Last updated: 01:10 PM ET, Tue December 29 2015

5 Best Holiday Travel Movies

Entertainment | Rich Thomaselli | December 29, 2015

5 Best Holiday Travel Movies

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Holiday travel can be filled with anxiety, frustration, anger, silliness, humor and enough plot points to make a major motion picture. In fact, they have. Several times over. Here are five you will likely find enjoyable. (In no particular order)

5) “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

This was a well-done homage — or parody — of the old “The Road To …” pictures with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Steve Martin is an advertising executive trying to get from New York to home in time for holiday dinner with his wife and children in Chicago by way of Wichita and St. Louis, among other places. John Candy is a traveling salesman (shower curtain rings, which in and of itself is funny). They are thrown together by fate.

Two classic scenes — Martin trying to rent a car in which he gets to the rental counter and hilariously utters 17 F-bombs in about 80 seconds to the agent. And, of course, the “Those aren’t pillows!” scene. And if you don’t get that reference, well, you’re just going to have to watch it.

2) “Home Alone”

A travel movie? Well, yeah, actually. While the entire movie centers around a young Macaulay Culkin inadvertently left home alone to defend his house against two nitwit robbers, the whole premise would not have happened if all 2,224 members of his family — including his parents — hadn’t realized they left a child behind while in the air on their way from Chicago to Paris.

There are numerous plot holes — the home phone is out, nobody thinks to call a relative or friend to even go over and check on the kid, etc. — but it’s still an enjoyable film. The travel adventure by the mother, including a ride with the above-mentioned John Candy, is a fun part of the flick.

3) “The Polar Express”

Another classic. The movie, in all its digital glory, is based on the 1985 book Chris Van Allsburg, about a boy who is on his own travel journey to the North Pole by way of the Polar Express train. Actor Tom Hanks voices the conductor, and several other characters in the movie.

4) “Elf”

Will Ferrell as one of Santa’s elves who takes a journey to find his real family. Need we really say anymore?

5) “The Santa Clause”

Tim Allen is a Detroit ad executive who accidentally and inadvertently causes the death of Santa Claus, only to find the Santa “clause” — he must take over as Kris Kringle himself. The travels between Detroit and the North Pole, and the ultimate journey around the world on Christmas Eve, help bring this new twist on the SC story to new heights.


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