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Top 10 Christmas Movies for Kids

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The Top Ten Christmas Movies for Kids is a hard list to come up with. Many wonderful family and children's movies have been made about the most wonderful time of the year, but here are ten classics that capture the fun and magic of Christmas.

1. Mickey's Christmas Carol

Mickey Holiday Classics
Photo © Disney.
The DVD Classic Cartoon Favorites, Vol. 9 - Classic Holiday Stories contains several classic animated Disney Christmas holiday shows, including "Mickey's Christmas Carol." Honestly, there will never be another adaptation of A Christmas Carol that will ever compare to this one. In this delightful version of the story, Scrooge McDuck learns about the meaning of Christmas from the three Christmas Spirits and makes Bob Cratchit (Mickey) his partner. The film is the perfect length for families, without leaving out any of the important elements of the story. I can't let a Christmas go by that our family doesn't watch this one several times. (recommended for all ages) Rated G.
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2. The Polar Express (2004)

Polar Express
Photo © Warner Bros. All rights reserved.
When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. Rated G. (Recommended for ages 3+)
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3. Miracle on 34th Street (DVD) (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street
Photo © 20th Century Fox
Kris Kringle--unbeknownst to cynical, market-minded adults, the real Santa Claus--is hired to play himself at Macy's Department Store, New York City. He finds himself in a situation where he must convince an unbelieving little girl, and others, that he is the real Santa. NR (Ages 5+)
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4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Rudolph
Photo © Classic Media
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is an old classic with Burl Ives as narrator, and it has made a recent come-back. The show uses innovative puppetry and stop-motion animation to tell the story of an outcast reindeer, an aspiring-dentist elf, and an island of misfit toys who help Santa save Christmas. This DVD also contains two additional Christmas classics: "Frosty the Snowman" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." (Ages 2+)
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5. Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Frosty the Snowman
Photo © Classic Media
An animated cartoon about Frosty the snowman, who springs to life when the children place a magic hat upon his head. We all know the song, "Frosty the Snowman," and the upbeat wintery feeling it brings. This wonderful favorite is available on the same DVD as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." (Ages 2+)
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6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (DVD) (1966)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Photo © Warner Bros.
The familiar prose of the great Dr. Seuss come to life in this Christmas cartoon classic. The Grinch has a terrible, awful plan to steal all of the presents from the Whos down in Whoville, but he is surprised to learn that Christmas is more than he though it was before. (Ages 2+)
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7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (DVD) (2000)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Photo © Imagine Studios
Director Ron Howard casts comedian Jim Carrey in the title role in this live-action adaptation of the famous Christmas tale by Dr. Seuss. Colorful and fun, this rendition is sure to be a classic, and the best thing about it is the Whos' hairdos. This film is a treat for the whole family. Rated PG for some crude humor. (Ages 4+)
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8. Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone
Photo © Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.
Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left home alone by his family while they fly off to France for Christmas vacation. Kevin loves his freedom, delightedly gorging himself on sweets and staying up late -- until he is forced to defend his home from a team of burglars. But Kevin learns that self-defense can be fun too, as he goes about flying to defeat the bumbling thieves. Rated PG. Recommended for kids 8+ (There are a couple of instances of bad language and several scenes involving slapstick violence.)
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9. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Peanuts: Deluxe Holiday Collection
Photo © Warner Home Video
One of the most endearing of all Peanuts' specials finds Charlie Brown nurturing the thinnest, scraggliest Christmas tree ever. At first the gang makes fun of Charlie for choosing such an ugly tree for the holiday but a timely assist from Linus makes the true message of the season come shining through. Everyone realizes in the end that a little affection can make all the difference in the world... even to a tree. This story is available on DVD individually or as part of a box set with all of the Peanuts Holiday Specials. NR (Ages 2+)
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10. A Christmas Story (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) (1983)

A Christmas Story
Photo © Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved.
Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the '40's, has his little heart set on getting a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. All he hears from adults everywhere is "You'll shoot your eye out!" The story portrays hilarious examples of the era's version of an all-American Christmas. (Remember to preview first if you are going to watch with kids. There are some scenes in this movie that we found hilarious as children, but they would be considered very irreverent by today's standards. There is a lot of language, kids getting in to fights, and such.) The Ultimate Collector's Edition pictured includes the 2-disc special edition DVD, plus a cookbook, apron, and cookie cutters packaged in a collectible retro holiday cookie tin. Rated PG. (Ages 12+)
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