Great Christmas Movie Ideas for 4 Year Olds and Preschoolers
The twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, the scent of gingerbread in the air, and the warmth of a cozy fire—there’s nothing quite like the magic of the Christmas season.
During the most wonderful time of the year, what better way to create lasting memories than with a cozy family movie night?
While I love It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Elf, and so many other Christmas classics, if you have preschoolers they may want something that they can really enjoy as well.
In this blog post, I’m sharing our list of family favorite Christmas movies tailored specifically for preschoolers and kids.
From timeless classics to animated wonders and modern delights, there’s a movie out there your preschoolers will love.
So, grab a cup of hot chocolate, snuggle up with your little ones, and let a classic Christmas movie help you get into the true spirit of the season.
Here are our family’s favorite Christmas movies that our 4 year old loves.
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12 Best Christmas Movies for Preschoolers
The Polar Express
Go on a journey to the North Pole with The Polar Express, a visually stunning animated film that captures the enchantment of Christmas in every frame.
Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s beloved children’s book, this timeless adventure transports audiences into a world of wonder, magic, and the steadfast belief in the spirit of Christmas.
The story starts on Christmas Eve as a young boy embarks on a magical train ride to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express.
The train, guided by a charismatic conductor and fueled by the pure belief of its passengers, weaves through snowy landscapes and offers a front-row seat to the breathtaking spectacle of the North Pole.
Tom Hanks lends his voice to multiple characters, including the mysterious train conductor, adding depth and charm to the narrative.
The film’s groundbreaking motion-capture animation, coupled with its evocative soundtrack featuring the iconic song “Believe” by Josh Groban, creates an immersive experience that resonates with audiences of all ages.
The Polar Express is more than a movie; it’s a celebration of the wonder and innocence that defines the Christmas season.
The central theme of believing in the extraordinary, even when faced with doubt, resonates as a powerful reminder that the magic of Christmas is alive for those who choose to see it.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
In the heart of animated holiday classics, A Charlie Brown Christmas remains a beloved gem that has warmed hearts for over five decades.
Created by Charles M. Schulz and brought to life by the Peanuts gang, it combines humor, melancholy, and a timeless message about the true meaning of Christmas.
The story centers around the lovable but perpetually downtrodden Charlie Brown as he grapples with the commercialization of Christmas. Feeling lost amid the flashy festivities, Charlie embarks on a quest to rediscover the holiday’s deeper significance.
Along the way, he seeks guidance from his blanket-toting friend Linus, who shares the story of the first Christmas with a simple yet profound monologue.
What sets this animated classic apart is its authenticity. From Vince Guaraldi’s iconic jazz soundtrack to the charmingly unpolished animation style, the special captures a genuine and heartfelt portrayal of the holiday season.
A Charlie Brown Christmas has become a staple of the holiday season, reminding us that amidst the hustle and bustle, it’s the simple joys, the warmth of friendship, and the spirit of giving that truly define Christmas.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
In the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas stands as a timeless tale that has captured hearts for generations.
This animated classic, narrated by the iconic Boris Karloff, brings to life the grouchy green character, the Grinch, and his quest to silence the festive cheer of Whoville.
The Grinch, with his heart “two sizes too small,” concocts a mischievous plan to steal Christmas from the unsuspecting Whos.
However, as he witnesses the joy and togetherness of the holiday, a transformation begins to unfold.
Brimming with clever rhymes, memorable characters, and a timeless message about the true spirit of Christmas, this animated gem is a staple of holiday celebrations.
The Grinch’s journey from a curmudgeonly recluse to a symbol of redemption and community embodies the transformative power of love and compassion.
Let the Grinch’s misadventures and ultimate redemption remind you of the profound magic that lies in embracing the true meaning of Christmas: love, kindness, and the joy of being together with those we hold dear.
No list of enchanting Christmas movies would be complete without mentioning The Snowman – one of my personal favorite Christmas movies.
This animated short film, based on the beloved children’s book by Raymond Briggs, takes audiences on a magical journey through a winter wonderland.
The story unfolds on Christmas Eve when a young boy builds a snowman that magically comes to life.
Together, they embark on a breathtaking adventure, soaring through the night sky to the enchanting sound of “Walking in the Air.”
The lack of dialogue in this classic film allows the beautiful animation and evocative music to speak directly to the hearts of viewers, making it a perfect choice for even the youngest members of the family.
The Snowman is a timeless tale that captures the pure, innocent joy of Christmas, reminding us of the magic that can be found in the simplest moments of the holiday season.
The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause is a heartwarming story and a modern classic, bringing a touch of magic to the Christmas movie lineup.
Starring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, a divorced dad who inadvertently finds himself in Santa’s shoes—quite literally—this film takes audiences on a jolly and unexpected adventure.
The story kicks off when Scott Calvin inadvertently causes Santa to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. As a result, he discovers a magical clause that deems him the new Santa Claus.
What follows is a comical and heartwarming journey as Scott navigates the challenges of his newfound role, donning the iconic red suit and embracing the responsibilities that come with spreading holiday cheer.
The Santa Clause isn’t just a festive comedy; it’s a touching exploration of the spirit of Christmas and the transformative power of embracing the joy that the season brings.
Tim Allen’s charismatic portrayal of Scott Calvin adds a perfect blend of humor and warmth to the film, making it a joy for both children and adults.
The film delivers a positive message about the magic of Christmas and the importance of believing in the extraordinary, even when it seems impossible.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
In the grand tapestry of holiday classics, The Muppet Christmas Carol holds a special place, seamlessly blending the whimsy of Jim Henson’s Muppets with the timeless narrative of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
This heartwarming film takes audiences on a merry journey through the streets of Victorian London, guided by none other than the lovable Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit.
The familiar characters we’ve come to adore, from Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit to Fozziwig as the jolly Fezziwig, bring Dickens’ characters to life in a way only the Muppets can.
The Muppet charm is interwoven with Dickens’ powerful message about redemption and the true meaning of Christmas.
As Gonzo narrates the tale alongside Rizzo the Rat, the film maintains a delightful sense of humor while never losing sight of the lessons embedded in the original story.
What sets The Muppet Christmas Carol apart is its ability to be both heartwarming and hilarious, making it an ideal choice for family movie nights during the holiday season.
This Muppet-infused retelling of a Christmas classic is bound to warm your heart and leave you singing along with the joyous spirit of the season.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
For a dose of Disney magic during the holiday season, look no further than Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas.
This anthology film features three heartwarming stories starring the iconic characters of the Disney universe.
In “Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas,” Donald’s nephews experience Christmas Day repeatedly, learning valuable lessons about the true meaning of the holiday.
“A Very Goofy Christmas” follows Goofy and his son Max as they navigate the challenges of the season, emphasizing the importance of family.
Lastly, “Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi” puts a Disney twist on the classic O. Henry tale, showcasing Mickey and Minnie’s love and sacrifice during the festive season.
This delightful film is a perfect blend of humor, lessons, and the magic of Christmas, making it a fantastic choice for a family movie night.
Frosty the Snowman
No holiday movie list is complete without the cheerful, animated classic, Frosty the Snowman.
This beloved film brings to life the enchanting story of a snowman brought to magical life by a magical hat. .
Set against the backdrop of a winter wonderland, Frosty the Snowman captures the joy and innocence of childhood during the holiday season.
The delightful animation, catchy musical score, and the iconic voice of Jimmy Durante narrating the tale make this film a timeless treasure for audiences of all ages.
The story teaches valuable lessons about the spirit of giving and the importance of cherishing special moments.
It’s a classic that continues to bring smiles to generations, proving that the magic of Frosty is truly timeless.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Another Christmas classic is the heartwarming tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
This classic stop-motion animated film tells the story of a young reindeer named Rudolph, whose bright red nose sets him apart from his peers.
Initially faced with rejection and exclusion, Rudolph’s unique feature soon becomes his greatest asset.
As Rudolph embarks on a journey filled with misfit friends, including Hermey the aspiring dentist elf and Yukon Cornelius, a prospector in search of silver and gold, the story unfolds into a beautiful narrative of courage and acceptance.
Together, this group of misfits discovers that what makes them different is what makes them special.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is not just an animated adventure; it’s a timeless lesson in embracing our differences, finding strength in adversity, and celebrating the uniqueness that each individual brings to the table.
Prep and Landing
In the realm of modern holiday classics, Prep and Landing has earned its place as a heartwarming and humorous addition to the Christmas movie lineup.
This animated short film, produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the elite team of Christmas elves responsible for preparing homes for Santa’s arrival.
The story follows Wayne, an enthusiastic but overlooked elf, and his rookie partner Lanny, on their mission to ensure that every house is ready for Santa’s visit.
What sets Prep and Landing apart is its imaginative exploration of the North Pole’s high-tech operation, complete with gadgets, clever strategies, and a dash of Christmas magic.
The film’s positive message about the unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make Christmas special adds a layer of appreciation for the often-overlooked aspects of the holiday season.
This modern holiday gem is sure to become a favorite in your festive movie rotation.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
For fans of the enchanting world of Arendelle, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a delightful holiday treat that brings back the beloved characters from Disney’s Frozen.
This animated featurette follows the lovable snowman, Olaf, as he embarks on a quest to discover holiday traditions for Elsa and Anna.
Set against the magical backdrop of Arendelle during the holiday season, the film explores the sisters’ first festive celebration since reopening the castle gates.
Olaf’s innocent and endearing personality shines as he stumbles upon various holiday customs, attempting to create the perfect tradition for Elsa and Anna.
As Olaf encounters the traditions of different characters, the film weaves together a beautiful message about the significance of togetherness and the warmth that holiday traditions bring.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a charming addition to the Frozen universe, offering fans a glimpse into the sisters’ first Christmas together and the quirky, humorous escapades of everyone’s favorite snowman.
When it comes to Christmas comedies, Home Alone takes the spotlight as a classic film that tells the story of a young boy accidentally left behind during a family vacation.
The story unfolds as the McCallister family, in the midst of preparing for a Christmas vacation, accidentally leaves eight-year-old Kevin behind.
Initially reveling in the freedom of an empty house, Kevin soon discovers that two burglars, Harry and Marv, have set their sights on his home.
What follows is a series of ingenious booby traps and hilarious shenanigans that define Kevin’s quest to protect his house from the would-be intruders.
Beyond the slapstick comedy and ingenious pranks, Home Alone weaves a heartwarming narrative about family, love, and the true meaning of Christmas.
Filled with laughs, pranks, and a heartwarming message about the importance of family, Home Alone is a holiday favorite for both kids and adults.
As you plan your holiday movie nights, remember that the best Christmas movies for preschoolers and kids are the ones that create lasting memories and bring the entire family together.
Having a family movie night together is one of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit.
Whether you choose the timeless classics, animated delights, or new additions to the holiday movie lineup, the most important thing is to enjoy the magic of Christmas time with your whole family.