Movies4Kids Top 20 Christmas Movies
‘Tis the season to be slumped in front of the TV after too many mince pies, which also makes it the perfect time to catch up with some classic Christmas movies.
Here’s Movies4Kids’ pick of the seasonal movies you can watch at home (most are on Amazon Prime and/or Netflix) with the whole family – beginning with our five favourites.
Click on each movie title for the full Movies4Kids review.
And check back soon for our alternative Christmas movie list that’s for grown-ups and older kids only!
THE TOP FIVE
Michael Caine is miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in this adorably fluffy version of Dickens’ classic, while Kermit is employee Bob Crachit, Robin is Tiny Tim and Gonzo narrates the story as Dickens himself with the help of Rizzo the rat. A great introduction to the story for little kids, and a complete hoot for everyone else.
One of the many lovely movies to come from Aardman Animation, this is the story of how Santa’s son Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) almost ruins Christmas when he tries to deliver a missing present to a little girl on Christmas Eve. The impressive voice cast also includes Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton.
This 1946 b&w movie is a classic for a reason – it features one of cinema legend James Stewart’s best performances and, despite being a big old weepie, does restore your faith in humanity by the end. Stewart, of course, plays George Bailey, who contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve but is shown how his life has affected others by trainee angel Clarence (Henry Travers).
Will Ferrell is Buddy, the human who has been raised as an elf at the North Pole, in this enjoyable comedy. When he realises Papa Elf Isn’t his real dad, Buddy beads down to New York to find his biological father – who just happens to be gruff businessman Walter Hobbs (James Caan). This is getting a cinema re-release in the UK from December 4th.
Dr Seuss’s classic kids’ book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, was made into a 2000 live action movie starring Jim Carrey (who was a bit scary for very little ones – here’s our review) but we prefer the 2018 animated adaptation, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the fuzzy green creature who hates the residents of Whoville for being so cheerful.
15 more Christmas movies for the family:
The Christmas Chronicles – Kurt Russell is Santa. Why did no one think of this before? (And if you like this one, you’ll be pleased to hear a sequel is being made).
A Christmas Star – An Irish adventure about a girl who believes she has special powers because she was born on Christmas Day, featuring cameo performances from Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan and Kylie Minogue.
Home Alone – Macaulay Culkin has to protect his house from inept burglars Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci when his family accidentally go away for the holidays without him.
Jack Frost – don’t accidentally download the 1997 horror of the same name, you want the 1998 version with Michael Keaton as the dad who is reincarnated as a snowman to be with his son.
Jingle All The Way – Arnold Schwarzenegger is the dad desperately trying to buy sold-out toy Turbo-Man for his son in this seasonal comedy made long before we could all order gifts online.
The Man Who Invented Christmas – Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens in this drama that supposes how the author was inspired to write his classic A Christmas Carol. Amusing fare for older viewers.
Miracle On 34thStreet – There have been two movie versions of the story of a little girl who believes a department store Santa is the real deal. The 1947 version has Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, while it’s Mara Wilson and Richard Attenboroiugh in the 1994 remake.
Nativity! – We’re not big fans of the four Nativity! movies here at Movies4Kids but they’re certainly very British crowd-pleasers featuring cute kids and actors including Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Martin Clunes and Marc Wooton.
The Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated movie isn’t for little kids but older ones will love the story of what happens when king of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, discovers Christmas Town.
The Nutcracker And The Four Realms – A retelling of the classic magical fantasy The Nutcracker And The Mouse King with a starry cast (Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Richard E Grant).
The Polar Express – Once you get past the odd animation, in which each adult character looks like a slightly creepy version of Tom Hanks (who also contributes some of the voices), there is much to enjoy in this animated story from Robert Zemeckis.
Prancer – Have tissues to hand for this adorable story of a young girl who nurses a wounded reindeer whom she believes is one of Santa’s. Sam Elliott stars.
The Santa Clause – Silly but enjoyable comedy with Tim Allen as the man who accidentally injures Santa and finds himself magically recruited to take the jolly one’s place on Christmas Eve.
Saving Santa – Noel Clarke, Joan Collins, Tim Curry andMartin Freeman are among those providing voices for this animated story of a lowly elf who is the only one who can stop an invasion at the North Pole.
Scrooge – There are numerous versions of A Christmas Carol, including an animated one with Jim Carrey that’s a bit scary for very young viewers (Read our review here). This is the 1951 classic, though, with Alistair Sim the one being haunted on Christmas Eve.