For better or worse, we are in the thick of the holiday season. Sometimes between all the cooking, family gatherings and keeping kids entertained, you just need a little downtime.
Well, luckily Netflix and Disney+ have you covered with fun holiday specials, ongoing series and documentaries the whole family will love. So kick back with some hot chocolate and enjoy, you deserve it.
- Dec. 1: “LEGO Friends: Heartlake Stories” — Join all your Lego friends for an animated holiday special.
- Dec. 2: “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol” (2022) — Get into the holiday spirit with this new animated version of the Charles Dickens classic. Some music and dance numbers are thrown in for even more fun, and the voice actors boast some real star power (including Luke Evans, Olivia Colman and Jonathan Pryce).
- Dec. 5: “Mighty Express: Mighty Trains Race” — This animated kids’ special follows the adventure of two trains racing to see who can deliver animal feed to the farm station first. Chuga chuga vroom!
- Dec. 6: “Boss Baby: Christmas Bonus” — Boss Baby is back and headed for his first visit with Santa, but things don’t go as planned and he ends up stranded at the North Pole. Will Boss Baby’s love of capitalism and efficiency save Christmas? You’ll have to watch to find out.
- Dec. 8: “The Elephant Whisperers” (2022) — If you need a break from all the holiday-themed entertainment, check out this short documentary. It follows the lives of an indigenous couple looking after an orphaned elephant.
- Dec. 9: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (2022) — From the Academy Award-winning director of “The Shape of Water” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” comes a truly unique version of this familiar tale. The beautiful stop-motion animation looks very different frm traditional Pinocchio movies. This movie is rated PG and might be a bit creepy for younger viewers.
- Dec .13: “Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure” (Season 1) — A cute, anthropomorphized raw egg goes on the adventure of a lifetime with the help of his friend, a newly hatched chick. This Japanese family series is almost too cute to describe. You may never be able to bring yourself to eat an egg again.
- Dec. 15: “Sonic Prime” (Season 1) — The unmistakable hedgehog, Sonic, is back in this new animated series. This time, Sonic crashes through a portal and finds himself in another world that's kind of like a multiverse of madness with hedgehogs.
- Dec. 21: “Emily in Paris” (Season 3) —This one is mainly for grown-ups. When you need to turn your mind off and look at the beautiful streets of Paris, this show has you covered. Emily is back for a third season of ridiculous romantic mistakes, somehow thriving at a job where she doesn’t seem to do anything and wearing really expensive clothes. All in all, the perfect mind vacation.
- Dec. 25: “Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical” (2022) — This brand new take on the Tony- and Olivier-Award-winning musical tells the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to stand up and change her story. As usual with Roald Dahl, the adults are (mostly) horrible humans and the children are the stars of the show. This magical adventure is rated PG and will entertain the whole family (Emma Thompson looks wonderfully scary, and almost unrecognizable, as the dreaded Miss Trenchbull).
- Dec. 2: “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” — Greg Hefley is always being picked on by his older brother, Rodrick. Will they survive a weekend alone together when their parents go out of town? This new animated movie based on the second book of the wildly popular book series has laughs, love and a whole lot of adventure. Rated PG.
- Dec. 2: “Pentatonix: Around the World for the Holidays” — An a cappella group takes a magical, international journey centered around fan mail they receive from around the world. Watch them discover holiday traditions from around the globe, and feel free to sing along with your holiday favorites.
- Dec. 7: “The Villains of Valley View” — The family of villains is back with a new season of adventures. Can they blend into the Texas suburb they now call home, or will their cover be blown?
- Dec. 7: “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery” — On your marks, get set, bake! Oops, wrong baking show, sorry. While this show doesn’t have British comedians or steely-eyed judges, it does have a young girl named Alice who makes magical recipes for her friends and neighbors. She sounds like star baker material to me!
- Dec. 7: “Gigantosaurus” — The four dinosaur friends are back for more adventure. They learn about mapping the stars, search for flowers and learn to do things independently. This show is for the littlest fans of Disney+.
- Dec. 9: “Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again” — As night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History, Nick Daley has his hands full. Luckily, he is following in his father’s footsteps and knows what happens at the museum at night.
- Dec. 9: “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (Extended Edition) — A true classic (yes, movies from the 1990s are now considered classics!), you can’t beat the Muppets’ version of this Charles Dickens story. Join all your favorite puppet friends, including Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo, in this timeless story of love and family. The human in this movie, Michael Caine, is excellent as a mean and grouchy Ebenezer Scrooge. This extended version includes the song, “When Love is Gone,” performed by a young Belle. Get the tissues out for this one.
- Dec. 14: “The Great Christmas Light Fight” — If you love over-the-top Christmas light decorations, this is the show for you! Four families (selected from a nationwide search) show off the transformation of their homes into Christmas light extravaganzas.
- Dec. 15: “A Very Backstreet Christmas” — Celebrate the season with the one and only Backstreet Boys. Swoon along as they sing songs from their holiday album as well as classics.
- Dec. 16: “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” — After you have recovered from the fact that Beauty and the Beast came out 30 years ago (!!), tune in for this special. This presentation (filmed in front of a live audience) includes brand-new musical performances, sets and costumes. This star-studded special features H.E.R. as Belle and Josh Groban as the Beast.
- Dec. 28: “Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl” — Get ready for “We don’t talk about Bruno” to set up camp in your head once again. Watch the original cast of the film sing the hit songs, backed by a full orchestra and a 50-person ensemble. The Encanto fans in your home will love seeing a live version of their favorites.
- Mysterious Benedict Society — Dec. 7 (finale)
- The Santa Clauses — Dec. 7, 14 and 21
- Willow — Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28