Movie Magic

Our editor’s picks for some favorite seasonal films.

January is the perfect time to curl up on the sofa with Netflix (or a favorite DVD), and maybe a cup of hot cocoa, too. I love films about Christmas, but when the holidays are over, gather the family for one of these old-school, kid-friendly flicks celebrating the season in all its chilly, snowy glory.

In Snow Day (2000), siblings Hal and Natalie team up with their pals to keep the snowplow man (an obvious villain) off the streets so they’ll get one more day of winter vacation. In so many ways, this is the kind of dumb, slapstick comedy you’d expect from Nickelodeon, but it also captures the joy of an unexpected no-school day and the tender reconnection of a busy family.

The Snowman (1982) is a 26-minute animated film that first aired as a television special. It’s based on the beautiful book (just illustrations, no words) by Raymond Briggs. This film is joyful and heartbreaking, as a little boy learns that snow is ephemeral.

We know The Mighty Ducks stands out as Minnesota’s favorite goofy sports movie, but consider shelving it this year for Cool Runnings (1993), the exuberant tale of an unlikely Jamaican bobsled team and their put-upon, former-star coach (the late, wonderful John Candy in one of his last roles).