What Yuletide tradition would be complete without a curated line-up of festive movies to bring us good cheer throughout the season? Disney is all in when it comes to holiday-themed fare, with branded favorites we know and love and some familiar recent acquisitions streaming on Disney+.
So, throw on your Christmas PJs, get cozy on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate or wassail cider, and enjoy these on-screen stories of family, hope, and generosity as you celebrate this year.
10 Best Disney Christmas Movies on Disney Plus
These are our 10 favorite Disney Christmas movies streaming on Disney Plus right now. This list is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season for 2023. These Christmas movies are a mix of Disney characters, the Muppets, and original Christmas stories.
Let’s get into the top best Disney Christmas movies.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Mickey, Scrooge McDuck, and a host of other Disney friends star in this sweet animated adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic novella. It’s a fun-filled introduction to the story of A Christmas Carol for kids, even if it does contain a few slightly scary moments, following the style of other Disney animated classics like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Ultimately, the hand-drawn characters and fail-safe source material make Mickey’s Christmas Carol a holiday short guaranteed to tug at viewers’ heartstrings and lift their spirits.
Ernest Saves Christmas
Blundering but well-meaning taxi driver Ernest P. Worell (the late and great Jim Varney) meets soon-to-be-retired Santa Claus at the airport, on his way to interview his potential successor. While transporting Santa, Ernest encounters a teenage runaway fleeing a restaurant after dining without paying. Hilarious hi-jinks and heart-warming Christmas magic ensue.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
If you’re looking for a departure from traditional Christmas movies but still hoping for a story that captures the holiday spirit, look no further. Young Lucy Pevensie’s enchanted journey through an antique wardrobe into a snow-covered Narnian wonderland evokes strong wintry feelings, and a surprise visit from a long-absent and gift-laden Father Christmas clenches this fantasy adventure’s status in the seasonal category.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
After learning about Peter Quill’s unpleasant holiday memories, Mantis and Drax travel to Earth on a mission to find the perfect gift for their fellow Guardian to make Christmas special for him again. Pom Klementieff shines as Mantis, and Dave Bautista as Drax is as droll and endearing as always in this mini-film, which takes place after the events of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. With the standard rocking soundtrack we have come to expect from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and an appearance by Kevin Bacon as Star-Lord’s 80s movie hero, there’s plenty to love about this unusual holiday special.
While You Were Sleeping
A comfort movie if ever there was one, this warm and fuzzy 90s holiday rom-com features Sandra Bullock as a lonely subway worker who saves the longtime object of her infatuation from an oncoming train. While he’s lying unconscious in the hospital, she spends Christmas with his quirky family, who mistakenly believes she’s his fiancé. In the process, she falls in love with all of them—especially his down-to-earth brother, Jack (Bill Pullman)—and finds in them the family she’s never had.
Pluto’s Christmas Tree
In this simple vintage Disney short, Mickey and Pluto venture out into a snowy wood to chop down a tree for Christmas. When they get the tree home, Pluto discovers Chip and Dale living inside and tries to tell Mickey, but Mickey is too busy stringing lights and trimming the tree to understand. Pluto begins chasing the chipmunks and eventually wrecks the tree, but when Mickey sees the two tiny stowaways, he shares the spirit of the season by inviting Chip and Dale to join in the festivities.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Anna and Elsa host a kingdom-wide celebration during their first holiday season since reopening the palace gates, but they’re disappointed when the townspeople all leave early to observe their specific family traditions at home. When the disheartened sisters realize they don’t have any holiday traditions of their own, Olaf and Sven set out on a quest to learn about the kingdom’s customs and bring them home to Anna and Elsa. Watching each Arendelle household share their Christmas rituals in song form is bound to awaken your holiday spirit in this sweet, entertaining featurette.
If you enjoy learning about holiday traditions, and you’re planning a seasonal visit to Disney World, you won’t want to miss EPCOT’s International Festival of Holidays! At each World Showcase pavilion, storytellers dressed as cultural figures share holiday customs and lore with unique presentations from around the globe.
This Disney+ original is worth watching for the cast alone. Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader star as grown children of the late Kris Kringle, and Shirley MacLaine is their childhood nanny (also an elf). Nick Kringle (Hader) struggles to manage the pressure of filling his father’s shoes, so his sister Noelle (Kendrick) encourages him to take a break from his stress over the weekend to prepare for the big day. He takes her advice, but when he doesn’t return, Noelle must leave the North Pole to search for him. In the process, she discovers she possesses a natural talent for their father’s iconic job. A light-hearted comedy with fun performances from the lead actors, Noelle is a Christmas crowd-pleaser to watch with the entire family.
The Small One
Directed by legendary filmmaker and animator Don Bluth, this 1978 short is a beautifully drawn, unconventional take on the nativity story. Told from the unique perspective of a young boy who has a special relationship with an aging donkey called Small One, it follows the boy’s journey into Nazareth, where he must sell his best friend for one piece of silver because the donkey is no longer able to do the work required to cover the cost of his upkeep. It’s a poignant but hopeful tale that culminates in a Christmas twist.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Of the great many screen adaptations of “A Christmas Carol,” the Muppet version might be the most beloved. It follows Dickens’s work closely, and Gonzo narrates directly from the text, intermittently riffing off of Rizzo the Rat for comedic relief. Michael Caine gives a moving performance as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, playing the part entirely straight alongside a supporting cast of wisecracking, heartwarming Muppet favorites. Kermit and Miss Piggy are Bob and Emily Cratchitt, with Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim, Fozzy Bear as Scrooge’s former employer Mr. Fozziwig, and the cynical Statler and Waldorf playing Jacob…and Robert Marley. The music is enchanting and memorable, and we dare you to watch without getting a bit choked up when Robin’s Tiny Tim sings “Bless Us All.”
For all the magical ways to celebrate the holidays on your Disneyland vacation, delve into our Christmas guide!
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