The 12 Best Animated Christmas Movies to Get You Ready for the Holiday Season

The season of bingeing movies and sipping hot cocoa in our favorite PJs is finally upon us.

And we all know there's no better way to immerse ourselves in the holiday spirit than to throw on one of these heartwarming animated Christmas movies. Here, our 12 favorites.

rudolph the red nosed reindeer animated christmas movies

1. ‘rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer’ (1964)

Who’s in it? Burl Ives, Billie Mae Richards, Stan Francis, Janis Orenstein (voices)

What’s it about? Sam the Snowman narrates a tale of a young red-nosed reindeer who, after being cast out for being different, teams up with Hermey (an elf who wants to be a dentist), to look for a place that will accept them. After a scary encounter with the Abominable Snowman, they stumble upon a whole island of misfit toys and need to ask Santa for help.

Where to watch: Amazon DVD

how the grinch stole christmas animated christmas movies

2. ‘how The Grinch Stole Christmas!’ (1966)

Who’s in it? Boris Karloff (voice)

What’s it about? A bitter and hateful Grinch becomes increasingly irritated at the thought of the nearby village planning their big Christmas celebrations. To ruin their holiday, he disguises himself as Santa Claus (and his dog to look like a reindeer) and travels to the village to raid it of all of the presents, trees and decorations. But after a run-in with a little girl, he begins to have a change of heart.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

animated christmas movies the polar express
Warner Bros.

3. ‘the Polar Express’ (2004)

Who’s in it? Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye (voices)

What’s it about? Based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride (on the Polar Express) to the North Pole and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. He learns that the wonder and magic of life never fades for those who continue to believe.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

year without a santa clause animated christmas movies
ABC Family

4. ‘the Year Without A Santa Claus’ (1974)

Who’s in it? Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving (voices)

What’s it about? Ever wondered would would happen if Santa decided to take a vacation? In this holiday classic, a very grumpy Kris Kringle thinks that kids have become too greedy and decides to take a year off from delivering presents. Will Christmas be canceled or will Mrs. Claus and the elves be able to change his mind?

Where to watch: Amazon DVD

a charlie brown christmas animated christmas movies

5. ‘a Charlie Brown Christmas’ (1965)

Who’s in it? Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Peter Robbins, Bill Melendez, Tracy Stratford (voices)

What’s it about? When Charlie Brown starts feeling down and questions the real meaning of Christmas, his friend Lucy asks him to direct the school Christmas pageant. After he accepts, he and his friend Linus find a tiny sapling that, ironically and symbolically, is the only real tree among the fake metal ones. Will decorating the sad tree as a family finally bring back the meaning of Christmas for Charlie Brown?

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

animated christmas movies nightmare before christmas
Buena Vista International

6. ‘the Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)

Who’s in it? Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey (voices)

What’s it about? Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, has become bored with Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town (!), and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get his resident bats, ghouls and goblins to help him celebrate his own version. However, (due to obvious confusion) things don’t go exactly as planned.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

grandma got runover by a reindeer aninmated christmas movies
Warner Home Video

7. ‘grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’ (2000)

Who’s in it? Elmo Shropshire, Michele Lee, Susan Blu, Alex Doduk (voices)

What’s it about? A young Jake isn’t having the best Christmas Eve, especially when his grandmother gets lost in the cold. Jake is sent out to find her, only to discover that she's become the victim of a (rather unusual) hit-and-run, and that Santa is real and may or may not be responsible.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

frosty the snowman animated christmas movies
Anderson Digital

8. ‘frosty The Snowman’ (1969)

Who’s in it? Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon, Paul Frees (voices)

What’s it about? When a silk top hat grabs the attention of a washed-up stage magician (after it magically brings a snowman to life), a little girl must hold onto the hat while simultaneously getting the snowman to a safe climate before the spring weather melts him away.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

a christmas carol animated christmas movies

9. ‘a Christmas Carol’ (2009)

Who’s in it? Jim Carrey, Steve Valentine, Daryl Sabara (voices)

What’s it about? When a grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence—by taking him through his past—he must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

animated christmas movies mickeys once upon a christmas

10. ‘mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas’ (1999)

Who’s in it? Kelsey Grammer, Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor, Tony Anselmo, Tress MacNeille (voices)

What’s it about? This three-part anthology of short films follows Mickey and his friends as they navigate the holiday season and find out the true meaning of Christmas. The trilogy includes "Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas," "A Very Goofy Christmas" and "Mickey & Minnie's Gift of the Magi."

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

arthur christmas animated christmas movies
Sony PIctures

11. ‘arthur Christmas’ (2011)

Who’s in it? James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent (voices)

What’s it about? Just how does Santa deliver presents to every child in the world? With a very high-tech operation beneath the North Pole, of course. But when the unthinkable happens, and Santa misses one child out of hundreds of millions, his clumsy son Arthur (yes, Santa has a son) has to save the day.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

animated christmas movies frozen

12. ‘frozen’ (2013)

Who’s in it? Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad (voices)

What’s it about? Probably the most unofficial Christmas movie on this list, this film follows Anna as she teams up with a man, his playful reindeer and a snowman to save their home from the infinite winter accidentally caused by Anna’s sister—a newly-crowned, Queen Elsa .

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video