The best Christmas movies on Disney+

Finding some Christmas cheer in 2021 isn’t easy, for obvious reasons. Perhaps the best way to get the whole family excited for the holiday is by watching a film that gets everyone in the holiday spirit. While Netflix is cranking out original Christmas movies left and right, Disney+ may actually have the best selection of Christmas movies. Not only does it have a few originals of its own, including a recent remake of a holiday classic, but it also has a treasure trove of legendary Disney holiday films. One can easily absorb a Disney+ Christmas movie in each of the 12 days leading up the holiday, if they desire. But which movies on the streaming service are the best for the holiday? Let us help you find the best Christmas movies on Disney+ this year. Ho ho ho!

Looking for more holiday picks? We’ve also assembled guides to the best Christmas movies on Netflix and the best Christmas movies on Hulu.

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone
66%
63%
Genre Comedy, Family
Stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Directed by Chris Columbus
pg 103m
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
72%
57%
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Comedy, Family
Stars Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Directed by John Pasquin
pg 97m
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
68%
49%
Genre Family, Fantasy, Comedy
Stars Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, Santiago Cabrera
Directed by Sharon Maguire
pg 113m
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
95%
82%
Genre Fantasy, Animation, Family
Stars Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara
Directed by Henry Selick
pg 76m
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
53%
55%
Genre Animation, Family, Drama, Fantasy
Stars Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
pg 94m
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
19%
34%
Genre Family, Comedy, Adventure
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman
Directed by Brian Levant
pg 89m
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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