Get that popcorn popping, and make sure you save some to string around the tree, because it’s time to countdown Kentucky’s favorite Christmas movies!
Now that it’s officially December, we here at BetKentucky.com are taking a holiday from Kentucky sports betting to shine a bright red spotlight on the Bluegrass State’s love of Christmas movies. With the help of our analytics team, we’ve identified the five films Kentuckians love most during the Yuletide season.
To make our list — and don’t worry we’ve checked it twice — BetKentucky.com started with the top 40 most searched for Christmas movies from around the world, according to web analytics platform AhRefs. Then we used Google Trends to narrow it down based on search engine interest from inside the state of Kentucky. So without further ado, here are the five favorite Christmas movies according to Kentucky residents.
Kentucky’s Favorite Christmas Movies
The Grinch Steals the No. 1 Spot
Although the Whoville population may feel differently, Kentucky loves The Grinch.
Released in theatres on Nov. 17, 2000, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is a live action adaptation of the Dr. Seuss children’s book, which was released 43 years earlier. Even though it’s Kentucky’s favorite Christmas movie, and was a huge box office hit, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” actually received pretty bad reviews when it first came out. Critics struggled with the dark tone and the film’s strange, off-beat vibe. However, Jim Carrey’s prosthetic-laden performance as the titular Grinch has been universally praised.
But there’s another reason why the movie has stuck in the imagination of Kentucky and the rest of the world for over two decades — “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” brought us the iconic holiday single “Where are you Christmas?” Although most notably performed and co-written by Faith Hill, in the film the song is sung by Taylor Momsen, who played Cindy Lou Who. Momsen would grow up to become the lead singer of rock’n’roll band The Pretty Reckless.
‘Polar Express,’ ‘Home Alone’ Tie for Second
Kentucky’s second favorite Christmas movie is a dead heat between “The Polar Express” and “Home Alone.”
Like “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” a children’s book also inspired “The Polar Express” — this one written by Chris Van Allsburg, who’s responsible for the book’s distinctive illustrations as well. The 2004 adaptation is directed by Robert Zemeckis, who utilized the relatively recent innovation of motion capture technology to digitally animate the film’s performances, which allowed actor Tom Hanks to play six different roles, with six distinct voices.
Fans of the movie should consider seeking out one of Kentucky’s real-life Polar Express experiences for kids and their families. A Google search will yield plenty of attractions that allow you to celebrate Christmas aboard a train, just like in the movie.
Meanwhile, we cannot recommend trying to re-create the plot of “Home Alone” for your kids. The 1990 holiday classic stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a precocious 9-year-old who must defend his home against a duo of petty thieves after he’s left behind on the family’s Christmas vacation to Paris.
Plenty of Love for ‘Elf’
Rounding out our list of the Bluegrass State’s top five Kentucky movies are the Will Ferrell family comedy “ELF” — a fish out of water story about a man raised as one of Santa’s elves, who is relocated to New York City — and the 1983 holiday classic “A Christmas Story.” Set in the 1940s, “A Christmas Story” follows a young boy named Ralphie who wants nothing more than to unwrap an air rifle from underneath the tree on Christmas morning.
If you want to unwrap a few winning wagers this holiday season, continue reading BetKentucky.com for the lastest on Kentucky betting apps.
Jeff Parker is a writer for BetKentucky.com. A writer for film, television, and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with an actual Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full-time as a documentary filmmaker and producer.