Christmas 2013: best films on TV today, Christmas Eve

Watch It's a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Toy Story 2, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Fantasia on Tuesday 24 December

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It’s a Wonderful Life, 1:10pm, Channel 4 

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Is there a better way to spend your Christmas Eve afternoon than snuggled up on the sofa in front of this Christmas classic? The heart-warming Frank Capra movie is shown every festive season – and for good reason. The tale, which stars James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers and Donna Reed, will have you reaching for the tissues and feeling all warm and Christmassy inside. 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 1:30pm, BBC1

CS Lewis’ children’s classic is bought to life in this magical 2005 adaptation, starring Tilda Winton, James McAvoy, and Dawn French, plus Liam Neeson as the majestically voiced Aslan. You’re probably familiar with the tale, but just in case, it follows the Pevensie children who are evacuated from London to a country manor house during the Second World War. A game of hide and seek reveals an enchanted wardrobe which leads to a fairy-tale realm, and an adventure soon begins… 

Toy Story 2, 3:40pm, BBC1

Who can resist a bit of Toy Story? Woody, Buzz and co are still charming children and parents alike years after they originally hit cinema screens. This 1999 sequel to the original film sees Buzz Lightyear try to rescue his friend Woody the cowboy from the clutches of a toy collector. It’ll have you on the edge of your seat, whether you’re 6 or 60. We promise. 

The Grinch, 3:50pm, Channel 4

Jim Carrey transforms into a green-skinned Christmas hater in this big-budget treatment of Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Carrey plays Scrooge-like character The Grinch who creeps out of his isolated mountain dwelling determined to ruin the festive celebrations of nearby town Whoville. 

Fantasia, 4:15pm BBC2

Settle down for a Disney classic, featuring Mickey Mouse, as the night draws in. Oscar-winning animated tale Fantasia might have been made over 70 years ago, but it’s still worth watching. Its 114 minutes are made up of illustrated interpretations of well-known pieces of classical music. 

Scrooge, 5:10pm, Channel 5

We call it “easily the best screen version of the much loved yuletide tale” – so it’s time to give the 1951 version of version of Charles Dickens’ well-known story a go if you’ve never watched it before. The black-and-white adaptation stars Alistair Sim as the mean and miserly lead who sees the error of his ways after visits from the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. 


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