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Looking For Some Christmas Classics To Watch With The Kids? Here Is Our Ultimate List Of Animated Christmas Movies.

Animated Christmas Movies

There are definitely some great animated Christmas movies and some not-so-great ones. 

Let me tell you something: I love Christmas and I love movies. This makes me a little picky when it comes to Christmas movies. 

And it isn't just adults who notice lack of quality as far as storyline, animation, and quality acting goes. Children notice it too and wrong messages make much more of an impression on their little minds than we may think. They want good films as much as we do. 

So, here you will find my completely honest reviews about the animated Christmas movies I've enjoyed, what I love about them, and what makes me not a huge fan.

1. A Sweet Old Cartoon From Disney The Small One Has Christ At The Center Of Christmas

Good Christmas Movies For Kids

I have to tell you the truth, my mom tried to remind me of this short Disney film by singing the songs, and I was completely lost.

So if you, like me, have either never seen this movie or it’s been too long to remember, I highly recommend you watch it. It is a sweet story that follows a young boy and his old donkey, called “Small One”.

Now that “Small One” is getting too old to earn his keep, the boy’s father says that it is time to sell him.

And so the young boy brings “Small One” to town to see if he can sell him. The boy is very attached to his little donkey and promises that only a kind person will be allowed to buy him. He meets trouble when he gets to town finding the right buyer.

But when he meets a young man who is in need of a donkey to carry his wife to Bethlehem, the boy knows that he has finally found the perfect buyer. This is such a sweet film about childhood friendship with animals, filled with music and sure to capture your heart. 

And Small One is free to watch on YouTube!

2. The Polar Express Shows That Seeing Is Believing In Some Cases But In Other Circumstances You Just Take It For What It Is

Cartoon Christmas Movies

The Polar Express follows a young boy on his journey to believing in the magic of Christmas.

Helping him along the way are a young girl and lonely boy both also searching for a reason to believe.

The film is focused on a young boy and his struggle to believe in Santa Claus. He wants him to be real, but can’t quite bring himself to believing without seeing. 

He is picked up on Christmas Eve by a magical train that brings him and his new friends on the adventure of a lifetime to the North Pole. 

As far as message goes, there is no mention of Jesus’ birth. The entire film’s focus is on believing in the magic of Christmas and how you just need to believe for Santa Claus to be a reality. 

3. A Wonderful Adaptation Of The Childhood Classic, The Legend Of The Candy Cane Tells The Story Of A Staple Christmas Candy

Christian Christmas Movies

As a Christmas story I’ve enjoyed many times during my childhood, I was pleasantly surprised to see this film at our local thrift store.

This film was filled with the same charming character of the children’s book and brought back pleasant memories. The animated characters even looked like the drawings in the storybook.

John Sonneman comes to West Sage with a cart full of boxes as mysterious as he is. This movie used quite a bit of creative license to string it into a complete story and I think it worked rather well.

It still kept close to the wonder and surprise of the townsfolk with the new candy store and told the story of the candy cane including some of the background story that is found in the forward of the children’s book. It did exclude the meaning of the three stripes being for the Trinity and the scourging, which I was a little disappointed with.

But overall, the movie was very good and had added interest with the story development and keeping Christ in Christmas. 

4. How The Grinch Stole Christmas Tells A Subtle Tale Of The True Meaning Of Christmas!

Classic Christmas Movies

All of the Christmas movies that don't mention Christ bother me a lot, but the Grinch who lives just North of Whoville does not!

I think what makes it so that this movie doesn't is because it is subtly Catholic.

This classic story following the Grinch and his attempt to take the joy of Christmas from his neighbors hits the nail on the head about how Christmas is not a season of rejoicing because of the presents, it's something deeper, something more powerful than that.

And this joy can spread to far more than just our families, or even just our friends, it can bring joy to even those far distant from us. When we celebrate Christmas as we ought, we bring the joy of Christ's coming to all. It is indeed a season of sharing and caring, sharing the good news of the Gospel and caring about others' souls enough to spread the message. 

Read the review of Disney's 2000 live-action version here...

5. Definitely A Favorite On The List Of Animated Christmas Movies, Barbie And The Nutcracker Is More Than Just A Film

Christmas Movies

Music appreciation meets Mattel in this well crafted version of the Nutcracker. Barbie is a very wholesome ballerina who encourages a little girl through the telling of this Christmas classic.

Also starring as Clara, Barbie plays the heroine who destroys the mouse king and helps Nutcracker break the spell. 

With dance, music, and adventure, this cartoon version of the Nutcracker is well worth the watch. The music makes this a worthwhile show for the whole family. 

This is one of my favorite animated Christmas movies for its endearing storyline and great exposure to classical music and ballet. 

6. Mickey's Christmas Carol Is One Of Those Short Animated Christmas Movies That Recount A Classic Story

Disney Christmas Movies

Of course, Christmas isn't complete without at least one version of A Christmas Carol! In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and, most especially, Uncle Scrooge McDuck, tell the old Charles Dickens classic and in good time, too. 

Although a short film, this one has all the familiar characters from the classic novel. The Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future appear in the forms of Jiminy Cricket, The Giant, and Pete to Ebenezer Scrooge to bring him on a journey that will forever change his outlook on Christmas.

Although this story never mentions Christ explicitly, it is very much like How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the fact that the message itself explores the Christmas spirit of self-giving and charity especially at Christmas time. As Jacob Marley says in The Man Who Invented Christmas, "Business, business. Charity was my business!"

7. Nostalgic For Its Timeless Tale, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Will Be A Favorite For Sure Among These Animated Christmas Movies

Wholesome Entertainment

Everyone loves an underdog story, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is undeniably one such story. 

It is a classic story about the reindeer with the red nose of whom it is sung,

All of the other reindeer,
Used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

Prospects are bleak, but all of that is about to change.

Great Christmas music classics including "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" make this show really stand out. 

Hermey the aspiring dentist, Yukon Cornelius, Abominable, and yes, Rudolph are the most beloved stop-motion Christmas characters ever created. This cute and quirky Christmas movie's nostalgia value is through the roof. It's a hit for children and grown-ups alike. A must-watch on your animated Christmas movies list!

8. Although Not Particularly A Christmas Film, 20th Century Fox's Anastasia Carries Wintery Feelings And Is Not A Film You'll Want To Miss

Romantic Christmas Movies

Reminiscent of Christmas because of the snowy landscape and rich reds and greens worn by the characters, Anastasia is the perfect watch this time of year. The film also has a music box feel throughout that makes it homogenous with Christmas feelings. 

Anastasia has a happy life living as a Russian princess. Little does she suspect that her life is to be suddenly pulled apart into unrecognizable pieces in a short time. 

When revolution strikes, she escapes the palace only to be knocked out and awakening with no remembrance of her past. Her only clue is a necklace reading, "Together in Paris". Naturally, she wishes to go to Paris and see if she can piece her life back together. 

Along the way, she meets an ambitious young man also struggling to find a place after the revolution. His present goal is to obtain a reward offered by the Dowager Empress for reuniting her to the lost princess Anastasia. This young man, Dimitri, will use any means to find at least a look-alike to present to the Dowager Empress and escape with the reward before his plot is discovered. 

And so he and "Anya", as Anastasia now calls herself, are tossed together to discover the true past together.

Read the full review here...

9. Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa Shares The Heartwarming Story Of St. Nicholas' Generosity And How His Legacy Continues Today

Catholic Christmas Movies

This cartoon follows the classic story about St. Nicholas as a young man giving away his inheritance to the poor. St. Nicholas' first act of generosity is displayed when he saves a young boy about his own age from a life of slavery. The two become friends as Adrian pursues Nicholas in all his future adventures.

When Adrian runs into a woodcutter who has no other way to escape his debts except by selling his daughters into a life of sin, Adrian immediately runs to Nicholas for help. 

That night, Nicholas drops three bags of gold down the chimney of the woodcutter thus starting the Santa coming down the chimney tradition. Nicholas' example finally wins the conversion of Adrian, the woodcutter and his daughters as well as the slave trader. 

When Nicholas becomes Bishop of Myra, a great persecution breaks out and he is captured and imprisoned. After Constantine takes over the empire and the government, Nicholas is set free and he returns to Myra to find a thriving Christian community. 

Adrian tells him that it was his example of generosity which prompted the Christians to rebuild the Cathedral and continue living virtuous lives all through the persecution. 

10. Fine For Adults, But A Hard Watch For Kids: Disney's 2009 A Christmas Carol Is Borderline Christmas Thriller

Scary Christmas Movies

This version of A Christmas Carol is probably the closest to the novel that I've ever seen. That being said, however, it is very scary for kids which is surprising because you would think that animated Christmas movies would be more kid-friendly. 

It also has a very morbid feel that doesn't leave you with any good feelings at the end.

This story follows the classic tale that has gone around the globe time and again since it was authored by Charles Dickens: a greedy old man named Scrooge meets three spirits of Christmas who take him on a harrowing adventure. It is then that he realizes what all he has been to his fellow men and also, more importantly, what he ought to have been to them.

With this realization, repentance comes into Scrooge's mind for the first time, but does he have time now to make amends or is it too late?

Read reviews for our three favorite versions of A Christmas Carol here...

11. These Three Great Animated Christmas Movies Will Tickle You With Their Clever Parody And Meaningful Storylines

VeggieTales

VeggieTales are delightfully corny. The slapstick comedy in these animated and overtly Christian shows are guaranteed to have the whole family laughing out loud and singing along to the catchy tunes. 

VeggieTales are surprisingly traditional considering the heavy Protestant influence. These three Christmas movies are all about the true meaning of Christmas, God's love, and the Baby Jesus.

The Star of Christmas - It's their big break and with the noble goal of teaching London to love, Cavis and Millword are shocked to learn a children's Christmas pageant may literally steal the show. 

Good Movies For Christmas

Desperate to save their stage show, they "borrow" the children's main attraction - the star of Christmas. After burning down the theater, destroying the star of Christmas, and landing in jail, Cavis and Millword learn what it really means to love. Moyer the Destroyer, a family favorite, makes an appearance in this sweet Christmas tale.

The Toy That Saved Christmas - "Grumpy kids, greedy dreams this is not what Christmas means." This spin-off of How the Grinch Stole Christmas takes the message one step further by not only illustrating that Christmas is about giving not getting but more importantly it is about the greatest gift ever given, the gift of the Christ Child our Savior. 

The Little Drummer Boy

Containing one of the best Silly Songs with Larry, "Could That Be Santa", this VeggieTales show is a family favorite. 

The Little Drummer Boy - With a spooky feel, this cute rendition of The Little Drummer Boy entertains children and children at heart. Overall this is a cute story that shows that the Christ Child brings great peace and that He loves us and preforms miracles to both show His love and prove He is God.

12. Filled With Characters You Wouldn't Normally Expect In A Christmas Film, The Nightmare Before Christmas Definitely Takes The Cake For The Most Bizarre Christmas Film

Christmas Movies

Jack Skellington is the celebrated Pumpkin King, but he looks for more in his life, something exciting and new. After his accidental discovery of Christmas Town, Jack gets the awful idea of taking Christmas over and seeing how he and his Halloween friends can do at celebrating Christmas this year. Disaster nearly strikes but they are able to salvage it just in time. 

Read the full review here...

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