‘Tis the season for a yuletide movie marathon and the best Christmas movies on Hulu are just what you need for a cozy night in (along with a steaming cup of hot cocoa, a crackling fireplace and some joyfully cheesy pajamas, of course).
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly animated feature or an adults-only action flick, Hulu — one of the best streaming services around—has you covered this holiday season with some of the best Christmas movies of all time, including classic Christmas movies and newer seasonal favorites.
But to help you narrow down all of the jolly options available on the streaming platform, we’ve selected five festive favorites that should be on your watch list this year. So slap on your most comfortable pair of slippers and settle in!
Plus, here's a real holiday treat: For Black Friday, get Hulu for just 99 cents a month!
“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” “I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite." "You sit on a throne of lies!" This 2003 Jon Favreau-directed charmer is a toys’ chest full of quotable lines and memorable moments, following Buddy (Will Ferrell) — a human raised by Santa’s elves — as he sets off from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father, Walter (James Caan). Along the way, the endlessly endearing Buddy encounters such real-world wonders as department stores, the Manhattan publishing industry, the Lincoln Tunnel and a blonde Zooey Deschanel, among others, and movingly teaches the human world that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.
Stream on Hulu
Miracle on 34th Street
Whether you’re partial to the 1947 original starring Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood or the 1994 remake featuring Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson, you’re in luck — both versions are currently available to stream on Hulu. And the story in both is as familiar and festive as you remember: taking place in the spirited stretch between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, Miracle on 34th Street centers on a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Kris Kringle. At first, few believe him to be much more than a kind old man in a white beard, including a skeptical mother and her young daughter, Susan, but Kringle’s sheer warmth and jolliness are enough to melt even the coldest Christmas cynic.
The Polar Express
All aboard! Based on the classic 1985 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, this 2004 fantasy film centers on a skeptical young boy who boards a mysterious passenger train headed to the North Pole on Christmas Eve night in the 1950s. National treasure Tom Hanks voices several characters in the animated film — which beautifully combines live-action performances and motion-capture animation — including the adult protagonist, the train’s conductor and Santa Claus himself. Unabashedly nostalgic and visually enchanting, this Robert Zemeckis-directed favorite proves that, no matter your age, you’re never too old to believe in the magic of the holidays.
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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
The Griswolds are back in this third installment of National Lampoon’s Vacation series. Despite having Vacation in the title, this time around, Clark (Chevy Chase), Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), Audrey (Juliette Lewis), Rusty (Johnny Galecki) and the rest of the family are trying to have the perfect holiday at home — but this being the Griswolds, of course, nothing goes to plan. Christmas chaos unsurprisingly ensues as the decorations cause citywide power outages, Ellen’s redneck cousins roll up with an RV in the yard, Clark’s holiday bonus doesn’t come through, oh, and the cat gets electrocuted. This is Christmas, though, so a good deal of sweetness manages to offset all of that slapstick humor.
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Yes, for the billionth time, it is a Christmas movie. If you’re looking for a slightly less traditional but no less festive yuletide viewing, Die Hard will definitely do the trick: the 1988 action flick stars Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York City Police detective working to save his estranged wife and a group of holiday revelers who have been taken hostage during a corporate Christmas party by German criminal mastermind Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). And if you want even more gun-toting, bad guy-busting fun this holiday season, you can continue the Die Hard movie marathon on Hulu with the film’s sequels, 1990’s Die Hard 2 and 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance.
Stream on Hulu
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Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.