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Best Thanksgiving movies: From ‘Babes in Toyland’ to ‘Charlie Brown’

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BY MICHAEL C. KIMBALL
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Thanksgiving has finally arrived and with it begins the start of the whimsical Christmas season. This is a holiday to eat a lot of good food and enjoy time with family and friends. I have been fortunate to have a life filled with terrific memories of this holiday made with loved ones, which makes Thanksgiving a close personal favorite of mine.

One of the things I really enjoy about Turkey Day is that from the time I get up until I fall asleep there is something to do. The parade which brings back fond memories of my grandmother and her stories of going to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when she was a kid, then football with my father or friends, eating amazingly prepared dinner and then I usually finish out the night with a movie that is a perfect fit for this holiday.

I compiled a list of some of my favorite movies to choose from on Thanksgiving:

"Babes in Toyland" (1934)

This movie was a staple in my house growing up. It always came on WPIX after the parade and I’d watch it before dinner. It’s a movie my father always enjoyed and passed on to us. It stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as a pair of unlikely heroes trying to save their beloved Toyland from the evil Barnaby and the boogeymen. This movie is fun for little kids to adults and is filled with many recognizable nursery rhyme characters.

"Home for the Holidays" (1995)

I like this movie because it has some good comedy and plays up the dysfunctional family on Thanksgiving plot line. It stars Holly Hunter as a down on her luck mother who goes home for Thanksgiving after losing her job and gets caught up in the antics of her family. It has a great ensemble cast including Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Robert Downey Jr., Dylan McDermott, and Claire Danes. This is a fun movie with a lot of heart and has some family moments that I think most people can relate to.

"Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987)

I love this movie! It stars two of comedies most loved geniuses, Steve Martin and the late, great John Candy. Martin plays Neal, a man desperately trying to get home for Thanksgiving to be with his family. His plans to get there seem doomed from the beginning because of unforeseen obstacles throwing them off their path. Candy plays a door-to-door salesman named Del, who connects with Neal during a series of misfortunes throughout their journey. This is a terrific movie with a lot of comedy as well as warm moments that celebrate family and friendship.

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (1973)

I know this isn’t technically a movie but it’s part of my DVD collection, and I enjoy watching it every year. It’s not as memorable as the Halloween or Christmas specials but I use to watch this as a kid at my grandmother’s house. The meaning of this Peanuts special is friendship and tells a nice little heartwarming tale that every generation will understand.

These are my some of my favorite Turkey Day movies. I hope you enjoy them but most importantly I hope you enjoy this great American holiday, watch some football, eat some delicious food, and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Michael C. Kimball is an independent filmmaker and movie blogger. Follow him on Twitter @Pureclass13.

 

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