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There’s no shame in adding “Let It Go” to your Christmas playlist. The holidays are all about family, and some families are all about Disney. It’s been a few years since Disney+ officially launched, and there’s more content on the streaming service than ever before. While we’ve all loved reliving our childhood and rewatching our favorite Disney princess movies, now that the holidays are right around the corner, there’s only one thing that matters: Christmas movies. Both Hallmark and Netflix do it really well in that department, but there are some holiday movies you can only find on Disney+, and if anyone’s trying to get into the spirit this year, here’s exactly where to start.
1. The ultimate Christmas present
If you haven’t already seen this Disney Channel Original Movie, make it your priority to do so immediately. Starring Brenda Song and Hallee Hirsh, this film is about two kids who wish they could have a snow day in California, and when they figure out how to make it happen, they seriously regret it.
It’s not Christmas, but there is…snow. Would you rather recommend Olaf’s Frozen Adventurethe Christmas card? It’s also available on Disney+, but giving OG a rewatch is probably the best plan.
3. Frozen II
Just as much as the original Frozen is a Christmas movie, that too Frozen II. It totally counts! And in many ways it’s actually much better than the first film, in my opinion. The “show yourself” scene alone, man.
4. A magical Christmas
This 1985 film stars Mary Steenburgen, a grocery store worker who is not in the Christmas spirit because her husband is unemployed (2020 mood, TBH). Then her daughter meets an angel and they team up to stop her from being such a snitch.
5.’It was the night
Add another Disney Channel Original to the list! Bryan Cranston stars as a man who ends up taking Santa’s sleigh on a joyride with his nephew…something Walter White would never do.
6. A Christmas carol
This story has been done a million ways a million different times, but if you’re tired of seeing the Muppets or Mickey and Minnie take these roles, why not watch Jim Carrey do his thing? In this 2009 computer-animated version of the classic story, Jim plays Ebenezer Scrooge and all three ghosts.
7. I will be home for Christmas
Time to rekindle the flame you carried for Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a teenager. I know you’re all on Disney+ wallowing in 90s nostalgia anyway, so why not rewatch the JTT Christmas Adventure? This movie is about a college kid who is lured to his estranged family by the promise of a new car, which is about as logical as the average Hallmark Christmas movie.
8. The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
Probably the best, or most popular, Christmas movie on Disney+ is this classic version by Charles Dickens. Besides all your favorite Muppets, the film stars Michael Caine as Scrooge. It’s also the film that gave us the song and phrase ‘One More Sleep Till Christmas’ – we are an absolute legend!
Super important announcement: the “When Love Is Gone” song cut is now on Disney+ as a bonus feature accompanying the film. Turn it up if you want a good Christmas scream.
9. The sound of music
This is a bit of a stretch, but “My Favorite Things” tends to end up on most Christmas music playlists anyway. Does anyone really know why that is? Is it just because there are snowflakes and gifts mentioned in the text? Let’s just go with it and rewatch the classic musical this holiday season.
The best way to describe the Disney+ original Christmas movie is “Elf meets Anna Kendrick,” but it’s a little more than that. Anna plays Santa’s daughter, who goes on a mission to save Christmas and learns that she may be the one destined to wear the big red hat. One of the great lessons in Noelle is having empathy and being a good judge of character, which is kind of sweet in its simplicity and not nearly as banal as you might think.
11. Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas
Did you know there’s a Christmas-themed direct-to-video sequel? The beauty and the Beast which actually takes place in the middle The beauty and the Beast? (Should we call it a midquel, then, instead of a sequel? Anyway.) You have no excuse to skip it now.
12. The nightmare before Christmas
For all you Hot Topic fans out there, Tim Burton’s holiday mashup is available to stream. Some people think it’s more of a Halloween movie than a Christmas movie, but it’s really both. The soundtrack killer too.
1. 3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
At first, I wasn’t sure why the first Narnia movie would pop up when you search for “Christmas” on Disney+, but then I remembered that the holiday season is oddly central to the fantasy epic’s plot. Santa is a character and all. Also, who doesn’t want to look back at James McAvoy’s breakout performance as Mr. Tumnus, right?
14. Home alone
Need I say more? The sequels are also available on Disney+. Kevin McCallister manages to find the Christmas spirit and fight the villains two years in a row. Watching Catherine O’Hara play Kevin’s mother in a post–Schitt’s Creek the world is just a bonus.
15. Santa Claus
Most modern Christmas movies that try to bring the concept of Santa Claus into the real world, Noelle included, is inspired by Santa Claus. It’s also, like, oddly dark, considering Santa dies at the beginning of the movie — forcing Tim Allen’s character to take over the job thanks to some legal people. Come for a goofy story that still holds up, stay for David Krumholtz as Bernard the elf. As Home aloneare the two sequels also available for streaming in a marathon situation.
16. Miracle on 34th Street
Another classic just sitting there on Disney+ ready to watch. The film from 1947 is so easy to get carried away and love. Even your teenage cousins can’t “okay, boomer” Kris Kringle.
17. Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
I’d trust puppies to save the Christmas spirit, wouldn’t you? There are many Christmas dog movies on Disney+, such as: The hunt for pixie paws, pixie buddies, and this. You can’t see everyone, can you?
18. Snow friends
OK… another dog movie.
19. Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
Here is another 90s nostalgia. Also a direct-to-video sequel, this film is a parody of It’s a wonderful life with the titular richest boy in America. Macaulay Culkin is not in the sequel, but Michelle Trachtenberg is.
20. The poinsettia
This 1986 film is about a con man who escapes jail when people think he looks like Santa Claus, then has to keep pretending to be Santa Claus to avoid being thrown back in jail. Classic hijinks!
21. Snowball Express
This 1972 film is about a guy who inherits a ski resort and moves upstate, away from his 9-5 Manhattan lifestyle, to run it. Challenging, but a bit of a dream… right?
22. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Look, this is a crappy movie that got bad reviews and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s a fun watch. Now that it’s streaming, check out the realms. Renesmee has it from Dusk like Clara. Matthew Macfadyen, your other favorite Mr. Darcy, plays her sad father. Speaking of Pride and Prejudice, Keira Knightley is actually incredible in this movie as the Sugar Plum Fairy. It takes many turns that you don’t expect, even if you think you know what The Nutcracker is about.
23. Iron Man 3
Listen to me! You know those annoying guys who just love to tell you Die hard is a Christmas movie, no, your favorite Christmas movie? We will, Iron Man 3 is also an action film that happens to take place during the Christmas season. There are Christmas decorations everywhere, at least one Christmas party, and Tony Stark does a whole dance set to a “Jingle Bells” remix, so I start a movement. Join me in the “well, actually”-ing Iron Man 3 into the Christmas canon.
24. Christmas… Again?!
This adorable movie is one Groundhog Day scenario set for Christmas – a peppermint twist, if you will – when a middle girl asks for a do-over at the end of a particularly bad family holiday. In theory, “every day is Christmas” is a childhood dream… but something tells me this is going to be more of a curse.
25. The ultimate Christmas present
Children in sunny California rarely get a white Christmas. If that was your struggle growing up, this movie about two girls who find a magical weather machine might hit you hard. It’s a DCOM so… things naturally get hilariously out of hand.
Jillian Bell plays a fairy godmother in training who tries to break out of a career rut by visiting a young girl who wrote her a letter in a time of need. It turns out that the young girl is a now grown (and perhaps depressed) woman played by Isla Fisher. This movie feels like Elf meetings Enchanted. A perfect combination????
27. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Not all entries in Home alone franchise is a winner, but there are many who actually prefer the second film to the first… and sometimes I’m one of them. Just ignore the one cameo…
28. Home Sweet Home Alone
It is also the latest Home alone movie, starring Ellie Kemper, Aisling Bea, Ally Maki, Mikey Day, Timothy Simons and Kenan Thompson. It flips the script on the original Home alone and tells a new story from the POV of the adults trying to rob a child. You either die a Home alone hero or live long enough to see yourself become one Home alone villain, I guess.
29. Ernest saves Christmas
The Ernest franchise was just before my time, so I don’t know much about this popular comedy character from the 80s and 90s. But maybe, since this one is set for Christmas, it will be readily available. At the very least, it will be a chaotic watch.
30. Full-court miracle
Disney Channel (and now Disney+) doesn’t have nearly enough Hanukkah content – or themed for any Jewish holiday, really. It’s about the basketball team at a Hebrew academy that suffers a holiday slump and hires a former NBA player as its new coach. So it’s not just an inspirational holiday movie, it’s an inspiring sports movie. Double inspiration!
31. Santa Claus 2
For The Santa Clauses hits Disney+, you should probably update by watching the sequel as well as the original movie. It establishes Elizabeth Mitchell’s character: a school principal and future Mrs. Clause.
32. Lego Star Wars holiday special
We don’t talk about Star Wars Holiday Special, the bizarre TV version that actually had Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford in it. But we can talk about the cannon bending legos holiday special featuring all your favorites from the galaxy far, far away.
33. The Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special
The MCU is doubling down on the holiday game. It is Iron Man 3obviously, and now is not only Hawkeye Christmas-themed series, but director James Gunn made a short-ish Guardians film. Ready to see how Mantis, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Star-Lord celebrate? I’m pretty ready to hear what bangers are on your Christmas playlist.
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