N.B. I am a DisneyLife Brand Ambassador and this post was created in partnership with DisneyLife who have provided me with a free 12-month DisneyLife membership.
With Christmas approaching and the wintry weather seemingly here to stay, my upcoming plans involve very little, apart from hibernating. When it’s cold outside, I’m all about having the heating on full blast, a hot chocolate in my hand, snuggles under a blanket and a festive film on the TV. Don’t judge, you know that sounds pretty awesome.
At two-and-a-bit, Toddler L doesn’t fully grasp the concept of Christmas just yet. She’s able to say and recognise individual Xmas related things – snow, presents, reindeer, Father Christmas etc – but isn’t quite at the point of being able to make sense of it all as a collective. That’s hardly surprising though. I’ve heard a lot of adults say that the idea of a jolly man flying through the sky delivering presents is ridiculous. So much so that they don’t believe it’s true – what suckers.
It’s without question that becoming a dad has made me more Christmassy. As an adult, the whole holiday period just became a bit “meh”. Yes, I can still be a bit scrooge about certain things now, but on the whole, my childhood excitement for the festive period has been rediscovered. Just think, all it took was having a kid…
To help spread my new found Christmassy joy among the family, we’ve been using our DisneyLife subscription to watch some festive films. Often with the aforementioned heating, blanket, hot chocolate and babyccino – or “baby tuna” as Toddler L cutely calls it.
Over the last few months, we’d already discovered the wide range of films, TV shows, music, live TV and books the app has to offer, so it was great to see the ‘Christmas Collection’ recently pop up on the app. Within this, I found Christmas movies, mini-movies and TV episodes for kids (and adults!) of all ages to combine the magic of Disney and Christmas in one.
As we’ve been slowly working our way through some of the things in this collection, I thought I’d share five of the festive films which have been most popular with Toddler L. Here goes:
Unsurprisingly, the phenomenon which is Frozen makes it onto our list of festive films. Perhaps more surprisingly, it only comes in at number five. Although arguably not a Christmas film, it features plenty of snow and ice so I think it warrants inclusion! I may be wasting my words here, but Frozen is the story of Princess Anna’s quest to find her estranged older sister, Elsa, whose powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. And you think your family has issues.
We’ve sat down to watch Frozen a number of times, however due to Toddler L’s age, we’ve not seen it all in one sitting. Instead, I tend to cherry pick the bits that she seems to enjoy the most – usually anything with Olaf or Sven as she’s recently learnt the words “snowman” and “reindeer”. I also enjoy blasting out Let It Go – obviously just for the toddler’s benefit…
4) The Muppet Christmas Carol
Who doesn’t love The Muppets? The jokes, the songs, the wackiness. Toddler L has already seen characters like Miss Piggy and Kermit crop up in various shows, so it made sense that The Muppet Christmas Carol would be one of the festive films we watched. This is an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s 1843 novel which adds The Muppets’ razzmatazz to proceedings – namely through comedy and songs.
I remember watching this as a kid, so it’s been a strange experience reliving it. For instance, I remember the old man playing Ebenezer Scrooge, but had no idea that it was Michael Caine. The film sticks very closely to the novel, in which an old man hates Christmas and is visited by various ghosts who show him the error of his ways. I think Toddler L is a little way of understanding the moral of the story, but she has great delight in telling me “not scary” when the ghosts are on screen. So brave!
3) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
In at number three on the festive films list is Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Just like The Muppet Christmas Carol, this is a kid-friendly interpretation of the Charles Dicken’s novel. It features Scrooge McDuck as the lead, then a number of other recognisable characters such as Goofy, Jiminy Cricket, Mr Toad, Donald Duck and Mickey.
Since having the DisneyLife app and watching Disney Jr, Toddler L has become familiar with these characters. We’ll often get calls for “mouse” to be put on TV, whilst she’s also a dab hand at shouting “meeska mooska” as loud as she can – usually at 6am in the morning. As such, she was instantly drawn into watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol because of the familiarity – not bad for something that’s over 30 years old (the film, not me!).
2) Beauty And The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
I’m going to drop a bombshell here. I’ve never seen the original Beauty And The Beast. I’m not sure how I missed it growing up, but it was one of the few Disney films I didn’t watch. As such, The Enchanted Christmas was mine – and Toddler L’s – first introduction to the franchise. Despite having not seen the original, we’ve both enjoyed watching this Christmas-themed film.
From what I gather, this takes place at a point during the original film and focuses on Belle’s attempts to rid the Beast’s hatred of Christmas – all whilst Forte tries to separate Belle and the Beast. We’ve not watched it all the way through in one sitting, but I think we’ve just about seen it all in a disjointed fashion. Toddler L particularly likes the ice skating bit near the start, as it reminds her of when we went ice skating, plus she gets quite excited during the Christmas tree / breaking ice sequence during the middle.
1) Prep & Landing
I’d not heard of or seen this short film before, but it’s become a firm favourite in The DADventurer household in the run up to Christmas – so much so, that it features top of our festive film list. Prep & Landing is a 20-minute computer-animated television special which was released in 2009. It follows the story of an elf called Wayne who is part of the team tasked with prepping houses prior to Santa’s landing on Christmas Eve. After being passed over for a promotion, Wayne gets lazy on the job and puts the entire operation at risk.
This film has everything in it that Toddler L loves about Christmas. Elves, reindeer, Christmas trees, Santa and, of course, presents. Not only does this stuff keeps her entertained, but I’ve enjoyed watching it too. Like the majority of Disney animation, there’s enough jokes and nods to modern life which mean that it also entertains the adults. I’ve noticed that there are two more Prep & Landing films, but Toddler L hasn’t let me get passed the first one yet. Maybe next Christmas!
So those are five of the festive films we’ve been watching on DisneyLife in the run up to Christmas. – Have you seen any of these? What are your / and your kid(s) favourite festive films? Let me know below!
As an FYI, a number of updates have recently been made to DisneyLife. It now costs just £4.99 per month, is available on a seven-day trial and includes the ability to live stream Disney channels. You can find out more information here.