14 holiday movies and series to binge watch on Hulu and Disney+

ByBrittaney Wilmore KTRK logo
Friday, December 23, 2022
'Guardians' holiday special features 'new' actor Kevin Bacon
The mastermind behind the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise, filmmaker James Gunn, is a big fan of the holidays. So he offered gift to Marvel fans with a holiday special as a thank you for their loyalty.

HOUSTON, Texas -- If you're done decking the halls and you're fresh out of boughs of holly, take a seat in your favorite spot and curl up with these series and movies.

Here are 14 of our picks to put in your Christmas movie or series rotation until it's time to ring in 2023 (or maybe even beyond).

Streaming now on Disney+


It certainly feels like Elsa blew threw southeast Texas leaving freezing temperatures and the likes of zero (!) degree wind chills in her wake, so "Frozen" is a strong option to kick off the list. But the good news is we won't be stuck in eternal winter.

Until we thaw out, relive the mystical magic of adventure with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf. Then do it again with "Frozen 2." After that, belt out "Let it go" with the "Frozen Sing-Along," and for a little extra kick, raise the temperature with the short "Frozen Fever."

Lastly, warm up your home, at least visually, with the three-hour long Arendelle Castle Yule Log.

But seriously, are we in Houston or Arendelle right now?

Santa Clause sagas

Do you want the OG "The Santa Clause" or are you wondering what Jolly Old Saint Nicholas has been up to after nearly 30 years?

Whatever version you're feeling, you can find all three "The Santa Clause" movies starring Tim Allen, plus the new 2022 series that checks in with Scott Calvin, who's beginning to lose a little bit of his magic. Note that the series is actually called "The Santa Clauses," so you might have an idea about where this is going.

The first movie came out in *gasp* 1994. Where has the time gone?

Noelle, Noelle

Kris Kringle's daughter is the star of this movie as the title character, "Noelle," played by Anna Kendrick, has to help her brother, Nick, keep it together. See, Nick is under a lot of pressure to take over for their father, so who can blame him for wanting to crumble like a Christmas cookie?

Backed by a cast that includes Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty, and Shirley MacLaine, "Noelle" takes families on a fantastic ride.

And if Noelle has any additional time to help organize my life, she's more than welcome. We all need that someone in our lives, right?


If you didn't read that and scream it just like Catherine O'Hara, I'm clearly not doing something right. Or you need to watch "Home Alone" to nail that "I forgot my child" angst juuuuuuuuust right.

It should be tradition at this point to watch a young Macaulay Culkin, starring as 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, outwit two crooks, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. But aside from seeing what Kevin will do next to leave the Wet Bandits high and dry, the holiday classic is the gift that keeps on giving in the form of quotes like this one, "Keep the change, ya filthy animal."

Bonus: Same song, different verse. "Home Alone" gets a 2021 revamp with "Home Sweet Home Alone." In this movie, a 10-year-old boy named Max Mercer gets left behind for the holidays while his family is in Japan. Instead of two bumbling burglars, Max is up against a married couple out to retrieve a priceless heirloom. The couple that invades together, stays together... I guess?

Halloween Town vs. Christmas Town

If someone says, 'Tell me what else Catherine O'Hara was in,' rattle off this fun fact: "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

The Tim Burton film might feel dark, but Santa is in it and it's filled with just as much holiday magic. Plus, the song "What's This?" is part of an important moment.

Hold the white Christmas. Give me the beach vacation.

If you'd prefer warmer pastures, you might want to try this Pixar short, "Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation." The gang's back together as they unite to recreate a special moment for Barbie and Ken.

It's six minutes of paradise - the perfect cleanse for an otherwise very chilly weekend.

Guarding the galaxy, Christmas style

Throw on your favorite Christmas sweater and join the Guardians on this mission to Earth to find the perfect present for Quill in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special."

What do you get someone who misses his dear Gamora? How about Kevin Bacon?

Yeah, things get interesting.

Streaming now on Hulu

Oh, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge

It doesn't quite feel like the holidays if you haven't watched Ralphie Parker wash his mouth out with soap and wish for a Red Ryder BB Gun in the 1983 film "A Christmas Story." Of course, Ralphie is always reminded that if he gets the BB Gun, "He'll shoot his eye out!"

And who can forget that iconic leg lamp, which has birthed Halloween costumes, Christmas ornaments and more?

Wait, is that Gladys Knight?

Gladys Knight might have hopped on the midnight train to Georgia, but it appears the ride took her to the holiday rom-com "I'm Glad It's Christmas."

If you're looking to go down a rabbit hole of holiday love stories, Hulu has a whole collection of movies that'll leave you misty-eyed and pining for your own dance in the snow with a surprisingly attractive stranger.

Or maybe I've seen one too many of these movies...


If you're new to the is "Die Hard" a Christmas movie debate, then welcome to the party, pal!

The Bruce Willis-led thriller is chock full of action, but without a holiday party, is there even a movie?

Decide for yourself and see if you can figure out which quote we also wanted to throw in. Hint: Starts with "Merry Christmas" and ends with a word you would very well have to wash out your mouth for saying (see Ralphie above).

*This one requires a STARZ on Hulu add-on subscription.

Hey, Buddy

Watch our favorite little helper, Buddy, in "Elf," played by Will Ferrell.

A man among elves, Buddy trades the North Pole for New York City in search of his biological father. No need to call Maury for this one. James Caan, who plays Walter Hobbs, is the father. Sit back and watch chaos ensue.

Twirl with Sugar Plum Fairies

While "The Nutcracker" is entertaining audiences at the Houston Ballet, you can check out George Balanchine's version on Hulu.

The Kevin Kline-narrated movie stars Macaulay Culkin and is just as certain to leave visions of Sugar Plum Fairies in your head as you wait for Santa to shimmy down the chimney.

And this Christmas will be...

If Loretta Devine isn't playing the matriarch in a movie, I don't want it.

In "This Christmas," the Bayou City native and University of Houston alum, is the center of her family and a reunion gets testy, to say the least. But then, if you aren't arguing with relatives or stressed to see them, is it even the holidays?

Idris Elba also stars, and while get-togethers can raise blood pressure sometimes, he might raise temperatures for other reasons. Just saying.

You don't know what you've got 'til you wish you never existed

"It's a Wonderful Life" can feel quite heavy, but stick with me here. It's worth it.

The classic black-and-white movie stars Jimmy Stewart who is in distress, but sometimes, all it takes is someone else to show us a little perspective.

Come for the powerful message, leave with tears in your eyes knowing that it's going to be alright, even when life goes sideways.

A very merry extra

A new holiday tradition begins on Christmas Eve.

ABC-owned stations and Hulu are teaming up to track Santa on his journey around the world using "Tracking Santa" technology (yes, that's a thing) to make it feel like you're riding in his sleigh.

Our news teams will be reporting from the scene of the Santa sightings. Hopefully the big guy's not camera shy!

OK, so there are actually 15 things to watch, but surely you'll give us a pass to include trekking with Santa, right?

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Hulu and Disney+ are owned by Disney, the same parent company as this ABC station.