As Christmas looms near, everyone has their favorite Christmas movies to watch. But what about the movies that sound the best, especially on a custom home theater?
You know that I’m an audiophile (someone who loves great sound quality), so when I think about favorite movies, I especially like those with a great soundtrack or that have amazing sound quality.
You know how much I like the Dolby Atmos system, but unfortunately there are very few DVDs using it. Most of them are science fiction and superhero movies. I guess they want all the explosions to be heard in 3D. No Christmas movies though.
But you also know that I know how you can get true surround sound in a home theater and these three movies will all sound great for different reasons.
So here are some favorite Christmas movies that will sound terrific on your custom home theater:
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Who knew that Danny Elfman, the goofy-looking frontman for the 80’s new wave band Oingo Boingo, would turn out to be a prolific and iconic composer? From Beetlejuice to Batman to Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to Men in Black, you couldn’t watch some of the greatest movies in the 80’s and 90’s without Elfman’s bouncy quirky soundtracks.
The Nightmare Before Christmas has become a holiday classic. You get to choose if it’s a Halloween or Christmas movie.
The soundtrack though is complete Elfman … but Christmas. It sounds big and orchestral – perfect for a system with a solid woofer – but it’s also pop and it just makes you happy. Crank it up on your outdoor speakers if you want to make your neighbors happy too!
I have no idea why “What’s This?” hasn’t become part of the regular Christmas song rotation. Oh well.
2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Made in 1965, you’re unfortunately not going to find this on any Blu-ray DVDs with a remixed soundtrack (well, there is something but it’s the documentary that’s remixed). So watching the movie in your custom home theater is much more about nostalgia than the total sound quality.
But the original soundtrack, the wistful “Christmas Time is Here,” and “Linus and Lucy” (you know the song – it’s basically the Peanuts theme now), will have you floating on enough nostalgia that you won’t notice the lack of fidelity.
What you can get that will sound better is the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack (Remastered & Expanded Edition) by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
You can set your smart home automation to play it every night when you get home to get in the holiday mood.
1. Die Hard
Yes, it’s a Christmas movie! Even though Bruce Willis says no.
It takes place on Christmas Eve. John McClane is there for a Christmas party. He’s even there for a Christmas miracle – to perhaps reconcile with his wife.
There are holiday references throughout. He straps a weapon to his back with Season’s Greetings tape and he writes “Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho” on one of the bad guys’ sweatshirts.
And of course, there is Christmas music throughout the soundtrack including a cool snippet of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in a really dark tone, “Winter Wonderland,” “Let it Snow,” and “Christmas in Hollis” by Run D.M.C.
Plus there’s a huge explosion at the end.
Doesn’t get more Christmas-sounding than that!