The build-up to Christmas is ramping up. If you’re looking for a cosy night in, here’s our list of the best PG & G rated Christmas movies for kids that the whole family can enjoy together. Always a popular pastime during December. So grab the popcorn, make some steaming mugs of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and settle down on the sofa for a festive movie marathon.
This list of Christmas movies includes all the best holiday movies for kids, and they’re all a great watch for grown-ups too. The best Christmas movies of all time are covered, from older classics to newer films and those that form part of a franchised series.
Whether you want to find animated Christmas movies or are seeking the best Christmas movie for toddlers to watch without moving around too much, this guide takes you through all the old and more recent Christmas movies.
Set up your streaming service, or look at a list of DVDs, and you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of kids’ Christmas movies that are available to watch. However, as any parent will gladly tell you, quantity is not necessarily an indicator of quality.
So grab a cup of cocoa or a glass of Shiraz or Sauvignon to sip while you check out this list of the finest festive family movies ever made. Perhaps some popcorn to nibble on, too.
Note: some of these movies may actually be PG in your country as it does depend on which country you are in as to their rating… all are family friendly!
- Our top 40 PG & G rated Christmas movies
- The best PG & G rated holiday movies for toddlers
- The most popular Christmas movies for school age kids
- The Grinch
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas
- The Polar Express
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Home Alone
- Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
- Disney’s A Christmas Carol
- The Santa Clause
- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
- Get Santa
- Jingle All the Way
- How to Train your Dragon: Homecoming
- Shrek the Halls
- The Polar Express
- Harry Potter movies
- Classic Christmas Movies
- What are your favourite G rated Christmas Movies for kids?
Our top 40 PG & G rated Christmas movies
Here they are – all the top PG & G rated Christmas movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime – or even good old-fashioned blu-ray or DVD disc.
The best PG & G rated holiday movies for toddlers
We’ve been watching this movie every year since our kids were babies. How can Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? Perhaps with his army of one million combat-style Field Elves – and a vast, state-of-the-art control centre under the ice of the North Pole – he can do it… This is one of the best children’s Xmas movies for the whole family and you’ll probably find yourself watching it to the end – even after the little ones have nodded off to sleep.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Who remembers watching this one when they were little? It’s a timeless classic among animated Christmas cartoons – you won’t be able to resist sitting down to watch with the kids. The makers have even snuck in some great messages about bullying, and treating others the way you’d like to be treated. Surely a very important lesson at any time of the year.
One of the more modern classics, the Frozen series make ideal Christmas films for toddlers, preschoolers and school age children. In fact who are we kidding – we all love to sing along to Let it Go, right? This surely has to be right up there among animation movies for Christmas, and should keep even the eyes of little ones glued to the screen.
Every bit as popular as the original, Frozen II is also a great pick among wintry Christmas animation movies. While it may not be snowy in Australia at Christmas, it is winter across much of the world. The Frozen movies have also spawned a lot of merchandise, much of which makes ideal festive gifts for little girls.
What small child can resist a golden retriever puppy? The cute collection of baby dogs places this among the best preschool Christmas movies – and we bet older kids and adults can’t resist either. This festive tale follows one small boy and a group of puppies as they try to prevent a bank robbery.
The 12 Dogs of Christmas
Another one for big or small fans of our furry friends. In a town that’s banned all canine creatures, an annual Christmas event might just turn things around. A festive must for dog-lovers everywhere.
Who knew that so many of the best Christmas films for toddlers starred adorable pooches? This one tells ‘The Legend of Santa Paws’. Try as you might, is sure is a challenge to tear your eyes away from the super cute cast as they make their way to the North Pole.
Beauty And The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Of all children’s Christmas cartoons, this one features one of the best-loved fairy stories of all. This Disney classic has delightful animation, and there are some interesting characters to get to know – including Chip and Mrs Potts as well as Belle and the Beast.
Kung Fu Panda Holiday
Everyone’s favourite panda is back in this pick, one of the top rated Christmas movies for little ones. In this hilarious animation, Master Shifu asks Po and the Furious Five to host the Winter Feast. Find out if they can pull off the Valley of Peace’s finest festive celebration ever.
Frosty the Snowman
Whether you’re seeking short Christmas movies for kids or Christmas movies for preschoolers, this brief festive cartoon ticks both boxes. It’s a classic among short Christmas movies, and hopefully even toddlers can stay still for long enough to enjoy it.
First made in the 1980, this series of short Christmas films brings Raymond Briggs’ animation to life. It’s a sweet and heartwarming tale, packed with the appealing characters that inhabit a fun-filled fantasy world. The Snowman and the Snowdog is every bit as good, too – our kids love it.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
One of the most classic short animated Christmas movies of course, as it features Mickey Mouse. As it comprises three short stories, it’s among the best toddler Christmas movies to watch as they can view one at a time if required.
The most popular Christmas movies for school age kids
An absolute Christmas classic, The Grinch features the character who gets all ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas. The modern animated version belongs on any list of the top 50 Christmas movies – even perhaps placing in the top 10. While the cartoon version of The Grinch is much cuter, he can still get very grumpy…
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
You’re a mean one, Mr Grinch! This film features Jim Carrey at his cheekiest – and best – as this classic Dr Seuss tale is brought to life. The Grinch sets out to destroy Christmas only to be… well, we don’t want to spoil the ending. A really fun family favourite among Christmas movies for kids rated G, this one is sure to delight grown-ups and kids alike.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas
The Grinch series may be the best known, but there are other great Dr. Seuss derived films to watch this summer. This is one of the best Christmas cartoons out there, featuring the famous cat in splendid festive style.
The Polar Express
This movie made leaps, bounds and big waves in the world of CGI when it was released. Even though it looks a little dated now, it still tells a fabulous Christmas tale of an incredible journey. It also features the vocal talents of Tom Hanks.(Never mind children’s Christmas films for a moment, this one makes us feel like watching Big! Anyone else?)
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Okay, so this one is a kids’ Christmas movie with a super spooky twist. It’s certainly a favourite with some of our kids but – depending on the age of the child – it could be a little too scary for some. (Not perhaps among the best Christmas movies for toddlers, then.) The story begins as Jack Skellington tries to bring Christmas to Halloween Land… and as the tale unfolds, it all goes horribly wrong. If you’re a fan of celebrating Halloween, the range of movie merchandise is also well worth a look.
Madcap shenanigans, hapless burglars and a cute Kevin McAllister place this among all the classic kids’ Christmas movies rated G. The kids will be doubled over with giggles. Meanwhile, you might well wonder just what Kevin’s dad did for a living, so he could afford that huge house and fly so many people to Paris…
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
“We forgot Kevin… again!” In the follow up to the original Home Alone movie, Kevin gets Lost in New York and ends up on the run from the Wet Bandits once more. This entertaining film features a beautiful soundtrack. There’s even a ‘blink if you’ll miss it’ appearance cameo from a future President of the United States in this pick of the children’s holiday movies’ sequels.
He just… loves… Christmas. Will Ferrell plays the biggest Elf you’ve ever seen, when his character Buddy goes on a mission to uncover his true origins. It’s silly, funny and gently humorous enough throughout for everyone to enjoy. This is a festive classic – definitely among the best G rated Christmas movies for all the family to share.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
This 2009 version stars Jim Carrey as the miserly (and miserable) Scrooge. A very entertaining and humourous twist on the Dickens’ classic, as the character we love to hate learns the real meaning of Christmas via the three ghosts from Christmases past, present and future.
The Santa Clause
This is surely a contender as one of the top 10 best Christmas movies, where Tim Allen takes over the Santa tradition. Along the way, though, he must learn the way of ‘The Clause’. Lots of slapstick humour and good old fashioned family values combine to make this great viewing for everyone.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Ideal for older kids and grown ups, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms tells the tale of Clara and her festive quest. She must follow a golden thread find the magical key that will unlock a priceless treasure, but she soon ends up in a mysterious parallel universe. One of our recommended picks among Christmas movies for children who are a little older.
This is perhaps lesser known than other movies for kids this Christmas, but features some fabulous and funny British actors. In it, Santa ends up trying to evade the police, and it’s down to just a boy-and-dad duo to save the festive season…
Jingle All the Way
Adults are sure to agree that it’s worth watching this prime pick among Christmas movies for kids just to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as you might not have seen him before. Join him on this quest to find the toy his son dreams of this Christmas – with plenty of entertaining diversions along the way.
How to Train your Dragon: Homecoming
Set during the festive season, this is one of those Dreamworks animated movies for Christmas that fans of the previous film will love. It features Hiccup, Toothless, Astrid, Light Fury and all the other Isle of New Berk characters as they attempt to renew the bond between humans and dragons.
Shrek the Halls
Another popular outing from the makers of Shrek. The cheery ogre, voiced by Mike Myers, does his best to get in the festive spirit, but becomes a little distracted by Puss in Boots, Donkey and all our other familiar cartoon friends. A Dreamworks creation to rival even the finest Disney cartoon Christmas movies.
The Polar Express
This is up there among those movies for kids at Christmas that all the family will enjoy. We also discover that seeing and believing don’t always go together. The journey of a lifetime and characters encountered along the way make this a festive classic.
Harry Potter movies
From the Polar Express to the Hogwarts Express now. Any of the hugely popular Harry Potter series make really good Christmas movies for kids and grown-ups. Seeing Hogwarts decorated for Christmas will always raise a smile, while Mrs Weasley’s handknitted Christmas jumpers might just have sparked a worldwide festive trend.
Classic Christmas Movies
Santa Claus: The Movie
This is definitely an old fashioned one among rated G Christmas movies – but a timeless family favourite. It tells of the origins of Santa Claus and stars two fine actors in Dudley Moore and John Lithgow. When the meaning of Christmas is threatened by big business, the legend comes to life in a way that could leave even the most cynical members of the audience sniffling.
It’s a Wonderful Life
The message of this one might be difficult for smaller children to take in – but this definitely does belong on any Christmas movie list for kids. Watchers can follow one man’s journey as he realises that everyone makes a difference, and that each of us has a very special role to play in the lives of others.
Miracle on 34th Street
Yep, another golden oldie here – and we make no apology for that. “Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus!” is a classic line. This is one of those Christmas movie titles that truly stands up to the test of time. Why not introduce it to your household? There’s a black and white version of this one too, if you’d like to experience a vintage feel.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
There are a few rude jokes sprinkled throughout this one – as with all National Lampoon films – so viewer beware if that’s not quite your thing. In this hilarious G rated Christmas movie, the Griswolds try to embrace the true meaning of Christmas. As always with this family, things soon go awry along the way. There are some great t-shirts, socks and other garments featuring themes from this movie too.
Christmas With the Kranks
There are some big name stars in this one, including Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. The story follows the couple as they ditch the traditional family Christmas in favour of a Caribbean cruise. Their neighbours and daughter have other ideas, however…
I’ll be Home for Christmas
90’s teenagers will relate! Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Yes, the JTT) stars in this – a comedy among top rated family Christmas movies. It’s about a selfish college kid who’s trying to make it home in time for Christmas. He learns a few lessons along the way – and he’s also pretty cute.
A Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppets must belong on any list of classic Christmas movies and cartoons. This Muppets movie tells the story of Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge – via the Muppets. Really, what’s not to love? This is one of the best Muppet outings by far, and sure to be a real hit with every member of the extended family.
Michael Keaton plays a right old so and so in this hit among Children’s Xmas films. His job keeps him away from his family far more often than any of them would like – until, one fateful night, a tragedy occurs. This is then followed by a Christmas miracle. Be warned – this can be a tear jerker, particularly if your family has recently lost a loved one.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Here’s another old school pick among Santa movies for toddlers, older kids and even adults. This one will take you back! The movie that attempts to combine the classic story of Santa with the real meaning of Christmas. Although the claymation may make you laugh (and wince a little bit), this is a heart warming tale and pretty darn cute to boot. This classic among kids’ Xmas movies is now over 50 years old.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
If you want to find great animated movies for Christmas, make sure this one’s on your list. It might also teach your kids about the true meaning of Christmas. This animated classic follows Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, who are upset by the commercialisation of Christmas. Can they figure out a way to discover the holiday season’s deeper meaning?
A Christmas Story
Another one that’s an oldie but a goodie! Packed with entertaining one-liners and featuring a highly unlikely Christmas wish, this is one of those classic children’s Christmas movies that everying in the family will love. Look out for the leg lamp…
Little Drummer Boy
Dating from 1968, this makes a refreshing change from modern Disney Xmas films. One of the best Christmas movies for young children that adults can also enjoy. The message is perhaps more important than production values, but that only adds to this pick among classic kids’ Christmas cartoons.
What are your favourite G rated Christmas Movies for kids?
What was your favourite Christmas movie as a kid? Have you shown it to your own children? If we did miss it out and you think we should add it to our list, do let us know in the comments section below.
Why not check out our guides to the best Christmas games for children or some top Christmas party themes – some of which star your favourite festive films? For Harry Potter fans, don’t miss our article featuring the finest Harry Potter gifts to give at Christmas.
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