25 Best Short Christmas Movies to Watch in 2024

You’re a fan of the holiday season and love the charm of short Christmas films. But, which ones should you watch? We’ve got you covered with the best short christmas movies!

Our curated list of 25 best short Christmas movies will keep you entertained and feeling festive.

You’ll find classics, hidden gems, and innovative flicks that’ll redefine your holiday movie experience.

So, grab your hot cocoa and let’s dive right in!

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)

In 2017, you might’ve missed ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,’ a delightful short Christmas movie that’s worth revisiting this festive season.

This short film, nestled among the best short Christmas movies, innovatively captures the essence of the holiday season.

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It’s a holiday movie that the whole family can enjoy, replete with the Christmas spirit and a touch of the ‘wonderful life’ sentiment that’s a hallmark of every Christmas classic.

The intricate details of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, from its character development to its brilliant animation, make it stand out.

Not only does it tug at your heartstrings, it also encourages you to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Prep & Landing (2009)

While you’re curating your holiday watch list, don’t forget to include ‘Prep & Landing’ (2009), a captivating short Christmas film that’s sure to add a dash of merriment to your festive celebrations.

Prep & Landing

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This Walt Disney holiday special isn’t merely a short movie, it’s an innovative blend of humor, action, and the spirit of the season.

Ideal for young children, it effectively captures the holiday spirit, infusing Christmas cheer into every frame.

The movie’s distinct approach to storytelling sets it apart. Making it one of the best Christmas movies to enjoy during the Christmas season.

The Small One (1978)

Moving on from ‘Prep & Landing’, you’ll find another heartwarming gem in ‘The Small One’ (1978). This classic Christmas movie is an adaptation of a children’s book.

Even though it’s not a star cast, the film’s spirit of Christmas is strong and shines through the narrative.

The Small One

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The academy award-nominated team behind it, led by Jim Henson, adds a layer of quality that differentiates it from other Christmas films.

The Christmas special is set around Christmas time, opening a window into the true meaning of Christmas, which is often lost in commercialized celebrations.

‘The Small One’ is a reminder of the value of love and sacrifice, embodying the spirit of Christmas in a way that’s both touching and insightful.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

Following ‘The Small One’, you’ll find the charming ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’ (1983) to be another classic worth your time.

This innovative rendition of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ stars Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge and Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit.

Mickey's Christmas Carol

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It’s a unique blend of nostalgia with a modern twist as Scrooge McDuck’s transformation from a stingy miser to a generous benefactor unfolds on Christmas Eve.

Donald Duck’s appearance adds to the delightful ensemble.

The Christmas morning scene brilliantly captures the spirit of the holiday with a beautifully adorned Christmas tree.

This short film’s ability to convey the essence of Dickens’ masterpiece in just 26 minutes on Christmas Day makes ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’ a holiday must-watch.

Santa’s Apprentice (2010)

Another film that’s worth your time is ‘Santa’s Apprentice’ (2010), a delightful animation that continues the spirit of holiday cheer encapsulated in ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’.

In this film, Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, has to select a young boy to be his apprentice.

The chosen boy’s character is reminiscent of the curiosity and charm of Curious George.

Throughout the Christmas Chronicles, he learns the ins and outs of making it the most wonderful time of the year for all.

The film’s heartfelt message is as comforting as a cup of hot cocoa or hot chocolate shared over a cozy Christmas dinner.

The soundtrack, filled with familiar Christmas songs, enhances the movie’s charm.

You’ll feel a renewed sense of appreciation for the season after viewing ‘Santa’s Apprentice’.

Shrek the Halls” (2007)

If you thought ‘Santa’s Apprentice’ was a treat, you’re in for a delightful twist with our third pick, ‘Shrek the Halls’ (2007).

This innovative take on Christmas, set far from the North Pole, delivers a Charlie Brown Christmas vibe with an ogre twist.

As Shrek grapples with celebrating the festive time of year, he experiences a Grinch-stole-Christmas moment.

This isn’t your standard Polar Express journey; it’s a ride filled with humor, heart, and a red-nosed reindeer or two.

A young girl would adore the merry little Christmas Shrek tries to create, reminiscent of the warmth in ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Arthur Christmas’.

‘Shrek the Halls’ offers a unique, humorous take on Christmas, making it a must-watch this season.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010)

Often, you’ll find that ‘Kung Fu Panda Holiday’ (2010) carries the same unique twist on the holiday season as ‘Shrek the Halls’.

This TV special presents a Christmas story in a way that’s as innovative as the Muppet Christmas Carol, but with a kung fu twist.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday
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Similar to Jim Carrey’s transformation in a New York City setting, Po, the panda, experiences the holiday for the first time, bringing humor and charm like Kurt Russell and Tom Hanks in their iconic roles.

This film offers a better way to enjoy the festive season, stepping away from the cliché and diving into a world of martial arts and holiday cheer.

It truly is one of the best ways to spend a cozy Christmas evening.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

You’ve got to watch ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ (1964), a timeless classic that’s been warming hearts for nearly six decades.

Conjuring a white Christmas magic like Bing Crosby’s ‘Holiday Inn’, this short movie is a must-watch.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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Fred Astaire’s dancing mightn’t feature in it, but the rhythm of the storytelling will have you captivated.

The voice acting is as heartfelt as James Stewart’s performance in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and Barbara Stanwyck’s in ‘Christmas in Connecticut’.

Unlike Johnny Depp’s eccentric characters or Chevy Chase’s comedic ones, Rudolph is a misfit that resonates universally.

It’s not just a Judy Garland-style musical, but a tale of acceptance with an Alastair Sim-like wisdom.

‘Rudolph’ is a holiday staple, just like your favorite Christmas cookies.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Next on your holiday watchlist should be ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (1966), another classic that’s been cherished for over half a century.

This innovative masterpiece reminds one of Raymond Briggs’ Jack Frost, with its vivid animation.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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Much like Jack Skellington’s tale in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, the Grinch’s story is a captivating journey from bitterness to true love.

In a world far removed from your typical 5th street post office, the Grinch’s transformation is sparked by a little girl’s innocence, akin to the charm of ‘Robin Robin’ on Apple TV.

As the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes, it’s a jingle jangle of emotions that will leave you both moved and entertained.

This timeless tale encapsulates the essence of Christmas, making it a must-watch.

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

In the spirit of holiday classics, don’t overlook ‘Frosty the Snowman’ (1969), a charming animation that’s sure to melt your heart.

It’s got good reason to be on your watchlist. Its timeless appeal is much like that of ‘Little Women’ with Keira Knightley or ‘Home Alone’ with Macaulay Culkin.

Frosty the Snowman

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The voice acting is top-notch, reminiscent of Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in ‘The Grinch’.

Cameron Diaz and Billy Bob Thornton could learn a thing or two from Frosty’s compelling narrative.

And let’s not forget the music, rivaling the soulful depth of Denzel Washington and Hugh Laurie’s jazz collaboration.

‘Frosty the Snowman’ is a holiday classic with innovative storytelling elements that makes it a must-watch, year after year.

The Snowman (1982)

Another must-see holiday gem is ‘The Snowman’ (1982), which offers a unique, magical take on the Christmas spirit that you’ll simply adore.

This British animation, with its hand-drawn aesthetic, brings a refreshing contrast to the high-tech animations that dominate today’s scene.

Its storyline, hinged on a snowman coming to life on Christmas Eve, takes you on an enchanting journey, weaving a tapestry of emotions.

The absence of dialogue enhances its universal appeal, making it a timeless piece.

The iconic flying scene, set to Howard Blake’s ‘Walking in the Air,’ is an extraordinary cinematic moment that encapsulates the essence of childhood wonder.

‘The Snowman’ isn’t just a film, it’s an experience that rekindles the magic of Christmas in a beautifully unconventional way.

The Polar Express (2004)

You’re in for a magical ride with ‘The Polar Express’ (2004), a cherished Christmas movie that will touch your heart.

This film utilizes groundbreaking motion-capture technology to create seamless animation, offering an immersive experience that feels both innovative and timeless.

The Polar Express

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The plot is a heartening exploration of belief and self-discovery, cleverly employing Christmas tropes to convey universal truths.

As you follow the young protagonist on his journey to the North Pole, you’ll be drawn into a world of enchanting visuals and relatable characters.

The film’s nuanced narrative invites you to reflect on the transformative power of faith.

The Polar Express’ unique blend of cutting-edge technology with classic storytelling makes it a must-watch for those seeking a fresh perspective on holiday films.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Next on your list should be ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ (1965), a timeless treasure that’s sure to warm your heart just as much as ‘The Polar Express’.

This classic, yet innovative movie, creatively integrates jazz music into its narrative, setting a new standard for animated films.

Its poignant storyline delves into the commercialization of Christmas, making you reflect on the true essence of the holiday season.

Charlie Brown’s journey to find the perfect Christmas tree serves as a metaphor for our inner quest for authenticity.

You’ll be engrossed in the simple, yet expressive animation that has stood the test of time.

It’s a movie that’s both nostalgic and forward-thinking, providing a fresh perspective on traditional holiday themes.

Angela’s Christmas (2018)

“Angela’s Christmas,” a charming short Christmas movie released in 2018, is based on the children’s book “Angela and the Baby Jesus” by Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Angela’s Ashes.”

Angela's Christmas

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From the Oscar-nominated studio Brown Bag Films, this heartwarming tale presents a funny, heartwarming, and poignant story that beautifully encapsulates the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure that everyone is safe, warm, and loved during the Christmas season.

With a touching narrative and endearing characters, “Angela’s Christmas” has rightfully earned its place among the best short Christmas movies.

Reminding us of the true essence of the holiday season and the importance of love, warmth, and togetherness.

Arthur Christmas (2011)

If you’re looking for another unique, yet heartwarming holiday film, ‘Arthur Christmas’ (2011) should certainly be next on your list.

This innovative take on the Santa Claus narrative offers a fresh perspective on the holiday season.

The film’s protagonist, Arthur, is Santa’s clumsy but well-meaning son, thrust into an unexpected adventure to save Christmas.

The film artfully blends traditional Christmas cheer with a high-tech Santa operation, illustrating an ingenious fusion of old and new.

It’s an engaging exploration of family dynamics, responsibility, and the spirit of giving.

‘Arthur Christmas’ will captivate your imagination, challenge your perceptions of the festive season, and leave you with a renewed appreciation for the magic of Christmas.

It’s a must-watch for those seeking a modern, heartening holiday experience.

The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

For a touch of nostalgia, you can’t go wrong with ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ (1968), an animated classic that’s sure to tug at your heartstrings.

This stop-motion masterpiece integrates a profound narrative with heartwarming music. Offering a timeless tale that resonates even half a century later.

The Little Drummer Boy

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The film’s narrative is simple yet powerful, centering on a boy who gives his all despite having nothing material to offer.

The innovative use of stop-motion animation not only lends a unique charm but adds a tactile depth that modern CGI often lacks.

Its timeless appeal lies in its ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia while simultaneously delivering an emotionally rich story.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

You’ll find that ‘A Christmas Carol’ (2009) is a refreshing take on a classic tale, blending breathtaking animation with timeless storytelling.

This innovative adaptation employs cutting-edge motion capture technology, immersing you in a Victorian-era London that’s as tangible as it’s fantastical.

Disney's a Christmas Carol

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With Jim Carrey’s versatile voice acting, Scrooge’s transformation from a miserly grouch to a man reborn by Christmas spirit is compellingly portrayed.

What sets this version apart is its meticulous attention to detail, from the eerily lifelike characters to the intricate environments.

It’s a visually stunning, emotionally engaging short film that pushes the boundaries of animation.

‘A Christmas Carol’ (2009) is a must-see for those seeking a modern twist on a beloved holiday narrative.

The Star (2017)

Kicking off your Christmas movie marathon, ‘The Star’ (2017) should be your go-to, offering a charming and heartwarming animated take on the Nativity story.

This film reinvents the traditional tale with a fresh and innovative angle, spotlighting the role of the animals in the story.

The Star

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It’s a delightful blend of humor, adventure, and sentimentality, perfect for the holiday season. The animation is top-notch, with meticulous attention to detail.

The voice actors, including Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, infuse their characters with personality and depth.

‘The Star’ ultimately delivers a message of hope and bravery that resonates with audiences of all ages.

It’s a refreshing deviation from the usual Christmas flicks, and a must-add to your watchlist.

The Elf on the Shelf (2011)

Next up on your Christmas movie list should be ‘The Elf on the Shelf’ (2011), a short film that’s sure to fill your home with holiday cheer.

This innovative flick brilliantly transforms the well-loved Christmas tradition into a visual spectacle.

The narrative focuses on the mischievous elf who reports to Santa about kids’ behavior, adding a playful twist to the age-old tale of Santa’s surveillance.

Its animation style is refreshingly unique, while the storytelling is concise yet powerful.

The film also cleverly explores the themes of responsibility and redemption, offering a deeper layer to the seemingly simple Christmas tale.

It’s a movie that’s not just about the holiday spirit, but the essence of morality. For a fresh Christmas viewing experience, ‘The Elf on the Shelf’ is a must-watch.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011)

Often, you can’t help but revisit the hilarious and heartwarming ‘Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas’ (2011) during the holiday season.

This animated short film ingeniously interweaves humor with the traditional Christmas spirit, creating a captivating narrative.

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The film’s innovative take on the Ice Age family’s Christmas adventure isn’t only refreshing but also resonates with an underlying message of unity and love.

The characters’ unique personalities, from Manny’s earnestness to Sid’s comic relief, add layers to the story.

The film’s groundbreaking animation techniques enhance its visual appeal.

‘Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas’ is a testament to the creativity that can flourish in a short film format, making it a must-watch in your holiday movie lineup.

The Nutcracker Prince (1990)

Continuing on your Christmas movie journey, you’ll find ‘The Nutcracker Prince’ (1990) to be an enchanting addition.

This animated film reinterprets Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet into a compelling narrative. Let’s delve into its innovative storytelling techniques.

The Nutcracker Prince
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The film’s strength lies in its ability to distill a complex ballet into a digestible, engaging story. The characters are imbued with depth, making you invest emotionally.

The animation style is intricate yet accessible, appealing to both children and adults.

The score, a reworked version of the original ballet music, adds a layer of nostalgia.

‘The Nutcracker Prince’ ensures that the whimsy and magic of the traditional tale aren’t lost in translation, making it a must-watch for those seeking a unique take on a timeless Christmas staple.

The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)

After immersing yourself in the magic of ‘The Nutcracker Prince’, you’ll find a delightful shift in tone and style with ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’ (1992).

This innovative adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale is a marvellous mix of humor, pathos, and puppetry.

Disney Muppet Christmas Carol

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You’ll appreciate the remarkable craft that’s gone into breathing life into these inanimate characters.

The joyous musical score enhances the narrative, encapsulating the yuletide spirit.

Kermit’s portrayal of Bob Cratchit is particularly endearing, subtly infusing empathy into the story’s social commentary.

Gonzo, as Dickens, adds a surreal twist, merging the boundary between story and storyteller.

Despite its vintage, ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’ remains a refreshing cinematic experience, redefining the boundaries of traditional storytelling.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Switching gears, you’ll find ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993) to be a fascinating departure from your traditional holiday films.

Although it’s cloaked in Halloween trappings, you’ll discover a Christmas spirit at its core that’s both innovative and compelling.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

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This Tim Burton masterpiece, with its enchanting stop-motion animation, redefines the Christmas genre.

It explores dark themes yet holds a whimsical charm. You’ll appreciate the protagonist, Jack Skellington, who, despite being the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, yearns for the joy and warmth of Christmas.

His journey to understand and replicate Christmas is a poignant reflection of our own quest for meaning in festive rituals.

It’s a film that stretches your imagination, and challenges you to rethink the boundaries of holiday storytelling.

The Legend of Frosty the Snowman (2005)

So, how about jumping into something a bit more classic like ‘The Legend of Frosty the Snowman’ (2005)?

This animated short film rejuvenates the timeless tale of Frosty, a magical snowman who brings joy and merriment wherever he goes.

Legend of Frosty the Snowman

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It’s a narrative that’s both nostalgic and innovative, merging traditional storytelling with modern animation techniques.

The film’s visual style, with its vibrant colors and fluid movements, enhances the narrative’s emotion and drama, inviting you to immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of Christmas.

‘The Legend of Frosty the Snowman’ isn’t just a film, it’s an experience.

It offers an opportunity to revisit childhood wonders, while appreciating the advancements in animation technology.

A perfect blend of past and present, it’s a must-watch this Christmas season.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1970)

Moving on from the enchanting Frosty, you’ll certainly enjoy diving into ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ (1970), a timeless classic that’s bound to bring back fond holiday memories.

This stop-motion animation film creatively unpacks the origins of Santa Claus, blending heartwarming nostalgia with a fresh narrative twist.

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

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You’ll appreciate the innovative storytelling techniques, as it cleverly intertwines pieces of folklore with a contemporary interpretation, challenging traditional Christmas narratives.

The film’s vibrant visuals and engaging characters make it a captivating watch, even after half a century of its release.

‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ isn’t just a movie, it’s an experience that weaves the magic of Christmas through a tale of resilience, love, and the spirit of giving.

It’s a must-watch for this festive season.

Tips to Remember About Best Short Christmas Movies

In the world of short Christmas movies, there’s truly no shortage of heartwarming and enchanting tales to choose from.

From the iconic “Miracle on 34th Street” to modern-day gems, these films offer the best way to celebrate the spirit of Merry Christmas in a condensed yet impactful format.

Whether you’re a fan of classics or looking for contemporary stories, the magic of the holiday season can be beautifully encapsulated in these short cinematic treasures.

So, sit back, relax, and let the joy of these films fill your heart with the warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas.

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