30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

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A Charlie Brown Christmas, Screencap via ABC

A Charlie Brown Christmas

This iconic Christmas special follows the most lovable loser ever drawn, Charlie Brown. Charlie finds himself increasingly depressed as the holidays approach. As he becomes more and more disillusioned with Christmas, he struggles to define what Christmas is all about. After consulting Linus, Lucy, and his sister Sally, and directing a Christmas play to try to find meaning, Charlie finds value in the holiday spirit of his beagle, the resilience of a little tree, and the kindness of his friends.

The Good

  • Lucy and Sally are, and have always been, empowered, independent little girls. Lucy, with her cardboard psychiatric advice booth, is a born leader. Sally, likewise, knows exactly what she wants, not being afraid to ask Santa for “tens and twenties.”

The Bad

  • The movie’s focus on Charlie makes it such that there is no opportunity for the Bechdel test to even really be attempted, let alone pass. Sally and Lucy don’t really talk to each other, and when Lucy does talk to other girls, it’s to assign roles for the Christmas play. But I don’t think that counts.
  • Charlie Brown is sarcastic to Violet in an attempt to make her feel guilty about not sending him a Christmas card. Charlie, you were just talking about how the commercialization of Christmas is disturbing and sad, and now you’re complaining about not getting a Christmas card from a girl you go to school with? You can’t have it both ways, dude. Also, Violet’s choices are her own. Don’t tell her what to do!

The Ugly

  • The movie ultimately defines Christmas through Linus’s reading of Biblical text, which is manipulative of the children in the audience. A lot of non-religious families celebrate Christmas, and to say that Christmas has no meaning without its religious connotations is problematic.