Yule Log videos have been around since 1966 when a local New York City station ran the first episode of Yule Log TV. The idea took off, and now Yule Log videos are a Christmas tradition. But if you’re in the mood for a nice Yule Log video, you don’t have to go traditional. Instead, you can watch something that speaks to your inner geek. Check out these picks.
Do you love Doctor Who? Of course, you do; Doctor Who is fantastic. And as such, you’ll enjoy this Yule Log video from the BBC set right in the Tardis. We’ll give a pass on the fact that the stand-in actor for the Doctor is obviously not really Jodie Whittaker, if only because the music sounds like Murray Gold’s work from the 9th through 12th Doctor era.
Keep an eye out for fun little pop-ins from holograms, Tardis ornaments, and even a Tardis train. And the Doctor will show up occasionally to check in on the things as well. We can only imagine the four stockings are for Yaz, Graham, Ryan, and the Doctor herself.
How to Train Your Dragon provided us at least two of the best animated movies from Dreamworks in recent times, and its bittersweet ending in the third movie made up for any other shortcomings it may have had. The How to Train your Dragon Snoggletog Log video combines everything great about the films with all the things we love about Christmas.
You’ll get fun Christmas music, dragons playing and frolicking, an annoyed sheep, and a payoff if you pay attention to the mutton stew. This is one of the few videos that isn’t just a 10-second loop either; the animators put honest effort into it. Which makes it all the better to spend one last time with Toothless, Hiccup, and company.
On the other hand, sometimes simple is good too. In this case, the Sphero team placed one of its BB-8 replicas in front of a fireplace and just filmed away. You’ll find a bit of looping here and several stealth refills of the fireplace logs, but it’s still good fun.
That’s mostly because BB-8 was a highlight of the new Star Wars movies, and you get to hear all his adorable beeps and blips throughout the video. It’s a testament to the toy replica that it’s so much fun to watch when it’s practically doing nothing. This one gets bonus points for some of the best fire popping audio.
Ok, total honest—this is probably the least interesting Yule Log video of the bunch. But then again, the original Yule Log video was a loop of 17-second videos shown for three hours. The LEGO Yule Log is pretty loopy, too (pun intended), and maybe that makes it closer to the original thing.
Still, it’s LEGO, and it’s stop motion. You get some fun moments with a cat, and the fire animation is gorgeous. It’s hard to ask for much more. The LEGO Yule Log video is also the second-best pick if you don’t want festive music.
… and it knows when you’re awake. Here’s another low effort yet purely geeky Yule Log video. Only there’s no Yule Log to be found. Instead, you’ll stare into the eye of Sauron for five hours. It’s the kind of thing only a true Tolkien-nerd can love.
Again, there’s not a lot going on here, and that’s the beauty. It also edges out the LEGO Yule Log for a pick with no music. Only because despite a lack of fire in the video, it has better fireplace pops and hisses.
You can’t have a geeky list without a little bit of Harry Potter. But this Yule Log video stands out because it looks like a miniature set. The video does loop, and the fire reveals that it’s several videos joined together. But it’s a nice subtle entry that won’t ask too much of you.
That is, unless you want to play spot the Harry Potter memorabilia. Whether it’s house symbols, references to the Hogwarts train station, or the occasional burst of floo powder, there’s a lot of “spot the reference” to be found here.
It might be stretching the “geek” term a bit, but there’s something delightful about Nick Offerman and Lagavulin’s Yule Log video. Evoking Ron Swanson from Park and Rec, Offerman simply sits in a chair by the fire for 45 minutes.
No chatter, not talking, not yammering. Just the occasional sip of whisky and the intense burning eyes from the man himself. In some ways, this is the most impressive video because Offerman is a real human, not a CGI effect, cartoon, and not even a looped video like the other entries here. He takes his time and drinks one glass of Lagavulin over the 45-minute video. And despite the simplicity, I say it’s the best entry in the list. We’ve included the ten hours looped version for fun, but you can find the original here.
But there are, of course, plenty more where to watch—especially if you want fan-made videos. Solid options include the Darth Vader burning entry or a simple Animal Crossing-style video. And if you have Disney+, check out the Frozen-themed video. No matter what you choose, have a Merry Christmas from everyone at Review Geek.