12 Days of Christmas 2018 – Advent For Toddlers

Following on from my 25 Days Of Christmas Advent For Families, I also wanted to make a list of Christmas films that are more suitable for toddlers. My boy is 22 months old and is starting to get an idea of what Christmas is about, so I’m planning on watching a Christmas film with him every day so that I can teach him more about Santa and the festive season.

Sadly, if you’re avoiding TV specials of Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol because you watch enough of them already, there really aren’t that many films out there that are made especially for younger audiences. So here’s a short list of what’s available on TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky Cinema and NowTV over the following month (December 2018), showcasing the best Christmas films for toddlers for those who are looking for simpler animations to teach your little ones about the magic of Christmas.

1st December – The Koala Brothers: Outback Christmas

Watch it on:
• Netflix

This Christmas episode follows The Koala Brothers, Frank and Buster, in this Australian/British stop-motion animation. Frank and Buster invite everyone to spend Christmas Day with them at the Homestead, but they are devastated when they discover that Penny the little penguin has hurt her wing and won’t be able to join them. The animation is simple to follow and there are a lot of fun animals for toddlers to point out.

2nd December – DreamWorks Holiday Classics Collection

Watch it on:
• Netflix

Netflix has a large selection of short stories from DreamWorks Studios which includes stories from films such as Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and Shrek. Toddlers will know many of these characters well – including the penguins, lions, pandas, giraffes, and more – and the colourful animations and comedic voice casts will ensure that they get really excited about Christmas.

3rd December – Santa’s Apprentice

Watch it on:
• Netflix

A French/Australian animation which sees Santa have to train someone to replace him. The lucky winner, to be chosen from among millions of children, must be named Nicholas, be an orphan and have a pure heart. On the other side of the planet, there is a little boy who is a perfect match, but his lack of self-confidence and fear of heights make him a poor contestant. There are some lovely messages in this fresh and warm-hearted story which is beautifully animated.

4th December – The Magic Snowflake

Watch it on:
• Netflix

A sequel to Santa’s Apprentice, Nicholas is about to become the next Santa Claus but must first avoid a crisis that’s threatening the magic of Christmas before he can succeed in his new role. Another charming Christmas film with lots of fun characters, there are more positive messages in this imaginative animation which toddlers will enjoy for its childlike wonder.

5th December – The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

An adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol, as told by The Smurfs, the short film centres on Grouchy Smurf who says “Bah-Humbug” to the Christmas spirit. Now, it’s up to Papa Smurf’s magic potion and three enchanted Smurfs to set things right. This fun animation is a simple and heart-warming retelling of the classic story that toddlers will enjoy the colourful pictures and different personalities of the stereotypical characters.

6th December – Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

Astonished to find that the Beast has a deep-seeded hatred for the Christmas season, Belle endeavours to change his mind on the matter. Fans of the Disney classic will love the return of the magical characters and the addition of the winter scenery. It’s a typical straight to DVD sequel, but it’s a sweet holiday tale full of enchantment that fans of Belle and the Beast will enjoy.

7th December – The Polar Express

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

A family favourite for many but I actually find this quite scary. I just constantly feel on edge and sorry for all of the characters and worried that something’s going to constantly go terribly wrong. It doesn’t fill me with any joy or Christmas spirit whatsoever, but toddlers will only see the adventure within it. If you have a young boy like me, as well, he will no doubt be really into “Choo choos” so I will be stuck having to watch this for years to come, I think.

8th December – Arthur Christmas

Watch it on:
• Channel 4 at 16.40pm
• Netflix

A fun Christmas story that is great for the whole family, which is especially fun to watch with younger relatives as it explains the logistics behind Santa’s work. The animation is good and the voice cast is excellent, too. James McAvoy’s excitement shines through as he plays Santa’s misfit son who must execute an unauthorized mission to get the last present halfway around the globe before Christmas morning.

9th December – The Snowman

Watch it on:
• Channel 4 at 16.35pm

A must-watch for all ages over the Christmas period, The Snowman is a family classic set on Christmas Eve, when a young boy builds a snowman that comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. Based on the picture book by Raymond Briggs and told through pictures, action and music, which is scored by Howard Blake, The Snowman is a truly magical experience.

10th December – Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas / Twice Upon A Christmas

Watch it on:
• Netflix

A handful of Walt Disney’s best-loved characters appear in these collections of short stories centred around characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Telling stories about the real meaning of Christmas, including a retelling of Groundhog Day, toddlers will be super excited to see some of their favourite characters getting all Christmasey.

11th December – Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

A spin-off of Disney’s House of Mouse, Mickey and all of his friends hold their own Christmas party after being snowed in. A lighthearted anthology of holiday tales, there’s something for every member of the family with this variety show held by Disney’s beloved animated characters, including Donald on Ice, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, The Nutcracker, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

12th December – The Muppet Christmas Carol

Watch it on:
• Sky Cinema and NowTV

The way the classic Dickens’ story is told with the Muppet cast and their musical numbers will fill you with joy. Michael Caine is fantastic as Scrooge, with his performance likely to bring a tear to your eye. Toddlers will want to dance along and will be fascinated by the colourful characters and extravagant visuals.

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