Top best Disney animated movies to watch in the holiday season

7 Mins read

The holiday season is coming! Do you have any plans for those special days? If you don’t, how about choosing the best Disney animated movies to watch with your family. 

Disney is well-known for its out-standing animated movies. With meaningful and heart-warming storylines, Disney has taught many generations of kids how to be a better person. And don’t forget about those awesome songs that we keep listening to such as “Let It Go” (Frozen), “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” (The Lion King), or “I See The Light” (Tangled)…

In no particular, here are the top best Disney animated movies to watch in the holiday season. From Disney movie animated classic to the newly released one. Let’s see what we have!

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1.Frozen (2013)

Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Johnathan Groff, Josh Gad…

Official poster of Frozen (2013)
Official poster of Frozen (2013)

In 2013, one of the best Disney animated movies was released to the whole world. Based on the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” written by Hans Andersen, Frozen is the story about Anna and Elsa – two princesses of Arendelle. After Elsa’s icy power accidentally traps the whole kingdom in eternal winter, Anna sets out to find her beloved sister in hopes of turning everything back to normal. With the help of dedicated companions like Kristoff, Sven or Snowman Olaf, Anna begins a memorable journey that will define the fate of her loved ones and her kingdom. 

Frozen is a perfect choice for every family in the holiday season. With great soundtracks and a meaningful story, the movie will teach every kid about the meaning of true love and friendship. No wonder why Frozen is recognized among the best Disney animated films. 

2.The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Director: Henry Selick

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey…

The Nightmare before Christmas
The Nightmare before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Disney movie animated classic for the holiday season. The story is about Jack Skellington – the Pumpkin King of “Halloween town”. One day, he accidentally opens the door to “Christmas Town” and decides to bring the festival to his people. However, this seemingly harmless action has led to many unpredictable consequences. 

Unlike other anime movies for kids, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a bit different with a darker theme and set of characters. The stop-motion technique used in the film has really helped create out-standing features, successfully attracting the imagination of many children. After a series of “creepy” scenes, the movie still comes to a warm and meaningful ending in accordance with the spirit of Christmas holiday. 

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3. One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman

Starring: Rod Taylor, Cate Bauer, Betty Lou Gerson, Ben Wright…

Pongo & Purdy and their puppies
Pongo & Purdy and their puppies

For the holiday season, how about sitting down and watching a touching movie about a special family? One Hundred and One Dalmatians is always considered as one of the best Disney animated movies. The film is about the family of two dalmatians – Pongo and Purdy. One day, Purdy gave birth to her 15 lovely dalmatians. Cruella De Vil – an old friend of the owner, wanted to buy all the puppies for fur. Rejected, Cruella sent her people to steal all the dalmatians. Pongo and Purdy decided to go thousands of miles to find their children.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians movie has remained in the memory of so many kids around the world. This is a simple, funny, and cute movie, which is suitable for all ages. It deserves to be one of the best Disney cartoon movies ever.

4. Tangled

Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy…

Flynn and Rapunzel
Flynn and Rapunzel  

In recent years, Tangled can be seen as the most popular Disney movie. The story is about Rapunzel – a lost princess with miracle hair. Growing up in an isolated tower in the deep forest, Rapunzel always wished that she could step foot into the outside world. One day, her dreams come true when Flynn Ryder – a handsome thief, accidentally gets lost at her place. After that, a funny and touching adventure of the two people to find the true meanings of their lives begins. 

Unlike regular anime movies about love, Tangled is much more special. It succeeds in maintaining the classical “Disney style” – a wholesome story with many iconic singing performances. Therefore, it is certain that Tangled is among the best Disney animated movies for your kids and family in the holiday season. 

5. Inside Out (2015)

Director: Pete Docter

Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Lewis Black…

Five emotions controlling Riley
Five emotions controlling Riley

It is undeniable that Inside Out should be on every best Disney animated movie list for its own excellence. The story of the movie focuses on a kid named Riley and her inner emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. For 11-year-old Riley, having to move from her familiar and beloved Minnesota to strange San Francisco is a big event. To deal with Riley’s problem, Joy tries to control other emotions, especially Sadness, to keep Riley happy. But everything becomes troublesome when after an incident, Joy and Sadness are swept out of the center of the brain. Both of them have to find ways to return, otherwise Riley will gradually lose all emotions.

There must be some reasons why Inside Out is one of the top rated Disney movies. First and foremost, it has taught valuable lessons that help parents and children understand one another more. In addition, with colorful themes and cute characters, Inside Out is also among joyful anime movies to watch in this holiday season. 

6. Coco (2017)

Director: Lee Unkrich

Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt…

Coco and his big family
Coco and his big family

Coco is so good that many people will have to agree this is the greatest Disney movie of all time. The plot is not complicated: Miguel is a 12-year-old Mexican boy raised in a family with a tradition of shoe making. He is passionate about music, but for some reasons, music is absolutely forbidden in his family. In Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Death), he argued with his parents and grandmother, determined to find a guitar to perform and prove his talent. However, this is just the beginning of a touching journey that will define the importance of family. 

Disney has always been the master of leading everyone to travel through each emotional level with meaningful humanities lessons. And Coco is maybe the best among others in this aspect. It has proved that it deserves its title as one of the best Disney animated movies ever.

7. Zootopia (2017)

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate…

Zootopia – Where every animal lives in peace
Zootopia – Where every animal lives in peace

Zootopia is the most famous Disney movie in 2017, especially for its winning in Oscar and Golden Globe. Zootopia’s story revolves around the life of animals in a modern city where predators (predators) and herbivores (prey) live together in harmony. There, the rabbit policewoman Judy Hopps has to reluctantly cooperate with the evil fox Nick Wilde to investigate a mysterious crime.

Some hail Zootopia as the best Walt Disney movie of all time for its macro meanings. Although it is still a children’s movie, Zootopia brings deeply hidden details within. It can be said that it is a picture of a reality that has been carefully adapted into an animated movie. To be more specific, it has delivered to kids around the world many lessons about social issues such as racism, feminism or consumerism.

8.The Lion King (1994)

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Starring: Johnathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones,…

One of the most iconic scenes ever
One of the most iconic scenes ever

If anyone asks “What is the best disney film ever”? One will not hesitate to answer “Lion King”. Set in the animal kingdom under the reign of lion king Mufasa, the film takes audiences in the footsteps of the baby lion Simba – son of Mufasa. He was taught by his father about good things and is expected to become a great king like his father. However, this plan faces the jealousy of his evil uncle Scar, who always yearns for the throne and is willing to do bad things for his own purposes.

In this Disney movie animated classic, Viewers can laugh hard at the mischievous jokes from Timon and Pumbaa, immersing themselves in the sweet melodies of Hans Zimmer’s work of art. But more importantly, The Lion King has taught about the concrete bond between parents and kids. Therefore, it is one of the best Disney animated movies for the family during the holiday season.

9. Moana (2016)

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

Starring: Chloe Auliʻi Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House,…

Moana and her trusted friends
Moana and her trusted friends

Moana is probably among the best Disney animated films in the 21st century. Inspired by the tale of the Polynesian waters of the South Pacific, the movie tells the journey of “chosen girl” named Moana to return an important relic to the goddess Te Fiti. With the help of Maui – a demigod and Heihei – a weird chicken, they overcome difficulties and challenges in the ocean together. Will they succeed in saving their homeland from the shadow that is slowly devouring the life of the islands?

Like other great Disney animated movies, Moana has a meaningful storyline with excellent soundtracks. It is considered one of the best Disney animated movies for its deep lessons. From the movie, kids can learn many valuable things about family, self ambition, or even environmental protection. 

10. Toy Story Franchise (1995, 1999, 2010 and 2019)

Directors: John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Josh Cooley

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen…

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and other living toys
Woody, Buzz Lightyear and other living toys

24 years, 4 movies and countless movies awards, we’ll end the list with Toy Story – one of the greatest franchises in the film industry. It is a worth-watching franchise for every family in the holiday season. Based on  an anthropomorphic concept about the existence of living toys without human’s appearance, all four movies focus on a group of toys and their remarkable adventures to change, to grow up and to learn to be better.

From the franchise, the audiences will get insight into an exciting life of different kinds of toys and their journey to change themselves for good. In each movie, children around the world will be given various lessons about bravery, honesty, and friendship. With the excellence in the plot, soundtracks, and animation technique, it is understandable why all four movies in the Toy Story franchise are among the best Disney animated movies of all time.

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