Last Updated: December 17th
When it comes to Christmas classics, Disney’s got the market cornered and now that they’ve opened the vault with their streaming platform, Disney+, it’s time to take advantage of their holiday film library. From Tim Allen comedies to Muppets, animated favorites, and a modern take on the story of Old Saint Nick, these movies make up some of the best seasonal watches you’ll find so get into the Christmas spirit with our guide to the best holiday films streaming on Disney+ right now.
The Santa Clause (1994)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
Tim Allen stars in this Christmas classic about an ad executive and absentee father, who accidentally knocks Kris Kringle off his roof one Christmas Eve and becomes the new Jolly Old in the red suit. Allen plays Scott Calvin, a divorced dad trying his best to co-parent his young son Charlie with his ex and her new husband, a psychologist. When Charlie and Scott have a holiday adventure that brings them to the North Pole where Scott is forced to don the Christmas get-up and deliver toys, he faces down more than just a weight gain and some graying hairs. It’s an original premise and Allen is in his element as the comedic relief of this one.
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
Rarely does a sequel surpass an original, but that’s what happened in the early ’90s when little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) took a solo trip to the Big Apple for Christmas. Just one year after his truly neglectful parents left him home by himself for the holidays, Kevin boards the wrong flight in an airport melee and winds up stranded in NYC. He makes the most of it, staying at The Plaza, racking up room service bills on his father’s credit card, and befriending a bird lady in Central Park, but he must also fight off his former foes, who come looking for him once they’re out from behind bars.
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader star in this Disney+ original holiday flick that puts a modern spin on the story of Old Saint Nick. Kendrick plays Noelle, the daughter of Kris Kringle who’s full of Christmas cheer but isn’t destined to wear the red suit. That honor goes to her older brother, Nick (Hader) who would rather lead yoga retreats in Arizona that fly a sled and deliver toys to children. When Nick goes missing before Christmas, Noelle must find him and most of the comedy comes with the journey, as she tries to integrate into normal society, making friends with a divorced detective and his young son as she hunts down her brother and tries to save the holiday.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Run Time: 76 min | IMDb: 8/10
Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated flick is part musical, part dark-fantasy, part Christmas-mixed-with-Halloween. In other words, it’s got something for everyone. The story follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Jack’s fed up with constantly celebrating Halloween and decides to take over Santa Claus’ Christmas duties one year instead. He bungles the job and nearly gets Santa killed before setting things right.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Run Time: 85 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
The Muppets liven up Charles Dickens’ usually dreary tale of grumpiness, regret, and holiday season renewal in an instant holiday classic that casts Michael Caine opposite the likes of Kermit, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, and all the rest. The first Muppet film created after the passing of Jim Henson, son Brian Henson does a more than capable job in the director’s chair, rallying the usual band of behind the scenes talents to inject some familiar heart and soul into this beloved band of characters in a truly memorable effort.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Sure, we wish the ’90s remake with Matilda and Richard Attenborough was also available on Disney+, but you’ve got to pay tribute to the classics, especially at Christmas, and this movie is still one of the best holiday films out there. The plot follows an elderly man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gewnn) who claims to be Santa Claus. While one little girl believes him, he begins to threaten a department store’s holiday sales and is institutionalized while a young lawyer does his best to prove he is the real deal.
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Sure, technically this movie isn’t about Christmas, but it’s got snow. Lots of it. So it’s still a good winter watch. Disney switched up its formulaic princess model with this icy musical about two orphaned sisters who must work together to protect their kingdom from evil forces. Kristen Bell plays Anna, the perky protagonist and younger sibling to Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), a young woman with extraordinary abilities who must hide her powers from the world. The songs are terrific, the animation is superb, and you can’t tell us that you don’t love Josh Gad as a talking snowman.
Home Alone (1990)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Even though we’ve taken a clear side in the war over which Home Alone slaps hardest (see above) the original film is still a worthy holiday binge. It stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, a young boy left at home over the holidays when his family wakes up late, rushes to the airport, and forgets to bring him along. While they’re losing their minds, he’s enjoying his freedom but a couple of bumbling robbers put a damper on those plans.
Babes In Toyland (1960)
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Okay, so this isn’t the Drew Barrymore version, and it’s definitely lacking enough Keanu Reeves, but this classic is one of the better iterations of this Victor Herbert operetta. The story follows Mary Contrary and Tom Piper, who are set to be wed before Mary is kidnapped by a villain named Barnaby who wants her for himself. Tom must race to find her and that chase is what fuels the action, as he navigates hilarious mishaps through the magical world of toys.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1998)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 5.5/10
The original ’90s heartthrob, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, stars in this holiday film about a college kid named Jake struggling to get home before Christmas. When he’s left stranded in the desert with no money, he’s got to improvise to travel the few thousand miles back to his hometown. It’s light and fun and full of nostalgia if you were a ’90s kid who had a poster of JTT on their bedroom wall.