‘Tis the season to marathon a butt load of overtly jolly films. This year we have a new streaming service set to inject holiday cheer directly into our eyeballs. These are the best Christmas films available on Disney+.
Merry Christmas! Let’s grab some eggnog, kick back, and enjoy the festive holiday choices provided on Disney+.
This is not an exhaustive list of every Christmas film available on Disney+. There’s quite a lot up on the new streaming service already on launch day and I haven’t seen them all. I chose this selection of films based on a few criteria. I picked ones that please my own nerdy heart, hit that deep nostalgia feeling that the holidays tend to bring, or would otherwise be considered a ‘classic’ holiday film.
So basically this list is subjective and your mileage may vary with it. But please enjoy my selection anyway!
The Muppet Christmas Carol
There are at the very least three versions of A Christmas Carol on Disney+ right now, but this is the only one I’ll be listing as it holds a special place in my heart largely for nostalgia purposes. But if you want to go enjoy the Mickey version or the more classic take on the tale, by all means go for it. You’ve got a lot of choices! This Christmas story has been done in so many different ways that you can go in pretty much any direction with it.
The Muppets’ version is the hands down winner of this story in my book, however, because they’re just the right amount of sass, sarcasm, and light-hearted comedy that appeals to children and adults alike.
Yes, hi. I’m 33 years old and I think Kermit is hilarious. And I am not ashamed. And you shouldn’t be either. These Muppets are great, y’all.
Then once you’re done going down the super cheery Christmas path, you can veer into the other hilariously sarcastic Muppet offerings. Thank you for the bounty, Disney!
Iron Man 3
“BuT tHaT’s NoT a ChRiStMaS mOvIe!”
The same argument can be said about Die Hard (NOT on Disney+, mind you, but similar in regards to this debate), and that argument has been raging for over 30 years with no end in sight. So just let us categorize it as a Christmas movie and enjoy our fabulous MCU with sparkly Christmas lights in the peripheral. It’s fun, okay?
Besides, Disney+ brings up the film when searching for the word “Christmas.” So check mate.
Iron Man 3 isn’t my favorite MCU film by a long shot. It actually sits somewhere in the middle of the long list of 23 films. But it’s a tradition to watch it to get in the holiday mood at this point. And it usually leads to watching other favorite MCU films, too. I don’t really need an excuse to randomly dive into MCU films, but I’ll gladly take it!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
This film spans two holiday seasons – Halloween and Christmas – and the decked out Haunted Mansion at Disneyland really drives that point home. Admittedly, I was far more into this film when I was younger (and a bit more gothy), but it’s still a quintessential Disney holiday film. It’s bright, colorful, and the music is iconic.
While I personally may have seen it too many times to get much out of it anymore (and I’ve generally been over saturated by all things Tim Burton, actually), it’s something you should definitely see at least once. If for nothing else, to at least understand all the pop culture references and reaction gifs.
Miracle on 34th Street
When people bring up classic holiday films, this tends to be one of the first that people think of. The 1947 film still has loads of charm, holding up as an entertaining and meaningful holiday tale more than 70 years after it’s original release. It’s been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. You can’t get much more ‘classic’ than that.
Like the Nightmare Before Christmas, you’ll find that a lot of pop culture references will suddenly make way more sense to you after watching this film. For your own pop culture education, this is required viewing. Get a cup of cocoa and enjoy the film.
Disney+ has the film in its original black and white version, despite the fact that it was released in color in 1993 on VHS and LaserDisc (and wow, that’s the most 90’s sentence ever). I’m glad they kept it in its original format. Sometimes classics are best left alone. And this is definitely one of them.
I’m a child on the 90’s. How can this not be on my list?
I watched it repeatedly every holiday season through most of my childhood. It’s ridiculous, but my happy nostalgic feelings for this film are STRONG. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at this film from outside of my nostalgia goggles, so it’s very likely that if you haven’t seen this film you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as I do. It’s very much a film to watch if you want to relive your childhood, and thus its on this list.
Disney+ also has the second and third films, but I do recall those being kind of meh. And besides, Trump is in the second one and… well, let’s not drag this article down by talking politics. I’m sure most of you will get enough of that at the dinner table over the holidays. So why watch the sequel and risk it being brought up prematurely? Enjoy the first film and forget that the others (and Trump!) even exist.
Star Wars Holiday Special
… just kidding! This Star Wars special is currently hidden away in a vault somewhere. But we may get another one someday. Not this year, though.
Please, Favreau. We’re dying for your take on this! Please please please.
What’s on your list? Did I miss a holiday classic? Do you prefer a difference version of A Christmas Carol? Or do you prefer some of the lesser known titles on Disney+? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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