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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Ringing in the season with holiday specials

77%25+of+adults+in+the+United+States+watch+Christmas+movies+each+holiday+season.+According+to+the+New+York+Post%2C+A+Charlie+Brown+Christmas+is+the+second+most+loved+Holiday+movie+tied+with+Home+Alone+at+42%25
Photo Credit: Photo via Creative Commons License edited by Alyssa Cifelli
77% of adults in the United States watch Christmas movies each holiday season. According to the New York Post, A Charlie Brown Christmas is the second most loved Holiday movie tied with Home Alone at 42%

Alongside holiday movies, there are holiday “specials” that are each under 30 minutes. These ratings are based on the criteria of five different points. Humor, whether it lacks and if that takes away from the story. How centered around holidays the plot is. If the story is interesting and easy to follow. Whether or not it is entertaining for the whole family. If it has a message that we can learn from. They are ranked on a scale of one to five.

Modern Specials
"Toy Story That Time Forgot"

"Toy Story that Time Forgot" takes place after Christmas, when Bonnie has a play date with her friend Mason. Bringing her toys along, they notice that Mason is busy with his video game and that he has not played with other toys. With other dinosaurs there, Trixie--the dinosaur-- is excited to meet more of her kind. But what she does not expect, is for the others to believe that they are truly dinosaurs. So, it leaves Bonnie's toys in danger.

This holiday special has humor that appeals to the entire family and a very easy-to-understand message. The story is well-paced for the time constraint.

Personal Rating:

4/5 stars

"Olaf's Frozen Adventure"

Elsa and Anna invite the town into the castle for a holiday party, when they realize everyone wants to stay home and celebrate their own traditions. With them not having any type of traditions, Olaf goes around town to bring other traditions back to the castle.  Upon his return, Elsa and Anna realize they had a family tradition all along.

This special is more enjoyable the younger you are because the humor is geared more toward children. It is not strictly Christmas because they are very vague when discussing what holiday they are talking about. This one can be skipped.

Personal Rating:

2/5 stars

Disney's "Prep and Landing"

An elf named Wayne, who works for “Prep and Landing,” anticipates a promotion from Santa. He is disappointed to find that his partner got the promotion and he will have to train a new elf instead. Wayne takes his disappointment and frustration out on his new partner, who has to remind him of the true meaning of Christmas. The characters are unique to this special so there is no prior context needed.

The story is perfectly paced and easy to follow. Despite the magical elements, it creates a feeling that is homey and relatable. "Prep and Landing" is humorous and has a heartfelt message of selflessness and Christmas joy. It is great for the entire family, a must-watch.

Personal Rating:

5/5 stars

The oldest film on this list is “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” created in 1965 and the most recent is “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” released in 2017. Even the older ones have become timeless classics. Student Megan Sowinski says, “I grew up with A Charlie Brown Christmas and it’ll always be a part of my holiday!”

Classic Specials
"Mickey's Christmas Carol"

The story is an abridged version of Charles Dickens’s, "A Christmas Carol," told through Disney’s most well-known characters. The plot surrounds an old miser, who learns to leave his greedy ways in the past after, being visited by three spirits.

All important plot points are covered despite being 26 minutes long. Although the original story is not known for being funny, there is an inclusion of some humor to allow the special to keep up its fast pace. It is a very cute adaptation of this story that is great for little kids, but not a holiday season essential for the whole family.

Personal Rating:

3/5 stars

"Frosty the Snowman"

"Frosty the Snowman" is the story of a snowman who comes to life when a magic hat is placed on his head. A group of school children build a snowman together; one child named Karen grows attached to him and travels with him to the North Pole. The humor is a bit old and childish, but not necessarily outdated. It is a whimsical story that is centered around Christmas magic, that will get one into the holiday spirit. Frosty the Snowman is a lovable character that is perfect for little kids.

Personal Rating:

4/5 stars

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"

The Peanuts' characters are lovable and their holiday specials are very popular.  With so, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is probably the most popular. It is about how Charlie Brown is not in the mood for the holiday spirit because he believes the holiday has gone commercial. The moral of the story is that Christmas is about love and togetherness.

Besides a religious speech given by Linus, the short is great for almost anyone who celebrates Christmas. The timeless humor is perfect for all ages and the experiences of the characters are relatable. The story is a great reminder to spend time with family and friends.

Personal Rating:

4/5 stars

High school teacher and mother of two, Christine Goros says, “Frosty is my favorite on this list because I like how it teaches the magic of Christmas.” While the movie was released in 1969, it was based on the song that was released 19 years prior. Today, “Frosty the Snowman” is still one of the most popular symbols of the holiday season.

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Cifelli, Reporter
Alyssa Cifelli, a Senior at Colonia High School, is very involved in theater in and outside of school and plans to continue through college. Cifelli is an aspiring director of plays and movies who spends her free time gardening and listening to true crime podcasts. She works at a local youth center as a counselor a few days a week along with being a part of Heroes and Cool Kids and five different honor societies. She loves autumn, art, and trying new foods. Cifelli is very excited to be part of The Declaration and hopes to grow as a writer in the process.

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