Most families already have their favorite Christmas cartoons for young kids, those specials that get pulled out every year and watched with wild abandon during December. In our house though, my twins are especially sensitive to anything scary on TV and we don’t like them to watch shows where kids are being unkind toward others, so some of the classic Christmas specials from my childhood don’t work in our home. The original stop action Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from 1964 has both a scary abominable snowman that frightens the boys and unkind behavior from most of the characters throughout. The characters in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” are definitely mean to poor Charlie Brown. While the end message is heartwarming and redemptive, it’s just too little, too late for our viewing guidelines. Instead, we’ve found these newer (and a few older) Christmas cartoons for young kids at our local library and they are sweet, wintry and/or Christmas themed and appropriate for two years old and up.
Christmas Cartoons for Young Kids, 2+
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
This is an adorable, one hour, animated Christmas cartoon about Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat celebrating Christmas. As the days pass, George and the Man (and their various friends) prepare for Christmas by shopping for a tree, writing cards, buying a turkey and singing in a holiday pageant. The usual monkey antics ensue and there are a few musical holiday numbers. There is a sentimental subplot where both George and the Man worry about what to get for the other but all is resolved and happy on Christmas morning.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The original, classic, animated 30 minute special from 1966 is a charming retelling of Dr. Seuss’s beloved book. It is true to the book’s story and heartwarming moral. It is sweet, funny and engaging. My boys have loved it since they were two and first saw it. We read the book at bedtime on December 1 and watch the movie the next day (and many repeated viewings throughout December). I know the Grinch’s behavior is uncouth and distressing overall, but because he is not involved in actual altercations with the other characters, children don’t actually see simple rude behavior being modeled during the show. When he does interact with Cindy Lou Who, he’s actually very gentle and sweet with her.
I had never heard of The Snowman before Sadia posted about it and I am so grateful she did. This movie is perhaps the sweetest cartoon I have ever seen. It’s a charming, beautiful, whimsical adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book from 1982. At only 26 minutes long, it’s brief enough for even a rambunctious two-year-old to watch. There are no words, but the music and scenes are so perfect, words are not needed. The ending made me tear up a bit, but my boys (and the boy in the film) were not bothered at all by it.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express
Mickey Mouse and his friends get together in this cute, sweet, predictable winter tale to assemble the Clubhouse Choo Choo train. They have to haul Professor Van Drake’s Easy-Freezey snow home from atop the mountain before making the rounds to pick up more pals to join in the fun. This movie won’t become a classic and I doubt my boys will watch it much after this year (they’re five years old) but it’s an easy, educational, non-scary, wintry fun cartoon for the littlest kids.
What are some other Christmas or winter cartoons that your young kids love to watch? Share in the comments section.