The Best Christmas and Holiday Movies on Disney Plus
Ho times three to you all out there looking for the best Christmas and holiday movies on Disney+. Though marketed as the must-have streaming service for fans of Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney classics, Disney+ is actually the streaming service to have if you want to watch Christmas movies year round. It’s loaded with so much holiday cheer, you may get sick.
From colorful animated mainstays and the black-and-white legends of holiday movies to new original films and recycled classics retold with talking ducks, Disney+ basically has everything for the person who refuses to accept that holiday movies should only be watched in December. Here are the best Christmas and holiday films available on Disney+.
It might not specifically be about Christmas, but it’s seasonal. And although you’ve seen Frozen 300 times, what’s one more?
It’s not often that we’d recommend a Christmas movie where Santa Claus DIES, but it’s crucial to the story of Noelle, yet another merry flick in which someone needs to take over the role of Santa. Anna Kendrick is her usual charming self as Santa’s daughter who is tasked with finding her older brother (Bill Hader) after he freaks out and leaves the North Pole because of the pressure to become the new Santa. You’ll be saying “yogurt pants” for weeks after watching this Disney original that premiered with the launch of Disney+.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Everyone from wee little children to mopey goths loves this holiday classic, in which Halloween hero Jack Skellington brings his macabre sense of celebration to Christmas in a misguided attempt to diversify. It’s Tim Burton‘s best movie (tied with Ed Wood) and features Danny Elfman‘s best music (tied with Oingo Boingo’s “We Close Our Eyes”).
In Home Alone, neglectful parents leave their young son (Macaulay Culkin) behind to fend for himself against home invaders. Make sure to watch the supplemental unauthorized bonus feature Home Alone Neighbor, showing Home Alone from the perspective of Kevin’s neighbor.
The Santa Clause
After Tim Allen possibly murders Santa Claus — Santa’s fate is one of cinema’s greatest unsolved mysteries — by scaring him so he falls off a roof, Tim puts on Santa’s suit and assumes the role of Santa, therefore initiating The Santa Clause. The film was so decent enough that it begat two sequels, The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, both of which are also streaming on Disney+. That’s something like six hours of Tim Allen grumbling “ho, ho, ho.”
In Miracle on 34th Street, capitalism, courtrooms, and Christmas clash when a man takes over as Macy’s department store Santa. Either this man is a deranged lunatic, or he is Santa Claus, and by the end, you will believe in miracles… or else.
The obvious choice for a Mickey Mouse Christmas thingy is Mickey’s Christmas Carol, but you’ve heard that story told before a thousand times over (and Muppet Christmas Carol is already on this list). Instead, keep the kiddos’ attention spans with this hourlong collection of three short stories that clock in at around 20 minutes each. The stories involve getting caught in time loops, working overtime to get a gift for a loved who can’t use it anymore, and believing in jolly mythological figures. The Donald Duck short also features an eerie image of a family of ducks salivating over a cooked turkey. Truly twisted!
Kermit the Frog and Michael Caine, Muppet Christmas Carol
Master thespian Michael Caine leads a cast of hands inside felt in The Muppet Christmas Carol, a take on the classic Charles Dickens’ tale A Christmas Carol, in which a businessman is pressured into giving up his wealth through a series of time-travel experiments conducted by specters from beyond the grave. Despite the supernatural horror premise, there is lots of cheerful singing by Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and other Jim Henson creations. But for some, that may be their own brand of personal horror.
After getting spritzed in the face by an overaggressive perfume hawker in a mall, a woman (Amy Smart) is forced to relive Christmas Eve over and over again in a time loop in 12 Dates of Christmas. Luckily, the day includes a date with a hunk (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), who she finds herself slowly falling for. But for him, it’s always the first date. Will she be able to change herself to make the date go just right so they end the evening exchanging spit? The answer may surprise you… if for some reason you think they don’t kiss.
You’ve seen the “guy doesn’t really appreciate Christmas” movie before, but have you ever seen it with teen dreamboat Jonathan Taylor Thomas? In I’ll Be Home for Christmas, JTT goes from a poster on the ceiling over your bed to the television, where he must make a cross-country trip to New York by 6 p.m. Christmas Eve in order to get a Porsche his dad promises him. But after bullies leave him stranded in a California desert in a Santa suit, he misses his flight and must find his own way. It’s worth it alone just to see JTT strain to put his arm around his on-screen girlfriend, played by Jessica Biel, who is a good six inches taller than he is.