Watching films with the family is an essential part of the holidays. Everyone has their own favourites, but this is our pick of the best Christmas family movies. Grab some snacks, cuddle up, and enjoy.
1The Santa Clause
A twist of fate transforms divorced father Scott Calvin into the new Santa when the current one falls off the roof on Christmas Eve. After being whisked off to the North Pole with his son, Charlie, Scott learns of the Santa Clause – whoever wears the red suit must take on the responsibilities that go with it. He’s less than happy about this – but Charlie is thrilled.
2Dr Seuss: How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The grumpy green hermit, who lives alone on Mount Crumpit with just his faithful dog Max for company, does all he can to ruin the holidays for the residents of Whoville. But there’s a surprising lesson in store for the grouchy creature, who has a heart ‘two sizes too small’.
The McCallister family is going on a holiday trip to Paris – but eight-year-old Kevin gets accidentally left behind. Undaunted, the youngster settles down happily on his own – until he realises two burglars have their eyes on the family home. Can Kevin’s pranks keep them at bay?
4Rise of the Guardians
Mischievous Jack Frost doesn’t understand why he’s been chosen to join the Immortal Guardians – a team including Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy. Then evil spirit Pitch Black launches an assault on the innocence of children – and it seems nobody can stop him.
When Santa’s not-so-little helper Buddy learns he’s not really an elf and is actually human, he leaves the North Pole to find his biological family in Manhattan. Buddy struggles to adjust to a normal life in New York, while also trying to get his father off Santa’s naughty list.
6The Muppet Christmas Carol
Jim Henson’s lovable crew retells the classic tale, with Michael Caine as Scrooge among the puppets. Kermit and Miss Piggy lead a cast that includes everyone’s favourites – including Gonzo as Charles Dickens.
7The Polar Express
It’s Christmas Eve, and a boy is losing his belief in Santa Claus. Then he finds a train parked outside his house – it’s the Polar Express, headed for the North Pole. He’s invited to join the magical adventure, learning about friendship, bravery and the spirit of Christmas on the way.
8The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, is bored with organising the Halloween celebrations every year. After discovering Christmas Town, he decides his citizens will take over the holiday this year. But his efforts lead to chaos and terror around the world instead.
9It’s A Wonderful Life
George Bailey, a man with big ambitions and an even bigger heart, contemplates suicide. His guardian angel stops him, and then shows George an alternate reality – one where he was never born. George’s personal sacrifices have created a ripple effect of good deeds and happy events that would never have happened without him. Even young children will appreciate the message in this classic film.
10Miracle On 34th Street
When a New York department store Santa is fired for being drunk, an elderly man – Kris Kringle – is persuaded to take over the role. He does so well, all the children in the city believe he’s the real Father Christmas – but then Kris is arrested for assault. It seems the only way to get him acquitted is to prove he really is Santa.