Best 12 Fantasy Christmas Movies (Christmas 2023)

Shikhar Jauhari

Best 12 Fantasy Christmas Movies (Christmas 2023)

From timeless animated features like A Christmas Story to more modern productions like A Christmas Carol for the Holidays, fantasy Christmas films cater to all tastes. Indulge in a holiday experience that will transport you beyond the ordinary.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Stream now on Netflix, Prime Video

Run Time: 1h 44m

The misanthropic green Grinch of Mount Crumpit is irritated by the Whoville residents’ fixation on presents and decorations as Christmas approaches. He plans to take everyone’s gifts as they sleep this Christmas to dampen their festive celebration.

But a little girl named Cindy Lou Who—who is just six years old—rescues him from his rampage and prevents Christmas from turning into yet another nasty devilish plot by convincing all the Whos that she is only concerned with family and not material possessions.

On his own, Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Grinch makes this picture worthwhile. Despite how unlikeable and terrifying his persona is, Jim Carrey’s exceptional comedic talent enables him to persuade viewers that The Grinch might exist.

Because it eschews the typical holiday drama and features Jim Carrey’s spellbinding performance, How the Grinch Stole Christmas stands out among adaptations.

The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express

Stream now on Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max

Run Time: 1h 40m

In his thrilling Christmas adventure, Robert Zemeckis depicts the wonder of the season and the hope that children have in Santa Claus that their trust in him would last a lifetime. This enchanted video uses “performance capture” to translate performers’ actions into computer animation, and it delivers an impactful point about life: that those who believe may still find wonder.

Any member of the family can enjoy watching The Polar Express. Get into the holiday spirit and experience the wonder of the season on the thrilling Polar Express, which takes riders through tunnels, over mountain passes, into frozen lakes, and ultimately down frosty railroad lines.

The little boy is roused from his slumber on Christmas Eve by the sudden sound of a train whistle outside his suburban house. The conductor informs him that it is his turn to board the Polar Express and go to the North Pole, where Santa Claus awaits. Along the way, he discovers the meaning of Christmas, the importance of friendship, and the value of bravery.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

A Christmas Carol

Stream now on Disney+, Prime Video

Run Time: 1h 36m

One of the most famous literary works ever produced for the big screen, A Christmas Carol, tells the timeless story of a cruel miser whose life takes a dramatic turn on Christmas Eve when three ghosts visit him and convince him he must repent. Robert Zemeckis used motion capture technology to helm this adaptation, resulting in a visually stunning picture that stays true to the original.

The role of Ebenezer Scrooge is brought to life by Jim Carrey in this film. Playing Scrooge at five distinct ages and supplying voice acting for each is quite an accomplishment, and it sets him apart from his previous comedic films.

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Compared to other versions, this one takes a darker tack, especially regarding the treatment and presentation of ghosts in front of Scrooge. Marley stands out as especially sinister, and his arrival before Scrooge is a disturbing sequence; nevertheless, this is still a family-friendly picture, so kids will probably like the animation and the wild anarchy!

Krampus (2015)

Krampus

Stream now on Peacocktv, Prime Video

Run Time: 1h 38m

Krampus, the terrifying monster that punishes unruly children at Christmas, is a cautionary tale from ancient European tradition. Because of their inability to get into the holiday spirit, Max (Emjay Anthony) and his family are besieged by Krampus and his minions. Max’s mother (Toni Collette), father (Adam Scott), sister Stefania LaVee Owen, and other relatives must put aside their differences and work together to survive.

The film’s first part had some great jump scares and was also hilarious. The film’s initial focus on humor was a shame because it had some funny ideas—like making a demon emerge from an empty bag or having one appear from under Jack-in-the-box—but it quickly shifted to a horror tone.

Overall, Krampus is a fun holiday horror fantasy film that fans will love. It may not be the best 2015 picture, but it does provide a fresh perspective on the holiday season.

The Santa Clause (1994)

The Santa Clause

Stream now on Disney+, Prime Video

Run Time: 1h 37m

On Christmas Eve, an ordinary toy salesman named Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) unwittingly leads Santa Claus to his death by causing him to fall off his roof. The following year, he is enchanted into being Santa’s rightful heir, complete with a formidable workshop at the North Pole, a flying reindeer, and a list of naughty things to do. But first, he has to win over his doubtful loved ones and the kids by showing them that he can bring magic to their lives, restore their confidence in him, give their children new faith in him, and make everyone feel hopeful again!

The Santa Clause became an immediate holiday classic because of a beautiful blend of skill, love, and comedy. As Santa, Tim Allen provides the perfect combination of warmth and humor. Particularly tragic in this timeless holiday picture is the bond he shares with his son, Charlie.

The combination of Pasquin’s directing technique and Allen’s innate comic talent creates an environment that is equal parts funny and moving. The music composed by Alan Silvestri further intensifies this ambiance. It brings back fond memories, which solidifies the film’s status as a timeless masterpiece.

Elf (2003)

Elf

Stream now on Netflix, Hulu

Run Time: 1h 37m

Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, an unexpected human infant raised by elves at the North Pole, in Elf, one of the few Christmas films that has stood the test of time. By its comedy, limitless optimism, and genuine compassion for its people, Elf embodies all that makes Christmas unique.

I am sure about it: Thanks to its charming story, unforgettable characters, and uplifting message, Elf has become an iconic film that audiences of all ages adore.

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The heart of the picture is Will Ferrell. He brings an irresistibly naïve charm to the role of Buddy, making him charming and funny. He always makes everyone laugh, whether hopping from one end of Broadway to the other or taking that first step up an escalator! Reconnecting with your inner child is this film’s central theme, which has its moments.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Miracle on 34th Street

Stream now on Hulu, Disney+

Run Time: 1h 54m

The 1947 original Miracle on 34th Street was remade and released in 1994. Despite sure plot holes—for example, the story didn’t include Susan Walker’s conflicted feelings about wanting a father—the remake captured the spirit of faith and creativity.

In the 1994 film Miracle on 34th Street, the department store Cole serves as the antagonist. Richard Attenborough plays the role of Kriss Kringle, an older man residing in an assisted living facility who clings tenaciously to his belief in Santa Claus and persuades Cole’s parade director to allow him to substitute for an inebriated performer usually chosen to play the role in their yearly Thanksgiving Day parade.

The timeless Christmas themes of family, love, charity, and trust in a power bigger than oneself are beautifully explored in Miracle on 34th Street. Edmund Gwenn gives one of his best performances as Santa, capturing the character’s spirit while delivering hilarious one-liners. Viewers of all ages will be captivated by this magnificent film interpretation of a timeless tale.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Stream now on Disney+, AppleTv

Run Time: 1h 16m

Thanks to its breathtaking stop-motion animation, the 1993 film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” immediately became a classic. All generations have been enchanted by The Nightmare Before Christmas, among the most visually stunning films ever. Its uniqueness and inventiveness have garnered praise from both reviewers and spectators, and it defies classification.

Jack Skellington, also known as the Pumpkin King, gets bored with his yearly routine when he visits Christmas Town, which is full of cheerful colors and good spirits. To seize control of Christmas, he abducts Santa and assumes his position, but things swiftly go south from there! Everything he had planned for taking Conto effortlessly works out!

Danny Elfman’s (Oingo Boingo) music will have you humming along for days after watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the film’s visual creativity is unrivaled. Every frame is loaded with intricacies and characters. Thanks to its groundbreaking combination of horror, humor, and romance, it continues to be one of the most memorable animated features ever.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Stream now on Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video

Run Time: 2h 23m

For their protection, four youngsters from London are transferred to live with a quirky professor as World War II rages on. Along with Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund, Lucy finds a secret wardrobe that takes them to Narnia. Winter seemed to go on forever in this magical world! They will need the aid of Aslan the White Lion in their struggle to rescue it and defeat its lord.

C. S. Lewis’s Christian ideas and concepts are reflected in Narnia, a creative tale that reflects his relevance. Lewis drew heavily from his childhood experiences for the original novels and The Chronicles of Narnia series. In fact, during a similar evacuation from London to Professor Kirk’s country estate, his uncle sent his family as well. Later on, the wardrobe that leads them into Narnia is based on one found in Lewis’s home!

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Spectacular fantasy adventure sequences abound in The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, making it an ideal family film for viewers of all ages.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life

Stream now on Prime Video, Plex

Run Time: 2h 10m

For countless families, the timeless classic It’s a Wonderful Life has been a source of inspiration since its 1946 release. James Stewart leads in this classic film directed by Frank Capra. Because of its “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” status, the Library of Congress added It’s a Wonderful Life to the United States National Film Registry in 1990.

George Bailey (James Stewart) begins to feel so down that he considers ending his life in Bedford Falls, New York, on Christmas Eve 1945. After George’s prayers reached heaven, Clarence Odbody—a guardian angel second class sent to rescue him for a heavenly mission—gave him memories of his previous life to prove how much of an influence he has had on the people closest to him.

The original reception of the movie A Wonderful Life was mixed. Still, many people watch a movie every year over the holidays. Poor critical reception and, more concerning, an inquiry by the House Un-American Activities Committee into potential communist influence after WWII meant that Liberty Films did not recoup its original $3.78 million investment.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Stream now on Prime Video, Peacocktv

Run Time: 2h 32m

Watching the first Harry Potter film around the holidays is an excellent idea because it has many joyful scenes. Hogwarts comes to life during the winter term, and Harry has his first authentic Christmas with friends and presents.

The first Harry Potter feature picture, 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was an enormous hit upon its 2001 debut. It became the gold standard for the franchise. This first cinematic adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s debut novel became an instant classic.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione find a miraculous stone; it can transform metal into gold and concoct an elixir of life. Harry and his companions discover that Voldemort wants the Stone, so they set off on a series of dangerous adventures to stop him.

Jumanji (1995)

Jumanji

Stream now on Hulu, Prime Video

Run Time: 1h 44m

The Shepherd siblings, Peter (Bradley Pierce) and Judy (Kirsten Dunst) go on exciting real-life adventures thanks to a timeless board game. Judy finds an attic jungle game called Jumanji while Peter searches his house for Jumanji-related items. They decide to play it, but it unleashes real-world trials like giant mosquitoes and monkeys. If they can win this race against the clock, they may be able to save their town from ruin and free Alan Parrish from the inner realm, which he has been trapped in for so long!

Jumanji’s magical, comedic, and spectacular visual effects set the stage for a fantastic journey. Directing it is Joe Johnston. Anyone may enjoy Jumanji, as it is a fun family film. Upon its debut, it became an immediate smash due to its enjoyable blend of hilarious scenarios, exciting action sequences, and effective update of the 1981 novel by Chris Van Allsburg.

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