The holidays are coming up soon, which means it’s almost time to watch a Christmas movie on the couch with some hot cocoa.
Even though you can stream hundreds or even thousands of Christmas movies, nothing beats the feeling of nostalgia you get from a Christmas cartoon or animated movie. These songs can take you right back to your childhood when all you cared about were the gifts under the tree and the cookies you left out for Santa.
If you’re looking for a happy cartoon to get kids and adults into the holiday spirit, you’re in luck, because we’ve put together some of our favorites below.
By their very nature, cartoons are fun and silly, but many of these picks, both new and old favorites, also teach important lessons about the importance of family, faith, and helping those in need.
Since it might be hard for the whole family to agree on one movie, snuggle up for a night of back-to-back viewings, especially since it’s cold outside.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Everyone’s favorite Christmas song is this one by Rankin/Bass and for good reason. This stop-motion movie is a must-see every holiday season.
It has a memorable soundtrack (who could forget the ominous opening music of “We’re on the Island of Misfit Toys?”) and a cast of characters that do well.
Frosty The Snowman (1969)
“Frosty The Snowman” is another one that everyone thinks of. It’s a story about friendship and has a catchy theme song to go with it. This is another movie made by Rankin/Bass, but instead of the usual stop-motion, it was made with 2D animation.
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
“It didn’t have any bows! It didn’t have any tags! It didn’t come in any boxes or bags.”
Fans of Christmas movies have seen all the different versions of the Grinch’s story, even the one with Jim Carrey in the lead role, but the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is still the best.
The Polar Express (2004)
Who could ask for anything more than Tom Hanks and Christmas? Hanks does the voice of the train conductor in The Polar Express. On Christmas Eve, the Polar Express takes kids to see Santa at the North Pole.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Some people say this movie would be better for Halloween, but others say it’s a Christmas movie all the way. With a great score by Danny Elfman, this classic Disney movie is sure to give you the creeps around Halloween or Christmas.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
In this Christmas movie that doesn’t get enough attention, Arthur Claus, Santa’s son, finds out that one little girl was left out on Christmas Eve. He makes it his mission to make sure she gets her gift.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Jim Carrey plays Ebenezer Scrooge in this animated version of the classic story by Charles Dickens. On Christmas Eve, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future come to visit Scrooge. They show him that he needs to change his ways if he wants to live a long and happy life.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
This sweet collection of Christmas stories about Disney characters will be a big hit with Disney fans. In these short stories, Mickey, Donald, and Minnie have different problems during the holidays, but with the help of their friends, they figure out what Christmas is all about.
A Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
Because there has to be at least one bad guy in every Christmas movie. Heat Miser and Snow Miser are the ones in this case.
When Santa gets lazy around Christmas, it’s up to Mrs. Claus and her friends to get him healthy and get everything back in order before Christmas Eve.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
From Charlie Brown’s less-than-perfect Christmas tree to Linus’s version of the Christmas story, this animated classic is sure to get people in the holiday spirit.
Klaus is the first Spanish-American Christmas special on Netflix. The lesson of the story is that a small act of kindness can go a long way, especially around Christmas.
Trolls: Holiday in Harmony (2021)
“Trolls: Holiday in Harmony” is a fun holiday movie with music that will make everyone tap their toes. During their first annual Trolls Kingdom Gift Swap, the crew learns how to deal with an unsightly mistake.
Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer (2018)
Elliot, whose voice is done by Josh Hutcherson, is the smallest reindeer (well, he’s really a horse). This movie is good for the whole family. Martin Short and Jeff Dunham also lend their voices.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
Olaf, the cheerful friend from “Frozen,” wants to make the holidays special for Anna and Elsa, who don’t have their own holiday traditions. Yes, this movie is as cute as it sounds, and yes, you should watch it right away.
The Star (2017)
This one is great if you want to teach your kids why the holidays are special and how important community and family are. In this Bible-based comedy, the first Christmas is saved by a brave little donkey and his animal friends.
Olive, The Other Reindeer (1999)
Drew Barrymore plays Olive, a funny puppy who finds out that she needs to step up her game during the holidays. This movie, which isn’t as well-known as it should be, is full of catchy songs, clever animations, and belly laughs for the whole family.
Prep & Landing (2009)
Prep & Landing is a movie that everyone can enjoy this movie. This special not only won four Primetime Emmys, but it also has a very important message for both kids and adults: Keep the Christmas spirit alive no matter what.
Santa Claus is Comin To Town (1970)
Santa Claus is Comin To Town is proof that Rankin/Bass is the best at Christmas. This story is told by Fred Astaire, and Mickey Rooney plays Kris Kringle (aka Santa). And, like any good Christmas special, it has a few catchy songs, including the song that gives the show its name.
Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
Everyone loves a Disney Christmas movie, right? “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” shows us Belle’s village at Christmas, with all the familiar characters from the first movie.
The Grinch (2018)
“The Grinch” has been changed many times, but Benedict Cumberbatch’s version, in which he plays the Grinch, is a new and hilarious take on the story.
Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You (2017)
Everyone and we mean everyone, knows Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Follow a little girl on her journey to get a puppy for Christmas and hear the song in a whole new way. Let’s be honest, that’s all we want for Christmas, too.
Irving is the Chief Editor at the Landscape Insight. He lives just outside of New York. His writings have also been featured in some very famous magazines. When he isn’t reading the source material for a piece or decompressing with a comfort horror movie, Irving is usually somewhere in his car.