Five Christmas Blu-rays you need to watch

Get in the Christmas mood with these classic festive films, in wintery-crisp high definition

Once you've unwrapped the Christmas presents and gorged yourself on turkey and all the trimmings, it's time for the traditional Christmas ritual of flopping down in front of the telly. Instead of ploughing through the same old re-runs before sitting through the Queen's speech in 3D, why not slip one of these festive classics into the Blu-ray player for some high definition Yuletide thrills?

The Muppet Christmas Carol

£15, DVDworld USA

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20 years on from The Muppet Christmas Carol, this anniversary edition Blu-ray brings Jim Henson's lovable characters to the screen in pin-sharp clarity – but it's only been released in the US. What to do? Fortunately it's multi-region, so it'll play on UK players. Michael Caine's performance as Scrooge – played dead straight, despite the fact that he's surrounded by Muppets – is a career highlight.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

£8, Play.com

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Tim Burton and director Henry Selick conjure up a world populated by creepy characters and spooky settings – with a centre that's as soft and sweet as a Quality Street. Jack Skellington's well-meaning attempt to bring the magic of Christmas to the residents of Halloween Town is perfectly charming – and Selick's spindly stop motion animation looks pin-sharp in HD.

More after the break...

Arthur Christmas

£15, Play.com

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Created by the talented folks at Aardman Animations, Arthur Christmas is an animated Christmas spectacular that pops out of the screen on the Blu-ray 3D format. It follows the titular Arthur Christmas – unsurprisingly – in his quest to save Christmas after a prezzie goes undelivered. Cue a heart-warming comedy that kids and adults alike will appreciate.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

£5, Amazon UK

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Chevy Chase stars in this comedy classic from the National Lampoon's team. Luckless Clark Griswold's Christmas is – like all his ventures – plagued by bad luck, something which you'll be able to relate to as you wonder how the turkey came out of the oven still frozen after four hours of cooking. Even though everything that can possibly go wrong does, Christmas spirit prevails in this great mix of cringe-worthy, hysterical and sad moments.

Bad Santa

£6, Amazon UK

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Packed with extra goodies and an extended Director's Cut, Bad Santa on Blu-ray plays as well as it looks. Starring Billy Bob Thornton as Willie, Bad Santa is a heart-warming (if potty-mouthed) tale of a selfish, alcoholic thief who discovers that being good has its benefits – eventually. One to slip in the player when the kids have gone to bed and you're rummaging through the liquor cabinet for something other than Advocaat.

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