The best Christmas films on Disney+ UK
James R | On 19, Dec 2022
“A blue, furry Charles Dickens who hangs out with a rat?” “Absolutely.” Everyone knows that Disney+ is the place to be for The Muppet Christmas Carol, but what other festive treats does the House of Mouse have for families to unwrap each December? Our full list of Christmas films on Disney+ UK gives you some idea, but which are naughty and which are nice? We’re here to help, with a guide to the best festive movies available, whether that’s Die Hard (part of Disney+’s adult-friendly channel, Star) or horror fable you can show the kids.
These are the best Christmas movies on Disney+ UK:
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppets give Dickens a hefty injection of fuzzy humour without losing the story’s dark edge. From Gonzo as Charles himself and Rizzo’s jelly bean-eating sidekick providing the post-modern narration to Michael Caine’s surprisingly moving turn as Ebenezer, this is not only a fantastic, family-friendly adaptation of A Christmas Carol; it’s arguably the definitive version.
“I made my family disappear.” Macauley Culkin charmed his way into everyone’s hearts with a raise of his eyebrows and two hands on either side of his face. Learning what it’s like to be left behind his parents, Kevin McCallister’s battle to defend his house from Joe Pesci unites the whole family in the universal joy of schadenfreude. Because what says Christmas more than laughing at other people’s physical pain? (Home Alone 2 is also on Disney+.)
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s stop-motion flick takes the festive charm of Christmas and twists it with the warped horror of Halloween – a combination that director Henry Selick whips up with visually breathtaking glee. Combined with Danny Elfman’s superb soundtrack (Elfman sings the part of Pumpkin Jack), this is one musical guaranteed to freak out the whole family. Best of all, you can watch it again in October.
Home Alone 2
Bigger traps, bigger laughs and a big slice of ham from Tim Curry as a sycophantic Manhattan hotel employee, Home Alone 2 is a proper delight.
This genre-defining blockbuster delivers explosions, laughs, one heck of an underdog romp and – what makes it such a classic festive favourite – an oddly sweet tale of one man trying to get to his family for the holidays. Also, Alan Rickman.
Die Hard 2
“How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”
This exciting, empowering tale of two sisters is a delightful, showstopping family musical.
This visually stunning, ear-worming sequel is a deceptively mature tale of love, acceptance and growth.
Iron Man 3
It’s not a superhero movie; it’s a Shane Black movie with superheroes in it. And that makes it not only the best Iron Man movie, but also a fun Christmas action thriller to boot.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Drax and Mantis get the chance to take centre-stage in this fun but uneven festive outing.
While You Were Sleeping
The archetypal example of a romantic comedy that hinges on one person doing something highly questionable – only to be forgiven by everyone in the audience because their obsessive feelings for another person are eventually reciprocated. Jon Turteltaub’s 1995 gem sees Sandra Bullock step into a leading role as a Chicago everywoman who is mistaken for being engaged to a guy she fancies on the train (Peter Gallagher). After saving his life, he winds up in a coma – and his family immediately invite her into the fold. Enter the guy’s charming, suave and suspicious older brother (Bill Pullman).
The Family Stone
Sparks fly at Christmas when an uptight career girl Sarah Jessica Parker joins boyfriend Dermot Mulroney’s family for the holidays. The result is an heartfelt comedy-drama that boasts a superb cast – including Luke Wilson and Diane Keaton – with an inclusive, impressively progressive philosophy that paved the way for such films as Happiest Season.
The Santa Clause
Tim Allen’s charming lead turn means this Christmas family flick is never less than watchable.
Anna Kendrick’s charming performance makes this empowering Santa comedy about Kris Kringle’s daughter rising to take his place a likeable slice of festive fun.
A Christmas Carol
Robert Zemeckis’ mo-cap take on Dickens’ iconic tale breathes enough new life into A Christmas Carol to allow for a pleasing ride.
The Lion. The Witch and the Wardrobe
Liam Neeson’s Aslan and Tilda Swinton’s White Witch are excellent in this impressive, if sanitised, take on CS Lewis’ classic fantasy tale.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
You may have grown up with the remake starring Richard Attenborough, which is also available to stream, but this 1947 original – about the legal case to save an old man claiming to be Santa from being institutionalised – has oodles more charm. A film about the importance of fantasy as much as festive spirit, it’s enchanting stuff.
Johnny Depp stars in Tim Burton’s beautifully unusual gothic love story about a half-finished mechanical boy.