Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather round a table and be thankful for everything they have. Turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce all get passed around the table and everyone eats their fill.
After the table has been cleared, dishes been scrubbed clean and put in the dishwasher, it is time to fall back on the couch and enjoy the tryptophan induced coma and watch some fantastic movies. While Thanksgiving is not necessarily a huge topic in movies, there are some examples that have used the holiday to show why family and friends are important.
Here are my top 5 favorite Thanksgiving movies (in no particular order).
The Blind Side
The Blind Side was the heartwarming story of Michael Oher who grew up in horrible conditions in Memphis, TN but through persistence and hardship and hard work, he became one of the best football players in the country with the help of a family willing to call him their son.
Now this movie might not scream Thanksgiving, one of the most touching and memorable scenes came when his adopted family, the Tuohy’s, were celebrating Thanksgiving. Now presumably, Michael had never had a Thanksgiving dinner and when he was presented with all that food, he did what he thought was supposed to happen; he took his plate to the dinner table and began to eat.
The family upon seeing this, were instantly reminded what Thanksgiving was all about, spending time with people who you love. In this one simple scene, Michael went from the kid who would sleep on the couch to part of the family.
This video also reminds people to be thankful for what you have because there are people in worse situation.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
You might not realize it but Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is in fact a Thanksgiving movie. It does take some careful listening and inferring to understand this fact. The mom makes two references to turkeys at the end of the movie; once at the beginning and the last time at the end. Also, Chance is heard yelling “TURKEY! Turkey, turkey, turkey.”
Just like the Blind Side, this movie extols the virtues of family and its importance and adds a little (read: a whole heaping scoop full) of Disney magic. This is one of my all-time favorite movies and I still tear up when I watch the end even though I have the entire thing memorized.
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Charlie Brown is an American classic. When I was little, my family used to gather around the television and we would all watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving together. No matter how repetitive Charlie Brown is, I will still laugh and snort along.
I still feel bad when Patty takes the football away from Charlie Brown when he tries to kick it. To make matters worse during Thanksgiving, Patty invites herself, as well as the entire gang, over to Charlie Browns house for Thanksgiving. In the end however, Charlie Brown learns that, along with every other character in a Thanksgiving movie, sharing with friends and family is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
All Neal Page wants to do is to fly home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. That is not gonna happen. When he meets a salesman named Del Griffith who leads him across the country in a wild goose chase.
Both John Candy and Steve Martin star in this classic Thanksgiving movie and have a knack for making horrible situations quite funny for the viewer. While this movie does not make the viewer experience a wide range of emotions like Homeward Bound, it still is a classic movie that has two of the funniest comedians of their time.
Home for the Holidays
Maybe going home is not always a good thing after all. This is what Claudia Larson learns after she gets fired from her job. She starts to wonder if she can survive the holidays with them while her brother, played by Robert Downy Jr. wonders if she is actually part of a baboon family.
This hilarious comedy puts a wonderfully comedic spin on family time and makes the viewer think back to their own kooky family gatherings.
In the end, however, spending time with family is still the best thing someone could ask for, not matter what family a person has.