Christmas truly is a special time of year no matter how you celebrate it. Every person and family has different traditions, but one of the most popular is sitting down to watch holiday movies and TV specials. There is something about having classic Christmas programs playing in the background while decorating the house or wrapping presents that makes the season even more special.
It goes without saying that features like Christmas Vacation, Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Story, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas are all must-sees, but what about the Disney-related Christmas specials? Here is Part 1 of Disney’s Best Christmas movies, TV specials and shorts in no particular order.
NOTE: Some of the movies, TV shows, and shorts listed below can be hard to find/may be unavailable. There is no guarantee that they will be broadcast this Christmas.
1) “Mickey’s Orphans” (1931) & “Mickey’s Good Deed” (1932)
When talking about Disney and Christmas, there is no better place to start than the two Christmas shorts Mickey Mouse starred in. “Mickey’s Orphans” (1931) shows Mickey, Minnie and Pluto throwing a Christmas party for a group of rampaging orphans who were dropped off at their door. “Mickey’s Orphans” is a remake of “Empty Socks,” the recently found Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, which is the oldest produced Disney short.
“Mickey’s Good Deed” (1932) tells a similar story of Mickey’s gratitude during the holidays, but in a different way. In this short, Mickey reluctantly sells Pluto to a family with a spoiled, bratty child so he can play Santa for a poor family and give them a Christmas to remember. Mickey and Pluto are happily reunited in the end, making “Mickey’s Good Deed” one of the most memorable Christmas shorts by Disney.
2) The Santa Clause (1994)
If you ever wondered what would happen with Christmas if Santa Claus fell off a roof and died, then The Santa Clause is the movie for you. It’s hard to imagine that The Santa Clause is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but repeated airings during the holiday season have solidified it as a Christmas classic.
In The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) accidentally causes Santa to fall off a roof, killing him, but takes over after putting on his suit. Although Scott doesn’t want to believe he is Santa, his son Charlie never loses faith and helps him to accept his new life. If you’ve never seen the film and it was just spoiled for you then shame on you for not seeing a 20-year-old movie.
3) Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991)
From 1988 to 1991, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh aired on Disney Channel/ABC and eventually spawned holiday specials in the ‘90s. Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too is more heartwarming than the Winnie the Pooh Halloween feature by a long shot, but it just doesn’t quite have that Christmas classic feeling to it. In this television special, Christopher Robin makes a Christmas list for his Hundred Acre Wood friends to send to Santa via wind, but Winnie the Pooh retrieves the letter after realizing his gift wasn’t on there and then has no success sending it back off. Will Christmas be ruined?
4) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Originally a poem written in 1982 by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas (directed by Henry Selick, not Burton) has become a holiday staple for many. Even though the movie works well during Christmas and Halloween, there is no doubt that it is 100% a Christmas movie and should be enjoyed during the holiday season. The cult film tells the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, and his efforts to take over the Christmas holiday for “Sandy Claws” after stumbling upon Christmas Town.
5) The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
It could be argued that The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of the best versions of the Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol ever and I can flat out say it is my favorite. In fact, I would absolutely place it as my favorite holiday movie period. The Muppet Christmas Carol is the same story told countless times of Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by spirits on Christmas Eve, but with a special Muppet twist. The Muppet Christmas Carol blends humor with a ton of emotion and some wonderfully written songs into a nearly perfect adaptation. I could write an entire paper on The Muppet Christmas Carol, but the point I’m trying to make is that as long as the Muppets are still relevant, this film will remain a must-watch during the holidays.
That does it for Part 1 of Disney’s Best Christmas Movies, TV Specials and Shorts. Feel free to comment below on what made the list so far, let me know what you think should make the next list and keep an eye out for Part 2! Find Part 3 here.