One of the greatest things you can do for your children during the holiday season is introduce them to the best Christmas movies from your own childhood. There is something so pure about seeing some of the holiday greats through their little excited eyes. And these are the best Christmas movies to introduce to your toddler this season to give them their first taste of the Grinch himself, among other beloved holiday characters.
Some of these Christmas movies might be targeted toward older children, but at their core, they are all suitable for family fun. And as with most things related to your toddler, you can use your best judgment to decide which of these Christmas movies they can handle and which ones might be better saved for next year.
10 A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas was originally a TV special, so it’s only a half-hour long. That alone makes it perfect for toddlers who might have short attention spans. But there are Charlie Brown movies for almost every holiday and what better way to introduce your toddler to the Blockhead himself then the Christmas special?
The movie is about friendship and the spirit of Christmas as Charlie rounds up his formerly quarreling group of besties for a memorable Christmas show. It also features the classic dancing from the Peanuts gang and you can’t deny how adorable toddlers are when they try to copy it.
9 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
This is another Christmas classic you probably watched every year growing up. You probably know the 1964 stop-animation version, but in 2001 a more updated version of the original was made into an animated movie.
But either way, the movie is still the same story of Santa’s trusty underdog reindeer coming through for the rest of the reindeer to save Christmas. Chances are, your toddler already knows the song well, so it’s time to introduce them to the movie that goes along with it.
8 How The Grinch Stole Christmas
While there is something to be said for the Christmas classics like the original animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the 2000 live-action version and 2018 animated musical are also options for your toddler this season.
He or she might even respond more positively to the bright colors of the 2018 remake and you can’t deny how perfectly Jim Carrey plays a different version of the green anti-Who from the outskirts of Whoville. But really, no matter which version of the Grinch is most interesting to your toddler, they are sure to appreciate and understand the classic story.
7 Santa Buddies
Santa Buddies isn’t one of the designated Christmas classics, but it is a toddler-appropriate Christmas movie. It’s another spin-off from the Air Buddies movie and features talking dogs who must rally around their leader, Santa Paws, to help everyone believe in the spirit of Christmas again. Otherwise, they will lose the holiday indefinitely.
It’s not the most believable Christmas story of course, but somehow that never seems to bother toddlers. It also has talking live-action dogs, which are always acceptable when it comes to keeping kids’ attention during a movie. Full disclosure, though, your toddler might be inspired to watch all of the other movies in the Air Buddies franchise after you introduce them to Santa Buddies.
6 The Santa Clause
This one is truly fun for the whole family. Parents can appreciate the dry sense of humor of Scott Calvin, who later reluctantly becomes the new Santa, and children go wild for the whimsical take on the North Pole.
By the end of the movie, the new Santa fully embraces his role and even convinces some of the more serious adults in his life to believe in the magic of Christmas again. The best part is that The Santa Clause paved the way for two other movies, making a full trilogy that still features the same characters and actors.
Maybe your toddler already knows plenty about Frozen. And if they are like most other kids these days, they might even know more about the movie than you. But as an animated film centered around the winter season, it definitely deserves a place in your Christmas movie lineup.
Parents can rarely go wrong with a movie that is essentially about a Disney princess and now that a sequel has been released, it gives you all the more reason to introduce Frozen to your toddler. But you will definitely be singing "Let It Go" for weeks afterward.
4 The Polar Express
Be prepared to shed some emotional tears during and after The Polar Express, but that’s just par for the course with some Christmas movies. It’s based on the children’s book of the same name, which means you and your toddler can continue to enjoy the story long after the movie ends.
It’s about what happens when a young boy, who has started to lose his belief in Christmas, travels by magical train to the North Pole and has his faith restored. The animation style is a little different than what some kids are used to, but the story is still a timeless classic.
3 Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas
Mickey Mouse is one of those characters that all kids like at some point, despite how long he has been around and how dated he might sometimes seem. And Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas is the perfect Christmas movie for your toddler if they love the famous cartoon mouse.
It’s less of a straightforward movie and more so a collection of three stories about Christmas, which might make it a little easier to watch. That way, your toddler can watch one, two, or all three stories in one sitting.
2 The Muppet Christmas Carol
All of the Muppet characters are another example of beloved childhood characters that kids today still love and yes, that includes your toddler. It’s a relatively short movie based on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, so the story is familiar enough.
But the fact that it includes the Muppets will make it a little easier for toddlers to understand the story of Tiny Tim and Ebeneezer Scrooge. It also has a good ounce of that sweet childhood nostalgia for parents, so it’s a win all around.
There comes a time when you basically have to introduce certain beloved movies to your toddler and these Christmas movies should definitely be added to the list. Whether you have a full-blown movie marathon or you choose just a few, these are some of the best Christmas movies for toddlers.