You can watch the best Christmas movies endlessly. You can still enjoy the holiday movies that your parents or you saw as a child, and they are available on TVs year after year. Children today have it easier than ever: As a child, if you missed a Grinch episode, it would be another year. Many of these classics can now be viewed whenever you want, thanks to streaming services.
It’s not surprising that Christmas is associated with so much magic. Many of these movies are animated cartoons. This allows you to capture the wonder of the holiday without having to rely on costly special effects. Stop-motion animated movies are a holiday tradition that dates back to the Rankin & Bass specials in the ’60s. These animated Christmas movies can be enjoyed as a family movie or even re-watched every year. They capture the spirit of Christmas and are great for family movie nights.
- Robin Robin (2021)
The holiday special about a bird raised by mice who wants to be a real mouse has a warm, fuzzy feel to it. It is available on Netflix since November 24, featuring a voice cast including Richard E. Grant, Gillian Anderson and Bronte Carmichael.
Shaun the Sheep: A Flight Before Christmas (2021)
Shaun the Sheep fans will get a special holiday treat in the form a 30-minute holiday special. It features Shaun on a hunt to find a larger stocking but ends up having a great adventure. The movie debuted on Netflix in December 3.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Some people are not in a festive mood at Christmas. Charlie Brown takes you on a deep dive to find the true meaning and purpose of Christmas if the holidays make you feel melancholy. It’s worth listening to the soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. You can stream the special on Apple TV+ or PBS Kids.
- Duck the Halls (2016)
This animated 22-minute special, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, is a classic. But if you want something to make you smile, this animated special is a better choice. It tells the story of Donald, who decides to stay home for Christmas in hopes of experiencing true Christmas. But he is blindsided by the cold.
- A Trash Truck Christmas (2020)
This Christmas short shows Santa Claus landing in the junkyard at Christmas Eve. It’s up to Trash truck to save the holiday.
- Klaus (2019)
This animated Christmas movie is so charming that it was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was defeated by Toy Story 4. It is about a lonely toymaker who forms a friendship with a new postman.
- DreamWorks Home for the Holidays (2017)
Oh wants to share the magic and joy of Christmas with the Boovs. But despite his best intentions things don’t go according to plan.
- Spirit Riding is Free (2019)
Lucky and his friends may not be able make it home in time for Christmas due to a surprise snowstorm. But it’s still the season of miracles.
- How to train your dragon (2019)
The world of Vikings calls Christmas “Snoggletog”, but the lessons are just as heartwarming.
Scooby Doo! Haunted Holidays (2012)
Scooby Gang investigates when an evil snowman attempts closing down the toy shop for Christmas.
- The Polar Express (2004)
This touching film, based on Chris Van Allsburg’s book, features Tom Hanks using motion-capture technology. The film follows a boy who doubts Santa’s existence and takes a magical train ride to learn more about the North Pole.
- The Grinch (2018)
This movie, which is a feature-length version of the Grinch story, comes from the same studio as the Minions and stars Benedict Cumberbatch.
- The Snowman (2012)
This special, which lasts for half an hour, is inspired by the charming drawings of Raymond Briggs’s classic book The Snowman. It has the same quiet charm that the book.
- Trolls Holiday 2017
This holiday comedy is perfect for children stars Zooey Deschanel, Justin Timberlake, and Anna Kendrick as the main trolls. Anna’s character Poppy discovers that the Bergens no longer have holidays after getting rid of Trollstice. She and the other trolls decide to help them. What do the Bergens really want?
- Angela’s Christmas (2018)
Angela is the Angela from Angela’s Ashes. The 30-minute special is based upon Frank McCourt’s children’s story. You know you are in for an exciting story when you combine these ingredients. Netflix added Angela’s Christmas 2 in 2020.
- Elliot, The Littlest Reindeer (2018)
Rudolph is well-known, but what about Elliot. He’s actually a miniature horse, not a reindeer. He still wants to be a part of the Santa’s Sleigh Pulling Team.
- Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
Anna and Elsa have few holiday traditions because they grew up in a locked castle. Olaf makes a journey throughout the kingdom in search of rituals that they can adopt.
- All I Want For Christmas is You (2017)
Mariah Carey’s famous Christmas song was animated. It centers on a young girl named Mariah who wishes to have a puppy every Christmas.
- The Star (2017)
This movie has a spiritual feel. It features a donkey named Bo and Ruth, as well as Dave the dove, who all yearn for more. The adventure that brings them together leads them to a place where they can intersect with the first Nativity.
- The Snowy Day (2016)
The Amazon original is based upon the essential book by Ezra Jack Keats. It is about Peter, a little boy who walks in the snow to his grandma on Christmas Eve.
- If you Give a Mouse Christmas Cookies (2016)
This Amazon original is a holiday spinoff of Laura Numeroff’s classic children’s book. Mouse and his animal friends try to save a holiday pageant from going wrong while also learning about friendship.
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
This Christmas movie takes you behind the scenes at Santa’s North Pole super-tech facility. Arthur, his son who isn’t quite as fortunate as he, forgets to gift a girl a Christmas present.
- Prep and Landing (2011)
The Disney short follows the North Pole security team of an elite squadron made up of elves. This one is a big hit. There are two sequels to it: Operation Secret Santa and Prep & Landing: Naughty or Nice.
- Santa’s Apprentice (2010)
This film is originally from France. Santa has decided to retire, but he doesn’t want to. The rules require that Santa must train an apprentice. The sequel, The Magic Snowflake, is also available if your children love it.
- A Christmas Carol (2009)
This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Charles Dickens novel is the basis for this movie. It tells the story about Scrooge, the ghosts of Christmas and his hauntings. Jim Carrey plays multiple roles in the film, another example of motion-capture technology.
- Curious George: Very Monkey Christmas (2009)
This movie, based on Margret Rey’s children book and H. A. Rey’s film, is about Curious George celebrating Christmas with The Man in Yellow Hat. What do you do with a monkey who has it all?
- Winnie the Pooh: Very Merry Pooh Years (2002)
Two specials are combined in this adorable movie: Winnie the Pooh, Christmas Too, and Happy Pooh Year. They tell a story together that will continue through December.
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
The three-part movie includes Mickey, Minnie and Goofy as well as Donald Duck. There’s also a sequel anthology Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas.
- Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
This direct-to-video sequel of the Disney classic Disney princess movie features Belle decorating her castle and getting ready to celebrate Christmas. But Beast and Forte don’t seem to have the holiday spirit they need and aren’t keen to join Belle. Can she bring them along?
- Annabelle’s Wish (1997)
Many animals long to be Santa’s reindeer. Anmabelle, a calves, dreams of flying on Christmas Eve. Is her Christmas wish fulfilled?
- Christmas: How toys saved Christmas (1996)
This movie is originally an Italian film. It tells the story about Mr. Grimm who decides to sell Christmas toys rather than deliver them. The toys discover their plans and decide to deliver the toys.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
This stop-motion animated musical by Tim Burton brings Christmas to Halloween. You can rewatch this animated musical if you don’t want to celebrate Christmas too soon.
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
In this Christmas Carol twist, Mickey Mouse plays the role of Bob Cratchit. Scrooge McDuck plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. It takes only 26 minutes to complete the whole thing, making it perfect for holiday cheer when you have just a few minutes.
- The Small One (1978)
The Disney-directed Disney special, which Don Bluth forgot to direct, follows a boy who has to sell his donkey, The Small One. Joseph is a potential buyer who may want to use his donkey to transport Mary to Bethlehem. He finds him at the market. (Can you see where this is going?)
- “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (1974)
This animated film is based on the opening lines from the famous Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas. It shows what happens when Santa Claus decides that he will skip over a small town due to a rude letter. Joel Grey, an actor, gives a lively vocal performance.
- The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
Rankin/Bass Productions was a prolific studio in the ’70s and ’60s. They produced countless stop-motion animated films. This studio is known for its pair of memorable villains, Heat Miser & Snow Miser.
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)
If you’re still not satisfied with Rankin/Bass’ stop-motion, here’s another one of their specials. It’s also based on… what else? This is a classic Christmas song. Fred Astaire, a famous dancer, narrates a short movie that explains Santa Claus’ backstory and other Christmas traditions.
- Frosty the Snowman (1969)
Frosty the Snowman is a classic tale that tells how Frosty becomes a living being thanks to his magical hat. Jimmy Durante is the film’s narrator. It is based upon the Christmas song to which every child knows the lyrics. Another Rankin/Bass production. However, this one is a rare example of stop motion 2D animation.
- The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
This short stop-motion film, another Rankin/Bass original, tells the story about a boy who lost his father at a young stage.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
This short film, based on Dr. Seuss’ book, is about the grinch. His heart is two sizes too big! Whoville’s Christmas is threatened by a grumpy Grinch. This half-hour special features Chuck Jones’ creative designs and narration by Boris Karloff, horror legend.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
This Rankin/Bass stop motion special is a Christmas favorite because it teaches a lesson about accepting your flaws. Burl Ives, a Christmas legend, narrates the story. He never fails to get viewers into the Christmas spirit.