March Madness: Holiday Movies – Round of 32

Alright y’all, that was very exciting! For the most part things went down as expected. There were a couple of close games and one match-up that came down to Mrs. Clumsy Optimist pulling in to fulfill her duty as official bracket game tie-breaker for the first time in years. (She doesn’t vote unless there is a tie).

The seeding this year, although completely and wholly biased as I went along, seems to have been just about right. The Animated Region went completely scratch and the Classic Region also went scratch with the exception of an 8/9 match-up that always seems like it can go either way. We basically only had two real upsets, with an 11 seed in the Modern Region and a VERY strong 13 seed in the Non-Typical Region making it through.

The second round begins now and voting will end Wednesday, March 24 at 5pm Central. There are already some damn near impossible choices to be made.

But first — Let’s get on to the results! Remember all “scores” are percentages from voting.


(1) It’s a Wonderful Life vs (16) Babes in Toyland

Our number one overall seed It’s a Wonderful Life got off to a quick start against the 16 seed Babes in Toyland, knocking off the Babes 92-8.

(8) A Christmas Carol (1951) vs (9) The Santa Clause

The OG Christmas Carol ran into a buzzsaw in the first round, falling to 9 seed The Santa Clause 86-14. I was a little surprised by this result in how easily the Clause made it.

(5) Miracle on 34th St. vs (12) Little Women

The 5 seed Miracle on 34th St. kept the high seed streak going as they took out Little Women 75-25. Little Women is only sort of kind of a Christmas movie anyway so this is probably for the best.

(4) Home Alone vs (13) Meet Me in St. Louis

Four seed Home Alone is my dark horse pick to win this whole thing from outside the 1 or 2 spot. They got off to a roaring start almost blanking 13 seed Meet Me in St. Louis by a final of 97-3.

(6) Home Alone 2 vs (11) The Man Who Invented Christmas

The follow-up McCallister vehicle almost pulled off the same feat as Home Alone 2 crushed 11 seed The Man Who Invented Christmas 95-5.

(3) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation vs (14) It Happened on 5th Avenue

Another flick that is going to be a tough out, 3 seed Christmas Vacation just demolished the 14 seed It Happened on 5th Avenue by a final of 97-3.

(7) White Christmas vs (10) Holiday Inn

Our Bing Crosby face off saw two of the best face off as the 7 seed White Christmas had an easier time than I expected with 10 seed Holiday Inn winning the day 88-12.

(2) A Christmas Story vs (15) The Santa Clause 2

The last game of the first round for the Classic Region saw the pink nightmare 2 seed A Christmas Story take out the Tim Allen follow-up 15 seed The Santa Clause 2 by a final of 84-16.


(1) Elf vs (16) A Christmas Prince

Elf is going to be a tough out. 16 seed A Christmas Prince found that out the hard way, falling to the 1 seed 97-3.

(8) The Preacher’s Wife vs (9) The Christmas Chronicles

Our second 8/9 match-up went the way of the lower seed as The Christmas Chronicles knocked off a strong contender in 8 seed The Preacher’s Wife by a final of 71-29.

(5) The Holiday vs (12) Jack Frost

5 seed The Holiday knocked off 12 Jack Frost 64-36. Jack Black > Jack Frost is basically what I’m seeing here.

(4) Jingle All the Way vs (13) Almost Christmas

I had a feeling this one was going to be a little one sided. People love them some Ah-nold. Closer than anticipated as the 14 seed Almost Christmas was taken out by the 4 seed Jingle All the Way 78-22.

(6) The Best Man Holiday vs (11) Four Christmases

Our first real upset saw the 11 seed Four Christmases take out The Best Man Holiday by a final of 79-21. This one was never really close.

(3) Love Actually vs (14) Christmas With the Kranks

Every year one match-up completely comes out of left field and surprises the heck out of me. This was the one. I know there’s a lot of hate for Love Actually but I didn’t see the 14 seed Christmas With the Kranks putting up this much of a fight. This game ended up in a 50-50 tie that had to be broken by Mrs. Clumsy Optimist. As such, the 3 seed Love Actually moves on.

(7) The Night Before (2015) vs (10) Trading Places

Seven seed The Night Before is a fun movie. 10 seed Trading Places gave them all they could handle but came up a bit short. The final here was 60-40.

(2) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) vs (15)Last Christmas

Some people love our 2 seed, Jim Carrey’s version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Some people completely loathe it entirely. I was curious to see how this one fared in our tournament. They got off on the right foot, taking out 15 seed Last Christmas 89-11.


(1) Charlie Brown Christmas vs (16) Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Our 1 seed in the Animated Region is a lot of people’s favorite. Charlie Brown Christmas got off to a good start against another iteration of A Christmas Carol, knocking out the 16 seed 86-14.

(8) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town vs (9) The Year Without a Santa Claus

This was a fun match-up with two of my favorite stop motion animation Christmas films going against each other right out of the gate. Nine seed The Year Without a Santa Claus just couldn’t hang with Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town with the 8 seed moving on via a 79-21 victory.

(5) The Muppet Christmas Carol vs (12) The Grinch (2018)

This match-up surprised me as well. There are a bunch of versions of The Grinch and the 2018 cartoon is a good one but I thought it stood no chance against 5 seed The Muppet Christmas Carol. In the end the 5 seed moves on but it was closer than anticipated as the final was 55-45.

(4) The Nightmare Before Christmas vs (13) Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

A very strong 4 seed in The Nightmare Before Christmas started off the tournament by knocking off everyone’s favorite warm hug loving snowman beating Olaf’s Frozen Adventure 61-39.

(6) Frosty the Snowman vs (11) The Polar Express

The elder snowman proved he still has it as 6 seed Frosty the Snowman knocked out a divisive 11 seed The Polar Express in a close one 57-43.

(3) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer vs (14) Klaus

Our red-nosed boy Rudy got off on the right foot just clobbering the 14 seed Klaus 89-11.

(7) Mickey’s Christmas Carol vs (10) Eight Crazy Nights

Yet another version of A Christmas Carol sees our friends in the Mickey universe put a great spin on it. They took out a movie I watch every year to the consternation of my wife in Eight Crazy Nights by a final of 69-31. Nice.

(2) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) vs (15) Arthur Christmas

The OG Grinch set out to win the whole thing and got off to a good start with a 89-11 victory over newcomer 15 seed Arthur Christmas.


(1) Die Hard vs (16) While You Were Sleeping

I’ve been told I horribly underseeded While You Were Sleeping. Apologies all around. As it stands, our 1 seed Die Hard took em out 78-22.

(8) Edward Scissorhands vs(9) Deck the Halls

Edward Scissorhands is a beautifully weird movie and I love it. They had all they could handle with 9 seed Deck the Halls finding a way to a win via a 57-43 victory.

(5) Krampus vs (12) Black Christmas (1974)

I only recently watch Krampus for the first time thanks to the Room 237 podcast and I could not be happier that my friend turned me on to this movie. The 5 seed beat out one of the firsts to do the horror Christmas genre well knocking out 1974’s Black Christmas 83-17.

(4) Office Christmas Party vs (13) Batman Returns

Boy. This one was very interesting to me. 4 seed Office Christmas Party is one of my new favorites. Batman Returns is a friggen classic. As it turns out, yall were equally unsure what to do with this match-up as the 13 seed pulls the biggest upset of the tournament so far knocking out the 4 seed by ONE VOTE(!) 51-49.

(6) Eyes Wide Shut vs (11) Silent Night, Deadly Night

Six seed Eyes Wide Shut made short work of 11 seed Silent Night, Deadly Night by a final of 72-28.

(3) Gremlins vs (14) Mixed Nuts

It’s been a while since I sat down and watched our 3 seed Gremlins. Really need to rectify that soon. These creepy little guys took out 14 seed Mixed Nuts 86-14.

(7) Bad Santa vs (10) Anna and the Apocalypse

This weird little match-up saw the 7 seed Bad Santa hold off newcomer Anna and the Apocalypse by a final of 62-38.

(2) Scrooged vs (15) A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

Our last match-up of the opening round was never in doubt as 2 seed Scrooged fought off 15 seed A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 74-26.

That leaves us with our bracket looking like this:

Round of 32


(1) It’s a Wonderful Life vs (9) The Santa Clause

(4) Home Alone vs (5) Miracle on 34th St.

(3) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation vs (6) Home Alone 2

(2) A Christmas Story vs (7) White Christmas


(1) Elf vs (9) The Christmas Chronicles

(4) Jingle All the Way vs (5) The Holiday

(3) Love Actually vs (11) Four Christmases

(2) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) vs (7) The Night Before (2015)


(1) Charlie Brown Christmas vs (8) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

(4) The Nightmare Before Christmas vs (5) The Muppet Christmas Carol

(3) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer vs (6) Frosty the Snowman

(2) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) vs (7) Mickey’s Christmas Carol


(1) Die Hard vs (8) Edward Scissorhands

(5) Krampus vs (13) Batman Returns

(3) Gremlins vs (6) Eyes Wide Shut

(2) Scrooged vs (7) Bad Santa

We never seed based on what future match-ups could result but I always love when things shake out and you end up with some match-ups that just fit so well (Frosty vs Rudolph in this round, White Christmas vs Holiday Inn, and Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town vs The Year Without a Santa Claus from the Round of 64). I’m already completely unsure on how to vote on a lot of these films. Most of the time these tough of decisions don’t come until at least the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. Polls are open and will stay open until 5pm Central time on Wednesday the 24th.

Alright everybody, let’s get to voting! See you guys on Thursday with our Sweet 16!

One thought on “March Madness: Holiday Movies – Round of 32

  1. Pingback: March Madness: Holiday Movies – Sweet 16 – The Clumsy Optimist

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