With Disney Plus taking the world by storm this holiday season, I wanted to share all the best Disney Christmas movies, but not all of them are on Disney+. Here are my top choices and where you can find them.
The Santa Clause
The ultimate Christmas movie from Disney has got to be the Santa Clause. It’s such a classic Disney movie from the days when the studio really hit its stride and was producing consistently reliable comedies made for the whole family. Tim Allen brings Santa to life like never before. You can watch it on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
When Disney took a chance on Jack Skellington, they probably had no idea Burton’s film would be one of the most popular and heavily merchandised releases in their catalog. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a masterpiece from director Henry Sellick about a bored skeleton who wanders into another holiday and tries to take over Christmas without understanding what makes it special. This is available on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Prep and Landing
This animated ABC special from 2009 spawned a sequel and a 7 minute short. All of them are relatively modest in length, but the world-building and sense of humor are a cut above. Dave Foley leads the cast in a comic and creative action-packed tale of what really happens the night before Christmas. Sadly, it’s not on Disney+ yet, but you can get it on Amazon Prime Video.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
A short but sweet adaptation of Charles Dickens’ best-loved novel, Mickey’s Christmas Carol sees Mickey in the role of Bob Cratchet and features appearances by Jiminy Cricket, Mr. Toad and more. You can find it on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video among other versions of A Christmas Carol.
Muppets Christmas Carol
This is also on Disney + and Amazon Prime Video and it’s similar in spirit to Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The main differences are that it’s a feature-length film, It’s a musical, It stars the muppets, and oh yeah Michael Cain is in it, too. He plays Scrooge so Superbly you’ll forget all about Jaws: the Revenge.
Lady and the Tramp
This is a sweet Disney movie set up at Christmas time in a rural midwestern town sometime in the early 20th century. It basically feels like Disneyland, which is a really good start to a Christmas movie. The movie closes on another Christmas scene bringing the story full circle and landing the production right in the middle of this list. The original Lady and the Tramp and the 2019 remake are both on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
The Small One
This is an obscure Disney film with a modest running length. It was originally released in 1978 during a re-release of Pinocchio. It tells a story leading up to the first Christmas as a boy seeks a new owner for his beloved donkey and sells it to a kind man after running into all sorts of trouble. This is not available on Disney+, but it is on Amazon Prime Video.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
This is a Christmas package of three shorts featuring Donald, Goofy and Mickey and Minnie. The Donald short centers around Huey, Dewey, and Louie, learning to value family at Christmas. The Goofy short introduces his son Max. The narrator of the film is Kelsey Grammer, which is ideal. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas and it’s sequel Twice Upon a Christmas are both available on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Yes. It’s Disney, now. Although it was originally distributed by 20th Century Fox, Disney was all too happy to claim this Christmas classic. Like with Back to the Future, the genius of this story is in the detailed set up followed by a long string of payoffs. Chris Columbus and the talented cast brilliantly pull off the concept of the plausible impossible, which Walt Disney himself demonstrates in a special that, like Home Alone, is available on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas Movie. Yes, John McClaine has joined Kevin McCallister in the Disney Fold. It’s a merry Christmas indeed. Sadly, we won’t see Die Hard on Disney+ this year, probably because of the R rating. But you can still stream it on Amazon Prime Video while you make fists with your toes on the carpet.
What other movies would you add to the list?