Top picks for holiday movies – a baker’s dozen

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Want to escape the frigid weather or take a break from the hustle and bustle? Lifestyles Media Department recommends watching a movie together, and its members have some picks from the annual favorites. Enjoy a clip and look for the full feature on Netflix, Youtube and network and cable TV channels.

In addition to “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” two other black-and-white classics get an honorable mention — “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” If you have any favorites, let us know. Here is the list from LIfestyle Media Department. Enjoy.

Watching the 1964 movie is a tradition for people of all ages. In it Rudolph meets the girl he loves, and she loves him. But Dad says, “No” to having the reindeer with the red nose in the family. (Dolores Palermo) 


Frosty is a snowman that has a top hat that causes him to move around in the school yard. But the top hat belongs to the self-obsessed magician named Professor Hinkle who wants his hat back. Karen, one of the school kids, and Hocus Pocus, the professor’s rabbit, help Frosty escape to the North Pole. Avoiding melting is a major problem. (Anthony DiCostanzo) 

The “round-headed kid” searches for the true meaning of Christmas with his friends. (Anthony Kefalinos)


Eight-year-old Kevin McCalister (Macaulay Culkin) gets left behind when his family goes on vacation. It sounds scary, but it ends up in a lot of comedy as he protects his house from two thieves. Is the original “Home Alone” your favorite or do you like one of the sequels better? (Meredith Arout)


Even Santa isn’t safe. In this 2006 comedy, he nearly loses his job when Jack Frost, takes over the Elves and remakes Christmas. (Kareem Ellison)


You will love the part where the children are in the mall and they’re getting ready to see Santa Claus. Santa Claus asks the children, “What do you want for Christmas?” Ralphie says, “A gun.” Santa says, “You’re gonna poke your eye out kid,” and kicks Ralphie down the slide with a “Ho, ho, ho.” The 1983 movie is an annual favorite. (Joseph Padalino) 

One night is crazier than the other when Davey Stone tries to reform during Hannukkah. The 2002 animation deals with adult themes such as alcoholism, depression and loss.  

As Santa’s helper, Will Ferrell, who plays Elf has a hard time fitting in. For one thing he is a human being and a lot taller than all the other elves. The 2003 Christmas comedy is funny and happy. (Riki Garcia) 

Watch the live action film starring Jim Carey or the 1966 animation. Whichever version you prefer, this Seuss classic is a delight for all ages. A new Grinch with the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch will be arriving next year, so it’s time to get familiar with these two. (Anthony DiFato)

Somewhere in Jerusalem, Mary is working in the fields. She hears the voice of an angel say, “You will bear a child.” This 2006 film tells the story that is behind the glitter of Christmas — the birth of the child, Jesus, and the visit of the Three Wise Men who follow a star to see him. (Sal DiBenedetto) 

It’s Jack Skellington vs Oogie BoogieJack reveals the fact that Oogie’s body is nothing but a bag of bugs when he defeats him. (Andrew Moszenberg)

Miss Piggy and Kermit lead the Muppet crew in a retelling of the Dickens’ classic tale and in many good songs such as “‘Tis the Season” and “Thankful Heart.” (Harry Rodriguez) 



Put ‘March of the Wooden Soldiers’ on holiday to-do list

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“March of the Wooden Soldiers,” 1934

The 1934 version of “The March of the Wooden Soldiers” is an annual holiday treat for the whole family. Also known as “Babes in Toyland,” the black and white classic will be shown on Christmas Day from noon to 2 p.m. on WPIX 11.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy star as Stan Dee and Ollie Dum. They live with the Old Woman in the Shoe and are trying to save Little Bo Peep from marrying Silas Barnaby, the heartless landlord. In the end everyone unites with the Wooden Soldiers to fight him and the Bogeymen.

The plot involves a comical misinterpretation of Santa’s orders – just part of the many laughs for all ages provided by slapstick and hilarious punchlines. Music, nursery rhyme characters, including Mother Goose, and a rousing community spirit add to the movie’s appeal for kids and adults.

“Watching a classic movie together provides great memories,” says Sal DiBenedetto.

“And you learn to never turn your back on a cannon,” adds Anthony DiFato.

– Sal DiBenedetto, Anthony DiFato, and Sam Stone with Kathryn Carse.