The festive season is upon us, and that means it’s time to switch on the air con, chuck on a Christmas sweater, and flick on a Christmas movie to get you into the spirit. While there is lots of free-to-air Christmas movies, Netflix has your Christmas marathon covered with a huge line up.
Here’s a list of the top 11 Christmas films to watch on Netflix Australia:
Vanessa Hudgens is, dare we say it, unstoppable. She has found her niche — Christmas movies where she plays more than one character — and she’s sticking to it. The Princess Switch: Switched Again is the sequel to The Princess Switch, and it follows the two lookalikes from the original movie, Margaret Delacourt the Duchess of Montenaro, and Stacey the baker. Only this time, there’s a third Vanessa Hudgens: Margaret’s wicked cousin Lady Fiona, who is out for the throne. It’s completely ridiculous, but we can’t get enough.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least three viewings of the iconic The Polar Express. The animated film starring Tom Hanks is every kid’s dream: boarding the Polar Express and embarking on a magical adventure to the North Pole (with Tom Hanks by your side). However, for one sceptical young boy, that may not be the case. That is, until The Polar Express stops outside his house on Christmas Eve and a suspicious looking conductor (Hanks) invites him aboard. After a long night up travelling up to the frozen landscapes of the North Pole, the young boy learns about friendship, bravery, and the magic of Christmas to those who truly believe. The Polar Express can, and will, make anyone believe in Santa Clause.
This is an oldie but a goodie. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s tale of the ‘Grinch’ — the green, revenge-seeking creature (played by Jim Carrey) who lives on the outskirts of Whoville and is determined to ruin Christmas. The Grinch not only hates Christmas, but he also hates the citizens of the town — the Whos of Whoville — who are cheery, Christmas-loving people. Things begin to change when the endearing Cindy Lou Who (played by Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen) decides to befriend the Grinch and help him change his mind about Christmas.
This may be a children’s movie, but it’s not the holiday season without it. The feel-good family Christmas comedy follows a pair of siblings who become stranded at the Washington DC airport after a blizzard grounds all planes on Christmas Eve. The children are sent to the “Unaccompanied Minors” room, where they meet a misfit group of kids who were also flying alone and are now trapped in the airport without any adults. The group of unaccompanied minors work together to fight against the anti-Christmas airport supervisor in order to bring the Christmas spirit to the bland Washington airport — not only for the other kids, but for all the adults too. Because everyone should feel special on Christmas.
Let It Snow starts off like most Christmas movies, set in a small town, on Christmas Eve, in America. What sets this flick apart is that it focuses on multiple, overlapping storylines that become connected by local diner, Waffle Town. We start the scene with plain-jane Julie bumping into pop star Stuart Bale on the train. Stuart seems to take a liking to her sassy attitude and, after much resistance on Julie’s part, decides to follow her around for the day. A heartbreaking truth about Julie’s mother is revealed, which opens Julie up to vulnerability, igniting the chemistry between her and Stuart.
Across town, best friends Dorrie and Addie are doing their best to navigate the harsh world of romantic rejection. Addie is worried her boyfriend is breaking up with her, so after an intervention staged by her bestie, she ends up making an unusual alliance and re-discovering her confidence. Dorrie, on the other hand, finds herself in a tricky situation with a cheerleader that hasn’t come out as gay to her friends and family. After serving her and her friends at the Waffle Town diner, the cheerleader pretends she doesn’t know Dorrie as to avoid dealing with her confusion over her sexuality. The last major storyline is one involving two friends since childhood, Duke and Tobin, where through conversations with a friend, we discover that Tobin has feelings for her. One very adventure-packed day later (where there may or may not be a car chase scene), the two find themselves on the roof of the Waffle Town, where a party is going on. What happens next, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
If you haven’t got yourself an advent calendar yet, wait until you watch this movie – it might have you wanting one that’s not just filled with chocolate. The Holiday Calendar is a story of a photographer Abby played by Kat Graham from The Vampire Diaries, who is stuck in a dead-end job taking Santa photos, too afraid to take a chance to showcase her own photography. Things in her life start to change pretty quickly as her grandfather gifts her an antique advent calendar that may be predicting her future.
Two love interests come into the scene – her childhood best friend and a very handsome doctor. It’s a little cheesy but a lot of fun trying to figure out what the calendar will predict next, and if she will ever get her break as a “real” photographer.
From our royal family obsession in recent years, it seems like Netflix is going with this theme for its Christmas films. Vanessa Hudgens plays two different characters in the Princess Switch – one being Stacy, a baker from Chicago and the second Margaret, the Duchess of Montenaro who has a British accent that might have you cringing throughout the movie. Once you get past the shonky accent, you might enjoy this chick flick especially if you’re a fan of High School Musical.
If the title doesn’t already give it away, the two switch places in order for the Duchess to get to know the people of her town. It’s basically The Princess Diaries meets The Parent Trap. When it’s time for the two to go back to their own realities, it seems that both have fallen for each other’s beaus. It’s a film so bad that it’s good and will get you into the Christmas spirit with its very festive scenes.
The Christmas Chronicles has a bit of a twist of how most movies portray Santa. This one hates when people assume he’s fat, gets annoyed when asked to go “Ho, Ho, Ho” and even has a laugh with a touch of menace to it. Nevertheless, he’s all about saving Christmas when siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce try to catch in him in action on Christmas Eve but instead make him lose his magical hat, reindeer and sack of presents.
The brother and sister work together as a team for the first time since their firefighter dad passes away, which takes a toll on the whole family at the start of the film. This adventure seems to be exactly what the two needed, it even features elves that seem to be a lot like the minions from Despicable Me who speak gibberish. With most other Netflix Christmas films leaning towards the rom-com genre, this is a great one for the whole family and if you’re a fan of The Santa Clause films, you’re likely to enjoy this one too.
Continuing with the fairy tale Christmas theme that Netflix has going on, this film follows a lowly junior editor, Amber, who is sent abroad to get the scoop on a prince set to become king. He’s portrayed as a wild, party boy who’s reluctant to take up his royal duties, but it turns out to be only what the media wants to depict him as – go figure.
As Amber snoops around the castle she gets caught by the royal family’s gatekeeper who assumes she is the new tutor for the young princess Emily, whose disability makes her closed off to everyone, except her older brother. Amber plays along in her new role with the intention to get her story but instead falls in love with the prince. As with any movie, the truth is bound to come out, but will the prince forgive her for lying about her identity? It’s slightly predictable, and even its sequel ‘A Christmas Prince – the Royal Wedding’ might give away how this one ends, but it does throw in a few plot twists you may not expect.
It seems that Netflix is loaded with terrible Christmas romances, yet we still end up watching them like the trash TV enthusiasts that we are. Christmas Inheritance is a story of a spoilt city gal who is about to inherit the family company, but her dad is concerned she’s not responsible enough for the job. So, to help her learn more about the spirit of the firm, he sends her to deliver a handwritten Christmas card to his former business partner in his hometown, Snow Falls – a tradition kept from when the company first started.
Predictably, there’s a lot to learn as she goes incognito in the small town with only a bit of cash in her pocket. Her trip surprisingly also gets extended by a snowstorm, forcing her to work to keep her hotel room. As her fiancé, who’s just as spoilt, awaits her return, there’s a romance that starts to build during her time at Snow Falls, with the sweet and humble manager of the inn she’s staying at. Gasp! This film aims to be inspiring and festive, but you might like to leave this one for when you run out of Christmas movies to watch.
There are many more festive movies on Netflix, so if none of these take your fancy, keep searching away as there’s bound to be one that you’d like to settle down with on Christmas Eve.