Who wants to be productive the day after Thanksgiving? We’re all full of delicious food and our bodies are pumped of tryptophan. Maybe you did some shopping this morning, and now you’re exhausted and ready to become one with the couch. But if you have family traditions, you probably watched loads of football and holiday movies yesterday. It’s still a little too early to break out the December classics, so what can you watch to wind down this holiday weekend?
We’ve got just the thing for you. If you’ve already watched Trains, Planes, and Automobiles enough that your assigned NSA agent can recite the script from memory, here are five non-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving movies you can claim you’re watching to stay in the spirit.
Kill two birds with one stone! We’re all dying to rewatch the Spider-Man movies in preparation for Spider-Man: No Way Home coming to theaters next month. Why not start the marathon early with the O.G. Tobey Maguire? Peter, Harry, MJ, May, and Norman all celebrate the holiday together in the boys’ apartment, and Aunt May makes a delicious spread. Even if New York City is a jungle, you can count on Peter to bring the cranberry sauce!
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993)
This is one of those special movies that so many people watched as a kid, nearly forgot about, assumed it was a fever dream, and then later found out was real. We’re Back! is about four dinosaurs brought to the future by a scientist who wants modern children to be able to witness the wonder of prehistoric times. (Huh, kinda sounds like this other 1993 movie I saw once…) The bulk of the movie is about the hijinks the dinos get up to trying to stay out of the public eye – and out of the clutches of the evil ringmaster who wants to enslave them at his circus. One of the tricks they use to blend in is pretending to be animatronics in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!
Addams Family Values (1993)
When you hear The Addams Family (*snap* *snap*) your brain probably jumps straight to October. While the Addams have an indisputable hold on spooky season, they’re around to celebrate some others too. Addams Family Values may take place in the summertime, that doesn’t stop the camp counselors of Camp Chippewa from putting on an egregiously inaccurate Thanksgiving play. If the highly-edited grade school version of the story isn’t your style, it may put a manic smile on your face to watch Wednesday Addams hijack her camp production and burn her summer camp to the ground.
We’re putting this one in the “fever dream movies” category – part two! (Gosh, what was going on in 1993?!) I have no business remember this movie as well as I do considering how long ago I watched it, but this is the kind of movie that makes an impression. It’s one of those films that fits into that specific Footloose trope: big city guy comes to a small town and shakes things up for the better. Pauly Shore plays the most charismatic weirdo you’ve ever seen, head over heels for young Carla Gugino and going home to meet her family for Thanksgiving break. With musical numbers and an all-star cast, it’s a feel good movie that will make you appreciate your family. (Also, since we’re currently in the midst of a Brendan Fraser renaissance, all of us are due for a re-watch.)
Chicken Run (2000)
Somehow this one is both the biggest stretch and the perfect fit for this list. Chicken Run is not about Thanksgiving; it’s not even about turkeys. Yet nothings feels quite so quintessentially “Thanksgiving humor” as a bunch of birds desperately trying to escape their fate of becoming a tasty meal. Chicken Run is a stop-motion film in the style of Wallace and Gromit, and is about a coop of chickens on the Tweedy Farm. The farmers are hatching a plan to turn their home into an automated factory that will cook their chickens into meat pies, while the chickens frantically plot against them and study how to fly. It’s a hilarious movie of slapstick and dry humor. Now that you’ve had your fill of turkey, you’re free to root for the poultry.