Above all else, Christmas is all about that warm, cosy feeling – and who does that better than Disney?
Luckily for us, this year we have Disney+ to help us get in the spirit with a range of cherished festive classics, as well as some brand new originals.
Here are 14 of our top picks from the streaming service’s festive selection...
The Muppet Christmas Carol
While some wait for the Coca-Cola ad and others look forward to those opening bars of Mariah Carey’s classic Christmas tune on the radio, for us the festive season doesn’t really begin until we hear those French horns at the very start of The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has obviously been done 1000 times over (there are multiple versions to take your pick from on Disney+ alone), but the Muppets’ irreverent and heartwarming take will forever be our favourite, helped in no small part by Kermit The Frog being the most adorable Bob Cratchit in history.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
True, it’s no Muppet Christmas Carol, but if you’ve already watched the Muppets’ take on the festive classic a thousand times over (not that we’d consider that a bad thing), Mickey Mouse and co’s animated version is also available to watch on Disney+.
Look out for some classic Disney characters scattered throughout the 26-minute short, but we should also tell you to brace yourself for a genuinely-quite-menacing moment towards the very end, as Scrooge McDuck comes face to face with his potential fate.
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
Another jolt of festive cheer from the core Disney gang, Once Upon A Christmas is made up of three short stories featuring Donald Duck, Goofy and, of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Obviously, it’s mostly geared towards children, but as with all great Disney films, there’s something for viewers of all ages here, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself shedding a few tears during the final act.
The CGI sequel, Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas, is also available to stream for anyone who fancies an even bigger kick of festive cheer afterwards.
Yes, actual Home Alone.
The iconic 90s family favourite is finally back on streaming services, so we can all follow along with Kevin’s adventures, marvel at the fact that his mum is, indeed, Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek and then, when it’s over, check out the sequel (yep, the one with the infamous Donald Trump cameo).
Home Sweet Home Alone
There are, in fact, a fair few Home Alone sequels available to stream on Disney+, including this new addition for 2021.
Home Sweet Home Alone is the sixth addition in the comedy franchise, and while it hasn’t exactly had the warmest reception, if you have children in your life that might need some distraction over the festive period, this is definitely worth checking out and making your own mind up about.
Plus, who doesn’t mind spending an hour and a half in Rob Delaney’s presence?
Beauty And The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Usually we’d recommend giving Disney’s many straight-to-video animated sequels from the 90s and early 2000s a wide berth, but there’s something about this film that we love. And that something… is the fact there’s a musical number featuring both Angela Lansbury and Bernadette Peters.
If that thought isn’t camp enough, Belle’s Enchanted Christmas also features one of the most genuinely menacing Disney villains ever – a CGI organ named Forte (voiced by Rocky Horror’s Tim Curry, no less) who spends the whole film threatening to bring the castle to the ground. Through song.
The comedy introduces Eleanor, a trainee fairy godmother who learns that she could soon be out of the job, so takes it upon herself to show the world why she and her fellow fairy godmothers are still needed.
If that doesn’t draw you in, it’s also directed by Sharon Maguire, best known for helming Bridget Jones’s Diary and its 2016 sequel, which has definitely got us intrigued.
The Santa Clause
Guaranteed to give millennial Disney fans a huge nostalgia jolt, this feel-good family film sees Tim Allen playing Scott Calvin, a single dad who – after accidentally causing Santa’s death (dark, we know, but stay with us) – must take on the role of Father Christmas himself.
As you can imagine, much silliness ensues.
Over the years, The Simpsons has gifted us with a number of Christmas specials, many of which have gone on to become fan favourites. With loads to choose from, we’d definitely recommend checking out season 11’s Grift Of The Magi and season nine’s Miracle On Evergreen Terrace.
And don’t forget that the very first episode of The Simpsons was actually a Christmas special, and while it’s far from the show’s finest hour (it would be a year or so before The Simpsons would fully hit its stride), it’s still a must-watch for fans of the show at this time of year.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
For anyone who enjoyed finally being able to celebrate Halloween properly so much they want to keep the spooky festivities going, we’ve got some great news.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is now streaming on Disney+, with the classic stop-motion animation swerving the usual festive tropes that have been done to death a thousand times over, while still managing to be Christmassy enough that you don’t need to worry about anyone calling you a Scrooge.
The Search For Santa Paws
File this under: they thought of the title before the actual concept.
That being said, are we going to turn our noses up at a cosy Christmas film where talking dogs rescue an amnesia-stricken Santa in the middle of New York City? No, we are not.
Disney’s Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic
What could be better than a wedding show about people who tie the knot at Disneyland parks around the world?
Well, a wedding show where people tie the knot at Disneyland parks around the world at Christmas, of course.
Listen, we get it. Frozen (and its sequel!) are not “Christmas films” in the traditional sense, but they’re still guaranteed to get you in the cosy winter mood, so we’ve included them on this list anyway.
Frankly, it’s been a rough couple of years for all of us, so we’ll take any opportunity to enjoy a Frozen double-bill and a cup of something warm, alright?
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
We’re going to be honest, we have no idea what this is, but we know it’s something we definitely want to check out immediately.
If nothing else, it should serve to tide us over until Disney pluck up the courage to finally give us what we’ve wanted for decades – the original Star Wars Holiday Special from the 1970s.