From old school classics to a few newer flicks, here’s your Christmas streaming guide.
The holidays mean cuddling up on the couch for family movie time. If you’re looking for great kids' movies and Christmas specials streaming right now, sometimes finding your favorite can be tricky. Here are thirty great Christmas movies for kids, and how to watch them right now. From Charlie Brown to The Grinch to some newer Christmas favorites, here’s your essential Christmas streaming list, in no particular order. Plus, how to track down the movie you want. Sometimes it’s trickier than you think!
Note: This Christmas movie streaming list has been fully updated for 2022.
20. Miracle on 34th Street (both versions)
When a man who claims to be the real Santa Claus is institutionalized, a lawyer and a young girl come to his rescue in this classic film.
19. The Nightmare Before Christmas
This strange but delightful stop-motion animation film combines both Halloween and Christmas. When Jack Skellington tries to bring Christmas back to Halloween Town, everything gets even weirder. This film is perfect for kids who like darker or spookier movies.
Stream The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+.
Or Stream sing-along version of The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+.
18. Charlie Brown Christmas
There’s of course, the famous ruminative 1965 classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, but what is less famous, and equally great is the 2003 double-feature that had I Want a Dog From Christmas, Charlie Brown, and Happy New Year, Charlie Brow. In the titular story, Linus asks for a dog for Christmas. In the second half, Charlie Brown is assigned to write a paper on War and Peace during the holiday break.
The original 1965 special — A Charlie Brown Christmas — is streaming on Apple TV+. Starting in December 2022, Apple will also finally, rerelease I Want a Dog From Christmas, Charlie Brown, too.
Stream The Charlie Brown holiday action on Apple TV+.
17. Arthur’s Perfect Christmas
Your favorite aardvark teaches kids about all the different holiday traditions people can have.
Stream Arthur’s Perfect Christmas on Amazon Prime. (With a PBS Kids subscription.)
16. The Santa Clause
Yep, it’s that holiday classic where Tim Allen kills the real Santa and assumes his identity! We still love this 1994 movie, even though we’re not sure why.
Stream The Santa Clause on Disney+.
15. Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
The Ice Age movies are much better than they have any right to be. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you can’t go wrong with this. one.
Stream Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas on Disney+.
14. Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
The Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George are super excited to celebrate Christmas.
Stream Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas on Peacock.
13. The Polar Express
It might be a slightly unnerving adaptation of the classic Chris Van Allsburg book of the same name, but the enduring message of the story is still fantastic.
Stream The Polar Express on HBO Max.
12. The Year Without Santa Claus
Watch out for the Heatmiser! This topsy-turvey, and truly bizarre classic from 1974 is hard to track down but worth the effort.
Stream The Year Without Santa Claus only by renting it on YouTube.
11. Frosty the Snowman
Perhaps the simplest and most enduring old-school Christmas special, you can watch the 1969 for free.
Stream Frosty the Snowman for free on YouTube.
10. Jingle Jangle
This contemporary Netflix special is the newest film on this list. Released in 2020, this live-action movie flew under the radar, but it’s worth a look and great for elementary-aged kids.
Stream Jingle Jangle on Netflix.
9. Santa Buddies
The legend of “Santa Paws” starts here. Pet-themed Christmas movies are not a showcase for the greatest writing in cinema, but your kids will love this one.
Stream Santa Buddies on Disney+.
8. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!
The Cat and the Hat, Thing 1, Thing 2, and all of their friends help a young reindeer find his family.
Stream The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! free on Tubi.
7. Kung Fu Panda: Holiday
Po (Jack Black) is in charge of hosting the winter celebration dinner, but everything isn’t quite going according to plan.
Stream Kung Fu Panda: Holiday here on Netflix.
6. Trolls Holiday
Poppy, Branch, and other members of the Snack Pack are appalled when they find out that the Bergens don’t have any holiday. They help King Gristle and Bridget create a holiday of their own in this special.
Stream Tolls Holiday Netflix.
5. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
In this holiday special, there are three delightful Disney holiday tales: “The Gift of the Magi,” “Duck Tales” and “A Very Goofy Christmas.”
Stream Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas on Disney+.
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
This 1964 stop-motion classic is actually hard to track down. In fact, if you want to watch it online on streaming, your only option is to purchase the video on Amazon for $9.99. That’s it! Really! Here’s the link.
And here’s more detailed information on how to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV for free.
3. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
If you can’t make it to the ballet this year, just watch it on Netflix instead. The New York City ballet performs The Nutcracker ballet with Kevin Kline narrating and a young Macaulay Culkin making an appearance.
Stream George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker on YouTube.
2. All the Grinches
There are three versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And you know what? We like all of them! Here’s where to stream each version
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). Stream it on Peacock.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, the one with Jim Carrey). Stream it on HBO Max.
- The Grinch (2018, the one with Benedict Cumberbatch). Stream it for rent on Apple TV.
1. The Muppet Christmas Carol
The best version of A Christmas Carol is also a Jim Henson masterpiece.
Stream The Muppet Christmas Carol on Disney+.
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