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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

My top three flicks for ‘Turkey Day’

For a holiday that has seemingly become more popular over the years and is close in proximity to Christmas, I have realized that Thanksgiving movies are actually quite hard to come by. To be fair, I guess it would be difficult, and a bit nauseating, to show a family stuffing their face with a mountain of food as a two-hour feature film, but I digress.  

There are two specific movies and one animated short that I try to watch around Thanksgiving though, and perhaps you might find them as suitable representatives for a holiday that has rarely had its moment on the big screen. 

The clear top choice in my book is John Hughes’ 1987 classic, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” Neal, played by Steve Martin, is on a business trip in New York City just days before Thanksgiving. Hoping to return to his family in Chicago for the holiday, Neal’s travel plans start to go haywire after his flight from LaGuardia Airport is delayed. He meets John Candy’s character, Del, along the way and the pair must navigate the weather, a lack of funds, and different modes of transportation, all while dealing with each other’s tiresome idiosyncrasies.  

While the movie is a comedy, there are several emotional moments, especially near the end, like when Del reveals that he is a widower who has no home or family to spend Thanksgiving with. Neal, soon to reunite with his wife and kids, invites Del to his house for dinner in what I consider to be one of the most sentimental endings in movie history.  

My second choice is Wes Anderson’s 2009 hit, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” I understand that the film is not technically Thanksgiving themed, but there is plenty of fall foliage and food-related content throughout the movie to keep you occupied. Take for instance one of the antagonists, Walter Boggis, who scarfs down three large birds as part of every meal.  

Anderson’s films always have a specific feel to them, especially through color, and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is no different. Anderson perfects a warm, fuzzy and autumnal feel in this movie with a color palette that is primarily made up of brown, orange, yellow and red.  

The ensemble cast, which includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray, to name a few, all play their characters to a tee, highlighting the love and hysteria that is so common during the holiday season.  

My last Thanksgiving must-watch is “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” from 1973. As a kid, my parents would often show me their favorite shows and movies, so I am no stranger to any of the Brown holiday specials.  

There are so many timeless moments from the short, such as Lucy pulling the football away as Brown tries to kick it, Snoopy whipping up a dinner consisting of toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans, and Linus reciting a prayer that details the First Thanksgiving in 1621. Upon every rewatch, this one sticks out to me as a kind-hearted, innocent reminder of childhood nostalgia.  


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Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes, Sports Editor

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