Children’s Holiday Movies to Stream and Rent

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Last year, I created a list of some classic and current holiday movies streaming on Netflix to help you celebrate the season—because who doesn’t love to cozy up on the couch in the middle of our coldest months? 

This year, the list is new and improved. Many of the movies mentioned last year are now available only through Netflix’s DVD subscription, so I’m adding a slew of new ones available to you via streaming. Many are cartoons perfect for your youngest ones. And since so many of the recommendations are Christmas themed, there are some additional holiday suggestions at the end. (If you have suggestions for great non-Christmas holiday films, please comment and share!)

Now? Sit back, relax, and enjoy a festive film with the family. And if you’ve got the time, try my favorite homemade movie night snacks. Also see this 2014 schedule of family holiday movies on TV and cable.

Miracle on 34th Street (PG) | DVD only
When Santa is inebriated at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, reluctant Macy’s supervisor Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) offers the job to a bearded Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar) who says he’s the real Santa. During the Christmas season, he shares a flat with Doris’s neighbor (John Payne), who has eyes for Doris. Kris hopes to unite the two while winning over Doris’s skeptical 6-year-old daughter (Natalie Wood). A classic tale about the power of believing that every child should see at least once.

The Polar Express (G) | DVD only
Given my last post, I couldn’t leave this off. A computer-animated tale inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s award-winning children’s book, The Polar Express offers a loving glimpse into the life of a young boy who wants to believe in Santa despite all the naysayers (mainly, his family). When a magical train, The Polar Express, appears on Christmas Eve to carry him to the North Pole to meet Santa, he finds his holiday spirit coming back to life.

All I Want For Christmas (G)
Often overlooked, All I Want For Christmas is about siblings Hallie and Ethan. The only thing they hope to get for Christmas is the reconciliation of their divorced parents, and they’re convinced that all it will take is getting Mom and Dad in the same room at the same time.

White Christmas (NR) | DVD only
For family fans of It’s a Wonderful Life, consider this old-fashioned Bing Crosby classic musical. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play war buddies turned entertainers who fall for two sisters. After becoming romantically involved with the sister act, they team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

Jingle All The Way (PG) | DVD only
Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a desperate dad who must match wits with a sleazy Santa, a stressed-out mailman and a horde of parents to procure a hot new toy—Turbo Man—on Christmas Eve by any means possible.

New Netflix additions:

The Muppet Christmas Carol (G) 
The Muppets take on a Christmas classic, with Kermit as sweet Bob Cratchit, begging his boss for Christmas Day off work.

Yes, Virginia (PG)
Set in 1897, an out-of-work newspaperman gets caught up in a little girl’s (Virginia) quest to discover whether there really is a Santa Claus.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
A stop-motion, musical Tim Burton classic. Watch what happens when Jack the Skeleton King (of Halloween Town) decides to take over Christmas instead of his own holiday. 

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (G)
An endearing three-part Christmas celebration with tales from Donald Duck, Goofy, and Mickey and Minnie.

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (G)
George and The Man In The Yellow Hat are having a merry time counting down to Christmas but neither can decide what to give each other. Will they figure it out before Christmas morning?

Dreamworks’ Happy Holidays from Madagascar (PG)
For your Madagascar fans: One Valentine’s Day-inspired film and two Christmas-themed ones pack a barrel of laughs in this three-part special.

Kung Fu Panda: Holiday (NR)
Po, everyone’s favorite panda, is caught between family obligations and his Dragon Warrior obligations as preparations for the Winter Feast build.

Hanukkah- and Kwanzaa-themed films:

“A Rugrats Chanukah” (NR)
In this episode, the story of the Jewish holiday is told through the eyes of the Rugrats, who imagine themselves as the main characters. 

A Rugrats Kwanzaa” (NR)
There are few movies or even television episodes out there celebrating Kwanzaa. In this episode of “Rugrats,” the Carmichaels get a visit from “Great Aunt T,” who came over to celebrate Kwanzaa with the family. Thanks to Aunt T, the family learns more about a holiday they don’t normally celebrate.

Eight Crazy Nights (PG13)
It all began when “Saturday Night Live” veteran Adam Sandler released “The Chanukah Song” in response to the total lack of Hanukkah songs for Jewish children to sing. From that song, he created a fun, animated film for them to watch too.

An American Tail (G)
An American Tail tells the story of a young mouse named Fievel Mouskewitz and his family as they immigrate from Russia to America in 1885. It’s a film about adventure more than anything else, but it begins with a sweet scene of the mouse family celebrating Hanukkah together.

Andrea Fisher is a Triad-based writer, movie lover, and content specialist for Century Link. Check out more of her writing and reviews @andreafisher007. For more selections, see her roundup of Children’s Holiday Movies to Stream and Rent.

Categories: Movies for Children