Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. With streets all decked out in fancy twinkling lights, Christmas trees, and mistletoes, it is very easy to get into a festive mood. With the scent of hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies permeating the cool, crisp air, you know that the time has come to get those presents rolling under the tree. At this time of the year, you get to gather with your loved ones and celebrate the magic of the season. Festive feelings of love, joy, happiness, and peace abound, making you feel a lot lighter and tons happier.
This time of the year also means your children are off from school. Now is the perfect opportunity to do some quality bonding. One of the best ways to get this done is to watch classic Christmas cartoons. There’s just something toe-curling and spine-tingling about watching these old videos. Somehow, even if you have seen them a countless times, the feeling of excitement upon watching them again just never wanes. Here are a dozen classic Christmas cartoons that you will surely enjoy watching with your kiddos. They’re great for the young ones and the young once-upon-a-time like you, who crave the nostalgia of youth.
1. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
The original air date of this wonderful Disney movie is 1983. It is based on the classic book by Charles Dickens called A Christmas Carol. This Walt Disney version follows the same storyline of the original novel. However, the characters have morphed into Disney icons instead of being humans.
This follows the tale of Scrooge McDuck, who is based on the stingy and mean character of Ebenezer Scrooge in the book. In the same token, Mickey Mouse plays the lovable Bob Cratchit. Here, they also teach Scrooge McDuck that he is doomed to die alone and unhappy if he doesn’t change his selfish ways. In this classic cartoon, your children will learn the value of caring for others by showing the virtues of kindness and generosity.
2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
If you want to teach your kids about the true meaning for the season then be sure to include Charles Schulz’s 1965 Christmas cartoon into your list. Your kids will probably know who the characters are because the Peanuts gang has remained iconic through the years. Here Charlie Brown is stressing about putting on a Christmas play. Sadly, things go haywire and his plans go awry. His best friend Linus comforts him and reminds him what this season truly means.
Anyone who watches A Charlie Brown Christmas can’t help but feel tingles all over. Typically, people stress about presents, decors, and party preparations. This movie will remind everyone that the real meaning of Christmas is to spend it in the arms of family and friends who are the real reasons why life becomes pleasant, fun, and worth living.
3. Twas the Night Before Christmas
This cartoon is an oldie but goodie, first appearing in 1974. Joel Grey, a once famous Hollywood actor, singer, dancer, director, and photographer, stars as the voice character of the main lead, Joshua Trundle. The main protagonist is a clockmaker who has been assigned to build a special clock tower in order to win back Santa Claus. This initiative comes after an anonymous letter has their town banned from Santa’s gift list.
Of course, things do not go as planned, especially when a brainy kid mouse, voiced by Tammy grimes, meddle with all the gears that comprise the mechanisms of the clock. The father mouse steps in to save the day and teaches the kid mouse a lesson. As a result, he ends up saving Christmas for their town. The title is based on the classic poem called A Visit From Saint Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore.
4. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
Who is not familiar with this wonderful song? Well, in 1964 this was a cartoon movie where poor Rudolph is given the shabby treatment by his fellow reindeer brothers because of his shiny red nose. Of course, just as the song says his band of brothers laugh at him and call him names, making him the one and only reindeer outcast in the entire North Pole region.
Thankfully, Rudolph stumbles into the Island of Misfit Toys where he finds a lot of stuff to give out for Christmas. On top of that, Santa needs his help on Christmas eve because his shiny nose can bring light to the foggy atmosphere. Of course, his glowing nose which was laughed at by everyone is now seen as a saving grace. Because of Rudolph’s red nose, Christmas is saved for everyone around the world.
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Way before Hollywood actor Jim Carrey brought the Grinch to life on the silver screen, there was a 1966 version that made it into the home of people through their TV. This touching story also managed to make its way through their hearts. It is based on a classic Dr. Seuss book, which is another companion of many children’s growing up years.
This story centers on the big green Grinch who attempted to steal Whovilles’ Christmas. In the end, he was able to learn his lesson and he realized that the joy and spirit of Christmas can never be stolen. As you watch this every year, you keep on forgiving him for all his faults. Hearts have definitely grown from watching this Christmas classic. You can’t beat this feel-good holiday movie that is certainly fit for all ages.
6. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
This cartoon released in 1970 features the voice of Fred Astaire as the narrator. He happens to be the iconic crooner and dancer who is still famous ‘til this very day because of his classic musicals like Swing Time, Funny Face, and Broadway Melodies. With interesting characters like Kris Kringle and the Winter Warlock, this cartoon is a must-see. It is based on an old and equally classic Christmas ditty with the same name.
The story takes a look at how Santa became the esteemed and distinguished gentleman that he is known to be. It also features his battle with Mayor Meisterburger and the Winter Wizard. Expect to learn how a reindeer can fly and how Santa with his wide girth can shimmer successfully down a narrow chimney. This cartoon even goes on to describe how Mr & Mrs Claus met and started their love story. Despite encountering several scrooges, their happiness prevails which certainly makes this season more jolly and bright.
7. Frosty The Snowman
It is time for you and your kids to check out if Frosty the Snowman is indeed a jolly, happy soul. This Rankin/Bass produced cartoon, which popularized the classic song that people still enjoy today, was first aired in 1969. It has been exactly 50 years since this first debuted, but it remains popular so be sure to add this to your cartoon list.
Frosty the Snowman is narrated by Jimmy Durante, where you will be able to see the famous snowman coming to life every year when the winter wind begins howling. It all starts when he was gifted with a magical silk hat that was discarded by a magician. He befriends a little girl, who attempts to keep him alive forever. Frosty comes back greeting his own self a happy birthday. No matter how many times he utters the words, you will never get tired of hearing him say it. He and his friend eventually decide to travel to the North Pole so he will never have to melt again.
8. Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas
This is another must-watch cartoon released in 1977 created by Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets and the iconic Kermit the Frog. This cartoon focuses on the life in Frog Town Hollow during Christmas time. Originally, this cartoon was only aired on HBO, but because of the quality of the production and its touching storyline, it was able to reach the mainstream audience and make its way to national TV in 1980.
The animation and set design of this cartoon are all amazing. It possessed a top notch quality, which was leads and bounds ahead of its time, especially when compared to the other cartoon flicks released during this era. Many people say that this cute Christmas story is even better than the popular Muppets, which is the main reason why it has withstood the test of time.
9. The Year Without A Santa Claus
The cartoon’s catchy title alone is enough reason for you to pick this 1974 flick as a part of your Christmas movie marathon list with the kids. Imagine if it were to actually happen? Oh, the horror. This cartoon centers on exactly that concept. Santa is tired, fed up, and wants to skip on celebrating Christmas because he can sense that no one feels the true essence and spirit of the season anymore. He decides that the most perfect time to start his vacation is on December 24.
When Santa takes his break, the real stars of this cartoon rise up to the task of changing his mind. These are the brothers with conflicting meanings in their names called The Snow and Heat Misers. The main challenge for Mrs. Claus is to reconcile the brothers, so they can all work hard in convincing Kris Kringle to give up his thoughts of retirement because all the children in the world need and long for him to drop by.
10. The Little Drummer Boy
This stop motion cartoon produced by Rankin/Bass in 1968 is based on the Christmas carol about the little drummer boy who painstakingly followed the star of Christmas so that he could pay tribute to Jesus Christ, the newborn King from heaven. Some say watching this is a bit sad because the little boy had nothing to give the new king but his simple song. However, this cartoon maybe poignant but it will show you the true reasons for the season as it tugs at your heart strings.
This emphasizes that significance of the birth of Jesus Christ and its impact on humanity. On top of that, it carries themes of self-love because it shows how vital it is for people to share their unique and wonderful talents. In this movie, your children will realize that the best gifts are not those material objects. The most special presents they could ever receive for Christmas are those that come straight from the heart, which are sincerely given. This will teach them that the feeling of giving is even better than just merely receiving.
11. Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol
Because the classic novel of Charles Dickens is a wonderful charming story, it is no wonder why many producers have made several adaptations of this plot. This 1962 version of A Christmas Carol has the popular Mr. Magoo giving his own version of the heart-warming tale that speaks of kindness and love for others.
Here, Mr. Magoo plays the very selfish Scrooge who gets his lesson from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Mr. Magoo’s voice may seem very familiar to you because Jim Backus, who is also known for his beloved character as Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island, serves to be the voice of Mr. Magoo.
12. Santa’s Surprise
This is an animated short film released in 1947. It focuses on five children who come from different parts of the world, who decides to follow Santa Home on Christmas Eve after he drops off the presents. This is Santa’s surprise when he sees that they are helping him around in his workshop.
This cartoon was where the character of Little Audrey first appeared. She became a popular character that even played a cameo appearance on Popeye. Later on, Little Audrey got her own cartoon series. By watching Santa’s Surprise, you are not only watching a cute happy film, but you also get to see and trace where the other iconic characters that became popular through the years originate from.
If you’re in the mood to watch something fun and light with your kids this Christmas, consider all the classic movies on this list. With so many good shows about Christmas that’s available for viewing, the hardest part is picking which film to watch first with your family.