You can watch the trailer here.

Batman Returns is currently streaming on Stan.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Christmas Movies
Image: Disney

Snow is literally everywhere which automatically makes me think of Christmas even though I have never experienced snow during Christmas. I know it says that it always snows but it’s never Christmas but that doesn’t stop me from associating the two.

In fact, Narnia actually uses Christmas as a subtle plot tool and symbolises a lot more than what it’s given credit for.

When I first watched the movie, I thought the Santa scene was the weirdest thing ever. Like why was that added? There could have been so many other characters filling the role Santa played. But then I thought about it deeper.

Seeing Father Christmas is actually one of the first explicit signs that the White Witch’s eternal winter is fading. For those of you playing at home, Father Christmas was banned from Narnia since the Witch arrived. So by having him appear is a sign of tides turning, and also a sign of hope.

Father Christmas also gives the four children magical gifts that are incredibly important in the film and is what each will use to help fight the White Witch.

Something else that is pretty interesting about the addition of a Christmas element in the movie is the original novel was written in the late 1940s, just before the end of WWII. The war is also a big plot point in the story as the children are evacuated from London following a Blitz bombing.

What’s interesting about it though is that Father Christmas represents war. He gives the kids the weapons they will use to battle the White Witch and her army and he was used a symbol of hope and strength during WWII for children suffering from the disaster that raged on around them.

You can watch the trailer here.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is currently streaming on Disney+

No, I’m not putting Die Hard on this list because that would be a cliché. But if you so desperately want to fill the Die Hard void, you can watch it on Disney+.

Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one: Buckle Up For the Best Movies Featuring RVs