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Best Christmas Animation Films

Dan Richards Nov 30, 2020 Scroll to read in 5 minutes

Christmas is upon us! With the sheer amount of Christmas related media coming out, it's very easy to miss some of the classic films and specials that can really help you get into the spirit of the season. Here at A+C, we have a soft spot for so many of these festive classics, especially if they're animated! That's why we wanted to list out the top 10 animated Christmas classics!

Klaus - Netflix

One of the more recent animated films on this list that we already feel will become a Christmas classic. This powerhouse of 2D animation was produced by Netflix last year and was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film follows a lazy postman, Jesper, as he is sent to a remote island and given the task of delivering 6,000 letters. This leads to him meeting Klaus, a reclusive toymaker. The pair then goes on to create the legend of Father Christmas. With expertly crafted 2D animation and a fantastic voice cast, this film should be first on your list of Christmas film viewing!

Best Christmas Animation Klaus

Arthur Christmas - Netflix

Aardman animation is mostly known around the world for their stop-motion animation. Back in 2011 however, they released one of their few CGI films. Arthur Christmas tells the story of Arthur, the son of the latest Father Christmas. When a present gets left undelivered on Christmas eve, Arthur and his grandfather must go on around the world journey to keep the holiday spirit alive. The film has a quick wit and British charm that is a staple in Aardman films which elevates this often forgotten film up to the levels of a hidden gem.

Best Christmas Animation Arthur Christmas

The Polar Express

A film that many would consider being essential viewing every year. From director Robert Zemeckis (Back the Future and Forrest Gump to name a few of his films!) comes The Polar Express. The film is most famous for its revolutionary motion-capture technique that allowed the actors to act out scenes as they would normally. Their movements are then tracked and used to animate CGI models of characters in the film. The soundtrack, acting, set pieces, and whimsical tone all come together to create a film that is truly worthy of being a Christmas favourite.

Best Christmas Animation Polar Express

Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas

A newer entry on this list of festive hits is the stop-motion adaptation of Elf! Coming from the stop-frame animation studio Screen Novelties, this adaptation of the musical version of the Will Ferrell classic takes a medley of memorable songs from the musical and re-imagines each scene in glorious stop-motion. Taking influence from cartoons like Looney Tunes, the animation in the film is over-the-top and very stylised which is always fun to see created in stop-motion. This 40-minute film is a very fun and festive watch that all the family can enjoy.

Best Christmas Animation Elf Buddys Musical Christmas

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

One of the older stop-frame animations on this list, but it's a classic for a reason. Telling the classic story of Rudolph and his journey to becoming the head of all of Santa's Reindeers, Rudolph first made its way to screen in 1964. The Rankin/Bass production holds the same charm as their other stop-motion animations, with each of the needle-felted stop-motion puppets encompassing a truly storybook feeling that is perfect for the animation.

Best Christmas Animation Rudolph The Red nosed Reindeer

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Disney+

This wouldn't be a good animated Christmas movie recommendation list if we didn't mention The Nightmare Before Christmas. An absolute powerhouse in stop-frame animation, this film is widely considered not only a good festive film but one of the best stop-motion films of all time. With the amazing direction of Henry Selick and the ideas of the amazing Tim Burton, the film is a master class in character animation, songwriting, and set design.

Best Christmas Animation Nightmarebefore Christmas

The Snowman - All4

One of the most memorable British animations to be released around Christmas. The Snowman achieves its entire narrative without a single line of dialogue. Everything relies on the brilliant character animation to convey the emotions of each character. The amazing animation is also enhanced with the visual style of being drawn with pencil crayons, giving the final film an almost dreamlike quality. The Walking in the Air segment of this animation is worth watching alone for the sheer scope and beauty that is conveyed.

Best Christmas Animation The Snowman

Father Christmas (1991)

The lesser-known of the Raymond Briggs animated Christmas films now. Keeping all the same charm and artistic flair of The Snowman, the film chronicles a year in the life of the titular Father Christmas as he relaxes on holiday and prepares for the magic of Christmas Day. The overall tone of the film is a lot more down to earth than The Snowman, going for a more light-hearted and jokey tone throughout, with the same beautiful hand-drawn animation that makes every moment feel like a moving storybook. Every element of this animation comes together resulting in a charming animation that delivers more than just presents!

Best Christmas Animation Father Christmas

Robbie The Reindeer - Hooves of Fire (1999)

A lovely bit of stop-motion animation from the legends at Aardman. One of the main draws of this lesser-known animated film is its ensemble cast of British actors. Ardal O'Hanlon, Steve Coogan, and Chicken Run star Jane Horrocks are among the all-star cast that bring their all to this film. On top of this fantastic cast, the usual level of Aardman’s quality animation is on full display throughout with some really fun characters and visual gags that they are most known for.

Best Christmas Animation Hooves On Fire

Alien X-Mas - Netflix

Capping off this festive list with a new Netflix stop-frame animation. Alien X-Mas was developed by the animation duo The Chiodo Bros who have been creating animations for years. The stand-out feature of this Christmas special is the stop-motion puppets which have taken heavy inspiration from old Rankin/Bass productions such as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This amazing character design really gives the film a warm and classic feel that is completely subverted with the addition of Aliens! With plenty of visual gags and cartoony animation, this is definitely one to check out.

We hope that this list of animated Christmas classics really gets you in the festive spirit. Every year brings too much new animation that it’s almost hard to keep up! If you would like some more animated recommendations from the team here at A+C, why not check out our list of the top 10 animated films that you can watch on Netflix right now!

Best Christmas Animation Alien X mas