The Best Christmas Movies for Kids

Over 400 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Christmas Movies for Kids
Voting Rules
Vote up great Christmas movies for kids to watch.

Christmas is a time for peace and tranquility, a time for families to come together by the tranquil light of the fire and to reflect on the year gone by over a glass of eggnog.

Unless you've got kids. If you've got kids, Christmas is a delirious marathon, a process that you survive as much as enjoy. Between toy shopping, Christmas parties and winter break, there are times that a parent wants nothing more than to sit their kid in front of a movie for an hour or two, just so they can get a moment to themselves.

Lucky for you, we've got this list of the best Christmas films for children. This list is made up of good, appropriate Christmas movies for young kids because you really don't want to be the parent who accidentally let their kid watch Bad Santa this year. So if you've ever asked yourself "what Christmas films can little kids watch," look to the list below for the answer then vote for your favorites and don't forget to add any movies that we're missing here! Then put on a movie and get an hour to yourself in the midst of Christmas craziness.

Just kidding, don't you have wrapping to do?

Most divisive: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Ranked by
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    158 votes
    • Released: 1964
    • Directed by: Larry Roemer, Kizo Nagashima
    The timeless tale of a crimson-snouted hero comes to life in this beloved stop-motion animation TV special. With an array of unforgettable characters, such as the endearing Rudolph (voiced by Billie Mae Richards) and the lovable Hermey the Elf (Paul Soles), audiences are transported to a whimsical world where misfits find their purpose. First aired in 1964, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become a cherished holiday tradition for generations, earning its place in pop culture history. Its heartfelt message of acceptance, coupled with the enchanting musical score, continues to resonate with viewers, proving that sometimes, the most extraordinary stories emerge from the most unexpected places.
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
    Boris Karloff, June Foray, Hal Smith
    157 votes
    • Released: 1966
    • Directed by: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
    In an enchanting adaptation of the beloved children's book, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! brings to life the tale of a green, misanthropic creature on a mission to ruin the festive season for the residents of Whoville. The show expertly weaves together elements of family, humor, and heartwarming redemption, earning it multiple award nominations. With the Grinch portrayed by the talented Boris Karloff, the audience is taken on a journey of self-discovery and the true meaning of Christmas spirit. To sum it up, one can expect to be charmed by the colorful characters and the unforgettable message this classic story delivers.
  • The Santa Clause
    Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
    237 votes
    • Released: 1994
    • Directed by: John Pasquin
    In the family-comedy film The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) inadvertently becomes Santa Claus. A regular father and business executive, Calvin stumbles upon a peculiar situation on Christmas Eve involving the real Santa. After donning the red suit and delivering gifts worldwide, he wakes up to find it wasn't a dream. The transformation begins gradually, and as the reality sinks in, he must juggle his everyday life with his newfound responsibilities at the North Pole. The movie cleverly weaves humor and fantasy, providing a fresh spin on holiday lore.

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  • Shrek the Halls
    Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
    209 votes
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Gary Trousdale
    The ogre's holiday plans go awry.
  • Frosty the Snowman
    June Foray, Paul Frees, Billy De Wolfe
    202 votes
    • Released: 1969
    • Directed by: Arthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass
    Frosty the Snowman is an American animated Christmas family television special based on the song "Frosty the Snowman". The program, which first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS, was produced for television by Rankin/Bass and featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as the film's narrator and Jackie Vernon as the titular character. This special marked the first use of traditional cel animation for Rankin/Bass in a Christmas special. Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass wanted to give the show and its characters the look of a Christmas card, so Paul Coker, Jr., a greeting card and Mad magazine artist, was hired to do the character and background drawings. The animation was produced by Mushi Production in Japan, with then-Mushi staffer Osamu Dezaki among the animation staff. Rankin/Bass veteran writer Romeo Muller adapted and expanded the story for television as he had done with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. TV Guide ranked the special number 4 on its 10 Best Family Holiday Specials list.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Geoffrey Ornstein
    230 votes
    • Released: 1965
    • Directed by: Bill Melendez
    A Charlie Brown Christmas is a musical animated television film based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the program made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965. In the special, lead character Charlie Brown finds himself depressed despite the onset of the cheerful holiday season. Lucy suggests he direct a school Christmas play, but he is both ignored and mocked by his peers. The story touches on the over-commercialization and secularism of Christmas, and serves to remind viewers of the true meaning of Christmas. The special was commissioned and sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. It was written over a period of several weeks, and animated on a shoestring budget in only six months. In casting the characters, the producers went an unconventional route, hiring child actors. The program's soundtrack was similarly unorthodox: it features a jazz score by pianist Vince Guaraldi.