The holidays bring out the child in all of us. Here are our favorite animated and claymation films for this time of year:
20. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Bogged down by the chaos at the mall? This classic animated Christmas special seeks to discover the real meaning of Christmas. Spoiler alert: scripture trumps commercialism.
21. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The 1964 stop-motion classic is a giant hug in storytelling form. Rudolph and Hermey the Misfit Elf feel like outcasts, but end up saving the day.
22. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The 1966 animated musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic book will make your heart grow three sizes with each viewing.
23. The Snowman
The book is wordless and so is the short film. The only silent entry on the list, this snowman-comes-to-life story is no Frosty the Snowman. It’s a dreamy, Academy Award-nominated masterpiece that airs in Britain (and around the world) every holiday season.
24. Frosty, the Snowman
The kid in us is still looking for that magic hat that will bring our front-yard snowman to life. If our Frostys ever did come to life, we’d go to extreme lengths trying to keep him from melting, too.
25. The Polar Express
A gorgeous motion-capture adventure, The Polar Express takes skeptical children to meet the man they no longer believe in. It’s narrated by Tom Hanks, everyone’s favorite everyman.
26. The Little Drummer Boy
It’s another short film based on a holiday tune. This 1968 claymation special follows the story of a humanity-hating drummer as he encounters the three magi.
27. Robbie the Reindeer
For die-hard fans of Rudolph, these BBC tales feature the adventures of Rudolph’s son.
28. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
The final Rankin-Bass claymation special in this list, Fred Astaire narrates the 1970 Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town special.
29. Lady and the Tramp
Looking for an alternative animated option this holiday season? Lady and the Tramp opens with Lady’s arrival on Christmas day and bookends with the following Christmas — and the completion of the classic Disney family.
30. Eight Crazy Nights
Eight Crazy Nights stands apart for two reasons: it’s not about Christmas, and it’s not for kids. Take a break from the Christmas flicks and watch Adam Sandler’s hilarious ode to Hanukkah.
31. The Nightmare Before Christmas
This movie is one you can watch before the others, as early as Halloween. Perhaps a little too spooky for the little ones, Tim Burton’s classic has residents of Halloween Town taking over Christmas.
Image courtesy: Rankin/Bass Productions