CFAC Day 1: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Nanu Advent Day 1

First of all, welcome to CFAC – the Christmas Film Advent Calendar to end all advent calendars – a guide to the best Christmas films that you may or may not have seen, with one a day to get you excited for Christmas. The guide will be simple – every day, behind every window, a new film will be posted – these films won't be in any particular order, they do not start at the worst and get better, they have been crafted to adapt to the mood of that time of the month. But more than this, a separate  alternative film will be offered if you fancy something different – or are just plain not up for the movie on offer! So, without further ado, let us begin…

Day 1: Let's Get Christmassy!

So, it's December 1st, and out of nowhere, November is over. The year 2012, which we had anticipated for years as the year of the future, has come and is almost over. All that excitement gone to nothing. All that is left is that long hard slog 'til Christmas – work is almost over, and school is nearing , all the while, days are getting longer, and the worst of the winter weather is yet to hit. So what better way to start the month then with a massive dose of Christmas!

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Director: Brian Henson, 85 mins

Creeping into the top five of most Christmas film lists, The Muppet Christmas Carol does everything that the Muppets did so well, back when they were still doing it with some sense of regularity – it's brilliantly funny no matter your age, cleverly written and vibrant in colour and sound. Although not the only Dickens' featured in this list, The Muppet take is probably my favourite and does the original text justice, keeping the essence and then stuffing it through the minds of adults who never grew up. I imagine few won't have seen this, so dust off your copy and whack it in while you put up some decorations – this is guaranteed to kick off the month with a smile – the perfect film to get anyone in the Christmas mood, and so light that you can have it on in the background while you work on g

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etting things festive without missing a beat. Here's a clip of one of the songs:

Is it Michael Caine's greatest film role? No. Not even close. But then again, it's probably the role he'd most like to be remembered for, around this time of year. By children. Who haven't seen him do Batman.

Alternative Film

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Sarah Smith and Barry Cook, 97 mins

Going along with the Kids Christmas vibe, a modern film that will no doubt find it's way into the christmas canon soon enough is Aardman's 3D adventure Arthur Christmas. Questions of Santa Claus' apparent limited abilities are tested to their limits by this animated tour de force that exposes the incredibly technical world of Santa and his Elves. It's a star studded film with an incredible cast, and with Peter Baynham helping out in the writing department, it has an humorous charm that will not disappoint, and echoes the bright and brilliant sparkle of the Muppets that may be wearing thin to some who have watched their Christmas Carol to death – or worry that the songs won't match up to the brilliant “Man or a Muppet”.

And if you can find it…

Wood Of Value (2010)

Director: Bjørn Ståle Bratberg, 16 mins

This short documentary traces the  journey of a tree from its home in Norway, to it's place in the streets of London. It might be quite hard to track down, but if you can find it, this short film about the journey of the hallowed christmas tree, will help anchor your christmas spirits into the magnitude and role of winter, life and nature. You can catch some of the film here, or else see extracts from the Zagreb Film Festival.



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