24 great geeky holiday movies
Growing up geek meant that I had some different holiday traditions than most. When the family wasn’t arguing about Dune over dinner, we were intensely vying for world domination in a game of Risk while our favorite science fiction and fantasy movies played in the background.
The din of the battle for the Ukraine and endless Boggle tournaments made some choice lines and scenes hard to hear at the kids table. But now that we’re all grown up we can revisit the classics in a cinematic advent calendar of nerdery.
The adorable and horrible come together in this Christmas classic. More gross and gooey than actually scary, Gremlins is more family-friendly than you might remember.
The Princess Bride
Pay close attention to the decorations behind a bedridden Fred Savage and it becomes obvious that this tale of true love and miracles is in fact a Christmas movie, even if it is a kissing book.
The Batman has to save a snow-dusted Gotham from a nasty political penguin, corrupt corporate creeps, and a crazy cat lady. If this doesn’t scream Christmas, then I’m not sure what does.
As avid collectors of action figures, the movie series that made all our childhood toys come to life was a holiday dream of many. The Toy Story trilogy from Dreamworks holds up to the test of time.
There’s no end to the seasonal decor at Hogwarts, and Yuletide cheer is especially prevalent in the series. The music and magic of the world of Harry Potter fills everyone with the holiday spirit.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
If you thought Tim Burton’s favorite holiday was the macabre Halloween, guess again. Jack Skellington is filled with the holiday spirit in this stop motion animated classic.
Star Trek: Generations
When captains come together in an anomaly it makes for some festive fun as Jean-Luc invents an idyllic Victorian holiday for himself and finds Kirk chopping wood at a remote mountain chalet.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
There are extra geek points to be awarded if your holiday tradition includes channeling Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot during this cult, beloved B movie.
Jingle All the Way
Science fiction hero and villain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, promises to get his kid the most coveted action figure toy of the season, but might have to terminate an entire city to get it.
This anime follows a trio of homeless people who form a strange and funny family. They find a newborn baby in a dumpster on Christmas Eve an try to find its parents.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The frozen surface of Hoth, awkward family turmoil, the glittering lights of Cloud City, and a depressing ending make this chapter of Star Wars a perfect holiday film.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Father Christmas is bound to show up with a sack full of useful gifts for our young heroes as they seek to save thier brother and the creatures of Narnia from eternal winter inside a wardrobe.
A grown up Peter Pan revisits Wendy and his youth in Kensington Gardens for the holidays. When Captain Hook kidnaps his children he has to go back even further.
A farmer seeks to become a sorcerer. A prisoner is actually a great swordsman. An abandoned infant is a prophesied princess. A shield makes for an excellent toboggan.
A Muppet Christmas Carol
Nerds can’t resist a good puppet show. The Jim Henson Workshop takes on the Dicken’s Christmas classic with their flagship troupe of theatrical creatures.
Iron Man 3
It’s Christmas time in New York City. At Stark Tower, Tony has got visions of sugar Mandarin fairies dancing in his head when War Hammer comes to town.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The merry feasting habits of hobbits, a friendly fellowship, handmade gifts from the elves, and the snowy peaks of Ered Nimrais are sure to keep you snuggling by the fire for several hours.
There’s computer hacking in this movie so don’t tell me it’s not nerdy. And geeks love a great badass so John Mc Clane is definitely on our nice list.
Bet you weren’t expecting his one. Make no mistake, from its December release to the incinerated skeletons that glow red and green, Mars Attacks is another of Tim Burton’s twisted holiday romps.
Falling ice shavings will always remind you of your creepy childhood in an idyllic suburban nuclear family and the strange gothic artist who loved you.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Arthur meets a nice girl dressed like Santa at a fancy party. The two meet up again after being saved from Earth by aliens moments before it is blown to bits by other aliens. Don’t Panic.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
An ostracized pair of certifiable dorks run away and find their kin on the Island of Misfit Toys. They then use their distinguishing attributes to save Christmas.
Tyrion Lannister moonlights as an angry children’s author and beats Will Farrell to a pulp. Watch and pray that some day soon Cersei will recieve the same treatment.
Wizard of Oz
From the withered fields of the Scarecrow, to the apple trees of the Tin Man, and the snow sent by Glinda the Good, we all get a feeling for what time of year the technicolor marvel is meant to evoke. Ruby red slippers and an Emerald City seal the deal.
I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy my movie suggestions. The Nerd Recites wishes you all a wonderful holiday season and a geeky new year!
Image credits: Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm, MGM, Imagine Entertainment, New Line Cinema.