Thanksgiving Movies


By Simona Zaunius

Whether it’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” or “Scream,” many people watch movies or TV specials to get in the holiday spirit. This tradition is mostly practiced around Halloween and Christmas. Though people are already hyping up about the most wonderful time of the year, here are some movies to get you in the spirit of this month’s long-overlooked holiday: Thanksgiving.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Based on the comic strip Peanuts, this holiday special revolves around Charlie Brown and his gang. When Peppermint Patty invites herself, Marcie and Franklin over to Charlie’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, Charlie finds himself in a pickle, only knowing how to cook “cold cereal and maybe toast.” Linus comes over, and with the help of his dog Snoopy and Woodstock, they attempt to create a Thanksgiving feast. This Emmy-award winning classic is a perfect thing to watch with family. It teaches to be thankful for what you have, which is what this holiday is all about.


This dramedy is about a construction worker, Dutch. He is dating Natalie, who is divorced and has  a 13-year-old son. In attempt to please his girlfriend, Dutch offers to drive her son, Doyle, from his boarding school to Natalie’s home in Chicago for Thanksgiving. Doyle despises Dutch’s working-class background, and blames his mother for the divorce. A hilarious road-trip film ensues.

Though it’s rated PG-13, it’s clean enough to watch with smaller kids. Just make sure to get your parents’ permission first.

Home For the Holidays

Amazing actors like Robert Downey Jr., Dylan McDermott, and Anne Bancroft star in this classic romantic dramedy. When Claudia’s daughter opts out of Thanksgiving dinner with her mother, Claudia goes back to her childhood home and gathers her family for an epic holiday dinner. Claudia finds herself stressed with the dinner, tired of her family, and strangely attracted to her brother’s friend, Leo Fish. This film has been categorized as “biting comedy” that leads to a “satisfying conclusion.” It’s rated PG-13, so it might be wise to look into it a bit more before watching to see if it’s the right film.

Planes Trains and Automobiles

Planes Trains and Automobiles; possibly one of the most classic Thanksgiving films. It focuses on Neal Page and Del Griffith. Neal Page just wants to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. However, a freak snowstorm blows the plane off course and ends up in Kansas. He and Del Griffith, an extremely talkative man, are forced to bunk together “The impromptu duo’s nearly failed attempt to return from a business trip in time for Thanksgiving dinner leads to a likeable stint of self-discovery.” states. This classic, though hilarious, is rated R. Be sure to check with everyone watching to see if they’re ok with that.

Pieces of April

This last dramedy is about April, who discovers her mother is dying from cancer. Though usually isolated and rebellious, upon hearing the news she invites the entire family over for Thanksgiving dinner. April inevitably runs into trouble and must ask her neighbor to help. This peculiar comedy comes to a satisfying conclusion, making up for its “amateur pallor.” It’s rated PG-13.

Make the most of this underrated holiday. Light a scented candle, snuggle up in a blanket, and put on one of these classic, Thanksgiving movies.

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