Family-friendly movies and animated stories to stream this holiday season


Perfect for family movie night — or as an impromptu babysitter as you finish last-minute, holiday chores — here’s our list of kid-friendly films and shows, chock-full of fa-la-la-la-la and ho-ho-ho!

Streaming on Amazon Prime

A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1987). A grandfather gives his grandson an old snow globe and starts telling stories about his childhood Christmases that are shown in flashback.

Jack Frost (1979). Jack Frost becomes human to help a knight win his lady love.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1974, G). L. Frank Baum’s story of the origin of Santa Claus comes to life through stop-motion animation.

Miracle on 34th Street (1955). It’s a great, made-for-TV version of the film about young girl who befriends a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real thing.

The Year Without A Santa Claus (1974). Your kids will learn the famous Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs in this stop-motion classic from Rankin Bass.

If You Give A Mouse A Christmas Cookie (2016). Mouse is celebrating the holidays in this story of friendship and caring…and cookies!

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962). Musical, animate version of “A Christmas Carol,” featuring Mr. Magoo as Ebeneezer Scrooge.

The Snowman (2014). Based on the children’s book by Raymond Briggs, the award-winning series follows a gentle tale of a boy and a snowman, told through wordless images and music.

Streaming on Netflix

(Also available on other streaming services starting at $1.99 per rental.)

Get Santa. (2014, PG) A father and son help Santa, who crash-landed his sleigh in their garage, flee from the police and make his way back to the North Pole.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999, G) and Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas. (2004, G) The world’s favorite mouse rings in the holidays with three stories in the first title, and he and his friends join up for five mini films in the sequel.

Santa’s Apprentice. (2015, G) Santa must train someone to replace him—an orphan named Nicholas with a pure heart.

White Christmas (1954). Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, who stage a musical to encourage guests to visit a resort in Vermont when snow doesn’t fall.

Available for rent via streaming services

A Christmas Story (1983, PG). In the 1940s, Ralphie tries to convince one and all that a Red Ryder B.B. gun is the perfect Christmas gift.

Elf (2003, PG) A ‘nontraditional’ elf travels to New York City in search of his biological father.

Joyeux Noel (2005, PG-13). Save this movie for after the kids go to bed. It’s Dec. 24, 1914. On a World War I battlefield, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front changes the lives of soldiers from France, Germany and England

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, G). Michael Caine stars as Scrooge and the muppets as the rest of the characters from the Charles Dickens classic. Our editor’s favorite of all the Christmas Carol adaptations out there.

The Polar Express (2004, G). It’s a magical adventure to the North Pole offering a lesson for all who believe.

The Santa Clause (1994, PG). A divorced dad learns he has one year to assume the role of Santa.

Scrooged (1988, PG-13). Bill Murray stars in this comedic twist on the classic A Christmas Carol. The rude humor, references to sex and some violence make this better suited for older kids.

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