As Thanksgiving approaches, I like to get my list of movies to watch ready for the break! Here’s a list of a few personal favorites if you’re not sure what to watch over the weekend:
1) Coraline (2009): While most think this movie is more appropriate for Halloween, it is also well suited for the Thanksgiving season. Besides the fact that it scared the life out of me the first time I watched it, it’s one of my traditions to watch Coraline every Thanksgiving because of the message it sends about appreciating the family we have. 11-year-old Coraline moves to a new town with her parents, but doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with them. As a result, Coraline is often left alone. One day she decides to explore her new house. A secret door leads her to a portal to another world that seems to be a more cheerful version of her own life. This “other world” is controlled by the “other mother,” who invites Coraline to stay there forever. I don’t want to spoil too much, so if you haven’t watched it yet I would definitely recommend adding Coraline to your watchlist!
2) Free Birds (2013): This movie is centered around Reggie, a turkey who has always feared Thanksgiving. He tries to warn his flock about the holiday, but none of them listen. When Thanksgiving comes around, Reggie’s flock abandon him in an attempt to save themselves. Ironically, Reggie is named the “pardoned turkey” by the President. Then, Reggie is kidnapped by a member of Jake, the Turkey Freedom Front, and works with the group to remove turkey from the classic Thanksgiving menu. Although I personally haven’t watched this movie, it seems like the perfect movie to watch with younger kids or other family members for a light, festive story! I had never really considered the turkeys’ perspective of thanksgiving, but this movie certainly provides a comedic take on the holiday!
3) A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973): This is a Thanksgiving classic! Watching this movie brings back so many memories from elementary school. It provokes the warm memory of watching Charlie Brown with my friends at our classroom parties, the day before Thanksgiving break. This 30 minute film includes the iconic football kickoff between Lucy and Charlie, Peppermint Patty inviting herself over, Linus coming to help Charlie, and the warm theme of appreciating friends and family. Need I say more?
4) The Blind Side (2009): Since I tend to associate Thanksgiving with playing football (is this just me?), this movie is a perfectly festive family feel-good flick. We are introduced to Michael or “Big Mike”, a football player who has been in foster care with different families. Whenever he is given a new home, he runs away. Michael soon befriends SJ when he joins a new school to play football. SJ’s family notice that Michael doesn’t have a real home or a stable familial environment, so the family invites him to stay with them. In time, Michael begins to feel like part of the family. This is a movie I would highly recommend watching with family, especially during Thanksgiving. There have been too many times where I’ve taken my family and friends for granted. This movie is definitely a sobering reminder that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.
5) Jack and Jill (2011): Being an Adam Sandler fan, I love this movie! This is another lighthearted story that demonstrates the relatable irritation with family members on Thanksgiving. The movie follows Jack, an advertising executive living in Los Angeles with his family. Thanksgiving comes around, and Jack gets annoyed when his sister, Jill, comes to visit. She ruins important events for him, which makes him lash out on her, causing Jill to run away. To make it up to her, Jack asks Jill to stay in Los Angeles for longer, and she accepts. I won’t tell you much more about the movie because I really want you to watch it! Yes, it’s a little unrealistic, and not very complex, but I was laughing throughout the film—all of which make it a perfect movie choice for Thanksgiving!
6) Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989): Another Thanksgiving classic! If you haven’t seen this particular movie, but are familiar with the Garfield comics, you can expect Garfield’s usual mischief and hatred towards Odie. In this short, Garfield is forced to go on a diet. If you used to read the Garfield comics as a kid like me, you already know about Garfield’s love for lasagna! This is another short with a light storyline, and is sure to give a laugh to viewers of all ages.
7) Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: I know this isn’t technically a movie (although it is longer than most movies), but I just had to include it! In my family, we always start the day by waking up to watch the parade. It’s probably our longest tradition as a family. We started it when I was only 2 years old! As I turn 18 this December, I don’t plan on stopping this tradition anytime soon. In my opinion, it’s a perfect family bonding activity! The nationally televised event features massive parade floats of popular characters from movies and tv shows, as well as a wide range of performances: marching bands, the Rockettes, and celebrity appearances!
8) Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009): A big part of Thanksgiving break is Black Friday! This movie follows Paul Blart, (you guessed it) a mall cop. When Paul realizes a bank heist is taking place inside the mall and hostages are involved, Paul alerts the police. You’ll have to watch the rest of the movie to find out what happens next! This is yet another light hearted comedy that I enjoy every time I watch! Kevin James is hilarious in it, as usual, and it’s the perfect film to watch with the family after eating your Thanksgiving lunch/dinner!
9) Home for the Holidays (1995): I personally haven’t watched this movie, but after reading all the positive reviews online and noticing the all-star cast, it’s definitely on my list this year! The film follows Claudia Larson, a single mom that has just been fired from her job. When Thanksgiving comes around, she flies from Chicago to Baltimore to spend the holiday at her parents’. As more family members arrive, the overall familial mayhem all become too much for the Larsons. Despite all the mishaps and stress that comes with preparing for Thanksgiving with extended family, the movie serves as a warm reminder that we should be grateful for the family we have.