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It’s that time of year! Here are some animated movies as well as some hidden gems that you & your family will enjoy this Christmas season.

All the animated Christmas movies your entire family should check out

It’s that time of year! A time where we all get into our cozy pajamas by late afternoon, brew up a mug of delicious hot chocolate, and snuggle up next to the fire as we turn on the television to watch our favorite Christmas classics. 

Listen, this is a judgment-free zone. It’s totally cool if you enjoy a cheesy Hallmark movie or even get a kick out of Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. However, might we persuade you into checking out some of the more family-friendly animated features that pop up this time of year? Because we ALL know the 2000’s Grinch film was NOT family-friendly . . . 

We all circle the calendar or press record when we see that Charlie Brown & the Peanuts gang are coming in for a holiday landing, but here are some animated classics as well as some hidden gems that you & your family will enjoy this Christmas season. 

The Classics

The Polar Express

This 2004 Robert Zemeckis feature utilizes motion-capture technology to tell the story of a young boy, experiencing a bit of holiday doubt, being picked up on Christmas Eve by a mysterious train conductor (Tom Hanks) as they make their way to the North Pole, hoping to restore the boy’s belief in the spirit of Christmas

Based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg of the same name, The Polar Express is filled with delightful songs, gorgeous scenery, and a performance from Hanks who takes on an array of characters.

After watching the film, you and your family will believe, too. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas

In what feels like a steal in the Walmart bundle bin, this movie offers viewers a great two-for-one. You get to enjoy the film during Halloween AND Christmas! 

Produced by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, this holiday fable tells the story of Jack Skellington, the lead scarer of Halloweentown who’s simply over the spooky season. Jack wanders off only to find himself in Christmastown. Overwhelmed by the shock & awe of “colors everywhere”, he formulates a plan to steal the holiday for himself in hopes to breathe new life into his hometown, populated with ghosts & monsters.  

While some scenes might be a bit scary for children under six, the film offers a massive amount of heart within many of its characters, intent on using some holiday cheer to make their town a bit brighter than what it once was.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

While Rankin/Bass provided us with a collection of classic stop-motion specials, including The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and A Year Without a Santa Claus, unquestionably the cream of the crop is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a film that tells the story of Rudolph and his quest to be accepted by his peers, his parents, and Santa himself. 

The film is special for multiple reasons, including its message of embracing what makes you different and understanding that having a talent or a dream doesn’t make you an outcast, or misfit. 

It’s only on every single night on every single station in December, so watching it with your entire family shouldn’t be too difficult. 

Hidden Gems 

Rise of the Guardians

This family adventure hit theatres during Thanksgiving in 2012, earning positive reviews only to quietly disappear into the Boogeyman’s shadows years later. Sad

Rise of the Guardians tells the story of how rebellious Jack Frost is recruited by the immortal Guardians, including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman, all uniting to combat the evil spirit Pitch and his attack on the innocence of children around the world. 

Jack hides a tragic and mysterious backstory that keeps him guessing what his role will be in saving the earth amongst these other fabled legends. 

Offering their voices for this beautiful film are stars Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, and Hugh Jackman. The film touches on the power behind believing in yourself, a message that children oftentimes struggle with once their innocence is taken from them.  

Arthur Christmas

The story itself is actually quite simple. Arthur (James McAvoy), the goofy son of Santa himself, must go on an emergency mission to hand out a present to a young child that was earlier misplaced, all within just a couple of hours. 

So, why is Arthur Christmas so good? 

The film, for one, is one of the funniest holiday gems you’ll have seen in a long time, especially given the hilarious performance by Bill Nighy as Grandsanta. It takes you on a crazy ride that you presume will set the tone of the entire film, only to come to a complete halt during a touching and heartwarming finale/twist, leaving you & your family with a cup of joy that’s only comparable to a glass of delicious eggnog – the full-fat kind. 

Arthur guides audiences through a fun new world about the North Pole, establishing a new family tree of Santa’s that leaves us wondering if we could ever see a sequel in the future. 

What’s your favorite holiday movie? Let us know in the comments! 

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