Sequel Saturday: Top 4 Christmas Sequels, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Santa Clause displays tower over every aisle at Walmart. Has-been artists release albums of corny holidays standards. Your Uncle Jerry flips through his recipe cards to find his treasured Eggnog Surprise. All signs that Christmas is nearly here. Let’s celebrate the Christmas cheer with my hand-picked list of the Top 4 Christmas Sequels.
4. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
After the smash success of 1994’s direct-to-video The Return of Jafar, Disney had to dig through their massive vaults to find other animated treasures to turn into franchises. One of their earlier efforts was 1997’s Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. This interquel is set during the events of the first film where Belle stays with the Beast and all the furniture and utensils still talk. The Beast has forbidden Christmas and his darker urges are egged on by an evil organ voiced by Tim Curry. There’s some nice snow animation in a few scenes.
3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
1980s legend John Hughes returned to script Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. This time around, Kevin McCallister comically attempts to murder crooks Harry and Marv in New York City. The traps are more sadistic. Every beat from the first film is repeated in a less effective manner. There are a few small pleasures with Kevin running amok in a posh hotel and the nice cinematography showcasing a wintry Central Park.
2. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
It’s rare a cult comedy spawns a trilogy, but that’s what happened with 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. The trilogy wraps up the characters with A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. Harold has found success as a businessman, but Kumar still struggles. Christmas brings them together on a madcap adventure that features a Wafflebot, a Broadway song and dance number, and a claymation sequence. The funniest of the trilogy, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas should be in your yearly rotation.
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
One of the few times the third film in a series trumps the original, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has a lot of heart. From Randy Quaid’s masterful reprisal of Cousin Eddie to the death of a cat, nearly every scene in the film is memorable. All of the Griswold clan has at least one bit of business. The only thing missing is the series classic Holiday Road jingle by Lindsey Buckingham.