Top 10 Disney Holiday Movies
After a long day of shopping, baking holiday cookies, wrapping gifts or shoveling snow, nothing watching a holiday film with loved ones. Disney has released many holiday themed specials and movies over the years, from remakes of the classics to Disney Channel original movies. The holiday season won’t be the same without them, so grab your cocoa and watch the top 10 best Disney holiday movies:
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas
The age-old debate on whether this classic is a Christmas or Halloween movie has come to an end. It’s both! Although a generally spooky movie featuring skeletons, vampires, ghosts and ghouls, there is no doubt that this movie brings some amount of holiday cheer to whoever watches. Just as Jack Skellington brings Christmas spirit to Halloweentown, you’ll bring it to the whole family when you sit down and turn this movie on!
This movie follows a skeleton named Jack as he gets lost in the world of Christmas, observing all of the traditions of Christmas. Becoming inspired, he brings these ideas back to his native Halloweentown and convinces his friends to participate in their own twisted version of Christmas. Things go awry when Santa gets abducted and held hostage in Halloweentown, but Christmas magic saves the day in the end. The songs from this movie have remained a classic since 1992, and the stop motion claymation is bewitching to watch.
9. The Ultimate Christmas Present
If you’ve never seen this movie, you’re missing out! This Disney Channel Original movie is a true holiday classic. It’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas among the hustle and bustle of the season. This move really resonates with the theme “family is the best gift around the holidays”. It’s very exciting and family friendly!
This story follows two best friends as they wish for snow in California for Christmas. When they get their hands on a weather machine, they create havoc with the weather- even if they did get out of school for a few days. When family members can’t come home because of the snow, they quickly devise a plan to reverse their plans for snow. Soon they figure out that the ultimate Christmas present is actually family and friends.
8. Good Luck Charlie- It’s Christmas!
Based off the hit Disney series “Good Luck Charlie”, this holiday film is a surprising hit! Even if you’ve never seen the series, the relatable characters and theme of family dysfunction around the holidays is sure to tug on your heartstrings and hit close to home. It truly is a feel good movie that’s fit for the entire family.
Things hit the fan when the Duncan’s attempt to travel to Florida for the Holidays. Their oldest daughter gives up her ticket for a stranger, throwing the plans into a spiral. After an indefinite cancelled flight, a mother daughter duo must think of creative ways to make their way to Florida to reunite with the family in time for Christmas. A hilarious tribute to how wrong things can go over the holidays, this movie will have you laughing the whole way through.
7. A Christmas Carol
Quite possibly the most iconic and well known holiday story, Disney’s remake of Charles Dickens’s classic story is a can’t miss. The computer animation of this film is beautiful to watch and features Jim Carrey as a majority of the characters. If you choose not to watch “A Christmas Carol” this holiday season, then Bah Humbug to you!
This story follows Ebenezer Scrooge and his constant selfish tendencies. The holidays are no time to be selfish, he soon learns. After being visited by three ghosts and looking back on his life, Scrooge realizes his ways have to change before the holidays. If you’re looking for a version friendlier for young children, Disney also produced a version starring Mickey Mouse and Scrooge McDuck in an animated format, and also in a Muppets version.
6. Pluto’s Christmas Tree
Although this technically isn’t a movie, this short animated picture exudes Disney magic around the holidays. There is just something about the old school Mickey Mouse cartoons that bring the whole family together! The details and storyline are so great, and seeing the original characters in action is heartwarming as a Disney fan.
Mickey and Pluto chop down a Christmas tree for their home that turns out to be the home of Chip and Dale. When these two classic duo’s mix, chaos ensues! Although their house is eventually ruined, Mickey and Pluto happily share the holiday with their new friends.
5. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
This is one holiday special I always make sure I sit down and watch every year! The stories featured are so cute and send great messages. There’s three stories featured in this program, “Donald Duck Stuck on Christmas”, “ A Very Goofy Christmas” and “Mickey and Minnie’s The Gift of Magi”. Each of these feature a different holiday message or meaning in a magical Disney way. My favorite of these three is “Donald Duck Stuck on Christmas”. It features Huey, Dewey and Louie as they wake up on Christmas and completely forget all their manners. The universe gives them another try to make things right, but it takes a couple of tries.
4. Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
Seriously, these two specials are so good, they deserve their own recognition! Much like “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas”, the sequel released six years later features five stories starring everyone’s favorite characters. One story in particular features our favorite furry friend, Pluto! Feeling underappreciated during the Christmas season, Pluto runs away and somehow ends up at the North Pole. There, they try to teach him how to be a reindeer.
In addition to this story, the other four highlighted stories are sure to bring Christmas joy into your home.
3. Eloise at Christmastime
What could be more special than Christmas at the Plaza? The hit book series inspired my favorite Christmas movie, which was shot at the famous hotel. The decor of The Plaza Hotel in this film is truly a vision and the love story included is a nice twist of the use of Christmas spirit.
Eloise is a little girl who lives in the penthouse of the Plaza hotel with her nanny, played by Julie Andrews. After receiving a spy kit for Christmas, she takes it upon herself to find a true mystery to solve. This is around the time where she decides to meddle in the wedding of the hotel’s owner and her rich fiancee, trying to set her up with the hotel’s bellboy. There is something truly special about Christmas time in New York City, making it the perfect setting for this movie.
2. The Santa Clause
To me, this movie is a no brainer when it comes to being the best Holiday movie produced by Disney. Thankfully, there are several opportunities to watch this between streaming services and movie marathons.
Scott Calvin is a divorced dad who somehow finds himself replacing Santa on Christmas eve, not realizing he signed up for the job for life. As the year goes by, his son struggles with his father’s new position and as it draws closer to Christmas Eve, Scott’s appearance starts to change to more resemble Santa. This story of self discovery is a beautiful Christmas movie to enjoy this holiday season.
1. Wonderful World of Disney Holiday Celebration
Again, not exactly a movie, but this once a year extravaganza is a can’t-miss event on ABC. This two hour event is full of performances from the biggest music sensations, an amazing castle lighting, and appearances from all of our favorite characters. This years event will be hosted by Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey, and it premieres November 30th. During this celebration, special “made with magic” accessories will be available at the parks and resorts, as well as the online store and the Disney Shop Parks app.
Do you have any favorites that didn’t make the list? Comment down below!
Thanks to Molly Kelly for writing this article! Molly Kelly is a loyal Disney fan of 22 years who aspires to become every Disney princess combined into one. She is a recent graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh in Upstate New York with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and Marketing. Some of her lifetime goals include being an annual pass holder to Disney, to own many dogs, and to incorporate Disney magic into her day, every day.