While “Die Hard” is normally the debated Christmas/Holiday movie, I present “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' as a perfect movie to get you in the festive spirit. I think it is no debate that the fourth installment is the most holiday-filled movie of the franchise, but I think in addition to that recognition, it deserves a spot on lists of holiday movies as a whole.
The clearest holiday aspect is the Yule Ball. Right in the middle of the movie, when Harry is having issues with the Triwizard Tournament and Ron is upset because he can’t accept that he’s in love with Hermione, viewers get a little pause to, jaw-dropped, watch Hermione walk down the grand stairs. There's upbeat music, dancing, watching Harry and Ron fumble and the overall soaking in of the grand scene of the Christmas dance. One can’t help but feel spirited watching all of the students dress up in their finest holiday attire while eating their holiday feast.
A more implicit holiday theme throughout the movie is generosity. We see Hagrid alert Harry of the first dragon challenge; Harry then alerts Cedric and Cedric reciprocates the gesture by letting Harry know how to open the egg. Hagrid feels protective of Harry and, knowing the danger he is about to face, gives Harry generous information to protect him. Harry, being the upstanding character that he is, feels Cedric needs the same advantage that all of the other competitors are getting. In the giving spirit that spreads around, Cedric feels a bond to Harry and hints to him about the egg clue in the second challenge. The generosity started by Hagrid spread throughout the whole movie, a theme common in many of our holiday classics.
In the second task, Harry also displays the beloved holiday theme of selflessness. Harry gets to spend some lovely time in the murky and dangerous waters of the Hogwarts lake. He’s searching for Ron, who’s been tied underwater in an unknown location. I do always wonder if they had a safety plan in place for this task because I would not be too happy to be dragged into it as a friend of a competitor. Anyways, when Harry gets to the destination of the captured and sees Fleur’s sister with no one to save her, he chooses to rescue both Ron and the sister. The mermaids do not like this plan and try to attack Harry. Harry struggles to the surface, nearly drowning as his gills are wearing off, but acts selflessly in trying to save a competitor’s sister. It was a rather silly move, though, because Hogwarts wasn’t going to just leave the friends in the lake if no one saved them.
The final poignant theme I want to touch on is that of sharing. After months that honestly just seem awful, Harry has finally reached the end of the competition. His last task before him is the maze. Only Harry and Cedric make it to the end, but Cedric owes Harry for saving him from previous danger in the hedges. As they both rush toward the cup, they decide that they should share in the glory together. Unfortunately, this idea ended up not working out for Cedric, but still, the sentiment is nice.
I want to conclude my ode to the holiday-ness of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' by mentioning the whole ambiance. A cloudy sky backdrops much of the setting and flecks of snow are often falling around the grounds. The common room is seriously winter room goals, and I can picture myself getting warm by the large fireplace, or maybe even off of the heat from a dragon’s flame. I can’t end this piece without mentioning the uncanny resemblance Dumbledore has to Santa nor the love in the air between Harry and Cho. At your next Christmas gathering, when someone suggests “Elf,” I recommend that you think outside the box and instead turn on “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”