10 Lessons To Learn From Classic Winter Movies -
You’ve probably heard it before – Christmas is just another commercial holiday now. And it’s true, to an extent. A lot of what this winter holiday used to be and why it was celebrated has less and less to do with traditions of the past.
However, one thing that has remained constant is a family or friends night in the living room playing classic winter movies together. Sure, it can boil it down to just another media consumption activity.
Maybe there’s more to it, though, because classic winter movies tend to be brimming with hopeful yet straightforward life lessons that you tend to forget a little too often. And what better way to be reminded of them if not with the ones you love in one place!
Needless to say, all winter movies don’t have to be about the cheer of holidays either.
Classic winter movies can be much about the holidays and the season of winter itself. That only widens the scope of the different themes such films can touch upon.
Winter movies such as Force Majeure (2014), a Swedish film that revolves around how a family gets caught up in a sudden avalanche at a ski resort. While the mother’s instincts were to protect her children, the father’s was to grab his phone and run. The title itself is daring enough, translating to ‘an overwhelming and irresistible force.’ Not so much for holiday cheer, huh?
Then there are also movies like Last Holiday (2006), where Queen Latifah plays the role of a department store employee who decides to go on a lavish winter vacation to Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, after finding out that she only has a few weeks left to live.
Some classic winter movies don’t even have to do anything with people at all, like March of the Penguins (2005), a nature documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman about the penguins of Antarctica who return to their breeding ground every year without fail.
In a way, there’s something for everyone in classic winter movies. If you’re into some melodrama, disasters, dysfunctional families, or if all you’re looking for is something heartwarming and straightforward. Winter movies can bring you all of that and so much more.
So what are some of the life lessons that we can salvage from the classics catered to this season?
Here are ten lessons you can learn from classic winter wonderland movies. Don’t worry. You’ll find something for adults and winter movies for kids too.
Trust good winter movies for kids to remind us of an essential lesson that even most adults forget. That’s what you find in the most beloved How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), which shows how the grinch comes to realize how Christmas isn’t just a holiday but more a feeling.
There are no price tags on gifts from the heart, and they should be received with an open heart. In words from the grinch himself:
“Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is what you’d call an absolute classic. And not just because it’s that old. This heartwarming movie shows the relatable character of Doris Walker, and her no-nonsense parenting style is a little too overboard at times.
Throughout the movie, she discovers the actual value of emotions like kindness, joy, and love and that they don’t have to be hollow the way she’d thought. Life is made up of a lot of bad but a lot of good too, and it would be so much easier to live if you let yourself focus on that good.
The 1993 classic Groundhog Day is a fun romantic comedy winter movie that follows a TV weatherman stuck in a time loop where he finds himself living the same day over and over again, filming a report about his small town’s annual Groundhog Day.
This fun-filled movie has plenty of lessons, but one that stands out is the reminder that every action we take as people affects those around us, whether we like it or not. It might sound a little basic, but a gentle reminder like this forces you to rethink your place in the world, in the lives of those you love.
4. Beware of propaganda
You weren’t expecting that were you? Who says a classic winter movie can’t be a post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film that deals with themes like sacrifice, class, leadership, and violence?
Snowpiercer (2013) deals with all of that and much more, but if there’s one takeaway from the movie that is striking, it is how it shows the dangers of propaganda in our everyday lives.
This winter movie makes a grand statement by showing a scene of the education system where children of the first and second class aboard the train are taught to idolize and worship the owner of the Snowpiercer, Wilford.
This heartwarming winter classic follows the character of Buddy (played by Will Ferrell), who happened to be transported to the North Pole as a child and was raised by Santa’s elves. Over time, he finds himself unable to fit in and tries to go back to find his identity.
Although Buddy is a human, just like everybody else, he struggles to find a place in the world. You follow his childlike character being himself, even if it made him stick out in dramatic ways.
Conformity would have solved a lot of Buddy’s problems but staying true to himself is the act of bravery he commits to, and what could be a better lesson than that.
There’s so much to learn from Balto (1995), but Balto’s shame about his past and heritage is something that can hit too close to home for many, especially children who come from diverse backgrounds. In this winter movie for kids, you watch Balto face judgment from others because of his background leading him to hate that part of himself.
However, he eventually discovers that there are things only he can do because of the past he had, and you can’t help but cheer for him when he’s climbing to the top of a cliff with medicine in tow to get it to those who need it. Maybe there really is a gift in every curse.
Diner (1982) is a remarkable film not just because of its story and impact but also because it was a significant breakthrough by a first-time writer-director. The plot is relatively simple, but you learn something important from observing these bunch of friends.
They are reminiscing about their childhood back when they were carefree without the burdens of the world on their shoulders. They want to return to the children they once were but know that’s not possible. Such introspection through the lens of comedy helps to come to terms with the present and remember the past with warmth.
Who could forget the classic Home Alone (1990) and the number of hysterics packed into it? This fun-filled comedy movie is a family favorite, but more than that, it effortlessly encapsulates a vital lesson through its amusing narrative.
Anyone would freak out after discovering that there are burglars in their home, but Kevin takes a different approach despite being as young as he is. His relaxed and calm demeanor proves that staying calm in stressful situations is the key to getting out of them.
Winter’s Bone (2010) deals with numerous themes revolving around family loyalty, destiny, violence, neglect, and drug abuse. Finding the characters in such gruesome situations can be challenging to watch, but there’s one crucial lesson that shines through; never give up.
This gritty winter movie shows the protagonist Ree Dolly go against all odds against her to make a better life for herself and her family while battling the truth behind her criminal father.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) follows the characters, Clementine and Joel, undergoing a procedure to erase memories of each other after a painful breakup. The movie deals with the complications of relationships and the pain of loss in a unique way.
A meaningful life lesson from this winter movie’s story is that erasing your pain won’t help you in the long run. You would only end up as an empty shell of who you used to be if you were to erase memories that are an essential part of who you are.
Winter wonderland movies aren’t always fun in the snow with Santa getting you presents, but that’s what makes them so attractive. So much can happen under the backdrop of a chilly winter.
One thing you’ll notice while going through different classic winter movies, whether they are targeted towards an older audience or are winter movies for kids, is the music. The score of a film helps transcend its messages beyond its visuals.
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If you liked this article, you should also check out How To Write Great Christmas Movies?
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