Christmastime comes with plenty of traditions: setting up the tree, someone making their famous Christmas dish, and TV networks playing re-runs of the same Christmas movies we’ve all seen over and over again.
Sticking with tradition, Disney fans may want to take a break from the Disney Princess movies and watch their Christmas-themed movies. Here’s a complete movie list of all the Disney Christmas movies – and the Christmas movies you can watch on your Disney+ account.
The Small One (1978)
One of the less popular animated movies by Walt Disney Production, The Small One was a featurette film that went alongside a re-issue of Pinocchio. During the ’70s, most of Disney’s original animators had already retired, but the studio executives saw the lucrative venture of animation and decided to hire new animators. This is one of the featurettes where you can see the development between the original Disney animations and the newer ones.
The story is about a young boy tasked by his father to sell their old and weak donkey, Small One, for one piece of silver. The boy reluctantly does so but promises Small One that he will only sell him to a kind and gentle master. It has references to Christian religious themes of Christmas.
The film is only 26 minutes long, which is roughly one TV show episode. If you want to watch something longer and are a fan of vintage Disney, The Small One is part of Walt Disney’s Classic Cartoon Favorites‘ Volume 9 (2005) filled with classic holiday shorts. It also includes two Christmas-themed episodes from vintage Mickey Mouse: Pluto’s Christmas Tree (1952) and Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983).
One Magic Christmas (1985)
It’s surprising that One Magic Christmas is a Disney film because of its more mature themes of financial hardship, marital problems, people turning to crime as a result of financial desperation, and death.
It’s like a Christmas movie telling kids and adults alike to be grateful for what you have, or else your family member will be killed in an unfortunate bank robbery and won’t return by magic.
The trailer doesn’t give out much except for the fact that the kids have a magical angel watching over them (though if this film were made in 2020, I don’t think the idea of a man in a dark coat and hat watching over two young children would slide).
But to give a spoiler-free summary, the movie centers around the Grainger family. Ginny and Jack Grainger are struggling after Jack loses his job and their home, so Ginny gets a job at a grocery store to make ends meet. Jack wants to use their savings to open a bike shop, but Ginny insists on him getting a job. Meanwhile, their daughter Abbie wants to mail a letter to Santa for Christmas, but Ginny’s bitterness has made her lose the spirit of Christmas.
The Christmas Star (1986)
One of the less popular Disney films (not to be confused with A Christmas Star, released in 2015), The Christmas Star also has much more adult themes of crimes and heist for Christmas.
An imprisoned con man dresses up as Santa Claus to break out of jail and find his stolen goods. However, two children mistake him for being the real Santa Claus, making his mission much more difficult. Along the way, however, their nature changes him for the better.
Home Alone (1990)
Of course, no Christmas would be complete without watching one of the Home Alone movies, and the first movie is always a good choice. If you’re not squeamish about the idea of a child torturing two would-be thieves trying to attack him and his home, then this is the iconic Christmas movie choice.
The movie focuses on Kevin McCallister, the youngest son of a large upper-middle-class family. On the night before the family trip to Paris (where they intend to spend Christmas), an angry Kevin wishes his family would disappear. Because of a chain of events, the family wakes up late and rushes to catch their flight not noticing that they’ve left Kevin at home.
Kevin believes that his wish has come true, but his joy is short-lived when he sees two burglars planning on robbing his home. His shenanigans of scaring the burglars away while living alone make him realize the true meaning of Christmas and family.
Home Alone (and its sequels) are technically not Disney movies, but they’re under 20th Century Studios, one of the studios owned by Disney. Disney+ only has family-friendly entertainment, so it’s highly likely you’re going to find the franchise within its library.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Muppets have been around for decades, so it’s no surprise they get their own Christmas special. It’s one of the many film versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and stars Michael Caine as the grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge.
Gonzo plays Charles Dickens himself and tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, grouchy, and selfish money-lender who hates Christmas. The plot is fairly similar to all the other Christmas Carol movies ever made: on Christmas Eve, he is visited by ghosts who try to help him change his ways.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Because of the success of the first Home Alone movie, of course there would be a sequel two years later. Just… try not to think too hard about how negligent the McCallister family has to be to lose their youngest son two Christmases in a row. The plot is kind of a stretch compared to the first one, but it’s still a pretty good movie.
The film’s plot is similar to the first. The McCallisters intend on spending Christmas in Florida, but Kevin gets distracted at the airport and ends up on a flight to New York with his father’s money and credit cards. He treats himself to a lavish Christmas at the Plaza Hotel, but finds the burglars from the original movie – Harry and Marv – have escaped prison and are also in New York.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
An iconic Christmas movie for those who love Christmas AND Halloween! Who knew Tim Burton could make two different holidays join into one feel-good movie? When the film was first released in 1993, Disney released it through Touchstone Pictures because they thought it was too dark and scary for their young audience. The film was a hit, and it was later re-released in 3D in 2006 under Walt Disney Pictures.
The movie follows Jack Skellington, the leader of Halloween Town, who has become tired of celebrating Halloween every year. He discovers another town called Christmas Town, and decides to take over the Christmas festivities this year by kidnapping Santa Claus. But his warped idea of Christmas doesn’t go the way he thought it would.
The Santa Clause (1994)
The Santa Clause was released under Buena Vista Pictures under the Walt Disney Pictures company. It leans more towards adults, but it’s still a good PG movie that everyone in the family can watch.
Parent and successful toy salesman Scott Calvin accidentally causes the death of Santa Claus. Scott puts on the Santa Claus suit to help deliver the rest of the gifts, but by doing so, he has legally accepted the duty to become the next Santa Claus and has one year to get his affairs in order before moving to the North Pole. Over the year, he experiences drastic physical changes to look more like his new role.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
The original Beauty & the Beast was released in 1991, making Belle Disney’s fifth princess after Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, and Ariel. Belle broke the glass ceiling of Disney Princesses by being the first portrayed as an intelligent and independent woman with her own agency, so it’s no surprise that Disney decided to give her a spin-off movie six years later.
I watched The Enchanted Christmas when I was a kid, but Disney aired it on TV so rarely that after a while, I was convinced I hallucinated the creepy organ and the Christmas plotline entirely. But, thanks to the internet years later, I found out that I wasn’t crazy and Belle actually sang the songs “Stories” and “As Long As There’s Christmas,” the latter of which I hum when I feel down during the Christmas season.
The story is told through flashback, taking place between the time Beast saved Belle from the wolves up to the moment before they do their ballroom dance in Belle’s iconic yellow gown. It’s revealed that Beast was turned into a monster during Christmas Eve, which is why he hates the holidays and has banned the castle from celebrating it.
Belle tries to change his tune about Christmas, but the court composer Forte, who was turned into a creepy-looking organ in the castle’s west wing (although he was voiced by Tim Curry, so his villain song was definitely a plus) doesn’t like this. Out of all the enchanted members of the castle, he’s the only one who doesn’t want the spell to reverse because he likes being an organ, so he uses Christmas to push Beast away from Belle.
Home Alone 3 (1997)
I find that Home Alone 3 and 4 aren’t as good as the first two, but for those who have a thing for finishing movie franchises, there are two more Home Alone movies to watch over the holidays. While this movie has the same concept, it doesn’t feature any of the characters from the previous movies.
Unlike the other movies that had common burglars, the villains in this movie are actual internationally-wanted spies working for a terrorist organization. After the $10 million microchip they stole ends up in a remote control car of Alex Pruitt, an 8-year-old boy suffering from chickenpox, they go to search all the houses in his street to find the car. Left alone at home, it’s up to Alex to stop them.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998)
This film was released in 1998 under Buena Vista Pictures. It’s a good movie for blended families who want to relate to a Christmas movie.
College student Jake Wilkinson has never gone home to New York for the holidays after his mother died and his father remarried. His father promises to give him a vintage Porsche if he makes it on time for their Christmas Eve dinner. He tries to make it but is sabotaged by his nemesis. Now he has to find a way to make it home in time.
Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish (1998)
If you like the Richie Rich franchise, you may or may not already know that there is a Christmas movie special. The plot is similar to It’s a Wonderful Life.
Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause (2002)
Following the first Santa Clause movie in 1994, Santa Clause 2 continues with the same cast and characters and takes place eight years after the first one.
While Scott Calvin has become a successful Santa Claus, the Head Elf finds another legal clause in the rule book: there must be a Mrs. Claus. Now, Scott must get married before the next Christmas Eve or he will stop being Santa; with no heir, there may not be a succeeding Santa.
To find a wife, Scott creates an animatronic Santa to rule in his place while he returns home to find a wife — only for him to discover that his son has made it to the naughty list.
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)
I’ve personally never watched the fourth movie. Not because of the bad reviews, but because in my area, only Home Alone and Home Alone 2 ever made it to cable TV. But since this movie was also made by 20th Century Fox, this may show up in your Disney Plus Christmas movie list. While the movie reprises characters from the first two movies, the roles are played by completely different actors.
In this film, the McCallisters are getting nearing the end of their divorce proceedings and Kevin decides to spend Christmas with his father and his father’s wealthy girlfriend. Kevin enjoys all the perks of living in his wealthy future stepmother’s home, until he sees Marv and his wife attempt to break-in and plot to kidnap a royal family member coming to visit.
Eloise at Christmastime (2003)
What is it with The Plaza and Christmas movies? I loved the movie Eloise at the Plaza as a child, but what not a lot of people may know is that there was a 2003 Christmas sequel to that film.
The film was distributed by Disney, ABC, and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, so it’s highly likely you’ll find this movie available on Disney+. I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a video of the movie I found on YouTube. But if you want to watch it with better quality, you have to watch it on your Disney+ account.
The film follows Eloise, who is waiting for Christmas gift packages from her mother in Paris. While waiting, she witnesses the impending marriage of the hotel owner’s daughter and a wealthy bachelor, though Eloise tries to intervene when she sees that the owner’s daughter is more attracted to a hotel waiter.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
The third and final film in The Santa Clause franchise. Everyone but the Head Elf returns to reprise their roles. While it doesn’t have the magic and whimsy the first movie had, it’s still a pretty good family movie to watch over the holidays.
Four years after the second film, Scott Calvin has now been Santa Claus for 12 years. While doing a good job, Jack Frost is upset that he has no holiday dedicated to him like the other Council of Legendary Figures. After finding out about the Escape Clause, he tries to trick Scott into undoing his work, causing them to travel back in time and change the course of events.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
Frozen technically isn’t a Christmas movie even if it’s set in the winter. But this featurette, focuses on Christmas. Perfect for those with children who adored Frozen and Frozen 2.
The story takes place during the first Christmas with the palace gates opened, and Anna and Elsa host a Christmas celebration for Arendelle. The party ends quicker than the two expect and realize it’s because everyone has their own Christmas traditions to celebrate – something they don’t have. Olaf goes out to look at the different family traditions practiced by different cultures.
This is definitely going to be a part of your Disney+ list, as this movie is a Christmas web television film distributed exclusively for Disney+ streamers. So, even years from now, you’re unlikely to find this Christmas movie on Netflix or any other streaming service. And if you like the idea of Bill Hader and Anna Kendrick playing as Santa Claus’ children, this will be your must-watch movie.
After the death of Santa Claus, his son Nick Kringle has difficulty taking over the role. Guided by his sister Noelle’s advice to relax before the big day, Nick disappears and the elves blame Noelle. Noelle travels to Arizona to find Nick.
These may not be all the Disney Christmas films you’ll find on Disney+, though! Aside from the fact that we might have missed a few (let us know in the comments what we’ve missed!), there’s also the fact that Disney now owns, as of writing, Marvel, National Geographic, Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, and other major studios that have produced their own Christmas movies.
Let us know what we’ve missed so that we can continuously update our list for those looking for new to-watch ideas for the holidays!