Brits rank the most iconic festive film characters

Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold-hearted miser from A Christmas Carol, has been crowned as the most iconic festive film character.

The legendary Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, from Home Alone and Will Ferrell’s Buddy from Elf come in second and third respectively, following the protagonist originally from Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella.

A Christmas Carol protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge, here played by Michael Caine, has been named the most iconic festive film character


A Christmas Carol protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge, here played by Michael Caine, has been named the most iconic festive film characterCredit: Alamy
The actor took on Charles Dickens' character in A Muppet Christmas Carol


The actor took on Charles Dickens’ character in A Muppet Christmas CarolCredit: Handout

The character has been depicted by many famous actors – including the likes of Michael Caine in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The poll of 2,000 film fans saw The Grinch, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, came in fourth while, controversially, John McClane, from the unconventional festive flick Die Hard, rounded off the top five Christmas films.

Those surveyed also declared the adorable Zuzu Bailey’s delivery of “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings” from It’s a Wonderful Life as the best Christmas movie quote.

While Home Alone 2’s “Merry Christmas, you filthy animal” came a close second.

It was also revealed more than half (52 per cent) think classic Christmas films evoke feelings of nostalgia, while 64 per cent say these films bring beloved childhood memories.

A spokesperson for Vue, which commissioned the study to mark the launch of its festive film programme, said: “Christmas and brilliant films are one of the most iconic duos – and these famous characters and lines certainly get us in the mood for the big day.

“Each Christmas film has such a unique way to raise our spirits at this time of year and often what makes them hold a special place in our hearts are those little lines and scenes that fill us with festive cheer.

“That’s why at Vue we are thrilled to be able to share those magical Christmas moments with cinema-goers as we enjoy some of our favourites on the big screen, as they were meant to be seen.”

To celebrate some of the nation’s favourite Christmas film icons, Vue has created a puzzle to challenge film fans to spot some familiar festive faces in a packed cinema.

It comes after 61 per cent of those polled will typically watch more films than usual at Christmas, with more than half (56 per cent) choosing to watch with their partners.

While four in 10 enjoy these films with their kids, and almost one in five watch with their siblings.

More than one in four (28 per cent) will typically watch a handful of festive favourites each year.

But 29 per cent start watching their festive favourites from the beginning of December, while a fifth will hold off until the week building up to the big day.

Nearly six in 10 believe watching Christmas films is one of the highlights of the entire festive period, while 71 per cent believe Christmas wouldn’t feel the same without these films.

The survey, carried out via OnePoll, went on to ask about Christmas traditions – with almost six in 10 (59 per cent) claiming that watching movies together is a family tradition.

Decorating the tree, tucking into a turkey with all the trimmings and telling bad jokes from crackers were other fond Christmas pastimes.

And for one in 10 heading to the cinema is part of the festive traditions.

Of these, 68 per cent love seeing their favourite Christmas characters on the big screen and 62 per cent believe it’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle.

In fact, 71 per cent say it’s their family traditions that make Christmas so special, while 86 per cent believe an important part of Christmas is making time to spend quality time with their loved ones.

The spokesperson from Vue [myvue.com], added: “Over Christmas it’s so important that we get together and share the wonder with our friends and family to make the occasion as special as possible.

“Christmas films are one of the popular traditions that help ignite memories and give the season a special sense of occasion that brings loved ones together.”

Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, played by Macaulay Culkin, came in second


Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, played by Macaulay Culkin, came in secondCredit: Alamy
Will Ferrell's adorable Buddy from Elf polled in third place


Will Ferrell’s adorable Buddy from Elf polled in third placeCredit: Alamy
Bruce Willis' Die Hard also made the list


Bruce Willis’ Die Hard also made the listCredit: Alamy


Does your festive favourite make the top 20?

  1. Ebeneezer Scrooge – A Christmas Carol
  2. Kevin McCallister – Home Alone
  3. Buddy – Elf
  4. The Grinch – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  5. John McClane — Die Hard
  6. Ghost of Christmas Present – Scrooged
  7. Gizmo – Gremlins
  8. Jack Skellington – Nightmare Before Christmas
  9. The Conductor – The Polar Express
  10. Bird Lady – Home Alone 2
  11. Susan Walker – Miracle On 34th Street
  12. Billy Mack — Love Actually
  13. Rizzo the Rat – Muppet Christmas Carol
  14. Karen – Love Actually
  15. Cousin Eddie – Christmas Vacation
  16. Wilie – Bad Santa
  17. The Octopus Kid – Love Actually
  18. The Kid – Bad Santa
  19. Luther Krank – Christmas with The Kranks
  20. Ralphie – A Christmas Story
Where are the Home Alone cast now?

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