There is nothing quite like the Christmas Holidays. The traditions and nostalgia that come along with the season are unmatched. To go along with the eggnog, hot chocolate and decorations is the joy of Christmas movies. I do not know what it is but I can watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas or Frosty The Snowman every year no matter how many times I’ve seen it. The stories are heart-warming and the movies are often suitable for all ages which make for great family viewing.
When we gather to watch our favorite Holiday movie we tend to lean to the Animated or Cartoon Christmas movies because they are most appealing to young kids and as an adult, we love to be reminded of our own childhood. Below we are curating the ultimate list of Animated Christmas movies that you can come to every winter season to see what you have missed or want to watch again. From the lovable claymation of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer to the spectacular 3D animation of Polar Express, we got them all.
- Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Frosty The Snowman
- Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- The Polar Express
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
- Arthur Christmas
- Shrek The Halls
- A Chipmunk Christmas
- The Year Without Santa Claus
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Released: December 1964
Voice Actors: Burl Ives, Billie Mae Richards
What would the Christmas holidays be without hearing Sam The Snowman tell the story of the most famous reindeer of all? A holiday tradition for so many families includes watching this 1964 Claymation TV special. All the characters in Rudolph are one-of-kind and the claymation effects were groundbreaking back in those times. Combined with a great soundtrack and memorable characters if you or your children have never watched this classic movie then you owe it to yourself this Christmas to give it a chance.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Released: December 1966
Voice Actors: Boris Karloff, June Foray
Another timeless animated Christmas movie that has been re-made many times over. While there have been reasonable re-make attempts, the original 1966 movie will always be the best. It’s a Dr. Seuss classic tale filled with lessons all young children should learn.
Frosty The Snowman
Released: December 1969
Voice Actors: Jimmy Durante, Jackie Vernon
If you want a classic feel-good movie for you and the kids during Christmas then Frosty is the one for that. All the Characters in Frosty the Snowman and the famous song itself puts a smile on your face no matter what your mood. The story tells the magic of that first winter snowfall and reinforces the joy of Christmas felt by children.
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
Released: November 1999
Voice Actors: Kelsey Grammer, Wayne Allwine
This is a tale of three stories featuring all your favorite Disney characters including Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Minnie Mouse. The three tales are brought together by the wonderful narration of Kelsey Grammar. This movie is just full of heartwarming family viewing, especially around the fireplace. If you have young children they will absolutely love Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Released: October 1993
Voice Actors: Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara
Only Tim Burton could come up with a movie more fit for a child’s dreams than the big screen. I know more than a handful of people who consider The Nightmare Before Christmas their all-time favorite Christmas movie. I consider this gem more of an adult movie as it may be a bit too complex for kids. That being said the characters and scenery are a masterpiece in the fantasy realm and worth checking out if you have not seen this movie.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Released: December 1965
Voice Actors: Peter Robbins, Bill Melendez
If there is one animated Christmas movie that will never get old it may well just be A Charlie Brown Christmas. It is almost impossible to skip this gem when it’s on TV even if it is just to wait for the famous dance scene and iconic Peanuts Christmas song. A Charlie Brown Christmas touches on the over-commercialization of Christmas and tries to remind the viewers of the true meaning of Christmas. I would call this one a must-watch for anyone who has never seen it. Also, check out our breakdown of all the Characters in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The Polar Express
Released: November 2004
Voice Actors: Tom Hanks
The Polar Express is a timeless Christmas story that will instantly put you in the mood for Christmas. It takes place on Christmas Eve and tells the story of a mysterious magical train on its way to the North Pole. It features Tom Hanks as the train conductor and the motion capture animation is excellent making the scenery and characters come to life.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Released: December 1992
Voice Actors: Michael Caine
The perfect Christmas movie for you and your kids to enjoy on a nice wintery day. The Muppets re-tell the classic Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. It features the wonderful Michael Caine as Scrooge and includes all our favorite Muppets up to their usual antics. This Christmas movie has a lot of humor in it which will appeal to both the young and old.
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
Released: December 1970
Voice Actors: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney
Santa Claus Is Comin to Town is truly a forgotten classic Christmas movie. You won’t see it get much airtime at all compared to others on this list and it’s a shame. It includes legendary Hollywood actors Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney and tells the story of how Santa Claus came to be. It is filmed in the same stop-motion format as Rudolph so the two often get mistaken for each other. Make no mistake, Santa Claus Comin to Town is its own great movie and you should seek it out at Christmas time for some great family viewing.
Released: November 2011
Voice Actors: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie
Arthur Christmas may have slipped your radar back when it was released in 2011but it is actually a wonderful Christmas movie. If your kids are not into the classic animation of years past then Arthur Christmas Characters will be much more appealing. The animation is colorful and crisp and the characters provide many laugh-out-loud moments.
Released: November 2019
Voice Actors: J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
One of the more recent Christmas movies and it has quickly climbed many people’s top Christmas movies list. Many reviews call it an instant Christmas classic. This movie is a great twist on the classic story of Santa Claus. Can a postman and a toy maker bring joy back to a forgotten, frozen land? Amazing animation along with an emotional message, this one is a tear-jerker sure to warm the heart around Christmas time.
Shrek The Halls
Released: November 2007
Voice Actors: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy
You may have missed this 2007 Shrek Christmas special amongst all the other Shrek movies that have been released over the years. It is a short Christmas special but full of laughter and charm just like the full movies themselves. It features all the Shrek Characters and voice actors and both kids and adults will enjoy this one.
A Chipmunk Christmas
Released: December 1981
Voice Actors: Ross Bagdasarian, June Foray
This is another oldie but a goodie. Alvin and the Chipmunks was a huge franchise back in the eighties and their Christmas movie is great holiday fun. It’s a cute story but the soundtrack is the main reason to check this one out. I guarantee you have heard the chipmunks singing a Christmas carol over the radio at some point and it all came from this Christmas movie special.
The Year Without Santa Claus
Released: December 1974
Voice Actors: Mickey Rooney, Shirley Booth
The Year Without A Santa Claus is a stop-motion animated special that tells the tale of one Christmas when Santa Claus got sick and stopped delivering presents. It’s a heartwarming tale and anyone from that era remembers gathering around TV to watch this special every year. Mickey Rooney voices Santa Claus and it produced a couple of classic songs by Mr. Snow.