Connect with us

Movie News

Christmas with Disney Plus

Sarah Casserley



The Muppet Christmas Carol image
Disney Plus

Finally, Christmas is upon us. The good old Elf on the Shelf is up to his normal tricks, there are mince pies aplenty in the shopping aisles and Christmas lights light up the roads outside. But with the usual festive fair comes the dark cold weather and to boot. In most countries around the world, there’s still some kind of lockdown in action. So, it’s a good job, this Christmas, we have an extra bit of sparkle in our homes in the form of Disney Plus.

From family favourites and classic movies to festive shorts and new Christmassy content. Disney Plus has a host of Christmas films and specials to keep you cosy on your sofa with a hot chocolate until New Years. Below is a guide of what’s in store for you when you turn on our new favourite subscription service.

Before we fully get into it, one of the best things about Disney Plus is its quirky features and specials. Including the Arendelle Castle Yule Log. You can really get into a cosy Christmassy mood with the help of the Frozen 2 set. It’s 3 hours of uninterrupted crackling fire in the Arendelle castle fireplace. It’s perfect to have on while you’re eating Christmas dinner, playing games or when you’re sitting at your computer reading articles, like this one.

So why not indulge? Type Arendelle Castle Yule Log into the Disney Plus search bar and get all cosy.

Christmas Classics

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Home Alone or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Since the moment 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin took to the screen in 1990 as Kevin McCallister, it immediately became a classic. As did the second instalment, which was released in 1992. Both these nostalgic Christmas films can be found on Disney Plus. Along with its less-idolised third instalment: Home Alone 3 (1997). A word of warning, this film has none of the original cast, but the lead is played by an equally as cute Alex D. Linz.

Another classic Christmas film starring a young 90s child star is I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998). By the film’s release, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who was known for playing Randy Taylor in Home Improvements and the voice of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King, was becoming somewhat of a heartthrob. I’ll be honest, this film does rely quite heavily on 90’s Taylor Thomas being a bit of a hottie. But, it is also a fun festive film that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Along with Taylor Thomas, there is another Home Improvements alum with a host of Christmas films under his belt – Tim Allen – three of which are all on Disney+. They are all part of The Santa Clause trilogy. You have The Santa Clause (1994), The Santa Clause 2 (2002) and Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006). As with most sequels, the first film is by far the best. By the time you get to the third film, it’s…well, just OK.

I have left what we think is the best until last: The Nightmare Before Christmas. This Christmas Classic should always be watched around this time of year (or Halloween, or any time you feel like it). This legendary 1993 Tim Burton animation is a different take on a Christmas film. It has quite rightly gained a cult following over the almost 3 decades since its release. The animations are top-notch, the characters are well developed and fascinating, and the soundtrack is just the cherry on top of the Christmas cake.

A Christmas Carol

So, a film we were going to put in the classic category was The Muppets Christmas Carol, as it is most definitely a favourite for many. But, as Disney Plus offers three different films based on the 1843 novel by Charles Dickens, we thought the films deserved its own section.

As we’ve already mentioned, the best of the three has to be The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992). The funny yet serious take on the tale is perfect for adults and children alike. But, if you want to discover some other remakes of the story, there’s a Mickey Mouse version too. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) is again the serious story told with a glimmer of humour and a smattering of the Disney sparkle that we all love! Obviously, our beloved Mickey couldn’t play the part of Ebenezer Scrooge as he was a perfect fit for Bob Cratchit. Luckily there was already an established Disney character waiting in the wings to play the part of his namesake. Donald Duck’s maternal uncle, Scrooge McDuck. The film is full of all your favourite original Disney characters. Jiminy Cricket even pops in to play the part of ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’.

The final Christmas Carol film on the service is Disney’s A Christmas Carol, which was released in 2009. Jim Carrey lends his voice to this computer-animated retelling. He not only voices the main character of Ebenezer Scrooge, but also the Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Family Favourites

Over the years, as you would imagine, Disney has made a whole host of Christmas family films. Which are now all available on Disney Plus for us to enjoy. This includes films with Mickey and the gang, including Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999) and Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (2004). Each film is split into smaller sections, with stories around our favourite Disney characters.

Once Upon a Christmas is all classic cartoon visuals and feels very nostalgic. But, Twice Upon a Christmas has computer-animated the classic characters, making the film a lot more modern.

If you have animal fans in your household, fear not, as there is a trilogy for that too. Including Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws (2009), The Search for Santa Paws (2010) and Santa Paws 2 – The Santa Pups (2012). These adorable films are a great watch… I mean, come on now, who doesn’t love a dog in a Christmas hat?

If you prefer more live-action festive family viewing, there are also several Disney Channel original movies. Such as Good Luck Charlie It’s Christmas (2010), which is a spin-off from the Disney Channels sitcom, Good Luck Charlie.

Twas the Night (2001), which stars Josh Zukerman and Bryan Cranston. They who take a joy ride in Santa’s new high-tech sleigh.

There’s The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000), a cautionary tale of what could go wrong if you try to skip school with a snow day using Santa’s weather machine.

Or One Magic Christmas, which was released in cinemas around the USA in November 1985. This film is a proper winter warmer, and a great way to restore your faith in the magic of Christmas.

Finally, there’s an ultimate family Christmas movie on Disney Plus, which just embodies those magical festive feels. That’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018). The film is based on the classic ballet. It’s full of wonder, incredible costuming and set designs. With plenty of famous actors, including Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Richard E. Grant

Yuletide romance

Now, we all enjoy a little bit of romance over the festive period, but Disney Plus does it a little differently. There are really only two full-on Christmas romcoms. One of which is While You Were Sleeping (1995), which was made by Disney’s Hollywood Pictures and Caravan Pictures studios. This film could easily also be in the classic film category as it’s such a great film and arguably catapulted Sandra Bullock to fame. Then there’s ABC TV film 12 Dates of Christmas (2011), which is a Groundhog Day-style film. It still gives you all the predictable romcom scenes that you need for a romantic night in.

There are also a few other films that have a dash romance, though could be classed as more of a family comedy. They are: The Mistle Tones (2012), starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tori Spelling – if you love the Pitch Perfect movies, you will like this.

What about Snowglobe (2007), starring Christina Milian? Or last year’s Noelle (2019), starring Anna Kendrick. This film is a great story about the legend of Santa and it has a very positive and welcomed outcome, as well as a lot of laughs and songs.

Festive shorts

Disney and Disney Pixar have always been pretty strong when it comes to their short films.

Among their impressive backlog, there are some Christmas shorts, two of which are extensions from some of Disney Pixar’s biggest film releases. Such as Ice Age: a Mammoth Christmas (2011), which is a 26-minute adventure, where Sid finds himself on the naughty list. Or Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), where our favourite snowman and reindeer duo tries to save Christmas in a 22-minute escapade.

But don’t worry, it’s not just the Pixar characters who get their own Christmas short: Pluto has one too. In the late 40s and early 50s, there was a series of 6ish-minute short stories starring Mickey Mouse’ dog. Disney’s Pluto series were normally played pre-feature film in the theatres, and they had a festive instalment called Pluto’s Christmas Tree (1952) too. This film, along with the rest of the series, is all on Disney Plus for Christmas.

Finally, for the Festive Shorts, we must tell you about Prep and Landing. These 20-minute, computer-animated TV Christmas specials are great and you’ve got 3 to get watching. Prep & Landing (2009), Prep & Landing, Operation: Secret Santa (2010) and Prep & Landing: Naughty vs Nice (2011). Dave Foley lends his voice to main prep and landing elf, Wayne. He helps Santa and Mrs Clause on the big day with several tasks, which may or may not go a little wrong…

Disney’s own full-length Holiday Specials

If something works, run with it; that is exactly what Disney tried to do with the following Christmas films that follow on from their box office hits. First, we go back to visit Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997). This film which is set in the middle of the original film where the beast is still… well… a beast. I think I prefer him as the beast, and I used to get quite upset when he turned into the prince. True to form, Beast is not a fan of Christmas, so Belle sets out to make it one he will never forget.

Secondly, there’s Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002). This film originally went straight to VHS and DVD on release, so many of us may not have seen it the first time around. But it’s worth a family watch, as Winnie and friends take you on a magical festive adventure.

Thirdly, there’s Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish (1998)… but before you get too excited, it has none of the original cast in it. Richie is played by David Gallagher, not Macaulay Culkin.

New for 2020

Unfortunately, getting to the cinema is still a bit tricky, but don’t worry as there are still new films being released on Disney Plus for Christmas. Among them is Godmothered and The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special.

Godmothered has a little bit of everything for a range of audiences: it has comedy, music, a little bit of romance and a heavy dose of magic and fantasy. It’s a great story about a young fairy, Eleanor. She wants to be a godmother, but after finding out they are closing the Fairy Godmother school to retrain them all to be Tooth Fairies, Eleanor takes her fate into her own hands.

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is exactly what you would expect from a Lego movie: dark humour, action and, of course, Lego. But, this is only a short at 44 minutes long. This time around the film is set around Rey, who finds herself lost in a cross-timeline festive adventure.

So, there we have it, our guide to all things Christmas on Disney Plus. How did we do? Did we miss any films or specials that you think should be on the guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Now, turn down the lights, wrap up in your blanket and switch over from the Arendelle Castle Yule Log and put on your favourite Disney + festive film.

Oh, and… Merry Christmas you filthy animals and a Happy New Year.

Read about 7 Christmas movies that aren’t Christmas movies HERE.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Ossie Plate

    December 19, 2020 at 8:26 am

    just right article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley



Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.

The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.

The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.

The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.

So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.

Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

Continue Reading