In Depth

Best family films to stream this winter

Find out where you can watch festive films this Christmas, from Elf and Home Alone to The Polar Express

As the cold weather starts to bite, cosy up on the sofa and watch one of these wintry films with all the family.

Elf (2003)

This Christmas favourite stars Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, an orphan who was transported to the North Pole as a toddler and returns to New York to find his real father. “Ferrell is hilarious in this delightful elf-out-of-water holiday confection,” says The Hollywood Reporter.

Available on Amazon Prime

Happy Feet (2006)

From the North Pole to the South Pole, this animated movie follows the story of Mumble, the only emperor penguin who cannot sing. Instead he turns out to be an excellent dancer. Unlike its title, Happy Feet has “somber undertones”, says The New York Times. “There are a few scenes of peril that might frighten young children, but it’s the adults who will probably need the hankies.”

Available on Amazon Prime

Arthur Christmas (2011) 

Arthur, the clumsy son of Father Christmas, is on a mission to deliver a misplaced present in time for Christmas morning. “Utterly charming characters and a terrific script,” says The Daily Telegraph.

Available on Netflix

Beauty and the Beast (2017) 

Disney’s 1991 classic is brought to life with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens playing Belle and the Beast. The supporting cast, including Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts and Josh Gad as LeFou, also “have a ball”, says Den of Geek. “A full on, lavish, theatrical musical, a tale as old as time,” concludes the site.

Available on Now TV

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is sure to charm any young wannabe wizard or witch. Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, arrives in New York City with a briefcase full of magical creatures who are intent on escaping. “This highly entertaining twist on jazz age America breathes fresh life into the Potter franchise,” The Guardian says.

Available on Now TV

 
Home Alone (1990)

No winter family film list could be complete without the classic Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin McCallister is left behind when his family go on holiday to Paris and must protect his home from two robbers. “A first-rate production in which every element contributes to the overall smartly realized tone,” said Variety on its release.

Available on Amazon Prime

The Polar Express (2004)

Take the family on a magical journey to the North Pole with the The Polar Express. A young boy who questions the reality of Father Christmas is picked up by a train to meet the man in person. “A truly satisfying holiday picture, the kind everyone can enjoy, and which may even restore a little lost childhood in many adult viewers,” says the Washington Post.

Available on Now TV

The Christmas Chronicles (2018) 

Produced by Home Alone director Chris Columbus, The Christmas Chronicles tells the story of two children trying to catch Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on camera. “Russell, he of the shaggy mane and those twinkly, crinkly eyes, digs into the classic role with a sleighful of energy, humor and gusto, deftly making the character his own with guidance from Matt Lieberman’s inventive, myth-bending script,” says the Los Angeles Times.

Available on Netflix

Recommended

Best properties: stylish flats
Flats for sale
The wish list

Best properties: stylish flats

Mixing it Up: Painting Today at the Hayward Gallery
Mixing it Up: Painting Today at the Hayward Gallery
In Review

Mixing it Up: Painting Today at the Hayward Gallery

Book of the week: The Radical Potter by Tristram Hunt
Tristram Hunt
In Review

Book of the week: The Radical Potter by Tristram Hunt

Staycation inspiration: autumn escapes and winter getaways
Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the slopes at Glenshee Ski Centre
The big trip

Staycation inspiration: autumn escapes and winter getaways

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021
Wildfire in Greece
In pictures

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner