Here’s Why Home Alone 2 is an Unmissable Christmas Classic
Home Alone 2 is the sequel to the Christmas Classic Home Alone. While the film keeps the original cast, it makes some stellar additions in the form of Academy Award Winners Brenda Fricker and Tim Curry.
Despite this, the jokes and gags are exaggerated to a point of madness, which makes a mature audience want to look away. Secondly, the name of the film doesn’t fit either. Is he Home Alone, or is he Lost in New York?
The Cartoony humor in ‘Operation Ho Ho Ho’ dominates. However, as one grows older, the gags seem less amusing than what they did a few years ago. Nevertheless, the sequel does not lose its charm even when one questions the gap it had to the prequel. Was it one year or two years?
The charm is retained because of the usage of Christmas symbols and the themes that are subtly explored in this film. It is because of these that the film still holds an appeal amongst audiences and remains a must-watch Christmas delight.
1. Turtle doves
This turtle doves scene is one of the strongest in the film. It sets up the climax and represents a symbolic bond between two individuals who belong to cities (New York and Chicago) that are far away from each other.
It begins when Kevin McCallister finds himself at Duncan’s Toy Chest. He hears of the noble intentions of the proprietor and donates some money to the cause. As a result, the protagonist gets to pick an ornament from the tree. It is here that most people would get to know the symbolism of the doves.
Akin to Kevin, many of us believe that it is a part of the Christmas Carol, ’12 Days of Christmas’. However, even the Carol would have some basis in proper life. The Turtle doves are a symbol of love and fidelity based on the bird that exists in the continent of Europe.
“Turtle doves are a symbol of friendship and love. Keep one and give the other to a very special person. As long as each of you has your turtle dove, you will be friends forever.”
2. The references to Christmas carols and Christmas films
As Kevin makes it to the pigeon lady’s house at Carnegie Hall’s rafters, he gets to peek in at the opera singers. They are in the middle of a rendition of ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’. The joy of the music captures everyone. It is a rendition of pure delight.
The film is laced with Carols throughout its run time that serve to elevate it as a quintessential Christmas classic. We get treated to John Mathis’ ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’, and Andy Williams’ ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the Year’. Furthermore, carols such as ‘Christmas All Over Again’, ‘All Alone for Christmas’, and ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ can serve to get one and all into the Christmas Spirit.
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John Williams’ creation of ‘Somewhere in my Memory’ is an addition to the festival. Upon hearing it, any cinema lover would draw a parallel between the Home Alone series and the festival. The song is one of the modern-day Christmas Carols that has come through because of this Christopher Columbus film.
The shout-outs to classic Christmas films like ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ also work well in driving home the festive theme of Home Alone 2.
3. The toy store and the children’s hospital
Duncan’s Toy Chest looks more like a Christmas-themed store than a toy store. An argument here could be that the production designers constructed the store to represent the festival. The decoration and design lead to a beautiful Christmas Card like setting. It bears a resemblance to films that show us Santa’s workshop and can get the young and old excited about the festival.
It is here that we get introduced to the Children’s Hospital.
The hospital is associated with another of the symbols of Christmas -The Star. It burns bright on the horizon and attracts the attention of the protagonist. The idea that children represent hope and the light that shines brightly despite everything. It is here that he decided to save the joy and happiness and also save the festival from the thieves. Yes, he has much bigger motivations here.
In the first film, he just saves his house. This time, he saves Christmas for many children. John Williams’ Christmas Star raises the magnitude of this scene.
4. The essence of a city during Christmas
Chris Columbus beautifully captures the city of New York around Christmas time. We see the frantic Christmas shoppers all wrapped up against the cold. Furthermore, the filming takes us to iconic locations in The Big Apple. Central Park on Christmas morning is a sight to behold.
The script expertly weaves in the protagonist’s love for one symbol of Christmas, i.e. The Christmas Tree.
“How could you have Christmas without a Christmas tree?”
I’m talking about the scene at the iconic Rockefeller Center. Combined with John Williams’ (Christmas Star) and Kevin’s wish, not for materialistic goods, but for something that is the essence of the festival only helps embed that scene in the audience’s heads long after the credits roll.
Have you seen Home Alone 2: Lost in New York? Do you feel lost in a Christmassy mood after or while watching it?