Thanksgiving Movies Leave a Lot to Be Desired. America Needs a New One—Let's Make It 'Coco'

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It’s an annual fall ritual for which few culture writers would want to give thanks. Every November, representatives from your favorite websites—including, yes, WIRED—gather to discuss Thanksgiving-week content. (Or “gobblecon,” as it’s called in the biz.) Without fail, someone in the room eventually asks that most doomed of questions: “What about a roundup of great Thanksgiving movies everyone can watch together?”

And then ... silence. There’s no satisifying answer. As far as family-viewing holiday films go, Thanksgiving is nearly as underrepresented as Whacking Day. You could program 12 straight days’ worth of Christmas movies, from It’s a Wonderful Life to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians to Elf. Independence Day has, well, Independence Day. You could even celebrate Easter by throwing on the gorgeous but terrifying rabbit tale Watership Down, providing you hate your children.

When it comes to crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving entries, though, the pickings are slim. The default answers are usually the delightful Steve Martin/John Candy travelogue Planes, Trains and Automobiles or Jodie Foster’s Home for the Holidays, a 1995 comedy-drama about a tumultuous get-together. They’re both fine entries, but neither is exactly made for family viewing: Home features more squabbling than gobbling, while Planes is rated R, mostly because of a bunch of Fs).

And if you’re looking for decent Thanksgiving-specific kids’ movies, you’re pretty much out of luck. There’s not even an animated musical called Sasquash, which is a shame because that seems like the kind of film that could net a savvy studio exec billions of dollars, and the songs are already written (please direct script queries to [email protected]).

Clearly, it’s time for a new Thanksgiving movie tradition—a unanimously agreed-upon film that earnestly celebrates the holiday’s values of family, food, and a general sense of shared history. As it turns out, the perfect ...

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