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The best Christmas movies on Disney+ right now

The holiday season is once again upon us, and as many people look to unwind with a film, Christmas-themed movies are often at the top of their lists. Many classics and modern hits are more accessible than ever thanks to streaming services, and it should come as no surprise that Disney+ is an ideal place for holiday movies.

From live-action features to animated films, there is a ton of Christmas movie content to sift through on Disney+, and we’ve put together a guide to direct audiences to some of the highlights. Whether you’re looking for short films, heartwarming family features, Mickey Mouse, or seasonal fare set in the Star Wars or Marvel universes, there’s enough holiday flavor to go around on this list of the best Christmas movies on Disney+.

Looking for more holiday picks to get the most out of the seasonal festivities? We’ve put together some guides on the best Christmas movies on Netflix and the best Christmas movies on Hulu to tide you over.

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) new
Mickey's Christmas Carol
26m
Genre Family, Animation
Stars Alan Young, Wayne Allwine, Clarence Nash
Directed by Burny Mattinson
An ’80s classic, the animated short film Mickey’s Christmas Carol was directed and written by longtime Disney storyboard artist Burny Mattinson. As one would expect from such a title, this short film is a loose adaptation and Disney-fied spin on Charles Dickens’ seminal 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. Shown through the lens of the iconic Mickey Mouse, Mickey’s Christmas Carol puts Scrooge McDuck in the fitting shoes of Ebenezer Scrooge, with the mouse himself as Bob Cratchit and Morty Mouse as the ill Tiny Tim. It’s an easy recommendation for the holiday season, as well as a great introduction to the original story for the young ones in the family.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) new
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
45m
Genre Comedy, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan
Directed by James Gunn
James Gunn’s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special should be on viewers’ movie watchlist for this Christmas season. Given the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this 45-minute special is great for casual and dedicated fans alike as it takes Marvel Studios’ most successful band of comic book misfits on a holiday-themed sci-fi adventure. Dave Bautista’s Drax and Pom Klementieff’s Mantis go off on a mission to bring Star-Lord an unforgettable Christmas in the cosmic reaches. It’s a fun, small-scale side story, and the addition of Kevin Bacon — playing Kevin Bacon — makes things even more entertaining.
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (2020) new
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
44m
Genre Animation, Family, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
Stars Helen Sadler, Omar Benson Miller, Jake Green
Directed by Ken Cunningham
It’s hard not to respect Lucasfilm for indirectly bringing back one of the most maligned and forgotten entries in its Star Wars catalog, as the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special successfully reinvents the 1978 attempt that aired on CBS. It’s the perfect format for it as well, with Lego-themed animation perfectly capturing the charming comedy that attracted so many fans to the Lego Star Wars video game series that inspired this special. In a creative co-effort from director Ken Cunningham, writer David Shayne, and more, Rey and BB-8 go on a galactic quest to gain a deeper understanding of the Force that ends up taking her on a cross-timeline galactic adventure that gives fun alternate twists on classic Star Wars moments.
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone
63 %
7.6/10
pg 103m
Genre Comedy, Family
Stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Directed by Chris Columbus
Home Alone is more than 30 years old, but it remains a timeless film for adults and children alike. The worst fears of every parent are realized when Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is left behind from a family trip by mistake, leaving him home alone (the name fits). It seems an ideal opportunity for a couple of crooks to rob his Chicago home and make a quick buck taking advantage of the situation. But Kevin has other plans, providing a template for every young kid to protect their home against threat. The role remains the most iconic of Culkin’s career and kick-started a franchise that is available on Disney+. The newest entry, Disney+ original Home Sweet Home Alone, was released this year.
The Santa Clause (1994)
The Santa Clause
57 %
6.5/10
pg 97m
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Comedy, Family
Stars Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Directed by John Pasquin
Before Tim Allen was so politically outspoken, the comedic actor was more likely to be seen in movies such as The Santa Clause. When toy salesman Scott Calvin (Allen) accidentally maims the real Santa Claus, it’s up to him to take up the mantle and save Christmas. The 1994 movie is all about the power of belief in ourselves and each other as Scott tries to convince those he loves that he really is Santa Claus now, despite previously struggling to believe in the holly jolly figure himself. This film is significantly better than the two sequels it spawned (also available on Disney+), neither of which carried the same indomitable spirit as the original.
Godmothered (2020)
Godmothered
49 %
6.1/10
pg 113m
Genre Family, Fantasy, Comedy
Stars Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, Santiago Cabrera
Directed by Sharon Maguire
Godmothered is a Christmas movie the way Die Hard is a Christmas movie and deserves to be on this list of the best Disney plus Christmas movies. The Disney+ original stars Jillian Bell as the lone young fairy godmother in a sea of elderly, more traditional fairy godmothers. To save the godmother school from being shut down, Eleanor travels to the real world to help a 10-year-old girl, but arrives to discover that the little girl is an all-grown-up single mother (Isla Fisher). Whoops! While ostensibly a children’s movie, there’s plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor for adults to enjoy as well. Hopefully, this movie will help children believe in magic again, or at least in the magic that is the Disney content machine.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas
82 %
8/10
pg 76m
Genre Fantasy, Animation, Family
Stars Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara
Directed by Henry Selick
Some say it’s a Halloween movie, some say it’s a Christmas movie, but why choose? Tim Burton’s 1993 epic has it all: Stop motion animation, musical numbers, fantasy elements, even some scares. The film centers on Pumpkin King Jack Skellington, who discovers Christmas Town after growing tired of his own Halloween schtick. He sets about improving the holiday, unaware of what the true meaning of Christmas is. Hijinks unsurprisingly ensue as Jack is forced to save Christmas from himself and his brethren. The movie can be a little frightening for kids at times, but it’s rated PG, so nothing goes too haywire. It’s a dazzling visual feast, original for its time and still original today.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
A Christmas Carol
55 %
6.8/10
pg 94m
Genre Animation, Family, Drama, Fantasy
Stars Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
A Christmas Carol has been told approximately a thousand times, so each new iteration has to have a different take on the classic tale. The 2009 version directed by Robert Zemeckis focuses specifically on the look, using 3D visuals to dazzle the audience. At times, it can feel a little dizzying, but it’s still stunning to behold. Having Jim Carrey play Ebenezer Scrooge is a master stroke, as is having him play all of the ghosts in the movie. It may not stand the test of time as the best version of Scrooge’s story, but it’s one everyone should watch at least once around the holidays.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
Jingle All the Way
34 %
5.7/10
pg 89m
Genre Family, Comedy, Adventure
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman
Directed by Brian Levant
Don’t put too much stock into the critic scores: Jingle All the Way deserves a spot on your holiday watchlist. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as mattress salesman Howard Langston, who’s trying to get a last-minute Turbo-Man action figure gift for his son. Unfortunately, he’s not alone, as a rival dad (Sinbad) is trying to do the same. The two do battle all day long as they attempt to fulfill the Christmas dreams of their children, without realizing that fighting over Christmas gifts is not what the holiday is all about. There’s plenty of slapstick and physical humor in this film, which is sure to keep the family laughing, even if the plot never really takes off.

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