25 finest Christmas motion pictures, TV specials and tips on how to watch them

Ron Howard, director of “Thirteen Lives” (Prime Video), seems to be again on a few of his favourite vacation titles to introduce The Instances’ information to catching the classics this season:

Streaming has made it straightforward to look at nearly any film at any time. It’s additionally led film viewing to develop into a extra solitary expertise — why argue over the distant if there are sufficient titles and screens for everybody? However the holidays are nonetheless a time for watching with family members. There are a handful of movies that I and my household nonetheless return to again and again right now of yr.

Not often does a Christmas cross after I don’t see “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In actual fact, all yr spherical, I reference that film and its philosophy. The popularity that the alternatives every of us makes has an enormous ripple impact resonates completely at Christmas, however ought to all the time be behind our minds. Personally and possibly unexpectedly, “Scrooged,” with Invoice Murray, is one other favourite in our household. My mother, Jean, is in it. She performs Mrs. Claus, who picks up some form of computerized weapon and begins blasting away at first of the movie. It’s hilarious, and directed by Richard Donner, who’s directed everybody in our household in TV or motion pictures.

I additionally love “The Homecoming,” which was a two-hour tv film on CBS in 1971. It was so profitable that it spawned the collection “The Waltons.” Earl Hamner Jr. wrote it, and it’s a ravishing screenplay. As a younger actor I learn that script and so desperately wished to play John-Boy. “The Andy Griffith Show” had ended just a few years earlier, and I used to be the fitting age for it. However I couldn’t even get an audition. I feel they didn’t need Opie to be John-Boy. I can now perceive why, however on the time I had simply related so strongly with the script. My dad had been about that age throughout the Despair, and instructed a variety of tales about it. That screenplay and the execution of it, together with Richard Thomas’ efficiency as John-Boy, has prompted me to return and revisit that one many instances with no bitterness by any means — nothing however appreciation.

I usually discover myself watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Its coronary heart and its themes are in the fitting place. That’s a half-hour spent with a smile on my face! And, in fact, there’s Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” It solely takes a half an hour and it’s an absolute murals. I beloved making our function model of the Grinch. It was wonderful to see Jim Carrey carry that character to life. That was what I signed on for, to help that efficiency and collaborate with him. Not a day glided by engaged on that movie the place I wasn’t dazzled by Jim Carrey’s creativity. It was simply bravura work. And I like the truth that the movie has had an extended tail and develop into a form of Christmas evergreen.

These are simply a few of my favorites. Right here’s tips on how to discover them and extra this vacation season.


‘A Christmas Story’

Jeff Gillen as a division retailer Santa and Peter Billingsley as customer Ralphie Parker in “A Christmas Story.”

(© Turner Broadcasting Inc. / Time Warner )

1983 | 1 hour, 33 minutes
Score: PG
Streaming: HBO Max: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: TNT, Friday, 5, 8 and 11 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m.| TBS, Saturday, 1 and eight p.m.; Sunday, 6 and 9 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m.
(May even run in 24 hour marathons starting Christmas Eve on TNT and TBS)

The story of a small boy’s dream for an air rifle, a grown man’s love for a lamp/leg, a smaller boy consuming just like the piggies do and a mom who manages to maintain them so as, it has given the world the double-dog dare and made narrator-author Jean Shepherd a sign sound of the vacation and can hold it so for generations to come back. (Give your self the reward of listening to Shepherd’s radio work, which might be discovered right here and there across the web.) (Learn extra) — Robert Lloyd

‘Die Hard’

Bruce Willis running with automatic weapon in a scene from the movie “Die Hard” (1988).

Bruce Willis within the 1988 motion film “Die Hard.”

(twentieth Century-Fox / Getty Pictures)

1988 | 2 hours, 12 minutes
Score: R
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: Starz, Thursday, Dec. 15, 5:45 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 16, 11:45 a.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 21, 8:40 a.m.

Although not a vacation film per se (amongst different issues, it opened in July), the Bruce Willis motion movie is ready on Christmas Eve and routinely makes its means onto lists of the perfect Christmas motion pictures of all time, R-rated or in any other case. (Josh Rottenberg)

‘Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

Taylor Momsen) and Jim Carrey in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (200)

Taylor Momsen as Little Cindy Lou and Jim Carrey because the Grinch in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

(Ron Batzdorff / Common Photos)

2000 | 1 hour 44 minutes
Score: PG, for some crude humor
Operating time:
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Included | HBO Max: Included | Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: HBO, Saturday, Dec. 17, 11:15 a.m.

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is one overstuffed film, however it’s under no circumstances a turkey. Sure, it’s odd to see a $100-million-plus extravaganza that mocks materialism and extols simplicity. Sure, the movie’s frenetic makes an attempt to create a full-length function movie out of a slender, albeit beloved, youngsters’s ebook might be exhausting. Lastly, nevertheless, the vigorous and amiable spirit of the endeavor converts our interior curmudgeon simply because the spirit of Christmas ultimately overpowered that larcenous Grinch, performed by Jim Carrey.

In a component he appears virtually predestined to play, Carrey makes use of his unequaled physicality and a face so cellular it appears computer-generated to show the grumpy inexperienced monster into an antic mixture of Chewbacca and Jerry Lewis. Holed up in a lair on Mt. Crumpit that’s half Bat Cave, half an particularly messy teenager’s room, this character comes alive not as an individual however as a creature, somebody able to treating his canine Max as an equal and, in a voice that’s half Karloff, half W.C. Fields and half Sean Connery, arguing violently with a sassy echo. (Learn extra) — Kenneth Turan


Daniel Tay, left, James Caan and Will Ferrell in “Elf” (2003)

Daniel Tay, left, James Caan and Will Ferrell within the 2003 vacation film “Elf.”

(New Line Productions)

2003 | 1 hour, 36 minutes.
Score: PG, for some delicate impolite humor and language.
Streaming: HBO Max: Included | Amazon Prime: Included |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase

“Elf” is an instance of the great issues that may occur when hipsters do it on the sq.. The fable of what transpires when a younger man raised by elves goes again to research his human roots, it manages to be each genuinely candy and only a teensy bit wised up. Directed by Jon Favreau from a script by David Berenbaum it brings subtle glee and a way of harmless enjoyable to what might have been a moribund conventional household movie.

Making this repay with out winking on the viewers is a tough process, and “Elf” doesn’t all the time really feel all of a bit. However in “Saturday Night Live” alumnus and star Will Ferrell, the movie has a information who steers it unerringly over the bumpy patches. Ferrell is precisely proper as Buddy, who as an toddler at an orphanage discovered his means into Santa’s bag and have become the primary human to penetrate into the fastness of his North Pole workshop. Adopted by Papa Elf (an amusingly dry Bob Newhart), Buddy grows up satisfied he’s an elf himself, though a number of components level strongly in a unique route. (Learn extra) — Kenneth Turan

‘Home Alone’

Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone."

Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone.”

(twentieth Century Fox)

1990 | 1 hour, 42 minutes
Score: PG
Streaming: Disney+: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: Freeform, Friday 8:30 p.m.; Saturday 10:10 a.m.; Monday, Dec. 12, 3 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m.; Thursday, Dec. 15, 3:00 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 16, 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, Dec. 17, 7 a.m. and 5:55 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 18, 3:45 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 19, 8:30 a.m.; Tuesday Dec. 20, 12:30 p.m. | FX, Sunday, midday and 5 p.m.

How carefully can a film resemble a cartoon and nonetheless be referred to as a film? “Home Alone,” one other kiddie comedy from the slush pile of John Hughes, isn’t a cartoon film in the best way that, say, “Dick Tracy” is. Its graphic fashion is nearer to overheated sitcom than comic-book. However the methods through which its characters collide and carom off the partitions are strictly funny-pages stuff. Nobody on this clobber-comedy film appears to have a nervous system.

Kevin (Macauley Culkin) is the 7-year-old pipsqueak upstart unintentionally left behind by his vacationing household after they jet to Paris for Christmas. With all of the telephones within the space out, and the neighbors on trip, the tiny terror is pressured to fend for himself in opposition to a bumbling pair of home thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). (Learn extra) — Peter Rainer

‘The Homecoming: A Christmas Story’

 Richard Thomas (as John-Boy Walton) in “The Homecoming, A Christmas Story” (1971)

Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton within the TV film “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story,” which was the pilot for “The Waltons” TV collection.

(CBS by way of Getty Pictures)

1971 | 1 hour 40 minutes
Score: PG
Streaming: The Roku Channel: Included

I’ve the sensation that “The Homecoming” could also be round so long as Santa Claus himself or the final sprig of mistletoe and the final scratchy document of Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas.” This two-hour tv film has all of the earmarks of a perennial that can flip up on the community Christmas after Christmas after Christmas. And I, for one, am delighted.

This isn’t solely as a result of I’m enchanted with the film — it’s such a wealthy, lusty, roaringly alive expertise, typically wildly humorous, once more so poignant and nostalgic that I’ll warn you to have packing containers of Kleenex helpful while you flip it on. It’s additionally as a result of it’s American. I hate to look overly provincial, however I’m actually getting fairly uninterested in the notion that Christmas is solely a British establishment.

There’s Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton, who’s the younger Earl Hamner actually, and who writes in penny tablets and hides what he writes below his mattress, and who goes out into the storm seeking his lacking father and runs out of gasoline. He plunges via the snow to a revival assembly at a Black church which features a Nativity pageant by the youngsters of the church and a Black doll because the toddler Jesus and so crammed with delight is John-Boy in any respect this he virtually forgets his lacking father.

Most of all, I suppose, you cherish Patricia Neal and the quiet energy of her, holding this household collectively, her husband misplaced on the market within the storm, no cash, no presents, wrapping herself in a worn black coat and dragging the drained physique all the way down to the shop to purchase a little bit of sugar for a Christmas cake. Oh, you bear in mind the twisting smile of her and the haunted despair of her ready, ready for “The Homecoming” of her man on that long-ago Christmas Eve.

It’s an American saga, wrought of the native soil, of more durable instances however possibly higher instances, or seeming so since you had been younger in them. I used to be about to say it’s as American as applesauce cake, however I don’t bear in mind a lot about applesauce cake — although I’ll say it beats plum pudding anytime. (Learn extra) — Cecil Smith

‘It’s a Great Life’

Scene from the 1946 movie "It's a Wonderful Life."

Scene from the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

(RKO Photos)

1947 | 2 hours, 10 minutes
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Included |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: USA, Thursday, Dec. 15, 5 and eight p.m. | Bravo, Saturday, Dec. 17, 5 and eight p.m.

It is among the ironies of Hollywood historical past — one of many sadder ironies, the truth is — that Capraesque has develop into a extremely fascinating phrase to explain a brand new movie.

In director Frank Capra’s imaginative and prescient, strange folks had been value our consideration and our admiration. They often lived in a world of agreed optimistic values. Glad endings weren’t solely potential however had been more likely to occur to those that had, a technique or one other, earned them.

Capra’s strange women and men had been really fairly unusual of their passions (James Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”), their eccentricities (Gary Cooper in “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”) or their specific and eccentric charms (Jean Arthur in virtually something). But the message all the time was that it was inward qualities slightly than the benefits of start or inheritance that made the particular person.

The persevering with recognition of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which has already develop into as a lot part of Christmas as Santa Claus or tinsel, is proof in itself that there’s nonetheless nothing like an uplifting good cry. It was his favourite amongst his movies, because it was James Stewart’s, and its lengthy afterlife has been as pleasing a evaluation as a filmmaker might ask for. (Learn extra) — Charles Champlin

‘Love Actually’

A man in a black suit and a woman in a red coat smiling and waving as fake snow falls around them

Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon within the 2003 comedy “Love Actually.”

(Peter Mountain / Common)

2003 | 2 hours, 14 minutes
Score: R, for sexuality, nudity and language
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Included | Peacock: Included | Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: AMC, Sunday, 6 a.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 13, 9:15 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8:15 a.m.

For some, Richard Curtis’ candy 2003 rom-com collage is as sacrosanct a bit of Christmas canon as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story” or “Elf.” Memes and TikTok renditions of the movie’s iconic moments abound.

Prefer it or not, “Love Actually” has develop into a necessary seasonal ritual. And as with all seasonal ritual, from ugly sweater contests to arguments over canned versus do-it-yourself cranberry sauce, its emotional energy has as a lot to do with private or familial historical past because the movie itself.

The movie’s wide-ranging understanding of affection in all its gloriously imperfect types is precisely what the season requires. We’re all conscious of how absurd and maddening a few of it’s — no pondering particular person would think about Martine McCutcheon’s Natalie chubby — however that doesn’t outweigh the pleasure of the moments we love. For all of the story’s give up to sentiment, the dialogue is witty and sharp, delivered by a ridiculously gifted solid that goes on for days. (Learn extra) — Mary McNamara

‘Miracle on 34th Street’

Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle with Natalie Wood in "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947)

Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle with Natalie Wooden within the 1947 vacation film “Miracle on 34th Street.”

(Fox Residence Leisure by way of AP)

1947 | 1 hour, 36 minutes
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Included |Disney+: Included | Peacock: Included | Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: AMC, Sunday, 11:30 a.m. and 10:15 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 22, 10 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 23, 10:45 a.m.

“Miracle on 34th Street” belongs to a trio of movies which have come to epitomize the season. It joins the ranks of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” (particularly the 1938 model), that are thought of classics designed to trumpet the homey virtues of Christmas.

Like the opposite two motion pictures, “Miracle on 34th Street” is thick with sentiment, the form of happy-vibes heaviness that we’d not forgive so readily some other time of yr. Nevertheless it’s inside that beneficiant framework that these footage discover their attraction — they’re like vacation mantras we chant time and again to really feel good.

“Miracle on 34th Street” in all probability was the primary film to provide the commercialism of the vacations a stiff caning as we watch mega-department shops Gimbel’s and Macy’s attempt to outdo one another in Christmas gross sales. The truth that the actual Santa (Edmund Gwenn) is in the course of this cash-crazy firefight places every part in the fitting perspective.

The movie opens on the eve of the Christmas parade with Doris, an promoting exec for Macy’s performed by Maureen O’Hara, dealing with catastrophe. Her common Santa (veteran character actor Percy Helton) is fall-down drunk and he or she has to discover a alternative. Santa, calling himself Kris Kringle, steps in out of nowhere and shortly turns into the hit at Macy’s.

Every little thing goes easily till the villain, Macy’s resident shrink performed by Porter Corridor, steps in and accuses Kris of madness for claiming to be who he’s. Gwenn’s Santa is blissfully bemused by the competency trial that ensues, as he’s convincing Doris’ cynical daughter (a really younger Natalie Wooden) that he’s the actual factor. (Learn extra) — Mark Chalon Smith

‘The Polar Express’

Tom Hanks in the animated holiday film "The Polar Express" (2004).

Tom Hanks within the 2004 animated vacation movie “The Polar Express.”

(Warner Bros. Photos)

2004 | 1 hour 39 minutes
Rated: G
Streaming: HBO Max: Included | Amazon Prime: Included |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: AMC, Sunday, Dec. 11, 3 p.m.; Wednesday, 5 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 15, 1:45 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 17, 2 and eight p.m.; Monday, Dec. 19, 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 20, 3 p.m.

Nice books for younger youngsters, and that features Chris Van Allsburg’s trendy traditional “The Polar Express,” are united by the sense of pure marvel they evoke in readers of any and all ages. However marvel is a noticeably quiet emotion, and quiet is just not what the noisy core of the moviegoing viewers desires to expertise. And if you end up spending a reported $170 million to make and one other $125 million to market and distribute a movie, connecting with that core is greater than a precedence — it’s a necessity.

So it involves cross that the extravagant computer-generated model of “The Polar Express,” directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks in 5 roles, is one thing of a satan’s discount, a bipolar expertise, if you’ll. “Polar Express’ ” best success is its look, one which fantastically echoes and expands on the oil pastel originals that Van Allsburg used to inform the fantastical story of a younger boy who will get to take a magical Christmas Eve prepare journey to the North Pole. Exhausting to beat are moments when the movie brings the ebook to larger-than-life life — when, as an illustration, that massive prepare with a balding conductor (Hanks) majestically pulls as much as the boy’s home. Or, within the movie’s absolute excessive spot, when a staff of dazzlingly high-stepping waiters serve sizzling chocolate on the prepare prefer it’s by no means been served earlier than. (Learn extra) — Kenneth Turan

‘White Christmas’

Bing Crosby, left, Rosemary Clooney, Vere Ellen and Danny Kaye in “White Christmas” (1954)

Bing Crosby, left, Rosemary Clooney, Vere Ellen and Danny Kaye placed on a vacation present within the 1954 vacation traditional “White Christmas.”

(Paramount Photos)

1954 | 2 hours
Streaming: Netflix: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: AMC, Friday, 11:45 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.; Dec. 18, 8:45 a.m.; Thursday, Dec. 22, 7:15 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m.

The music makes this 1954 film, starring Bing Crosby, Vera-Ellen, George Clooney’s Aunt Rosemary and Danny Kaye. The rating encompasses, by my rely, 18 Irving Berlin songs. The title music was launched 12 years earlier in one other Crosby automobile, “Holiday Inn.” It’s nonetheless Berlin’s hottest music.

You may have my permission to take the plot line, a couple of retired normal battling a Vermont resort lodge throughout a winter with out snow, as a prefigurement of worldwide warming, if you want. Below the directing hand of Hungarian expatriate Michael Curtiz, whose earlier hard-edged work included “Casablanca” and “Mildred Pierce,” “White Christmas” is unapologetically sentimental. Go forward and shed a tear on the massive end. (Learn extra) — Michael Hiltzik


‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman’


The doe-eyed hero of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed-Reindeer.”

(© Traditional Media)

1964 | 52 minutes
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Broadcast: CBS, Saturday, 11, 8 p.m.

Earlier than their was “Glee” there was “Rudolph,” with its doe-eyed however totally different hero, its elfin dentist and it island of misfit toys. Now made accessible, by nostalgic child boomers, in all method of collectible reproductions. However nonetheless. You’ll snigger, you’ll cry and it isn’t Christmas till you’ve watched it, and who is aware of, possibly your child will need to develop into a dentist. Which is an excellent job, even on the North Pole.


Frosty, that “jolly, happy soul,” leads the best way in “Frosty the Snowman.”

(© Traditional Media)

And whilst you’re at it, stick round for “Frosty the Snowman” (1969, 25 minutes; Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase; CBS, Saturday, 9 p.m.), with its equally odd however endearing supporting solid and mind-numbing however nonetheless fabulous music. (Learn extra) —Mary McNamara

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

Charlie Brown and Linus in a Christmas tree lot.

Age hasn’t withered “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

(© 1965 United Options Syndicate)

1965 | 25 minutes
Streaming: Apple TV+: Included

The unique “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the earliest TV Christmas particular to nonetheless qualify as up to date; age can’t wither it, nor customized stale its beautiful hand-painted backgrounds, Vince Guaraldi rating, dancing youngsters, wintry calm or Sally Brown stating, in a quiet voice of motive, “All I want is what I have coming to me; all I want is my fair share” — a line that would slot in any Martin Scorsese film you could possibly title, however wouldn’t be as effectively delivered, nor make me as blissful. (Learn extra) — Robert Lloyd

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’

A scene from the animated holiday special ”How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

(Warner Bros. Leisure Inc.)

1966 | 25 minutes
Score: TVG
Operating time: 25 minutes
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Included |Apple TV+: Included | Peacock: Included |
Cable: TNT, Friday, Dec. 16, 4:30 and seven:30 p.m. | TBS, Monday, Dec. 12, 5 and eight p.m.

The 1967 animated vacation particular “How the Grinch Stole Christmas, ” the tv traditional, from Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) and animator Chuck Jones, follows the inexperienced and small-hearted Grinch as he tries to steal the vacation from the Whos dwelling within the city of Whoville. (Learn extra) — Saba Hamedy

‘Call the Midwife Christmas Special’

Lina Hargreaes, left, Helen George and Leonie Elliott wearing nurses uniforms in a snowy scene.

Lina Hargreaes, left, Helen George and Leonie Elliott within the 2022 “Call the Midwife” vacation particular, on PBS.

(Neal Avenue Productions / BBC)

Score: TV-14.
Operating time: 1 hour, half-hour.
Streaming (Beginning on Christmas Day): Netflix: Included | Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Broadcast: PBS, Sunday, Dec. 25, 9 p.m.

The connection between the USA and Britain is rarely extra “special” than at Christmastime: mince pies and plum pudding, Victorian carolers and Boxing Day gross sales. Lengthy fueled by seasonally traditional movies from “A Christmas Carol” to “Love Actually,” the digital fireplace now permits People to share the good British custom of Christmas Day tv in actual time with the “Call the Midwife” Christmas particular.

Based mostly on the memoirs of Jennifer Value, “Call the Midwife’s” tone of clear-eyed optimism permits it to chronicle all method of great subjects — incest, abortion, partner abuse, little one abandonment and the grinding actuality of poverty — with out changing into too darkish or jaded. If this episode appears unapologetically constructed for 2 or three cathartic moments, effectively, why not? “Call the Midwife” is all about embracing the laughter and the tears, and it’s Christmas, in any case. (Learn extra) — Mary McNamara

Diversifications of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

The British creator’s novella a couple of egocentric and stingy miser who turns into woke in Victorian England was an immediate vacation hit when revealed in 1843. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge, visited by the ghost of his enterprise associate and the spirits of Christmas previous, current and but to come back, has been tailored for movie, stage and tv starting within the silent period of films and persevering with to this present day. The Scrooge function has been inhabited by first price actors (Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim, Michael Caine and Donald Duck (as Scrooge McDuck). The productions have been stay motion, animated, puppetry, TV specials, vacation episodes of TV collection and musicals. What follows is small pattern that features many favourite diversifications of the definitive Christmas story.

‘A Christmas Carol’

A Christmas Carol, USA, 1938, Reginald Owen, left, and D'Arcy Corrigan.

Reginald Owen in “A Christmas Carol” in 1938.

(United Archives / FilmPublicity )

Film 1938 | 1 hour 9 minutes
Score: TV-G
Streaming: HBO Max: Included | Paramount+: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Scrooge: Reginald Owen

‘A Christmas Carol’

Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) leans on his own grave marker in “A Christmas Carol” (1951)

Alastair Sim as Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” in 1951.

(John Springer Assortment / Corbis by way of Getty Pictures)

Film 1951 | 1 hour, 26 minutes
Streaming: Amazon Prime: Included | Plex: Included
Scrooge: Alastair Sim

‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’

Scrooge, portrayed by Scrooge McDuck (seated), Bob Cratchit (played by Mickey Mouse) in the 1983 animated special

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”


TV Particular 1983 | 26 minutes
Score: G
Streaming: Disney+: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Scrooge: Scrooge McDuck (voice of Alan Younger)

‘A Christmas Carol’

George C. Scott, left, and Edward Woodward  in “A Christmas Carol” (1984)

George C. Scott takes on the function of Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” in 1984.

(CBS by way of Getty Pictures)

Film 1984 | 1 hour, 41 minutes
Score: TV-PG
Streaming: Paramount+: Included
Cable: EPIX, Saturday, 3:20 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 15, 9:25 a.m.
Scrooge: George C. Scott


David Johansen, left, and Bill Murray in "Scrooged" (1988).

David Johansen, left, and Invoice Murray in “Scrooged” in 1988.

(Paramount Photos)

Film 1988 | 1 hour, 40 minutes
Score: PG-13
Streaming: Paramount+: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: Parmount, Friday, 5 p.m. | Freeform, Sunday, Dec. 18, 8:55 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 19: 1:30 p.m.
Scrooge (Frank Cross): Invoice Murray

‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’

Film 1992 | 1 hour, 25 minutes
Score: G
Streaming: Disney+: Included |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Scrooge: Michael Caine

‘A Christmas Carol’

Guy Pearce in the TV series “A Christmas Carol.”

Man Pearce within the TV collection “A Christmas Carol.”

(Robert Viglasky / FX)

TV collection 2019
Score: TV-MA
Streaming: Hulu: Included | Amazon Prime: Lease/Purchase |Apple TV+: Lease/Purchase
Cable: FX Monday, Dec. 12, 3:45 p.m. and seven:15 p.m.
Scrooge: Man Pearce


Ryan Reynolds, left, and Will Ferrell in "Spirited."

Ryan Reynolds, left, and Will Ferrell in “Spirited.”

(Claire Folger / Apple TV+)

Film 2022 | 2 hours, 7 minutes
Score: PG-13, for language, some suggestive materials and thematic components
Streaming: Apple TV+: Included
Scrooge (Clint Briggs): Ryan Reynolds

“Spirited,” the umpteenth display incarnation of Charles Dickens’ evergreen “A Christmas Carol,” is such an amusing, buoyant and good-natured leisure that it’s not arduous to forgive this flashy musical-comedy-fantasy’s missteps. Grinchy viewers, nevertheless, could sing a unique tune.

The story’s meta, at instances convoluted reimagining, through which guidelines are seemingly made to be damaged (and gleefully so), finds a trio of ghosts representing Christmas Previous (Sunita Mani), Current (Will Ferrell) and But-to-Come (a shrouded Loren Woods, voiced by Tracy Morgan) tasked each Christmas Eve with rehabilitating one dastardly being for the great of humanity. As it’s tidily defined: “We haunt someone, change them into a better person and then we sing about it.” (Learn extra) — Gary Goldstein