Top 10 Animated Christmas Movies


Stowe Milhous

It’s that time of year again. Christmas movies are back, and be sure to catch these movies; they are sure worth the watch.

Many people forget about these movies when they think of the best Christmas movies, but there are many dark horses in this group.

Before I start with this list, I would just like to make a public service announcement: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) should never be on a top 10 best Christmas movie list. This film is the complete opposite of one of those feel-good, Christmas spirit classics. I would consider any Toy Story movie more of a Christmas movie than The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  1. A Christmas Carol (2009)

This movie made this list simply because the quality of animated Christmas movies takes a heavy dip after only a handful of movies. This movie easily contains the highest-quality animations out of all the animated Christmas movies, but just doesn’t put you in that old time Christmas spirit that these other movies do. Although, Jim Carrey does provide us with some satisfaction in a movie here.


  1. Arthur Christmas (2011)

This new arrival to the animated Christmas movies scene brings a fresh spark of excitement, and fairly different than the norm, plot lines. It has not nearly reached “classic” status as of yet, but don’t be afraid to give this movie a watch.


  1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

After strong opposition from some people, I have decided to put this classic on the list. Who doesn’t love the scene when Christmas is thought to be ruined because Santa can’t see anything in dense fog and suddenly the red glare coming from Rudolph’s nose appears and he saves the day? It may not be the most exciting of Christmas movies, but it definitely will always have that Christmas charm.


  1. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1976)

Definitely somewhat underrated, this movie has a great, entertaining plotline that keeps the viewer thoroughly interested. This movie is one that is probably not someone’s first choice when looking for a Christmas film, but it is surely worth the watch.


  1. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

The Christmas spirit in the town of Whoville is something that cannot be matched, including the uplifting charisma of Cindy Lou Who. So, there is no wonder why so many people absolutely love this movie.


  1. Frosty the Snowman (1969)

The epitome of a Christmas classic, this movie takes you back to your young Christmas years. Frosty the Snowman is one of the oldest movies on this list, yet it will always be one of the Christmas greats.


  1. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

This movie may have one of the best plots of all the movies on this list: the beginnings of Santa Claus. There’s action, high-emotions, and great characters that make this movie the great film it is.


  1. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

Perennially highly underrated and underappreciated, I am giving The Year Without a Santa Claus the justice it deserves by placing it at number three. Come on, who doesn’t love Heat Miser and Snow Miser? This is one of the few Christmas movies that you can watch more than twice during the Christmas season and thoroughly enjoy every time.


  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

This probably has the worst animations of all the movies on the list, but “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will never get old. There’s nothing much more to say; it’s a heart-warming classic.


  1. The Polar Express (2004)

Instant. Classic. From the soundtrack to the storyline to the pretty incredible animations (especially of the North Pole), there is no denying that “The Polar Express” should easily be ranked number one on this list. This movie is definitely one of the top five Christmas movies of all time, possibly even the best (although, it has some very tough competition from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”). “Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”―Thank you Tom Hanks.