Best 13 Animated Christmas Movies

10 mins read
animated Christmas movies
By Myriam Zilles / Unsplash

Lying on the couch with your favorite blanket, accompanied by some warm cookies and hot cocoa, with your family and friends, watching your favorite animated Christmas movies. There can be nothing as nostalgic as it. Right?

Christmas eves are everyone’s favorite, whether an adult or a child. The Christmas season is unique for everyone in their way. You get to spend time with your family and have a warm dinner, watch Christmas cartoons, listen to Christmas songs, decorate gingerbread houses, have a snowball fight, visit the Christmas market, exchange and open gifts, and let’s not forget the Christmas parade. Remembering these moments brings back your holiday spirit. Well, mine too.

So, here in this post, I’m going to talk about the best animated Christmas movies of all time to rewind the moments of your happy holiday season and, at the same time, indulge yourself in light-hearted entertainment.

13 Best Animated Christmas Movies

1. Klaus

Klaus is the movie that ranks first in our watch list of ‘Best animated Christmas movies.’ It is not your simple animated Santa Claus story; it’s much more than that. It is directed and written by Sergio Pablos, who is famous for his work in animated movies like ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘Smallfoot.’ You won’t be able to stop yourself from watching it after watching its excellent trailer.

This movie is a holiday comedy about a possible origin story of Santa Claus. The animation and artwork in the movie are stunning with their 3D effects.

Klaus is a story about a friendship between two men with significantly different personalities, Jesper Johansen and Klaus. The character of Jesper is depicted as lazy, spoiled, and self-centered, and he is the funniest character in this movie. Klaus, on the other hand, is a reclusive woodsman. He has an imposing physique, which terrified Jesper on their first meeting. He lives in an isolated dwelling far away from the town, and his house is filled with handmade toys. This is where the journey of Klaus and Jesper starts, intending to bring happiness to the lives of children and dissolve the generations-old feud between two fractions.

Watching this movie, one will experience various emotions; it will make you laugh, amuse you, and even make you feel like crying at some point. So, if you are looking for animated Christmas movies, this one is a must-watch.

Released: November 2019

Where can you watch: Netflix

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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Source: Mike Mozart / Flickr. Copyright 2014

This story first came as a book, then as an animated Christmas movie, and then with more advanced animation released as ‘The Grinch.’ One can guess from this how good would it be!

This movie is based on Dr. Sesuss Giesel’s book, with the same name. The movie is based on the character of the Grinch (a misanthropic who hates holiday traditions). The Whos of Whoville dislikes the Grinch because of his mean personality. A little girl, ‘Cindy Lou’ thinks that the people of Whoville are focusing more on presents and festivities instead of interpersonal relationships. She was saved by the Grinch and learned about his tragic past.

So, if you want to know what happened to the Grinch in the past, why does he hate the holiday season, does he reform, and how you have to watch it yourself. It won’t be fun if I tell you the whole story.

Released: November 2000

Where can you watch: Peacocktv (on the premium plan only), Spectrum TV

The Grinch

The Grinch is the third adaption after the movie ‘How the Grinch stole Christmas!’. It follows the same story as written in Dr. Sesuss Giesel’s book. It has used 3D animation and graphics, making the movie even more enjoyable.

The new adaptation has also made the characters funnier and more comic. If you don’t believe me, try watching the trailer. You will get the answer!

Released: November 2012

Where can you watch: Currently, it is not streaming anywhere, but you can rent/purchase it on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, or Vudu.

3. Rise of the Guardians

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Source: Abi Skipp / Flickr. Copyright 2012

The Rise of the Guardians isn’t exactly a Christmas movie, but it gives vibes of holidays and happiness from being together, making it a Christmas season movie.

The Rise of the Guardians is an action fantasy movie with 3D animation and effects. This movie is based on the character named ‘Jack Frost, a spirit of winter. He gets chosen as the new Guardian and follows the Easter Bunny to the North Pole. Together with the other Guardians, he leaves the North Pole to go to the Tooth’s world to help the tooth fairies. From here follows the adventurous journey of Jack Frost and the other Guardians.

The characters may sound childish, but the story and animation are excellent. Though it doesn’t have a Santa Claus, you can still watch it on Christmas Eve and the holiday season with your family and friends.

Released: October 2018

Where can you watch: Prime video, Netflix

4. Disney’s A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is a dark fantasy animated movie based on Charles Dickens’s novel with the same title. It is the perfect animated movie to enjoy your holidays as haunted holidays.

The movie’s main protagonist is Ebenezer Scrooge, who is depicted as a cold-hearted miser at the start of the movie. On the eve of Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge refuses to celebrate Christmas. He even refuses his nephew’s invitation to a dinner party and donates money to charity. But reluctantly agrees to give a day off to his employee named Bob to spend time with his family.

On the night of Christmas, Scrooge encounters the ghost of his business partner, who died seven years ago. The ghost warns Scrooge to change his wicked ways or encounter a worse fate. This is where the haunting journey of Ebenezer Scrooge starts. Will the heart of the cold miser Scrooge warm? What would the ghosts do to him? To get the answer, watch Disney’s a Christmas Carol.

In my view, Disney’s a Christmas Carol is one of the best haunted animated Christmas movies.

Released: November 2009

Where can you watch: Disney Plus

5. Polar Express

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Source: Jim, the Photographer / Flickr. copyright 2010

The Polar Express is also an adaption of the book with the same name, written by Chris Van Allsburg. Polar Express is a fantasy adventure animated Christmas movie. Directed by Robert Lee Zemeckis, the characters in this movie have been animated using motion capture animation.

If you have watched the trailer, you can tell that Polar Express is a story of a boy, who sees a mysterious steam-hauled train, stopped outside his house on the night of Christmas Eve. The conductor asks him to board the train towards the North Pole. He joins the steam-hauled train with other children, visiting Santa Claus. This story is basically about the belief of people in Santa Claus.

A video game based on this movie was released in November 2004. If you like watching animated Christmas movies, you should at least watch them once.

Released: October 2004

Where can you watch: HBO-Max

6. Tokyo Godfathers

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Source: BlogVisual / Flickr. Copyright 2014

Tokyo Godfather is a Japanese animated movie written and directed by Satoshi Kon. He was inspired by an American film named three Godfathers. It is a tragicomedy adventure film about three homeless persons.

Upon Christmas, these 3 people, a teenage runaway girl named Miyuki, a transgender woman named Hana, and a middle-aged man named Gin, found an abandoned newborn baby. The three people embark on finding the baby’s parents while taking care of her. They found a note with the baby, asking the finder to take good care of the baby, with clues to the baby’s parents’ identity.

The story of this animated film is unique and a good one. Why did I rank it sixth then? It’s because this movie is not for children to watch. It has some violent scenes, so it is recommended that only children aged 13 years or more watch it because it is not available in English.

Personally, this one is my favorite on the list of animated Christmas movies. The characters of the movie are unique and realistic. It doesn’t have Santa Claus, but I love watching it on Christmas.

Released: November 2003 (Japan)

Where can you watch: Netflix

Tokyo Godfathers English Dubbed

A few times, an English dub of Tokyo Godfather was aired by the television station Animax Asia. There wasn’t much content of it online in English. But in December 2019, international animation licensor, GKIDS, announced they would be releasing the film in 2020 with a brand new 4K restoration in English dub.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a musical animated dark fantasy movie directed by Henry Selick. This movie is a Halloween as well as a Christmas story.

The story revolves around the people of Halloween Town, with the main protagonist named Jack Skellington, popularly known as the ‘Pumpkin King.’ Jack is the one who leads them in preparing Halloween. But one day, he grew tired of all this and was looking for something new. He then somehow led to other holiday-themed worlds and discovered the one leading to Christmas Town.

He was surprised by the unfamiliar holiday and went back to tell his friends about it. Jack ultimately decides that Halloween Town will take over Christmas this year.

So, do you think Jack and the team will successfully take over Christmas? Watch it now!

Released: October 1993

Where can you watch: Disney Plus

The Nightmare Before Christmas Sequel

Jack Skellington has been quite popular after the movie, causing people to look forward to a sequel to this movie. There have been various side stories and video games related to this movie.

The official sequel of the Nightmare before Christmas is in the works, but not in the form of a movie but a book. The release will be in July, with ‘Long Live the Pumpkin Queen.’

8. Arthur Christmas

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Source: 光头人 / Flickr. Copyright 2011

Arthur Christmas is a 3D animation science fantasy comedy movie. Directed by Barry Cook and Sarah Smith, the story is about a boy named Arthur Christmas, depicted as Santa Claus’s son.

In this movie, Santa Claus is a title passed on from generation to generation rather than a person. When Arthur discovers that his father has failed to deliver one present to a little girl, he embarks on a mission to deliver the gift to other characters.

It’s an exciting story with funny interactions between the characters. It’s one of the ideal movies among the animated Christmas movies to watch with your family.

Released: November 2011

Where can you watch: Hulu

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas

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By Ross Dunn / Flickr. copyright 2015

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a Christmas cartoon movie based on a comic strip by Charles Schulz. This movie has been a Christmas classic, viewed by many people almost every Christmas.

Charlie Brown finds himself depressed after a Christmas despite it being a Christmas. He confides in his friend named Lucy and visits her psychiatric booth to solve his problem. Lucy suggests he join the Christmas play. While going for it, he observes that commercialization has ruined Christmas meaning.

This is a story about how Charlie Brown explains the true meaning of Christmas to the people around him. If you are fond of animated Christmas movies, you have to watch this at least once, and that too with your whole family.

Released: December 1965

Where can you watch: Prime Video

10. Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

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By bittle / Flickr. Copyright 2009

Curious George: A very monkey Christmas is a holiday particular animated movie. It’s going to be Christmas soon, but George and the man in the yellow hat are in a dilemma on what to gift each other.

It has an extraordinary story that should be watched with the whole family. People who know about animated Christmas movies must have heard of this film. So, try watching it! This movie will surely give a warm feeling.

Released: November 2009

Where can you watch: Prime Video

11. How the Toys Saved Christmas

How the Toys Saved, Christmas is an Italian animated movie based on a tale written by Giovanni Francesco. It was imported to the USA in 1997 and released after that.

This movie was initially based on Epiphany Eve but converted into the Christmas background in the American version.

This fantasy movie is based on how toys saved themselves from being sold in an auction. They want to deliver themselves as presents to children on the occasion of Christmas. To know how the toys save Christmas of the Children, you got to watch it!

Released: December 1996 (Italy)

Where can you watch: Prime Video

12. The Year Without a Santa Claus

animated Christmas movies
By Absar Pathan / Unsplash. copyright 2020

The Year Without a Santa Claus is another stop-motion animated Christmas movie based on a book written by Phyllis McGinley with the same title.

In the late 19th century, Santa Claus wakes up with a cold a few days before Christmas. On his doctor’s advice, who thinks no one cares about him (Santa), he takes a holiday this year. Mrs. Claus tries to convince Santa, but Santa isn’t convinced. So, Mrs. Claus tasks two elves named ‘Jingle’ and ‘Jangle’ to prove to Santa that people still believe in him.

From what I know, this is the only movie in which Children give presents to Santa Claus. If you want to know how did this happen, watch it out!

Released: December 1974

Where can you watch: Prime Video

13. On the Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve is a short, 25 minutes musical animated Christmas movie. Directed by Brian Cosgrove, with a fairytale-like theme.

This movie is about how a family of mice helps a fairy/angel retrieve her magic wand in the snow on the day of Christmas. Some hungry owls later ate the mice family, and then Santa Claus appeared.

Many people don’t know about this rare gem, while a remarkable memory of their childhood is for those who have watched it. If you’re looking for animated Christmas movies for children, check this out! They are going to love it.

Released: 1992

Where can you watch: YouTube

animated Christmas movies
By CHUTTERSNAP / Unsplash. copyright 2021

The watch list of good animated Christmas movies doesn’t stop here; there are many more fascinating movies like Scooby-doo, Winnie the pooh: a very merry pooh year, Santa’s apprentice, Evil snowman, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and many more.

I hope this post was helpful and a good reference in choosing the movies that will entertain you and lighten up your mood. Make sure you comment on which one is your favorite and how many have you watched.

Click here to know about places to celebrate Christmas in Mississippi.

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