15 of the Best Christmas Movies for Kids

We recap the classics—and offer a few recommendations you may have missed—in this family-friendly holiday list.

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Olive, the Other Reindeer

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Rudolph is a bit played out, but this computer-generated animated Christmas special starring a determined pup is fresh as the season's mistletoe. (These 32 little-known facts about the holiday season will make for a great family trivia night!)

Best for: Kids age 5 and up. A sassy character or two, but nothing to worry about.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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There is no better starting point than this one of our classic kids' Christmas movies. A true joy for all ages, featuring a wonderful soundtrack and heartwarming story.

Best for: Kids age 3 and up. There could hardly be a more appropriate choice for any kid, but toddlers might nod off.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

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The classic Dickens Christmas story might be a bit stuffy, but Muppet characters go a long way toward making the movie on the best-of kids' Christmas movies list for all ages.

Best for: Kids age 5 and up. It's basically the story you know and love, so expect a spooky ghost of Christmas future and less Gonzo insanity than in other Muppet productions.

Rise of the Guardians

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A rare treat, this Christmas movie is best for kids who'd rather imagine Santa battling dark forces alongside the Easter Bunny than nibbling cookies and milk.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. Some animated violence.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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Nearly 50 years old, this one of our top kids' Christmas movies is still a unique animated classic. Don't be surprised if the kids are singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" until New Year's. (By the way, you've probably been pronouncing Dr. Seuss's name wrong this whole time.)

Best for: Kids age 4 and up. The Grinch is, you know, not so nice, but most youngsters won't be too bothered by his antics.

Merry Madagascar

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Kids who loved Madagascar simply can't resist this short TV Christmas special, which stars their favorite characters in a festive new adventure. Anyone else should enjoy the film's positive messages and quirky humor. (Want to break routine and try something different this holiday season? Try out these Christmas traditions from all over the world.)

Best for: Kids age 6 and up. Very mild peril.

Christmas with the Joker

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Here's a 30-minute movie for the tiny superhero in your life: An episode from Batman: The Animated Series, an acclaimed show starring the Dark Knight. Available now for streaming.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up. More fisticuffs than the little ones might be used to.

Miracle on 34th Street

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Forget the remake starring Matilda: This heartwarming (and award-winning) '40s original is where true Christmas spirit lives—so long as you realize the movie centers squarely on Santa Claus and Macy's.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up. Outside of blatant consumerism, there isn't much to object to, though it's possibly slower than today's children may be accustomed to.

Home Alone

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The slapstick Christmas blockbuster is a ton of fun, though its premise—a youngster abandoned by his family fends off holiday burglars with increasingly violent booby traps—may not be the exact breed of yuletide merriment you had in mind. (Can you pass this classic Christmas movie quotes quiz?)

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. The villains are a bit menacing, and small children may worry that they, like screaming Macaulay Culkin, could one day be left behind by those who are supposed to love them most.

White Christmas

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A 1950's classic starring Bing Crosby, this one of our top kids' Christmas movies presents a nice opportunity for children to talk about Christmas traditions with parents or grandparents. (These hilarious Christmas jokes will sure bring joy to your holiday festivities.)

Best for: Kids age 8 and up. Younger tykes may find their patience is tested by this old-fashioned flick.

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