Taking a break to stuff your gullet full of meats and sweets? Put on these movies to relax before you drop into that food coma.
Beauty & the Beast
One of the best Disney films, the movie starts during fall, and we get to see the slow transition into winter. It’s a classic love story, maybe as old as time, about overcoming faults, doubts, and prejudice of a person’s looks and learning about the inner good, with amazing award-winning songs. The castle and village retain a warmth during the oncoming cold that makes you want to bundle up and watch as you prepare for the changing of seasons that nobody can do like Gaston.
Remember the Titans
No sport is associated with autumn and Thanksgiving more than football. Do you like football? Me neither, but I do love this football movie, that speaks to everyone with an important message even today — one the football-loving part of your family can enjoy so you can avoid watching actual football. This way you might not seem like such an anomaly to them. It may even inspire you to burn a few of the thousands of calories you probably just ingested.
If you’re not eating ham or some other pork product, then why not watch this film? It follows the segmented life of a pig acclimating to life on a farm and its strict social structure. There’s also a long scene of an automated fence that I personally find fascinating.
Probably the only Shyamalan film I personally care for, this movie is set in a village populated by simple farm folk who are wary of the woods that surround them and the red-cloaked monsters that dwell within them. The woods/village sets make it great for autumn viewing, and the dialect invokes the blissful feel and ignorance of Arcadia. The movie features a great soundtrack that works with the film’s aesthetic of growing up, questioning beliefs you’ve been given by adults, and facing the fear and uncertainty that goes along with wanting answers.
When waiting for Thanksgiving dinner, we usually don’t eat anything in anticipation of the feast to come. The buildup of hunger can make us a bit ravenous, not unlike the flesh-craving zombies of this film. The film has less emphasis on gore and scares, so it makes a good viewing for non-horror fans, as the story follows the comedic crossing paths of four strangers in a post-outbreak world. One them is seeking out a certain packaged dessert before they all expire, which I’m sure we can all relate to.
If you’re a fan of history, Americana, and tall tales, why not throw on this classic, which follows the life of a man who literally and figuratively runs through late 1900s US history. Inspiring, uplifting, charming, and all the other positive adjectives describe this film as we see that even with handicaps, the possession of a good heart and determination by one person can affect the lives of many others. It’s a film that shows time is always going forward, and that even the darkest times, either personal or social, will come to pass.
The delightfully golden atmospheric glow of France is portrayed in the warmth of friendly Pixar animation, along with a story of how the love of food brings people together. If you don’t have someone to make your meal or are the designated cook, you might want to get in a culinary mood, and what better way than watching a movie that states that anyone can cook, even a mouse voiced by comedian Patton Oswalt.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mr. Fox is an offbeat stop-motion animated comedy from Wes Anderson that features an Aesop-esque fox character and his family, as well as family issues and a conflict with farmers, whom Mr. Fox starts trouble with. The film features spectacular sets that showcase all the colors of fall and punchy, fast, yet downplayed dialogue between the quirky characters.
This is a lovely claymation film that follows the lives of hens on a farm… that also acts as a dark metaphor for life in a prison camp. Even though the film follows chickens as opposed to the traditional sacrificial bird, the concept is the same: humans wanna eat them, they don’t wanna be eaten, and they try to escape their fate. The film may make you feel guilty if viewed post-meal… or that could be just indigestion.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The film starts at Halloween and ends on Christmas, so technically the majority of the film takes place during November. See how a cynical goth skeleton man becomes enamored with Christmas love and cheer, and maybe take his love too far when he tries to take over the holiday, missing the core concepts of what makes it great. It shows that every holiday has its innate qualities, and maybe each deserves to be celebrated.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
If there’s one thing the Hobbit trilogy does right, it’s a showcase of nature. The second shows off acres of bright red autumn woods that are home to the elves, a brown and bleak lakeside town, and a mountain of gold topped with a crimson dragon, all culminating in a fall color extravaganza. Like with all of the trilogy, there is a relaxed tone, soothing music, and copious amounts of walking. The only flaw keeping it from being the best of the trilogy is that its ending is the twenty-minute start of the third film, so you’ll have to pop that one on to get closure — if you haven’t fallen asleep from tryptophan yet.
Honorable Mention: Jingle All the Way
Technically a Christmas movie, this film best illustrates the manic and insane quest shopping can be when trying to attain that perfect singular low-stock gift. When all the eating is done, the hunt usually begins for the savvy, deal-thirsty, or perhaps just chaos-loving shoppers on Black Friday. This film is a good motivation to get your gifts early and avoid the rabble.
What movies do you watch around Thanksgiving time? I’d like to know, so comment below, and go eat something.
Article by contributor Cody Stovall.