What better to get into the holiday spirit while putting up the Christmas tree, than by watching some wonderful holiday movies, with hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies? Well, that is what my mother and I did last night after the girls went to bed. As we went through the boxes of decorations and ornaments to hang up, we watched three new releases from Anchor Bay Entertainment.
It has been tradition for as long as I can remember to begin watching holiday movies beginning the day before Thanksgiving, all the way up to Christmas Eve, which we end the evening waiting for Santa to arrive, by watching "It's a Wonderful Life." I don't know what it is about heartwarming family movies around the holidays, that get you excited about the holidays and spending time with family. Even though we are crazy busy during the week with kids and work, we always find time to snuggle up together on the couch and watch these great holiday movies.
And, when my parents come to visit, I use this time to watch a few extra movies with them. Both my mother and I will cry at a drop of a hat, so tissues are always on standby. :-)
These are the three movies I was recently sent from Anchor Bay Entertainment to review, and which have made a great addition to my ever growing family's holiday movie collection:
"Chilly Christmas , produced by Steven Paul, follows 11-year-old Bobby Cole, his detective dad (C. Thomas Howell, E.T., The Extra Terrestrial, The Outsiders), and their lovable-but-destructive pooch, Chilly, who live together in Sunshine Beach, California. When Bobby’s father is offered a job promotion in New York City, Bobby is thrilled for him – but his excitement quickly turns to heartbreak when he realizes he may have to say goodbye to Chilly, who is too rambunctious to live in a tiny city apartment! Desperate not to leave Chilly behind, Bobby and his friends try to acclimate him to city living (including using the toilet and a treadmill!). But, while the Coles prepare Chilly for the Big Apple, trouble begins brewing in their own backyard when a dog-napper (Tom Arnold, True Lies, “Roseanne,” A Christmas Wedding Tail) and his crew suddenly show up in Sunshine Beach, hot on Chilly’s tail! It’s up to Detective Cole, Bobby and Chilly to stop the thieves in their tracks and keep their family together for the holiday season – and for good!"
"The non-stop action begins on Christmas Eve at the Harper house, where Ryan and Kasey Harper’s dad, Eric (Mackenzie Astin) is hard at work on his newest invention. The Harpers are all set to have a merry Christmas – until Eric is kidnapped by a gang of thieves, who seek to steal his newest creation. When Santa arrives that night to find the Harpers in trouble, he fulfills the wish that Kasey makes on a magical elf doll by leaving behind one of his elves (“Wee Man”) to help save her dad. As the robbers scheme to break into the house, the Harpers help their new friend discover his true powers as superhero “Elf-Man”! With time running out and the Harpers counting on him, Elf-Man takes on the kidnappers in a heroic attempt to save the family’s Christmas."
The Dog Who Saved The Holidays
"The fur-flying fun begins when the Bannister family, George (Gary Valentine, “King of Queens”), Belinda (Elisa Donovan, Clueless, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”) and their kids, Kara (Caitlin Carmichael, “iCarly,” “Dexter”) and Ben (Wyatt Griswold), jet off with their dog Zeus (voiced by Joey Lawrence, ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey”) to celebrate the holidays at Aunt Barbara’s (Shelley Long, “Cheers”) stunning Malibu mansion. Aunt Barbara surprises them with a new puppy named Eve (voiced by Peyton List, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Something Borrowed) and the whole family is smitten except Zeus, who quickly learns the new pooch is not as innocent as she seems. Zeus decides to run away, but when he spots two familiar thieves, Ted (Dean Cain, “Lois & Clark” and The Dog Who Saved Christmas) and Stewey (Joey “CoCo” Diaz, The Longest Yard), breaking into the house, he knows it’s up to him and Eve to beat the bumbling burglars and save Christmas once and for all!"
All three movies were enjoyable to watch, but I have to say that I found myself melting with the two dog movies. Sorry, I love dogs--what can I say! :-) If you think the dog on the cover of "The Dog Who Saved the Holidays" DVD cover art above looks familiar, it is because this is his third appearance in this popular holiday series of movies. Even if you missed Zeus saving Christmas in the previous two installments in this series, you can still watch this movie alone and enjoy it. This time Zeus partners with his new sister, Eve, to help save Christmas. Boy will they take you on an adventure! I can't wait to see additional movies follow in this series, as they seem to get better and better each time.
As for the other dog movie, "Chilly Christmas," families with young children, will have a blast watching this movie together. Geared towards the younger audience, this Dove approved movie will teach children about the best friend bound between a dog and a child, as well as believing in miracles. So, come along as Bobby and Chilly try to save Christmas Eve and put the bad, Mr. Quarterman, played by Tom Arnold, in his place. I found myself rooting for Chilly to find his forever home with Bobby in this film. Does he? You will have to watch it to find out. :-)
Elf-Man is another Dove approved movie, that stars a younger cast, and a little person (hence the title), and shares with young viewers the importance of believing in yourself and miracles. The movie follows Elf-Man as he is put into a position to save Christmas. This fun filled family film is great to watch as the holidays approach. And, with such positive themes throughout the movie, it is one worth watching together as a family and then talking about afterwards. This film really does a nice job in showing how if you believe in yourself (as others do of you), that anything is possible. And, once the Elf-Man started believing in himself, he had a better chance of saving Ryan and Kasey's dad, and saving Christmas.
So, if you are looking for a few good holiday movies fit for families to enjoy together, why not consider these new releases from Anchor Bay Entertainment? You will not be disappointed!
Disclosure: I was sent copies of these movies from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone.