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5 Animated Christmas Movies You Need To Watch This Holiday Season

Put These on Your List!

Tomorrow’s anticipated release of the new animated film “The Grinch” has definitely put us in the holiday spirit. The movie stars “Sherlock”‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, with narration from Pharrell Williams, and follows the timeless story of The Grinch’s attempt to spoil Christmas for all of Whoville. Hopefully this feature-length animation can meet the success of the original and cherished TV special from 1966, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”. Until then, to those of you who have been waiting all year to finally pull out the box of Christmas classics, this one is for you, and for those who think it’s far too early to be mentioning holiday films, it’s never too early to prepare!

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

The debate regarding this being a Halloween or Christmas movie will probably never end, but for the purposes of this list, we’re going with the latter. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” tells the story of Jack Skellington, who travels from Halloween Town to Christmas Town and becomes infatuated with its culture. While stop motion animation was on the way out in 1993, this movie made a fantastic case for its use. Even today, the movie is unbelievably gorgeous, and its imagination and visual inventiveness are still second to none. And even amidst the terrifying and wondrous visuals, it still finds time to tell a touching story about the magic and warmth of Christmas.

“Frosty the Snowman” (1969)

Now who doesn’t love them some “Frosty the Snowman”? This classic first aired on CBS way back on December 7, 1969, and it quickly became a holiday favorite. It’s filled with such wonderful animation and fun character interactions that each scene can be considered a classic, and the short 25-minute runtime blows by every single time. The music is stellar and timeless, and the characters, including Frosty, Karen, and the sniveling Professor Hinkle, are some of the most memorable characters in the Christmas canon. “Frosty the Snowman” is definitely a case of quality over quantity, as every single one of its 25 minutes delights.

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983)

Robert Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol” may have brought Charles Dickens’ classic story to the 21st century with some incredible 3D animation, but nothing will ever beat “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” This short but wonderful adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” places Mickey and friends in the roles of Dickens’ classic characters, making it more palatable for children to digest and understand. Despite not doing anything particularly new or inventive with the story, it is still a wonderfully-animated adaptation that beautifully captures the fun and uplifting nature of the novel. It may only be 26 minutes long, but it does more with its time than most full-length animations could even dream of. Check out our Top 10 Christmas Carol Trivia HERE to answer questions about the classic film.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is another TV staple that has continuously aired on NBC and CBS since its premiere way back in December of 1964. “Rudolph” is the most successful Christmas TV special in terms of airtime, as its continuous run of over 50 years makes it the longest-running Christmas special in TV history. It also received a beautiful HD remaster in 2005, which made old people everywhere gasp in amazement at how far we’ve come from those primitive microwaves we used to call TVs. “Rudolph’s” classic stop motion animation, timeless characters, and charming storyline have all ensured its place in the Christmas canon.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)

Premiering on December 9, 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was watched by nearly sixteen million households and was instantly adored by both critics and the general public. And to think, those involved believed it would be a disaster. The special’s director, Bill Melendez, was embarrassed by the final result, and CBS executives hated it, calling the animation “too simple” and the pace too slow for young audiences. Despite their reservations, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has become a Christmas classic, perhaps BECAUSE OF its simplistic animation style and slow, melodic pace. Plus, Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree is just adorable. Who can’t love that? And who can’t love this special? No one, that’s who.

Our complete list of the Top 10 Animated Christmas Movies comes out tomorrow on and on WatchMojo‘s YouTube channel, so keep an eye out if you want to find out the #1 animated must-watch movie of the holiday season!

If you’re more of a TV person, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our pick of the Top 10 Best Christmas Themed TV Episodes

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