'Tis the season for sipping hot cocoa by crackling fireplaces, trimming the tree and baking Christmas cookies. But all that holiday cheer can be exhausting. When you're ready for a break, put on your cozy holiday pajamas and turn on a Christmas movie. It's the best tradition!
The whole family can find something they'll enjoy on Disney+, including short animated specials, fast-paced fantasy adventure films and heartfelt rom-coms. There are several nostalgic holiday classics to choose from, and of course, family-centered comedies that remind everyone about the spirit of the season.
Franchises like Home Alone and The Santa Clause have a home on Disney+, as well as entertaining standalone films like While You Were Sleeping and Noelle. Here are the best Christmas movies to stream on Disney+ this holiday season.
20th Century Fox
From Catherine O'Hara's iconic "Kevin!" scream to the ingenious booby traps set by 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), 1990's Home Alone is a holiday classic. Chris Columbus directs this film starring Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as "Wet Bandits" Harry and Marv, who plan to rob the McCallisters' home when they go on vacation. Little do they know, Kevin has accidentally been left home alone, and he isn't planning to let them in without a fight.
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
20th Century Fox Film Corp
Arguably better than the original, this 1992 sequel follows Kevin McCallister on vacation in New York City — while the rest of his family are in Florida. He lives it up during the holiday season at The Plaza Hotel ... until the Wet Bandits return. This holiday classic sees the return of Culkin, Pesci, Stern and O'Hara.
Home Alone 3
Hijinks abound in the third installment of the series, which was released in 1997 with a standalone plot. In this silly holiday flick, Alex D. Linz stars as Alex Pruitt, an 8-year-old in Chicago who tries to stop international spies from finding a computer chip hidden in a toy car. (Keep an eye out for 11-year-old Scarlett Johansson in one of her first roles.)
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House
This 2002 sequel to the ever-popular Home Alone series returns to the McCallister family. This time, "Wet Bandit" Marv (French Stewart) and his wife Vera (Missi Pyle) plan to kidnap a prince, whose family is staying with the McCallisters for the holidays. This extraordinary plot is served with a side of holiday cheer. It stars Mike Weinberg as Kevin and Erick Avari as Prescott, the butler.
Home Sweet Home Alone
More than 30 years after the first Home Alone, 2021's Home Sweet Home Alone follows 10-year-old Max Mercer (Archie Yates), who is accidentally left at home when his family goes to Japan. Married couple Jeff (Rob Delaney) and Pam (Ellie Kemper) try to break into the Mercers' home, but Max is just as adept as Kevin McCallister at keeping the bad ones away. This comedy also stars Aisling Bea, Kenan Thompson and Timothy Simons.
Walt Disney Pictures
Santa is retiring and passing on the Christmas duties to his son, Nick. Too bad he doesn't actually know what to do. Nick's sister, Noelle — who loves all things holly and jolly — gets him to take a break. When he disappears, it's up to Noelle to find her brother and save Christmas. (No pressure or anything!) This 2019 holiday comedy stars Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty and Shirley MacLaine.
Mickey and Minnie Wish Upon a Christmas
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the gang want to celebrate their holiday traditions together in this animated 2021 film, but there's just one problem: They are all so far from home! The pals have to overcome obstacles to make it to Hot Dog Hills by Christmas Eve, and with a little help from the Christmas Wishing Star, it just might happen.
Disney's A Christmas Carol
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Bah! Humbug! Disney's 2009 animated adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic story stars Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge. When the penny-pinching boss is mean to his clerk (Gary Oldman) and his nephew (Colin Firth), can the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come help him find the merry in the season, or will his life end as they predict?
Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
When Richie Rich (David Gallagher) has a fight with his spoiled cousin Reggie (Jake Richardson), Richie turns to Professor Keanbean (Eugene Levy) and his wishing machine. In a magical twist, his wish to disappear comes true, and Richie enters an alternate reality where he doesn't exist! This 1998 holiday film also stars Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Keene Curtis and Michelle Trachtenberg.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
Snow, romance, beautiful music — it's a tale as old as time! In this Beauty and the Beast holiday special, Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury) tells the story of a Christmas when the Beast (Robby Benson) was still in his grizzly form and Belle (Paige O'Hara) was still getting to know the castle. As the snow falls, composer Forte (Tim Curry) tries his hardest to keep Belle and the Beast apart. But true love (just like Christmas!) can't be stopped.
The Santa Clause
Attila Dory/Walt Disney
Santa Claus fell off the roof, so naturally, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) must don the red suit and take over. This 1994 holiday classic tells the story of Scott's life turning upside down as he is unwittingly assigned to one of the most important jobs in the world. Luckily, his magical sleigh, reindeer and precocious elves know how to get him through the night — and the rest of the year.
The Santa Clause 2
Joseph Lederer/Walt Disney
Allen reprises his role as Santa in this 2002 sequel. After working diligently for eight years, Scott discovers that, per "The Mrs. Clause," he has to get married by Christmas Eve or give up the red suit for good. But while he tries to find his Mrs. Claus, he also has to work to keep his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) off the Naughty List! Elizabeth Mitchell also stars.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Joseph Lederer/Walt Disney
Released in 2006, the third installment in the Santa Clause series is all about married life. Scott (Allen) and his wife Carol (Mitchell) are expecting a baby! When Carol's parents visit the North Pole before the baby is born, everyone tries to keep the Santa business a secret. But when Jack Frost (Martin Short) comes in to try to steal the gig, Santa and his pals have to clean up a downright frosty situation.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
20th Century Fox
This 1947 film is a timeless Christmas tale about the power of believing in Santa Claus. After an older gentleman (Edmund Gwenn) is hired to wear the red suit at Macy's, he causes a stir when people realize he thinks he's actually St. Nick. He's declared insane, and a lawyer (John Payne) works hard to convince the jury that Santa is real. This vintage holiday movie also stars Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Michael Weinstein/20th Century Fox
Matilda's Mara Wilson stars as Susan in the 1994 remake of the beloved holiday film. Susan has a sharp mind and plenty of doubts about Santa Claus and needs a miracle to believe in him again. So when her mother hires a department store Santa who claims he's the real deal, she is definitely intrigued. This version stars Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott.
Babes in Toyland
Kidnapping, dancing, Christmastime and more make Babes in Toyland a musical for the ages! This 1961 tale is about Mary Contrary (Annette Funicello), who planned on marrying Tom (Tommy Sands) until the evil Barnaby (Ray Bolger) and his goons kidnap Tom and hatch a plot to steal Mary's inheritance. Watching this is like stepping into Santa's toy factory.
One Magic Christmas
For one mother, the spirit of Christmas is found in her daughter's eyes. Ginny Grainger (Mary Steenburgen) rediscovers the beauty of the holidays when her 6-year-old daughter Abbie (Elisabeth Harnois) meets her guardian angel Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton). This uplifting film was released in 1985.
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
From a sweet story about Mickey and Minnie to a heartwarming holiday shared with Goofy and his son Max, this collection of animated holiday tales from 1999 is sure to warm your spirit. Even Donald Duck's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie appear in this kid-friendly movie. Kelsey Grammer, Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor and others lend their voices to this one.
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
In this anthology film, the pals continue their series of heartwarming holiday stories. In one, Pluto wants to help decorate for the holidays, but he gets in trouble and Mickey banishes him to the doghouse. Pluto takes a job as a reindeer on Santa's sleigh instead, but it doesn't turn out exactly as he hoped. Another story follows Donald Duck, who tries everything to avoid the season's festivities.
Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year
Life in the Hundred Acre Woods is all fun and games ... until Rabbit gets annoyed! After reminiscing about their delightful Christmases, Pooh and his friends make New Year's resolutions to change their habits. But now Pooh is grumpy from his no-honey diet, Piglet bounces everywhere and everyone loses their sense of self in this animated 2002 film. It's both thought-provoking and cute!
While You Were Sleeping
Lucy (Sandra Bullock) usually doesn't mind working over the holidays — that is, until she meets the handsome Peter (Peter Gallagher) and it's love at first sight. After she saves Peter's life, she pretends to be his fiancée and falls in love with his whole family, including his hunky brother Jack (Bill Pullman). This 1995 rom-com is worth a repeat watch.
The Search for Santa Paws
Puppies save the day in the Air Bud franchise's Santa Paws, starring Santa's dog Santa Paws. After Santa loses his memory, his dog Paws, an orphan named Quinn (Kaitlyn Maher), her friend Will (Madison Pettis) and a pack of adorable talking dogs have to work together to save him and help N.Y.C. rediscover the spirit of the season.
Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
The 2012 sequel to Santa Paws stars a new cast of precious pups named Hope, Jingle, Charity and Noble. The merry Santa Pups catch a ride on Mrs. Claus' sled as she heads to Pineville, Montana. There, they can't help but grant wishes to the kids, even when things start to go wrong. Mrs. Claus (Cheryl Ladd) has to work with the pups to set things right before Christmas Eve.
Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
Santa Buddies, another installment of the Air Bud franchise, takes place in the North Pole, where Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Buddha and MudBud help Puppy Paws find his holiday spirit. This jolly film was released in 2009 and stars Christopher Lloyd, Danny Woodburn and Craig Anton.
Prep & Landing
This sweet 2009 short film is about elf spies, who travel around the world to secretly get homes ready for Santa. But when the experienced Wayne (David Foley) is stuck with newbie Lanny (Derek Richardson), their first mission goes off the rails and risks a merry Christmas for everyone.
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Alan Markfield/Walt Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock
Nineties teen stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jessica Biel star in this 1998 holiday rom-com centered on college student Jake's quest to get home for the holidays. If he makes it home in time for dinner, he'll get his dad's prized vintage Porsche. But he has to get through the little hiccup of waking up in the desert with no money and dressed in a Santa suit. It's a dose of holiday cheer and nostalgia wrapped up into a 90-minute package.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Based on The Nutcracker ballet, this fantastical 2018 film is a holiday treasure with its whimsical set, awe-worthy special effects and Christmas magic. Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is left a mysterious gift from her mother, and she is whisked away on a journey to four secret realms. It's an adventurous world of dancing fairies, gingerbread soldiers and fighting mice. Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren also star.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Jim Henson Productions
In the Muppets' version of the classic holiday tale, Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit, a humble man who wants time with his family on Christmas. But when his boss Scrooge (Michael Caine) prioritizes money over family, Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future to teach him the meaning of the holiday. This musical film was released in 1992.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
Walt Disney Studios
Everybody celebrates the holidays a little differently — and Olaf loves it all! When our favorite talking snowman discovers that Anna and Elsa don't have holiday traditions, he sets out with Sven to discover all they can about the season to create a special Christmas in Arendelle. The cast of Frozen, including Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff, reprise their roles in this 2017 holiday special.
The Small One
Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection
Set in ancient Nazareth, Galilee, this 1978 animated movie tells the story of a boy who sells his donkey named Small One to a man named Joseph. He'll miss his animal, but he knows it's a worthy cause as Small One will help carry a pregnant woman named Mary to Bethlehem. Sound familiar?
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
Fox/courtesy Everett Collection
This short holiday special catches up with the Ice Age characters at the most wonderful time of the year … well, in theory. When Sid ruins Manny's Christmas, he travels to the North Pole to beg Santa Claus not to put him on the naughty list. This 2011 animated film features the voice talents of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah.
Ernest Saves Christmas
Jim Varney returns as Ernest in Ernest Saves Christmas, a 1988 comedy full of magic, heart and hilarious moments from the know-it-all star. In this installment, Santa (Douglas Seale) wants to retire, but first, he must find the perfect person to pass on the torch. So, he teams up with Ernest, and they find a few people to help along the way. This chaotic, spellbinding film is entertaining for all ages.
Being a fairy godmother isn't as easy as you'd think. When a young, inexperienced fairy-in-training named Eleanor (Jillian Bell) tries to answer a long-missing letter from a 10-year-old girl named Mackenzie, she ends up assisting the 40-year-old single mom she grew up to be (Isla Fisher). This Christmas comedy was released in 2020.
The Ultimate Christmas Present
It's a winter wonderland in Los Angeles when 13-year-old Allie Thompson (Hallee Hirsh) and her best friend Sam (Brenda Song) find a mysterious weather machine left behind by Santa. But when the flurries start to build up, Christmas could be ruined for everyone! This 2000 movie also stars Hallie Todd and Spencer Breslin.
'Twas the Night
Bryan Cranston stars as the eccentric uncle Nick Wrigley in this 2001 comedy. After Santa Claus is accidentally knocked out of commission on Christmas Eve, Nick's nephew Danny (Josh Zuckerman) tries to save Christmas — while a trio of con artists try to steal from the Wrigleys. Ah, the spirit of the giving season!
The Groundhog Day-style of 2021's Christmas…Again?! makes for a fun holiday film. Rowena (Scarlett Estevez) isn't enjoying her Christmas — her parents (Daniel Sunjata and Alexis Carra) are getting a divorce. Rowena wishes for another Christmas, and it comes true! Now, she must relive the holiday again and again while learning a few life lessons about family and forgiveness in the process.
The Christmas Star
Horace McNickle (Ed Asner) may look like Santa Claus, but he definitely doesn't act like the jolly fellow: He's actually a counterfeiter dressed up like Kris Kringle to escape prison and blend in with fellow Santas. To find the stolen loot he had stashed before being arrested, Horace enlists the help of two impressionable kids who believe in him — and may just change his heart. This heartfelt Christmas tale came out in 1986.
LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
LEGO Star Wars, but make it Christmas! This 2020 short follows Rey and BB-8 as they journey to a mysterious Jedi Temple to learn more about the Force. The duo end up traveling through time to see some of the most famous heroes and villains from all eras of the saga (including Anakin, Han Solo and The Child) in a fun throwback movie all about the merry holiday Life Day.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
Some would say Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween film, but they would be wrong. The 1993 stop-motion musical is firmly a Christmas movie as Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman and Chris Sarandon) tries to transform the spooky Halloween Town into Christmas Town. His own creepy nature doesn't exactly emulate the joyful holiday, but luckily, rag doll Sally (Catherine O'Hara) is there to make everything okay again.