Christmas is just the best time of year, isn’t it? Flashing lights, huge inflatable Santas, mulled wine, the smell of Christmas trees and all the chocolate! Add to that the wide array of festive films and you’re onto a winner.
But the sheer volume of titles can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve rounded up our top 10 festive Disney flicks to save you time.
1. One Magic Christmas
Gideon, a Christmas angel, is sent by Santa to help Ginny Grainger. Ginny is a cynic, and she hates Christmas. She and her family (husband, Jack and two kids, Cal and Abbie) have fallen on hard times, making it even harder to believe in anything that can’t be seen. With help from Abbie, and a trip to see Santa Claus himself, can Gideon find a way to make Ginny believe again? This is a classic film, just perfect for someone who’s struggling to get into the Christmas spirit.
- Mary Steenburgen as Ginny Grainger
- Gary Basaraba as Jack Grainger
- Harry Dean Stanton as Gideon
- Arthur Hill as Caleb Grainger
2. 12 Dates of Christmas
Looking for something more romantic? 12 Dates of Christmas is a festive rom-com that follows Kate, a young woman who re-lives the same first date on Christmas Eve over and over again. In an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend on Christmas Eve, Kate ends up ruining her blind date with Miles, a handsome guy she’s been set up with. In a strange twist of fate, Kate is given the chance to re-live Christmas Eve twelve times! In the end, Kate decides to embrace what she’s been given her – a loving family, great friends and Miles, who turns out to be a great guy! However, just as she seems to think she has gotten it right, the clock strikes midnight and Kate must live Christmas Eve once again. Throughout the film, Kate learns to take risks and enjoy what she’s been given and finally finds happiness by trusting fate.
- Amy Smart as Kate Stanton
- Peter MacNeill as Mike Stanton
- Laura Miyata as Miyoko
- Vijay Mehta as Ad Man
3. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
This is a Christmas themed, three-part video. The first features Donald Duck and is a cartoon retelling of Groundhog Day (1993), with Huey, Dewey, and Louie reliving Christmas ad infinitum. Next up is Goofy, which includes a story about how he tries to overcome his son’s skepticism about Santa Claus. Finally, it’s the characters you’ve all waited for: Mickey & Minnie in part three that focuses on the importance of selflessness at Christmas time.
- Kelsey Grammer as Narrator
- Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse
- Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse
- Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck
4. The Ultimate Christmas Present
This festive flick centres around two girls, who find Santa Clause’s weather machine. The girls change the weather with this new machine and cause a snow day to help get themselves into the Christmas spirit. But disaster strikes when the machine breaks and causes an out-of-control snowstorm! This is a fun Christmas movie for all the family.
- Hallee Hirsh as Allie/Allison Rachel Thompson
- Spencer Breslin as Joey Thompson
- Hallie Todd as Michelle Thompson
- Brenda S as Samantha Elizabeth Kwan
5. The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)
Directed by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas centers on Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s Pumpkin King. When he accidentally stumbles through a portal to Christmastown, Jack, who has grown weary of the same routine year after year, decides to take over Christmas and celebrate it — with a few twists. The film is gorgeous to look at, a tremendous work of stop-motion animation, but the story is captivating as well, with stellar characters and deliciously gothic undertones. Plus, the soundtrack is the stuff of dreams. All in all, The Nightmare Before Christmas is pure poetry – original, macabre and beautifully animated.
- Chris Sarandon (speaking voice) and Danny Elfman (singing voice) as Jack Skellington
- Catherine O’Hara as Sally
- William Hickey as Doctor Finklestein
- Glenn Shadix as Mayor of Halloweentown
6. The Mistle-Tones
Holly, who is blessed with an amazing singing voice, is all set to audition for the newly vacated spot in a legendary local Christmas group, which was founded by her late mother years ago. However, she is shocked and upset when the slot goes to the not-very-talented best friend of the group’s leader, Marci. Instead, Holly sets out to create her own musical group, The Mistle-Tones. After challenging their rivals to a sing-off on Christmas Eve, Holly finds herself on a journey to the real meaning of Christmas with some new friends and a whole load of love thrown in for good measure! This is definitely a feel-good festive flick to put on your list.
- Tia Mowry-Hardrict as Holly
- Jonathan Patrick Moore as Nick Anderson
- Andy Gala as AJ
- Megan Kathleen Duffy as Bernie
7. The Santa Paws 2: Santa Pups
If you’re looking for a Christmas holiday classic, this is it. Starring a brand-new litter of the cutest talking pups ever – Hope, Jingle, Charity, and Noble – it’s perfect for the whole family. When Mrs. Claus travels to Pineville, the playful Santa Pups stow away on her sled. Taking mischief to a whole new level, they begin granting wishes to Pineville’s boys and girls, but something goes terribly wrong – the Christmas spirit begins to disappear. Now the Santa Pups and Mrs. Claus must race to save Christmas around the world.
- Cheryl Ladd as Mrs. Claus
- George Newbern as Thomas Reynolds
- Danny Woodburn as Eli
- Obba Babatundé as Mayor Denny
8. The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (2018)
All Clara wants is a key, a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice, and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger, to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. It’s a great Christmas movie for people of all ages, with a sparkling cast to match. But don’t take our word for it – see for yourself by streaming it on Disney+.
- Mackenzie Foy as Clara
- Morgan Freeman as Drosselmeyer
- Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger
- Tom Sweet as Fritz
9. Noelle (2019)
Noelle has always had to support and encourage her brother Nick, who was ordained to take over as Santa. When Nick disappears right before Christmas, Noelle goes on a funny and heartfelt journey to find him and, ultimately, what Christmas is really about. Few Christmas films can please everyone, but whether you’ve got to keep little ones entertained or elderly relatives happy, Noelle can do just that. Who doesn’t like Anna Kendrick anyway?
- Anna Kendrick as Noelle
- Shirley MacLaine as Elf Polly
- Bill Hader as Nick Kringle
- Julie Hagerty as Mrs. Claus
10. The Christmas Star
Horace McNickle is a two-time felon serving prison time for counterfeiting. On the week before Christmas, he escapes from prison dressed as Santa Claus due to his uncanny resemblance to St. Nick. He hides out from the police in a nearby suburban neighbourhood where he is befriended and helped by two local children who think he is the real Santa Claus. McNickle takes advantage of the kids to help him get his counterfeit money hidden, but somewhere along the way, he develops kind-hearted feelings for them. Slowly and surely, he begins to understand the true nature of Christmas.
- Edward Asner as Horace McNickle
- Rene Auberjonois as Sumner
- Jim Metzler as Stuart Jameson
- Susan Tyrrell as Sara
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