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9 Best Animated Christmas Movies You Should Watch with Your Kids

Best Animated Christmas Movies of All Time

Ho ho ho! Welcome to the animated section of the winter wonderland of cinematic history!

This is a special funfair, featuring the best animated Christmas movies ever made, from classics of the 1960s to the latest ones. Although these films were made primarily for kids, the inner child in you may surely enjoy the ride too.

We made you a list, we checked it twice,
Just to find out which movies are nice.

So how did we pick the Top 9 Animated Christmas Movies Ever Made?

Well, it wasn’t simple, and it wasn’t easy! “Best” is a relative term, but there are certain factors that can be used as guidelines, such as Critical Acclaim, Audience Feedback, Box Office Performance, Awards and Nominations, Iconic Status, Popularity, Watchability, etc.

After much debate, we decided to keep this an animated-only list, so puppet movies are not included – Sorry to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and his puppet buddies.

The other filter we added was that each entry on the list should be a stand-alone story. So the Christmas themed spin-offs or episodes of major animated movies like Shrek the Halls or A Charlie Brown Christmas also didn’t make the cut.

Also, every film of this collection actually focuses on the Christmas spirit, not just happens to take place on a snowy landscape, so sorry, but no Ice Age or Frozen here.

Best Animated Christmas Movies of All Time Santa List

That’s the spirit we embraced while composing this list of the Best Animated Christmas movies of all time. Every film featured here has a minimum FrameClass of 3 stars, so they are at least in the “Worth a Watch” category. If you want to find out how we calculate the FrameClass of each film, just visit our FrameClass page.

We believe that the movies that made the cut should not compete with one another any further, so we will just present them in the order they were released in.

And now let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Buckle up, and let the best animated Christmas movies of all time carry you to the Winter Wonderland of Cinema!

Revealing the Top 9 Animated Christmas Movies of All Time

A Chronological Presentation

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966, Best classic animated Christmas movies
Where to Watch?   More info

How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings an impressive array of talent to bear on an adaptation that honors a classic holiday story – and has rightfully become a yuletide tradition of its own.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Frosty the Snowman 1969, Best classic animated Christmas films
Where to Watch?   More info

Frosty the Snowman is a jolly, happy sing-along that will delight children with its crisp animation and affable title character, who makes an indelible impression with his corncob pipe, button nose, and eyes made out of coal.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

The Snowman (1982)

The Snowman 1982, Best classic animated Christmas movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Charming wordless animated adventure about a young boy who makes a snowman one Christmas Eve, only for it to come to life that night and take him on a magical adventure to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.
Source: IMDB

*The Snowman also has a worthy, hearth warming sequel entitled The Snowman and the Snowdog. It was created in 2012, to mark the 30th anniversary of the original film.


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993, Best classic animated Christmas films
Where to Watch?   More info

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, is bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, so when he discovers Christmas Town, he attempts to bring Christmas to his home. However, his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere!


The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express 2004, Best animated Christmas movies
Where to Watch?   More info

This visually stunning movie tells the story of a doubting young boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.


A Christmas Carol (2009)

A Christmas Carol 2009, Best animated Christmas films
Where to Watch?   More info

When three ghosts take penny-pinching Scrooge on an eye-opening journey, he discovers the true meaning of Christmas – but he must act on it before it’s too late.
Amazon


Arthur Christmas (2011)

Arthur Christmas 2011, Best animated Christmas movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

The movie tells the story of Santa’s clumsy son, Arthur, who sets out on a magical adventure to deliver the final present to a young girl to save Christmas.


The Grinch (2018)

The Grinch 2018, Best animated Christmas films
Where to Watch   More info

The Grinch gives the classic Seuss source material a brightly animated update that’s solidly suitable for younger viewers without adding substantially to the story’s legacy.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Klaus (2019)

Klaus 2019, Best Animated Christmas Movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Beautiful hand-drawn animation and a humorous, heartwarming narrative make Klaus an instant candidate for holiday classic status.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.
IMDB


…end of the reel…

So there you have it: The 9 Greatest Animated Christmas Movies of All Time

If you want to take a look at the ‘Top 9 Best Animated Christmas Movies Ever Made’ list without all that info between the titles, here’s a quick recap:

9 Best Animation Christmas Movies of all Time
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Frosty the Snowman 1969
Frosty the Snowman (1969)
The Snowman 1982
The Snowman (1982)
*Part of the Collection: The Snowman Duology
The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Polar Express 2004
The Polar Express (2004)
A Christmas Carol 2009
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Arthur Christmas 2011
Arthur Christmas (2011)
The Grinch 2018
The Grinch (2018)
Klaus 2019
Klaus (2019)
*Click any title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options

Is there a movie, that you believe should be on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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