The Best Holiday Movies and Shows on Disney+ Right Now – Collider

Three ‘Santa Clauses,’ Two ‘Christmas Carols,’ and Shane Black’s ‘Iron Man 3!’
It’s the holiday season, and with all of us getting into the holiday spirit, one of the best ways is watching our favorite specials. Whether you’re revisiting classic tales like A Christmas Carol or discovering something new like The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Disney has one of the best selections of films, series, and specials across all the major platforms, and we’re going to guide you through it all. Here are the top 17 Holiday Specials on Disney Plus!
Director: Chris Columbus | Run Time: 1hr 43min
Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and Catherine O'Hara
After wishing for his family to disappear, Kevin McCalister (Macaulay Culkin) wakes up to an empty house. While things seem fun initially, he learns that he needs them even though his family is far from perfect. Toss in the Wet Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), and we have the ideal holiday comedy.
Home Alone is essentially Die Hard for kids, and while Macaulay Culkin might not share much in common with Bruce Willis on the surface, the heart of both films remains true. Spend Christmas with those you love, and don’t be afraid to defend your home when villains plan a holiday heist.
Watch Home Alone on Disney+
Directors: John Pasquin (The Santa Clause) and Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2 and 3) | Run Times: (1) 1hr 38 min (2) 1hr 46 min (3) 1 hr 34 min
Cast: Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, Wendy Crewson, and Judge Reinhold
The Santa Clause is a pretty strange film, but it turns out to be a heartwarming story when you get past the insane premise. Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a businessman who spends Christmas with his estranged son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd). After hearing Santa on his roof, Scott makes old Saint Nick fall to his death, leaving no one else but Scott to don the coat and hat.
The Santa Clause trilogy adds a new wrinkle to the Santa Claus lore. Anyone can become Santa, but seeing how Scott grapples with his new responsibility makes this franchise intriguing.
Watch The Santa Clause on Disney+
Watch The Santa Clause 2 on Disney+
Watch The Santa Clause 3 on Disney+
Director: Henry Selick | Run Time: 1hr 16min
Cast: Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara, and Ken Page
Is it a Halloween movie, or Is it a Christmas movie? Regardless, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday treat. Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman) is Halloweentown’s beloved Pumpkin King, but he grows tired of his Halloween traditions. However, once Jack finds himself in Christmastown, he plots to take over the job of Santa Claus for himself.
The Nightmare Before Christmas balances the dark and eerie tone of Tim Burton’s work with the beautiful light and joy associated with the Christmas season. Danny Elfman’s score only adds to the atmosphere and enhances the entire film. Director Henry Selick delivers a slick film that can be enjoyed at any time of year.
Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+
Director: Burny Mattinson | Run Time: 26min
Cast: Alan Young, Wayne Allwine, and Clarence Nash
Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol, is one of the most adapted stories of all time, and yet, Mickey’s Christmas Carol is by far one of the best adaptions of the holiday classic. Ebenezer Scrooge, aka Scrooge McDuck, is a stingy old bird who must learn the errors of his selfish ways before it’s too late.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol stands out because it’s beautifully animated and manages to tell the tale in a brisk 30 minutes. It’s a perfect holiday special and a quick watch for families looking to get in the holiday spirit.
Watch Mickey's Christmas Carol on Disney+
Director: Shane Black | Run Time: 2hr 10min
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, and Guy Pearce
After the battle in New York, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is suffering from PTSD while also having to face the ghosts of his past. Iron Man 3 is the final film in the Iron Man trilogy and puts a nice bow on the story of Tony Stark, even though he appears in five more films after this one.
While not your traditional Christmas movie, Iron Man 3 captures themes you’ve come to expect in holiday films. Tony must embark on a journey to better himself and right the wrongs of his past. He discovers that his love for Pepper, Happy, and Rhodey is what keeps him grounded. Family, second chances, and the spirit of giving are all present in Iron Man 3, and it’s glorious.
Watch Iron Man 3 on Disney+
Director: George Seaton | Run Time: 1hr 41min
Cast: Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, and Maureen O'Hara
Miracle on 34th Street is a wonderful film. It’s about an older man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) who fills in as Santa during Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he starts appearing regularly at Macy's main store in Manhattan. Kringle surprises customers and employees by claiming he is the real Santa Claus, leading to a court case to determine his mental health and, most importantly, his authenticity.
Miracle on 34th Street is a heartwarming classic that sheds light on the commercialization of the holiday while hearkening to the sentimental feeling that comes with Christmas. It’s the perfect holiday film. A remake of Miracle on 34th Street is also available to stream on Disney+.
Watch Miracle on 34th Street on Disney+
Directors: Bradley Raymond, Jun Falkenstein, Alex Mann, Toby Shelton, Bill Speers | Run Time: 1hr 10min
Cast: Kelsey Grammer, Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor, Tony Anselmo, and Bill Farmer
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas features three unique stories starring Mickey Mouse and his friends. Stuck on Christmas features Huey, Dewey, and Louie stuck in a time loop after wishing Christmas was every day. A Very Goofy Christmas sees Max question the existents of Santa Claus. The third and final short is Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi, based on the 1905 short story, The Gift of the Magi.
Once Upon a Christmas is Disney at its finest. It’s a wholesome watch with beautiful animation, and all three stories fit well within the relatively short runtime. We’re reminded why Mickey and the gang have endured for so long.
Watch Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas on Disney+
Showrunner: Jonathan Igla | Episodes: 6
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Alaqua Cox, Tony Dalton, and Vera Farmiga
Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is celebrating Christmas in New York with his three children, only for his holiday to be spent protecting a young woman named Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), who unknowingly is now the target of the tracksuit mafia. The Avenger now must watch Kate Bishop and deal with the Mafia and their boss – all while trying to spend time with his family on Christmas.
Hawkeye is a fun holiday romp featuring some great action, excellent trick arrows, and stellar characters with the likes of Echo (Alaqua Cox), Kate Bishop, and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). It even features a musical number! What more can you ask for?
Watch Hawkeye on Disney+
Director: Ken Cunningham | Run Time: 44min
Cast: Helen Sadler, Matt Lanter, Anthony Daniels, Grey Delisle, and Ben Prendergast
The words “Star Wars” and “Holiday Special” are usually the last thing fans want to think about after the nightmare fuel we got in 1981. However, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a terrific half-hour show the entire family will enjoy.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is geared at the younger Star Wars fans, but there are enough funny moments and jokes that will keep even Scrooge invested. Rey and BB-8 explore an ancient Jedi Temple where they travel throughout time, witnessing the most significant moments in the Star Wars universe. All while Finn, Poe, and the rest get ready to celebrate Life Day.
Watch The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special on Disney+
Director: Gary Katona, Ed Wexler, Jamie Mitchell | Run Time: 1hr 5min
Cast: Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, and Ken Sansom
Serving as the series finale of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, A Very Merry Pooh Year gives us one last film with Pooh and his friends. The film has Christopher Robin (William Green), Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings), Piglet (Jeff Bennett), Rabbit (Ken Sansom), and Tigger (Jim Cummings) celebrating the holidays, and it’s just as heartwarming as you imagined. The film is a fitting send-off for The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and a great holiday film.
Watch Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year on Disney+
Director: Tim Federle | Run Time: 45min
Cast: Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie, and Matt Cornett
One of our favorite Disney+ Original series’ is High School Musical: The Musical: The Series because its Glee meets High School Musical with all the Disney references you can imagine. That said, the series manages to embrace the high school drama tropes without feeling forced or uninspired.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special sees our main cast sing Christmas carols, share anecdotes, and deliver the holiday cheer we’re desperately looking for.
Watch High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special on Disney+
Director: Brian Henson | Run Time: 1h 25min
Cast: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, and Steve Whitmire
The Muppets Christmas Carol is yet another retelling of the Dickens classic, with Michael Caine starring as Ebenezer Scrooge. The supporting cast is all Muppets, and they have never been better. The Muppets will always have a special place in our hearts but pair them with Christmas and its nostalgia overload.
The holiday musical features a fantastic score and soundtrack while giving us a unique take on the iconic story of Scrooge in only a way the Muppets could. The Muppets Christmas Carol is a holiday classic.
Watch The Muppets Christmas Carol on Disney+
Showrunner: Jack Burditt | Episodes: 6
Cast: Tim Allen, Rupali Redd, and Elizabeth Mitchell
Tim Allen returns in the new limited series, The Santa Clauses. Scott Calvin has served as Santa Claus for nearly three decades and feels now might be the time to retire. Following the events of the previous Santa Clause movies, The Clauses will focus on Scott passing the mantle to a new Santa. If you loved The Santa Clause trilogy or just want a new Christmas-themed series to watch, you can’t go wrong with The Santa Clauses.
Watch The Santa Clauses on Disney+
Directors: Matthew O'Callaghan, Carole Holliday, Theresa Cullen | Run Time: 1hr 8min
Cast: Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor, Tony Anselmo, and Jason Marsden
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas is not a direct sequel to Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, but it’s still a lot of fun. The film features five short stories starring the classic Disney characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Max, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
The computer-animated special allows for the Disney crew to shine with each getting major focus across their individual stories. If you love Mickey and his friends, Mickey Twice Upon a Christmas is a wonderful time.
Watch Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas on Disney+
Director: Chris Columbus | Run Time: 1hr 53min
Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara, and Tim Curry
The McCallister family is back and somehow thought it was a good idea to take another Christmas vacation. Unfortunately, Kevin gets separated and ends up lost in New York City. Kevin must now survive in New York on his own while having to deal with a suspicious Hotel manager, Mr. Hector (Tim Curry), and his old friends Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Joe Pesci).
While Home Alone 2 is essentially just more of the same as its predecessor, it still manages to have enough changes to be a worthy inclusion on this list. The New York area provides a much broader setting than the intimate Chicago suburbs in the first film.
Watch Home Alone 2: Lost in New York on Disney+
Director: Andrew Adamson | Run Time: 2hr 30min
Cast: William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, and Tilda Swinton
Based on the classic C.S. Lewis novel, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe star the Pevensey children, Lucy, Simon, Peter, and Susan, travel to the magical world of Narnia via an enchanted wardrobe. The children must aid the beings of Narnia as they fight against the tyranny of The White Witch (Tilda Swinton).
The Chronicles of Narnia is a great introduction to the fantasy genre. The Lion, The Witch, and Wardrobe is a fantastic film. It shows the Pevensey children working together to make Narnia a better place.
Watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on Disney+
Director: James Gunn | Run Time: 41min
Cast: Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, and Kevin Bacon
Gamora is still missing, and Peter Quill has been down ever since. With Christmas coming, the Guardians believe that celebrating one of Earth’s biggest holidays might be the distraction Star-Lord needs. Director James Gunn allows us to check in with the Guardians of the Galaxy in a wonderful special presentation.
The Guardian of the Galaxy franchise has always been the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At its core, it’s a story about a family, so making the holiday special is the next evolution of their story.
Watch The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+
Mike Thomas is a Resource Writer for Collider. You can hear his passion for films on The Chatter After podcast. He's also a YouTube creator and breaks down why we love movies!


About gracia

Check Also

Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class 787 (SIN-SGN) – One Mile at a Time


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *