On the hunt for the best Disney Plus Christmas movies? Well, here's our complete guide to that very thing.
Disney and Christmas go together like an elf and a shelf. And if you want to get into the festive spirit with a family film this holiday season, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better offering than on Disney Plus right now.
From all-time classics like Home Alone and The Nightmare Before Christmas to newer hits like Noelle, for our money, Disney Plus has the finest array of festive flicks on offer of any of the streaming services.
From new blockbusters to vintage shorts from the Disney vault, grab your Mickey Christmas jumper and get cozy with these Christmas classics from the House of Mouse. We've confirmed you can watch all of these on Disney Plus in both the US and the UK – though your region's selection of movies might vary.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? The resounding answer, we think you’ll find, is the latter. Either way, Tim Burton’s beautiful, inimitably dark stop-motion fantasy is as magical as it was when it was first released, while its glorious soundtrack by Danny Elfman makes this a timeless Christmas favorite. A bonafide festive classic.
Home Alone (1990)
A stone-cold Christmas classic and essential viewing every single year, Home Alone is a movie that is truly timeless. The movie sees Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McAllister accidentally left behind by his parents. While residing solo, Kevin fends off burglars Harry and Marv with brutal results.
Hilarious, tender and superbly scripted by teen movie king John Hughes, this is worth revisiting again and again.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
This might just be the greatest Christmas double bill ever. The Home Alone sequel is just as much a Christmas staple as the original, even if it's definitely not as good, and repeats a few of the beats of the first film with diminishing returns. Settle in for a time-tested favorite adventure across the Big Apple – complete with toys, a Christmas-tastic Plaza hotel, and the pigeon lady with a heart of gold.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
There is a lot of debate about which adaptation is the best telling of A Christmas Carol. But anyone who tries to argue that it's not The Muppet Christmas Carol is simply wrong – and we’re such Charles Dickens would agree. Michael Caine as Scrooge, Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchitt, Miss Piggy as his wife Emily, and hecklers Statler and Waldorf as Jacob and Robert Marley are all perfect in their roles – charming, funny, and more tragically sentimental than it really has any right to be. The best part is, Caine takes the whole thing very seriously, making the contrast of having the Muppets there extremely entertaining.
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
A slight shift away from big-hearted comedies and family favorites, but it is a big injection of sugary rom-com feels and it's set over Yuletide, so we'll allow it.
The movie stars Sandra Bullock as Lucy Moderatz, a lonely transport worker who becomes infatuated with a passenger, a man whose life she subsequently saves.
In the hospital, his family mistakenly believes she's his fiancée — which causes complications when she actually starts to fall for his brother.
Frozen 2 (2019)
After the billion-dollar success of Frozen, Anna and Elsa’s saga continued in the sequel to the wildly popular animated musical fantasy – and their return is almost as good as the original. Now the Snow Queen, Elsa has charge of her icy powers and the happy citizens of Arendelle – but still, she’s drawn to something strange.
Hearing a mysterious voice calling her, she follows the call into the unknown, through forests and seas and stunning icescapes to uncover her destiny, in a story which is a little darker, and a little more mature… but just as magical. Of course, the brilliant first Frozen movie is also on Disney Plus... but we doubt anyone watching with a child needs to be reminded of that.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
There are so many adaptations of Charles Dickens' classic, Netflix just dropped a new one, and, hell, Disney Plus alone has three of them. This 2009 CG effort, featuring a motion-captured performance by Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman, is a colder film than the all-time classic Muppets version, but it's worth checking out if you simply can't get enough of ghosts hassling an old man until he starts behaving himself.
Released in 2020, this is a Christmas-set comedy rather than a Christmas-themed movie, but one well worth taking in.
The movie stars Jillian Bell as a fairy godmother-in-training, who decides to answer a letter from a 10-year-old in distress, only to find that the letter has been mislaid for a while. The girl in question is now a 40-year-old single mother (played by Isla Fisher). Together, they’ll rediscover the meaning of “happily ever after” – the result is chucklesome, light comedy that's fun family viewing, and not a bad entry into the Disney Plus originals canon.
'Twas The Night (2001)
Before he was the one who knocks, Bryan Cranston was Nick Wrigley, a low-level criminal who tries to avoid a reckoning by hiding out with his brother and his family for Christmas.
However, after bumping into the main man, Santa, Nick and his 14-year-old nephew fall upon a device that can freeze time and decides to take Santa's sleigh for a ride. What could possibly go wrong?
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas (1999)
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas is a perfect starting point for anyone’s festive movie viewing. Made up of an anthology of Christmas tales featuring Disney’s most beloved characters, including Donald Duck and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Goofy, these heartwarming animations are really pleasant family viewing. When they want more, there’s also the sequel, Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas (2004) available to stream on the platform, too.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
The Academy Award-winning adaptation of the classic CS Lewis novel is a beautifully crafted fantasy epic that will capture the hearts of all the family – and the snowscape of Narnia makes this movie feel particularly festive.
It’s fitting that the special effects of the movie were created by the masters at Weta Workshop in New Zealand, also known for designing the special effects of The Lord of the Rings’ Middle Earth. Tolkien and Lewis also happened to be members of the same literary discussion group, the Inklings, who would discuss writing their fantasy novels together. Their movie adaptations feature equally stunning effects – even if subsequent Narnia movies never hit the heights of this first entry.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
A slightly odd sequel to the giant animated hit, but one that hits many of the same notes as the 1994 original.
Originally released straight to VHS, the movie reunites the voice cast from Beauty and the Beast for a festive adventure. Set while Belle is in the castle and the Beast is still, well, a beast, 5his time, rather than the muscular Gaston, the lovers are up against Forte, a pipe organ who was formerly the Prince's court composer and does not want the spell keeping the beast in his hideous form to break.
Voiced by Tim Curry, Forte is another worthy adversary, though one made with rather shonky means. Still, if you or your young ones are captured by the magic of the tale as old as time, it's a chance to dive right back in.
The Santa Clause (1994)
More than just a punny title, The Santa Clause has earned its spot as a festive favorite. Tim Allen plays an ordinary guy who accidentally knocks Santa off his roof on Christmas Eve - and must take over the job and all its festive duties.
Silly, knockabout and very, very funny.
Pluto’s Christmas Tree (1952)
One of the few actual hidden gems of Disney Plus is the archive of shorts, both new and old, on the platform. This vintage Mickey Mouse technicolor short film, in which Mickey and Pluto chop down a Christmas tree which chipmunks Chip n’ Dale happen to live in, could be the most charming thing you’ll watch all Christmas.
Anna Kendrick stars as Noelle Kringle, the daughter of Kris Kringle. When it’s time for her brother, Nick Kringle (played by Bill Hader), to take up the family business of becoming Santa, he manages to fail his training miserably, while the joyful Noelle is put in charge of spreading Christmas spirit.
But when things go awry, she must take off, complete with sleigh and reindeer, to fix Christmas. Charming and fun, the concept of the movie was actually an unused idea for The Santa Clause 4, which sort of makes sense.
Powered by Kendrick's wry wit and a decent script, this is a good festive offering.
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Rebecca is a Journalist and broadcaster, writing and presenting on entertainment and lifestyle topics, and specialising in high-profile celebrity interviews, for a wide variety of the UK's biggest publications, including The Guardian, Metro, Shortlist, Cosmo, Yahoo, Digital Spy, Stuff, and many more - both online, in print, and on-air. She is an experienced live event host for panel discussions and interviews for wide variety of entertainment brands, available for conventions and live events.
- Tom GoodwynFreelance Entertainment Writer