The best films on TV on Christmas Day 2018

Here’s our pick of the best for the big day itself

Wallace and Gromit, Getty, SL

Get ready to snuggle up with a movie on Christmas Day, from the 2016 reimagining of the Jungle Book, to one of the break-out hits of 2017, The Greatest Showman – plus loads of animated fun and superhero thrills.

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Here’s our pick of the very best films to treat yourselves to this Christmas Day…

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit – 11:00am BBC 1

Wallace and Gromit should be a Christmas time staple in every household, so it’s fitting that the BBC is showing the claymation duo’s only feature-length film on Christmas morning. Intrepid yet bumbling entrepreneur Wallace (voiced by the late, great Peter Sallis) and his faithful dog decide to offer a humane pest control service to keep the neighbourhood free of rabbits during the Giant Vegetable Competition. However, things start to go awry when a mysterious monster begins destroying the local gardens.

The Good Dinosaur – 1:30pm BBC 1

A modern and too often forgotten Disney Pixar classic, The Good Dinosaur follows the adventures of young Apatosaurus Arlo in an alternative universe where the asteroid that hit the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs missed the planet.
When Arlo gets lost miles from home, fate brings him to Neanderthal boy Spot, who offers to bring Arlo back home to his family, with the pair then starting on an epic adventure. Truly heart-warming viewing.

Arthur Christmas – 1:45pm Channel 4

James McAvoy takes the helm as Santa Claus’s clumsy yet well-meaning son Arthur, who is left stunned to discover that one little girl has not had her present delivered. Teaming up with rebellious Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), a team of eager reindeer and an enthusiastic elf, Arthur sets out to try and save her Christmas – with varying results. Made by the team behind Wallace and Gromit. Expect the same family feel-good warmth.

The Jungle Book – 3:10pm BBC 1

The Jon Favreau remake of the 1967 classic took nearly a billion dollars at the box office when it was released in 2016, and with its gorgeous CGI effects, it’s easy to see why. The story retells the tale of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves as he faces up against villainous tiger Shere Khan. The film features the classic songs from the Disney classic along with a whole host of familiar voices – with Christopher Walken, Bill Murray and Idris Elba all landing starring roles.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – 3:10pm Channel 5

An oldie but a goodie – Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who revamps an old racing car beloved by his children so it can fly. Fuelled by toe-tappingly good songs and classic dance numbers, families young and old will remain equally beguiled and terrified throughout, with Robert Helpmann’s turn as the Child Catcher likely to haunt your nightmares.

The Muppet Christmas Carol – 4pm Channel 4

Michael Caine stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Muppets retelling of Charles Dickens’s classic. Don’t let the furry exterior fool you though, the story is just as heart-warming as any other remake (but funnier than most). Kermit and Miss Piggy star opposite Caine as the Crachitts, who see a change in Scrooge after he is visited by three Christmas ghosts.

Monsters, Inc – 4:10pm ITV

iAfter a long day’s work scaring children, monster Sulley and his cyclops partner Mike Wazowski realise to their horror that a young girl (who they nickname Boo) has entered the monster world. Disaster ensues.

Captain America: The First Avenger – 6:35pm Film4

One of a number of Marvel origins tales, Captain America tells the story of sickly Steve Rogers, who wants to do his bit in the Second World War and join the American army – only to be rejected for his small stature. Desperate to be of service, Steve is accepted onto an experimental programme which turns him into superhero Captain America – just in time for him to take on the Red Skull and his sinister HYDRA Organisation.

The Greatest Showman – 6:45pm Sky 1

While it initially received mixed reviews from critics, The Greatest Showman has won a legion of fans thanks to its hugely popular musical numbers. The film tells the real-life rags to riches story of ringmaster PR Barnum (Hugh Jackman) who creates his own very special circus. With Hugh Jackman touring songs from the film next year, and the soundtrack album still flying off the shelves, it feels as current as when it was released.

Avengers: Infinity War – 8:00pm Sky Premiere

The most recent instalment of the Avengers franchise sees Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers come together to take on the hugely powerful Thanos in the search for the six Infinity Stones. The film’s shock ending has seen fans eagerly awaiting the sequel, Avengers: Endgame – set to be released next year.

The Silence of the Lambs – 11:20pm ITV 4

In stark contrast to the rest of Christmas Day’s sugary offerings, ITV4 bucks the trend with Jonathan Demme’s thoroughly chilling modern classic The Silence of the Lambs. Jodie Foster stars as young FBI student Clarice Starling, who’s entrusted to interview cannibalistic psychopathic killer Hannibal Lecter (a superb turn by Anthony Hopkins) to gain insight into a case.

Bridget Jones’s Diary – 11:30pm ITV

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Adapted from Helen Fielding’s hugely popular fictional diary, Renee Zellweger plays 30-something Bridget Jones; a chardonnay-swigging, chain-smoking press assistant who’s perpetually single – until she draws the attention of two potential suitors in the shape of Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).


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