A Disney Christmas Watchlist

Christmas parade
Credit: Disney

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Disney simply shines at Christmas. One of my favorite ways to ring in this beautiful season is to snuggle up with my family and watch a good Christmas special. Disney has some of the best. Here are just some Disney Christmas movies and shows that are perfect for the family:

1. Snowed in at the House of Mouse

House of Mouse specials were a big deal back in the day. The gist of these shows was that Mickey had a night club for all of his Disney friends and he put on cabaret style shows that included classic cartoons, songs, and a heartwarming storyline. There was a great Halloween special and a fantastic Christmas special. In it, Donald doesn’t have any Christmas spirit, so Mickey and the gang show him the charm and true meaning of Christmas. The song at the end is a bit cheesy, but overall House of Mouse is cute, endearing, and fun.

2. Muppet Christmas Carol

This is by far my favorite version of the classic tale. A Muppet Christmas Carol stars Kermit as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit, Gonzo and Rizzo as the Narrators, and Michael Cane as Ebenezer Scrooge. Talk about a killer cast. In typical Muppet fashion, this movie is sweet and silly, balancing the two beautifully. It has a wonderful original soundtrack that will leave you smiling and humming it for days. Muppet Christmas Carol is a must for the Christmas season.

3. Prep and Landing

Prep and Landing is the Christmas special I never knew I needed. This half hour show focuses Wayne and Lanny, two of Santa’s elves. Their job is to prep the houses before Santa arrives. The issue comes in when Wayne gets jaded with his job and slacks on the site. Lanny has to help save the night and Wayne himself, by reminding him why their role is so important. I love this show. It’s hysterical and heartwarming.

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4. Christmas Day Parade

Every Christmas morning ABC airs a parade filmed in the Parks. It’s usually hosted by a popular ABC reporter or Disney Channel star. They go back and forth between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. This special involves family stories, celebrity appearances, musical acts, and, of course, a beautiful Christmas parade. When I was younger I loved seeing which Disney Channel star would be on TV, but now I just love feeling like I’m in the Parks on the most magical day of the year.

5. Mickey’s Once Upon and Twice Upon a Christmas

These two straight to DVD short anthologies are adorable Christmas specials. They include a Nutcracker story starring Minnie, a secret mission to the North Pole with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and Mickey searches for Pluto on Christmas Eve! The first is narrated by Kelsey Grammar, and the second is computer animated in a pop-up book style. These are great for little kids and adults alike.

6. Disney Channel Specials

I am 23 years old and I still love a good Disney Channel throwback Christmas special. I can still quote the Kim Possible Christmas episode by heart. The Lizzie McGuire episode guest starring Aaron Carter and a kiss has a bit of a cult following. In recent years, there’s been a Phineas and Ferb Christmas movie, which was fantastic. Kids love seeing their favorite shows all glittery and festive, and I do too!

7. Toy That Time Forgot

After Toy Story 3, Disney/Pixar released several holiday Toy Story specials. The Christmas one is great. It focuses on one of Bonnie’s play dates with a friend of hers who is more interested in video games than actual toy play time. Woody and the gang end up in her friend’s playroom with all of his toys who have seemed to have forgotten that toys are supposed to have fun. The highlight of this show is a tiny, soft-spoken angel cat ornament who says the weirdest things at the weirdest times.

8. The Santa Clause

One of the best Christmas movies of all time. The Santa Clause stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an uptight business man who accidentally kills Santa and must take his place, as is required via the Santa Clause: you put on the suit, you take over the job. This movie is hilarious and clever. Tim Allen shines. His head elves make it great, too. The Santa Clause is great for the whole family, with lots of quotable lines and a wonderful message.

9. Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Scrooge McDuck takes the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, with Mickey Mouse as Bob. This is only a short video and often gets clumped in with other things, but it should not be forgotten. Mickey makes the cutest Bob Cratchit ever. This classic Dickens’ tale comes alive with the Disney touch. With Minnie as Mrs. Cratchit, Donald as Fred, Goofy as Jacob Marley’s ghost, and Jiminy Cricket as the ghost of Christmas Past, you just can’t go wrong with this one.

10. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The newest movie on this list twists the original Nutcracker ballet to become a mind-bending adventure story. It still focuses on Clara, but now she’s jumping through realms to find a magical key. This movie definitely wasn’t a blockbuster hit or an Oscar contender, but it’s certainly a Christmas-twist!

Debated Bonus: Nightmare Before Christmas: Is it a Christmas movie, or isn’t it? This is a question that has been debated since the movie came out in 1994. What do you think?

About Molly Elias

Molly Elias has been a dedicated Disney fan since she was 18-months old. She has grown up with and learned from Disney her whole life. As her family's main vacation spot, Disney World is a place of love and laughter and magic for her. Her family also prides themselves on their Disney Cruise Line knowledge and would rather be on the high seas with Mickey than anywhere else in the world. Molly plans to keep Disney in her life forever, while also pursuing a writing career. She recently completed a master's program in creative writing in the hopes that someday she will be able to be a writer for the Happiest Company on Earth. Molly keeps Walt's famous quote at the forefront of her life: "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."