10 Best Kids Christmas Movies Reviewed in 2020
One of the highlights of many families with children is watching movies together on Christmas Eve night or on Christmas Day. Some people like to have Christmas movies playing on the TV in the background as they visit with family and friends in the home to give a Christmas atmosphere.
We feature in this informative buying guide the best-rated and the most-reviewed Christmas movies for kids. Online buyers have chosen these shows like the ones they love and would purchase again because they are excellent. Whether your child watches these alone or with family and friends, they have Christmas themes and valuable life messages to teach kids. You will see a few on this list that you may have enjoyed yourself as a child because they are classics that never go out of style.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 121 hrs of research
Star the famous aardvark, Arthur
Available as SD to buy or rent
Delivers kid-friendly Christmas magic
Exposes kids to the other popular holidays
Shows the importance of gathering with family
10 Best Kids Christmas Movies Reviewed
1. Arthur's Perfect Christmas
Star the famous aardvark, Arthur
Available as SD to buy or rent
Delivers kid-friendly Christmas magic
Exposes kids to the other popular holidays
Shows the importance of gathering with family
Has a whiny child in the story – bad influence
It uniquely exposes kids to the other holidays of this season and shows the importance of spending the holiday with loved ones. Some children are really drawn to this film because of the other celebrations that it explores and explains. They will want to watch it multiple times this season.Read more
The length of Arthur’s Perfect Christmas is almost one hour as it stars the famous aardvark, Arthur. It is an animated film that teaches kids several ways to enjoy the holiday season. Available as SD to buy or rent, it delivers kid-friendly holiday magic to all who watch. It's rated G.
The most important lesson of the holidays is presented in this short yet meaningful story. Spending quality time with loved ones should be the focus of everyone who celebrates at this time of year. The several holidays that are celebrated by others at this time are explained in detail for children in this animated film. It mixed education in with holiday fun and excitement for the whole family.
This Christmas movie has the lowest price of all those listed. It is animated fun with Arthur the Aardvark, is kid-friendly, and teaches about the several holidays celebrated around the world at Christmastime.
2. Polar Express
Offered in HD to rent or buy, DVD, and Blu-ray
Teaches kids to believe in their dreams
Has beautiful imagery in 3D
Great for any time during the year
Perfect for the whole family
Some buyers said there is not much of a plot
Is an older 3D movie – some shadowing was noticed
There are several formats for you and your family to watch these incredible christmas movies for kids. There is the option to rent it, but you will want to own this movie because it is so gorgeous in the 3D format. Although it is watched at Christmastime the most, Polar Express can be viewed all during the year too. It is a wonderous imaginative tale that everyone in the family will love.Read more
There is beautiful imagery in this wonderful 3D movie that is ideal for the whole family. Great for any time during the year, the length is one hour and thirty-nine minutes. For children who love trains, the Polar Express would be an extraordinary treat they will want to watch over and over during the year. It's rated G and is appropriate for all ages.
With over 6,600 online reviews from customers, Polar Express tells the story of a little boy who goes on a fantastic North Pole train ride. Made in 2004, it is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Nona Gaye, and Peter Scolari. Offered in HD to rent or buy, DVD, and Blu-ray, it teaches kids to have dreams and believe in your dreams.
Having a below-average cost, this magical tale has beautiful and believable 3D imaging, is a full interesting story to enjoy, and can be appreciated by the whole family at any time of the year.
3. Home Alone
Easy to watch over and over again
Great classic comedy
Suitable for most ages (rated PG)
Kids and adults alike love it
Doesn’t contain extras/behind the scenes features
The boxed set includes all letterboxed 4x3 low-quality DVDs
This iconic Christmas classic stars Macaulay Culkin as young Kevin McCallister, a boy who believes he’s wished his family away when they accidentally leave him behind in the hustle and bustle of getting everyone to the airport for their winter vacation. Kevin wakes up to find an empty house and cycles through the ups and downs of living on his own. Meanwhile, two fumbling, bumbling crooks (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) try to burglarize the McCallister house. If you’ve seen enough cartoons for the moment and want to pop in something the whole family can truly enjoy together, opt for this pop culture staple!Read more
Home Alone is rated PG for slapstick action, brief rude dialogue, and some mildly frightening scenes. It’s a family-friendly movie but a few moments might scare children under the age of eleven. Just make sure you talk toddlers through some of the burglary scenes if they’re sensitive or scare easily. It’s a comedy, so nothing ever gets too dark or untoward!
There’s a reason Home Alone stood the test of time; this movie is genuinely funny. It’s never completely clear who the underdog is between Kevin and the crooks, as his cunning and their sheer size and power constantly tip the scales back and forth. The overall message of the movie winds up being heart-warming and all of the fun fodder between is silly enough to entertain kids and witty enough to keep grown ups engaged.
Price differs here depending on if you want to rent or buy this holiday film. Renting it is one of the least expensive options our guide has to offer. It’s priced similarly to other Christmas movies for this purpose. Buying it lands it around the middle price point of our guide but we think this might be one you genuinely want to watch again and again.
4. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Kids love to watch it multiple times
Has an endearing message
Characters are courteous and polite
Is very toddler-friendly
Shows the compassion of helping others
The animation may not be the best
Story dragged on for some kids
Created in 2016, the movie of If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie shows the compassion of helping others in a wonderful toddler-friendly film. Directed by Emmanuelle Gignac and Collin Tsandilis, it stars Mason Mahay, Jessica DiCicco, and Craig Smith.Read more
This is the story of a cute mouse and its friends on a wild ride of holiday fun and excitement. It includes a holiday pageant, caroling, and cookies and tells a wonderfully endearing message. Kids love to watch it multiple times because it is so fun, and the characters are so polite characters. This is one show they will ask to view over and over again. It's rated TV-Y.
The pleasantries of Christmas cookies, caroling, and holiday pageants are explored for children to enjoy. They will love seeing all the merriment and joyous occurrences that Christmas has to offer. It is not often that animated movies have a purely positive message that is important and delivered in a kid-friendly way. This sweet show does that very well to the delight of parents everywhere.
Having a below-average price, this super cute movie is toddler-friendly, delivers an important message to kids, and enchants children to want to view it multiple times throughout the year.
Offered as HD, DVD, and Blu-ray
Stars Will Ferrell, Leon Redbone, and Ray Harryhausen
Humorous, cute, and joyful
Good to view with the family for Christmas
Has wonderful dancing scenes
Dragged on too long for some viewers
Is possibly missing scenes from the original movie
The supporting actors include James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Ed Asner, and Bob Newhart. This is a humorous and joyful show that is perfect to view with the family for Christmas, especially the wonderful dancing scenes. It is great to not only watch an interesting Christmas-themed movie during Christmas but to also one with so many popular stars for the leading and supporting characters as this one.Read more
Elf is not the traditional Christmas story, as it takes a slightly different twist on the holiday festivities. It is a delightfully funny story that can be enjoyed by all ages of moviegoers. It's rated PG for some mild rude humor and language.
Created in 2003, Elf is one hour and thirty-six minutes long and is directed by John Favreau. Available as DVD, and Blu-ray, it stars Will Ferrell, Leon Redbone, and Ray Harryhausen. Elf relates the tale of an infant that gets into Santa’s toy bag on Christmas Eve. He is raised by the elves and then goes to New York City in search of his destiny.
Having a below-average price, Elf is perfect for family fun, has an all-star cast of well-known favorites, and tells a unique and funny Christmas tale that is different and hilarious.
6. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Winner of the Peabody Award and the Emmy Award
Is a timeless Christmas special classic
Includes two other short movies
Has plenty of fun dancing and singing
Began the trend of “Charlie Brown trees”
A few viewers did not like the other movies with this show
Some people said other Charlie Brown holidays movies are better
A Charlie Brown Christmas was made in 1965 by Charles Shultz and directed by Bill Melendez. It is one hour and twelve minutes long and stars Ann Altieri, Sally Dryer, and Chris Doran. Offered as HD, DVD, and Blu-ray, it is the winner of both the Peabody and the Emmy Awards because it is a timeless Christmas special classic.Read more
A Charlie Brown Christmas relates the meaning of Christmas in an animated cute form and includes two other short movies. All three shows have plenty of dancing and singing of enjoyable tunes. This is the movie that began the trend of “Charlie Brown trees” to indicate a bad Christmas tree so many years ago. It will bring back memorable moments for grandparents, parents, and children of all ages. Make it a family tradition in your home starting this Christmas to be enjoyed for years to come. It's not rated officially but is suitable for general audiences.
You get three movies with the purchase of this show. It includes two other cute movies of Charlie Brown and his gang of fun-loving and witty characters that we all know and love. This Charlie Brown movie has been going strong for over fifty years. That alone lets anyone know how cherished it is by several generations of Charlie Brown fans who make it a point to watch it every Christmas.
This adorable Christmas movie has an average cost. It features the wonderful Charlie Brown characters, has two other shows, and is a timeless classic that will always be a part of family Christmastime.
7. Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas
Teaches kids about appreciation and sharing
Offered in HD to buy or rent and DVD
Stars Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, and Michelle Kwan
Includes short episodes for short attention spans
Ideal for all ages of Mickey fans
A few people had image troubles with the DVD
Some buyers were expecting a full-length Disney movie
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas teaches kids about the importance of appreciation and sharing in life. It is offered in HD to buy or rent and also as a DVD. This super-cute show is directed by Walt Disney Pictures and stars Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, and Michelle Kwan.Read more
The length is just over one hour and is ideal for all ages of Mickey fans. It gets everyone in the holiday spirit with Mickey’s gang, plus includes short episodes that are perfect for little ones’ short attention span. The graphics are wonderful and entertaining for this special time of the year when the house if full of children, family, and friends.
Each short episode shines the spotlight on one or two of the popular Disney characters in Mickey’s gang. It is a way for children to see and appreciate them in a Christmas setting. When small kids are watching shows, they need something short and to the point. This Mickey Mouse show is perfect for entertaining in a short span of time with colorful graphics.
The cost for this Disney movie is above the calculated average. It has all the famous Mickey Mouse characters, includes short clips for young kids to enjoy, and is not long and draw out.
8. Arthur Christmas
Offered as HD, DVD, and Blu-ray
Stars James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, and Hugh Laurie
Length is one hour and thirty-seven minutes
Is a cute animated comedy for the holidays
Has funny and witty characters and dialogue
Was boring in some spots for a few people
Older kids might not find it as interesting as little kids
Available as HD to buy or rent, DVD, and Blu-ray, Arthur Christmas is directed by Sarah Smith and stars James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, and Hugh Laurie. Made in 2011, it is a delightful animated comedy that everyone will love with a length of one hour and thirty-seven minutes. Most stories of Santa are of him giving out the presents without them telling much about the person himself or his family. This fun movie tells of Santa’s family and has his youngest son as the main character.Read more
Arthur Christmas is the story of the youngest son of Santa Claus, Arthur, who delivers the last forgotten gift for Christmas in order to save it. It has funny and interesting characters and a witty dialogue that is entertaining for the whole family. It's rated PG.
This charming tale of Santa will give kids much to think about while they enjoy Christmas and their own family. Even the “real” name of Santa and his sons are given in this story.
Arthur Christmas has a below-average cost. it has a good story length to tell the tale, is available in several formats to view, and adds a new twist to Santa’s family and the act of getting presents from him at Christmastime.
9. Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
Fun, silly plot
Themes about love and family
Full of classic christmas songs
Doesn’t contain DVD extras
The l is one hour and forty-three minutes for Prancer, which was made in 1989 and is available as SD to rent or buy, Blu-ray, and DVD. Directed by John Hancock, it stars Sam Elliott, Abe Vigoda, and Cloris Leachman. It is the sweet tale of a farm girl who is eight-years-old and cares for a wounded reindeer that she thinks belongs to Santa Claus.Read more
This movie is intended for children between the ages of one and seven. The soundtrack is all Christmas standards and the movie is rated G for General Audiences. Adults might find this to be pretty simple, so don’t expect to be jumping at the chance to re-watch it with your kids, but it allows you to get some holiday to-do’s done while they’re entertained for an hour.
George is always running amuck. His haphazard charm is no different in this plot. Kids love how silly he is. Parents may relate to the Man in the Yellow Hat, whom George wakes up every morning at 5 AM from Thanksgiving on through Christmas. The plot is fun and frivolous and ultimately speaks to companionship and love being the most important gift we give or receive.
If you buy this on DVD, it’s one of the least expensive options to own on our list. Buying the Amazon Prime Video version puts it right around the median price point of our guide.
10. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Directed by Ron Howard
Stars Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, and Christine Baranski
Is a human version of the Dr. Seuss story
It is rich in makeup, costumes, and sets
Professional performances by a talented cast
Some people said a few scenes were missing
May have a few scenes that are not great for small kids
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas was made in the year 2000 and is one hour and forty-five minutes long. Directed by the famous Ron Howard, it stars Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, and Christine Baranski.Read more
This fantastic comedy for kids and the entire family is offered as HD to rent or buy, Blu-ray, and DVD. It is a human version of the Dr. Seuss story of the Grinch and the Who villagers in Whoville. Jim Carrey shines in this wonderful remake of the children’s classic that is rich in makeup, costumes, and sets. This lovely show contains professional performances by a talented cast to make your Christmas movie watching memorable and exciting.
As one of the most expensive films produced in Ron Howard’s career, this Grinch story pulls out all the stops as far as the makeup, costumes, and sets that were used to create the movie. As some buyers stated, this real-life version of this story adds much to the animated movie. Adaptations had to take place for the human element in the show, and they enhance the story and make it more enjoyable.
This is one of the two most expensive movies that we feature in this buying guide. This show has several well-known stars, is offered in several viewing formats, and adds to the charm of the original story.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Each one of these best christmas movies for kids is kid and toddler-friendly that children can watch multiple times during Christmas. They are easy to understand and follow, so kids can keep up with the action. The animated films are colorful and energetic to hold the interest of even the youngest of children. Parents will enjoy viewing these with their kids, as they beg to watch them over and over. Some of them are classics that parents and grandparents will remember fondly from their own childhoods.
Whether its Santa Claus, elves, Charlie Brown, reindeer, a mouse, Mickey Mouse, or the Grinch, each one of these movies has a holiday theme that is special for this time of year. They can be used to enjoy every year as a family tradition of viewing them together. Kids will want to watch them during the year too because they are too good to save a whole year.
These christmas movies for kids will put everyone in the house in a good Christmas spirit whether you sit down and watch or just have it playing in the background of your family gathering.
To give you an idea of the value and cost of each item as it compares to the others listed, we calculate an average of the online prices of these products. Then each cost is compared to this average to indicate if the cost is average, below-average, or above-average. We do not list the specific online prices because these costs change frequently. You will also find in the individual Cost and Value sections the best features or qualities of that particular item to warrant the cost.
The most expensive Christmas movie for kids is actually a tie between Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Prancer. The least expensive is Arthur’s Perfect Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas is priced right at the average cost.
The movie with the most reviews is the Polar Express with over 6,600 online reviews.
Christmas with your kids doesn’t have to be an unending cycle of tiny singers belting tunes that are impossible to get out of your head. There are plenty of movies the whole family can enjoy together! Many classics that you grew up with are still popular today. We’ve tried to include a range of them on our list.
Some DVDs include bonus features such as behind the scenes information or interactive games. If you’re looking for something that has a lot of replayability or something that can keep your little ones distracted for longer than an hour, try choosing a title with some extra features they can play with.
Other Factors to Consider
These are all feel-good movies that teach kids the importance of being with family and friends for the holidays. Messages of doing the right thing always and having the courage to do what you know is best are other themes. Even though these seem like just simple cartoons or children’s shows, they have special meanings to give to the kids that watch them. Several valuable morals can be learned by just watching cartoons and silly shows.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do any of these movies have famous people as the voices of the characters?
Yes, some have famous voices and others have the actors and actresses themselves playing the parts. Some of them are Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman, Abe Vigoda, Jim Carrey, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Mary Steenburgen, James Caan, Peter Scolari, and Tom Hanks.
q: Are these all animated movies?
No, the ones that are not animated are Elf, Prancer, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. These have real actors playing the parts of the characters in the movie.
q: Which movies would be good to watch during the year too?
Kids of all ages love to watch these movies at any time of the year. They do not care if it is Christmas or not. All of them have a Christmas theme, but the Polar Express could be enjoyed by kids who love trains too. It is about the North Pole, but not necessarily Christmas and all the decorations and gift-giving.
q: What is the most common complaint of these movies, in general, from customers online?
Interesting enough, the complaints about these shows are really things the parents found inadequate about them. If you asked the kids, they would all say they loved them, except for the few who found some of the shows boring or not having enough action in them. Parents did not like a whiny character, an emphasis on other holidays, the 3D shadows they could see, or the quality of the animation.
These are not important things a child would notice, so the remarks are from the parents and their perception of the movies. In our research of the customer feedback for all of these movies, it was said repeatedly how children want to view these very movies over and over again often even on the very same day. They love them and want to see them multiple times.
q: Are these movies good for the whole family to watch for the holidays, or would they be too childish for adults and older kids to watch?
We think they would all be great to watch with the family because it is an activity to do with those you love during the holiday. Even if it seems boring or too slow in the action, it is important that your children see you take an interest in what they like to do. None of these are very long, so it would not take up much of your time to endure even the childish ones.
The ones that some parents complained about as being too simple for them to watch were Arthur’s Perfect Christmas and If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie. The others are terrific for family viewing.
q: Are there different formats for watching these movies? If so, what are they?
Yes, we specify for each when this information was given by the makers. It is usually DVD, HD, and SD for the formats of viewing these movies.
q: Are any of these long movies that would be a problem for kids that do not have long attention spans?
No, these movies are all under one-and-a-half hours because they are for children. Most kids cannot sit still for long to watch a drawn-out movie, so makers create them in short versions. The plots are not that sophisticated, and the issue is solved within several colorful scenes. Even the movies, such as Polar Express and Elf, are within this time frame.
There are even a few of these that have several movies together, and the Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas is a mixture of several small clips that features all of Mickey’s friends. You can stop the film wherever you like to pick up again with a new show. A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of them that has more than one movie together.
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