5 Holiday movies with iconic music to add to your watchlist

Are you watching the same old set of movies you watch every year to get into the holiday spirit? This is the year to shake it up. We put together a list of holiday movies with incredible music (and some with dancing!) you should definitely add to your watchlist.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) – Stream on Netflix

Why you should watch: Think Hamilton meets The Greatest Showman meets Willy Wonka. A brilliant young girl tries to reinspire her grandfather, a great inventor and toy-maker who was betrayed by a former apprentice. From the beginning of this movie, you will find yourself singing and dancing along with to every catchy tune. We especially appreciate the diversity in casting because even in holiday movies, representation matters.

Black Nativity (2014) – Rent or buy on Apple TV or Amazon

Why you should watch: It goes without saying that parents often have to make what they believe to be the best choices for their children, even if it hurts. This is a story about family, forgiveness, and reconciliation. With a soundtrack spanning the genres of R&B, Hip hop, and Jennifer Hudson making our jaws drop with a couple of incredibly powerful gospel tunes, this movie helps us remember what’s most important this time of year.

RENT (2005) – Rent or buy on Apple TV or Amazon

Why you should watch: While we continue to grapple with COVID-19 in our daily lives, we must not forget about the ongoing global epidemic of HIV/AIDS. Based on the 1996 Tony award-winning rock musical inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera La bohème, we follow the “seasons of love” of several Bohemians in New York City at the height of the AIDS crisis. Before letting it go and defying gravity, Idina Menzel was crying out “Take Me or Leave Me” among Jonathan Larson’s many hit songs. Laugh, cry, and sing along with this incredible cast as they face many of the same struggles that we face this holiday season with our 525,600 Zoom calls.

A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) – DVD only

Why you should watch: Although you might not find this on the popular streaming sites, it may be worth scouring the depths of the internet to find this one. A bit of a throwback to the popular Claymation style of the 80’s, this short holiday special will take you on a tour of some funk and blues arrangements of your favorite Christmas songs, including a guest appearance by the beloved California Raisins. Also, the hosts are two dinosaurs. So, what’s not to love?

The Snowman (1982) – Free on Tubi

Why you should watch: This British animated classic is perfect for the entire family. Based on a wordless children’s book by Raymond Briggs, the short film follows a young boy’s adventures with a snowman that comes to life at midnight. The lush musical score, composed by Howard Blake, combined with the traditional animation bring the story to life in a magical way.  And as a bonus for one of the releases, David Bowie gives the introduction!


Honorary Mentions:

  1. Home Alone (1990) – Disney+
  2. Love, Actually (2003) – Rent or buy on Apple TV or Amazon
  3. Elf (2003) – Starz on-demand, Hulu, Amazon
  4. The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990) – YouTube or Buy DVD
  5. Eight Crazy Nights (2002) – SHOWTIME on Hulu
  6. A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000) – YouTube or Vimeo
  7. The Preacher’s Wife (1996) – Rent or buy on Amazon or YouTube
  8. An American Tail (1986) – Rent or buy on Amazon
  9. A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – Disney+
  10. Last Christmas (2019) – HBO Max

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