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 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.
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
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.
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.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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