Looking for a Christmas movie for the whole family? There’s plenty on offer. Netflix alone has about a dozen new releases coming over the next month, with other services providing many of the golden oldies. Here’s our guide to the best films to stream at home or watch at a drive-in.
Lockdowns allowing, various drive-in cinemas are planning to screen Christmas classics over the seasonal period. North London’s The Drive-in has an excellent selection, including Muppets Christmas Carol, Home Alone, Frozen, Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Booking is open now.
Best New Movies To Stream
Netflix is the place to be this Christmas if you’re after new titles. The following are just a selection box of the many festive flix soon to be available.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey: This new movie (pictured top) about a toymaker and his daughter screens from 13 November. With an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker, Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose (Disney’s Tiana) and singer Ricky Martin, this one sounds very promising.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again: Vanessa Hudgens plays three lookalike roles in this seasonal sequel of mistaken identity. The first part is also available on Netflix. From 19 November.
Alien Xmas: Not a festive installment of the chest-bursting alien franchise (imagine!), but a kids animation. “When extraterrestrials attempt to steal Earth's gravity, only the gift-giving spirit of Christmas -- and a small Alien named X -- can save the world.” From 20 November.
Dolly Parton's Christmas On The Square: A new take on the Dickensian idea of “bah-humbug grump sees the magic of Christmas and reforms”… only this time with bonus Dolly Parton. Netflix from 22 November.
The Christmas Chronicles 2: Screen legends Kurt Russell (as Santa) and Goldie Hawn (as Mrs Santa) are back for more festive giggles. It’s directed by Chris Columbus of Home Alone and Harry Potter fame. The first part is also available on Netflix. From 25 November.
Angela’s Christmas Wish: An animated sequel (the first film is also available) written by Frank McCourt sees the titular girl attempting to reunite her family for Christmas. From 1 December.
Just Another Christmas: It’s Groundhog Day meets A Christmas Carol meets I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day in this new comedy. From 3 December.
Noelle: Disney Plus recently added this tale about Santa's children. When Santa's eldest goes missing just before Christmas, it's up to daughter Noelle (Anna Kendrick) to see that presents get delivered.
Old Favourites To Stream
Sometimes, you don’t want ‘new’, you want ‘comfortable and familiar’, especially at Christmas. Fortunately, the streaming services have a sleigh-full of classics for you to enjoy all over again.
Netflix boasts Arthur Christmas, A Christmas Prince, Let it Snow, The Holiday, Krampus and Klaus, among others.
Amazon, meanwhile, has the following old-timers ready to stream as part of subscription: Scrooged, Christmas With The Kranks, The Holiday, Stick Man, Deck the Halls, plus a long, long tale of lesser known festive titles. You can also watch just about any seasonal film for a rental fee.
The Disney Plus archive contains Home Alone, Noelle, The Santa Clause (and sequels), Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, and the best film (in any category) of all time, The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.