Best Christmas Movies & Shows on Disney+ – Disney Tourist Blog

Disney+ has dozens of Christmas movies, specials, episodes, and originals. This list compiles all of the winter-themed programming, our picks for the best of the service’s holiday content, along with a long at the “Season’s Streamings” collection on Disney Plus.

For Christmas 2021, Disney+ has launched a bunch of new holiday content. The big addition is Home Sweet Home Alone, which managed the downright impressive feat of having critic and audience scores of under 20% on Rotten Tomatoes (18% among critics, 13% for audiences). It’s pretty rare for both groups to agree on the awfulness of a movie.

On a more positive note, Marvel’s new Hawkeye series kicked off in time for Thanksgiving weekend and is garnering acclaim from both critics and audiences. While it’s only a couple episodes in, Hawkeye is giving off Die Hard vibes thus far in terms of its seasonal sensibilities. It also has more sentimentality and feels destined to become a perennial Christmas favorite.

In addition to these two major additions for Christmas 2021, there’s a ton of Disney+ original content the whole family can enjoy this holiday season. For that, check out the “Season’s Streamings” collection within Disney Plus, featuring holiday-themed episodes, films, shorts, and specials.

Subscribers can celebrate the holidays at home with new and classic content including the aforementioned Home Sweet Home Alone, Soul, Frozen, Home Alone, the Nightmare Before Christmas, the Santa Clause, and many more. There’s also the holiday classic Jingle All the Way, now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, which makes me feel old.

More is coming in December 2021, with the new Disney Channel Original Movie Christmas…Again?! debuting on December 3 and more Home Alone movies coming later in the month to the streaming service. Below is a full list of content included in this year’s holiday collection now available to all Disney+ subscribers. Following that, we’ll pick some of our favorites.

Disney+ Originals for Christmas

  • Hawkeye
  • Arendelle Castle Yule Log: Cut Paper Edition – Premiering December 17
  • Godmothered
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special
  • Home Sweet Home Alone
  • LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Noelle
  • Once Upon a Snowman
  • Arendelle Castle Yule Log

Christmas Movies & Specials

  • ‘Twas the Night
  • 12 Dates of Christmas
  • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
  • Babes in Toyland
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
  • Christmas…Again?! – Premiering December 3
  • Cloud 9
  • Cool Runnings
  • Decorating Disney Holiday Magic’
  • Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
  • Disney Channel Holiday House Party
  • Disney Channel’s Epic Holiday Showdown
  • Disney’s Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic
  • Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special
  • Ernest Saves Christmas
  • Frozen
  • Frozen 2
  • Full-Court Miracle
  • Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas!
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special
  • Home Alone
  • Home Alone 2
  • Home Alone 3
  • Home Alone 4 – Premiering December 17
  • Home Alone: The Holiday Heist – Premiering December 17
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Ice Age – Premiering December 3
  • Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
  • Jingle All The Way
  • Jingle All The Way 2
  • Life Size 2
  • Mickey & Minnie Wish Upon a Christmas – Premiering December 10
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
  • Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
  • Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
  • Santa Buddies: The Legend of the Santa Paws
  • Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
  • Snow Buddies
  • Snowball Express
  • Snowglobe
  • The Christmas Star
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Disney Holiday Singalong
  • The Mistle-Tones
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
  • The Santa Clause
  • The Santa Clause 2
  • The Santa Clause 3
  • The Search for Santa Paws
  • The Ultimate Christmas Present
  • Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Togo
  • Toy Story: That Time Forgot
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year

Holiday Shorts

  • Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special
  • From Our Family to Yours
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  • Once Upon a Snowman
  • Pluto’s Christmas Tree
  • Prep & Landing
  • Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice
  • Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa
  • Puppy for Hanukkah
  • Santa’s Workshop
  • The Small One

Simpsons Christmas Episodes

  • Bobby, It’s Cold Outside
  • Grift of the Magi
  • Holidays of Future Passed
  • I Won’t Be Home for Christmas
  • Kill Gil, Volumes I & II
  • Marge Be Not Proud
  • Miracle on Evergreen Terrace
  • She of Little Faith
  • Simpsons Christmas Stories
  • Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire
  • Skinner’s Sense of Snow
  • The Burns and the Bees
  • The Fight Before Christmas
  • The Nightmare After Krustmas
  • ‘Tis the 30th Season
  • ‘Tis The Fifteenth Season
  • White Christmas Blues

Best Disney+ Christmas Movies & Specials

The Muppet Christmas Carol – This is the seminal and most faithful adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which is surprising given that it stars the Muppets and is also an exemplar of their trademark humor. There are a number of reasons why the The Muppet Christmas Carol is #1 on our list of the best Christmas movies.

First, the sprawling musical numbers, taking place in multiple settings and involving a variety of Muppets, with minor characters stealing the spotlight. Second, the performances of the three main characters: Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat, and Michael Caine. Having Gonzo play Charles Dickens was a bold move that paid off and provides several brilliant comedic moments. Finally, Brian Henson’s work as director is impeccable and worthy of his father’s legacy. I belabor these and several other points in my lengthy Muppet Christmas Carol Review, but suffice to say, this is the best Disney Christmas film by a wide margin.

Home Alone – Excellent how-to video for the amateur home security enthusiast, looking to put together their own system that can’t be hacked. Joking aside, we both have tons of nostalgia for Home Alone. Nowadays, the appeal for us is less about the hijinks and more about the Midwest setting, 1990s style, and charming characters.

Pluto’s Christmas Tree – One of Disney’s all-time great animated shorts, Pluto’s Christmas Tree is a 1952 Mickey Mouse cartoon in which Pluto and Mickey cut down a Christmas tree inhabited by Chip n’ Dale. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who someone hasn’t seen this, but hijinks ensue. Watching the beautiful animation, emotive characters, vibrant backgrounds, atmospheric lighting, etc. etc. makes me really wonder what people see in the new Mickey Mouse cartoons.

The Santa Clause – Another nostalgia pick. Growing up in Michigan, native son Tim Allen was a pretty big deal. My family watched Home Improvement religiously and went to see every film of his in theaters. This was one such film, and I absolutely loved it. I still find it to be a ton of fun and I think it has aged pretty well, all things considered.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – While it gets off to a grating and arrogant start, I’ll Be Home for Christmas finds its food and offers sentimental comfort food. It’s thoroughly cliched, but performances by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jessica Biel make it worthwhile. Pretty similar to what you’d find on Hallmark Channel, but with 1990s Disney star power.

Noelle – Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader are both hilarious (who doesn’t love Stefon from SNL or Barry?!) and Noelle was the very first thing on Disney+ that we watched. It’s predictable from the first scene, derivative, and a bit cheesy. Noelle is also heartwarming, humorous, earnest, and endearing. It also makes the most of what’s clearly a healthy budget with some nice special effects and one of the most adorable CGI characters in recent memory.

With Noelle, Disney+ mixes the formulas of Elf and Hallmark movies to create something unique, memorable, and charming. Unlike Netflix, which gently skewers the holiday genre with films you can laugh at (such as A Christmas Prince or Christmas Chronicles), Noelle is a heartfelt and irresistible movie that you’ll also laugh with. Much like the Santa Clause, this is “Disney” at its heart–which is also evident from the outset, thanks to things like hidden Mickeys and Duffy plushes in the sets.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – I’ll admit that it wasn’t until fairly recently that I came around on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. When I was younger, I never really got “into” this movie. I don’t know if it was too dark or just felt too Halloween-y, but it was a one and done for me as a kid. Now, I have a much greater appreciation for the artistic side of the film, and also like the characters and fairly unique concept.

Jingle All The Way – Another mid-1990s tentpole Christmas movie, this one capitalizing on the star power of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don’t think this has aged nearly as well as the Santa Claus, but it’s relatable to anyone who has wanted to be the ‘hero’ of Christmas morning by finding that elusive toy. A fun stroll down memory lane.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol – How many versions of A Christmas Carol do you need to watch each holiday season? At least 2, probably more like 4. This is a time-honored classic with great animation, character design, and more. It’s also a relatively short special, making it well worth a watch every Christmas.

Prep & Landing (Both) – These specials tell the modern-day story of what goes on behind the scenes before Santa Claus arrives at a child’s house. It follows members of the Prep and Landing team, Santa’s stealthiest unit. Their mission: “Get In. Get Out. Never Be Noticed.” The two episodes (for lack of a better term) tell different stories involving this team, both of which are incredibly solid Christmas specials.

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas – We aren’t the biggest fans of this direct to video sequel of the animated classic Beauty and the Beast. The plot is flimsy, the animation is sub-par, and a lot of the humor is suspect. However, it also features some beautiful scenery, familiar and beloved characters, and a sufficient dose of yuletide glee. It’s pretty far from being a classic, but the Enchanted Christmas has its moments and is worth putting on in the background while you’re preparing a Christmas feast.

Ernest Saves Christmas – This comes with the colossal caveat that I haven’t watched this since I was around 8 years old, at which time it was a veritable masterpiece. So was Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Sometimes it’s best to leave the past in the past.

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YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of our list of the “best” Christmas movies, specials, shorts, episodes, and Disney+ originals? Any non-obvious movies or shows you’d recommend? Underrated or overlooked holiday gems? Favorites that are set during winter but not the holiday season? Overrated Christmas content that you would not recommend? Agree or disagree with any of our picks? Any questions? We love hearing from readers, so please share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!

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