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Top 36 Essential Holiday Movies (Rotten Tomatoes)

We believe the essential holiday movie is the movie you can't wait to watch again. They're nostalgic movies you can't separate from memories of watching the leaves turn, the snow fall, and coming together with your family over warm food and even warmer drinks. The end of the year is a time of reflection and appreciation, and the holiday movies chosen for this list reflect our most hopeful side – whether it's seeing Scrooge's redemption (there's no shortage of Christmas Carol adaptations here!), the salvation of George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, or Charlie Brown's conquest of melancholia in his legendary Christmas special. Meanwhile, other movies picked here are simply good-natured fare with plenty of snowy moments, like Cool Runnings, Eight Below, and Paddington. And finally, we come to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, with perhaps the most valuable lesson: You can't choose family, but you can choose to smile and laugh. Happy Holidays from Rotten Tomatoes!
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avg. score: 19 of 36 (53%)
required scores: 1, 13, 18, 22, 25 

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1
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)
2
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
3
Holiday Inn (1942)
Holiday Inn (1942)
4
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
5
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
6
Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)
Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)
7
A Christmas Carol (1938)
A Christmas Carol (1938)
8
Paddington (2014)
Paddington (2014)
9
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
10
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
11
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
12
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
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13
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Arthur Christmas (2011)
14
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
15
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
16
Little Women (1994)
Little Women (1994)
17
A Christmas Story (1983)
A Christmas Story (1983)
18
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
19
Frozen (2013)
Frozen (2013)
20
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
21
The Miracle of Morgan'S Creek (1944)
The Miracle of Morgan'S Creek (1944)
22
Anastasia (1997)
Anastasia (1997)
24
Gremlins (1984)
Gremlins (1984)
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25
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
26
Cool Runnings (1993)
Cool Runnings (1993)
27
Happy Feet (2006)
Happy Feet (2006)
28
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
29
The Santa Clause (1994)
The Santa Clause (1994)
30
Eight Below (2006)
Eight Below (2006)
31
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
32
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
33
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
34
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone (1990)
35
Frosty the Snowman (1969)
Frosty the Snowman (1969)
36
The Snowman (1982)
The Snowman (1982)
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