Nick’s Top 12 Disney Christmas Specials

Greeting fellow movie goers from around the globe. Today’s editorial focuses on my Top 12 picks of Disney Christmas Specials. Why Top 12? Because I refuse to add one number from giving me bad luck. I’ll do my best not to keep this list condensed. I have a lot of Christmas themed movies on my plate as potential reviews. So, bear with me.

12. Hawkeye

Final Verdict: B, FOR BOLD!

After playing supporting roles in “The Avengers” films within the MCU, Jeremy Renner finally gets a solo entry reprising his role as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in a limited series. Set after “Avengers: Endgame,” Clint still mourns the loss of a close friend. Once again, he’s forced to come out of retirement to help Kate Bishop (played by Hailee Steinfeld) fight an organized crime. They encounter Echo, Yelena Belova and a familiar face classic Spider-Man & Daredevil bad guy. Guess who? Filled with good action sequences, wonderful performances, learning about Kate’s origins and legit chemistry between Clint & Kate. To put the icing on the cake, there’s a Broadway musical number loosely inspired by “The Avengers.” For more details, check out my non-spoiler review of Hawkeye.

11. Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Final Verdict: A-

A retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, Scrooge McDuck plays the role as Scrooge. We already know Scrooge’s character development going from a self-centered greedy curmudgeon to a kind-hearted man who gives all the money to the poor. I find it enjoyable seeing the four ghosts played by Goofy, (Jacob Marley) Jiminy Cricket, (Past) Willie the Giant (Present) and my favorite Disney character Pete. (future) Only thing that bothers me is Mickey’s name is on the title, not Scrooge McDuck. It’s like “American Psycho 2” with Mila Kunis in the lead, instead of Christian Bale.

10. Lizzie McGuire – Aaron Carter’s Coming to Town

Final Verdict: A-

In the early 2000s, Hilary Duff was everywhere in movies, television and a music career. The good ol’ days, I had fond memories watching Lizzie McGuire on Disney Channel. Before the dark times, before “Hannah Montana” lost my interest in watching live-action Disney shows. “Andi Mack” is an exception. Lizzie finds out Aaron Carter (May he Rest In Peace) is shooting a music video. Unbeknownst to Lizzie, her father has a backstage pass for her, Miranda & Gordo. Matt tags along with the trio sneaking their way to Aaron. I enjoyed the trio’s shenanigans, yet they got their reward. Despite annoying cartoon sound effects, I thought this episode was pretty good. Shame a planned revival never came into fruition. Had Hilary got a better acting career, it would’ve been awesome to see her in a Christopher Nolan film. This is why we can’t have nice things.

9. Kim Possible – A Very Possible Christmas

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Here’s another nostalgia Disney Channel series I grew up watching, Kim Possible. While hanging out with Kim and her family, Ron goes on a solo mission to battle Dr. Drakken from (you guessed it) taking over the world. Cue, M. Bison’s quote from “Street Fighter.” “OF COURSE!” Nostalgia Critic please don’t sue. It’s up to Kim to save him. What’s makes this special unique is in fact, Ron & Drakken bond over Christmas. Kim’s family members also assist her in finding Ron. To put the icing on the cake, the cast perform a musical number.

8. Olaf’s Christmas

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Set after “Frozen,” this half-hour special centers on Olaf looking for the perfect gift for Anna & Elsa. He gains knowledge of various celebrations. It becomes heartwarming near the end. I won’t give it away. Songs are good, visual humor suits well for Olaf and the best, Elsa doesn’t sing “Let It Go.” Perhaps the most obnoxious Disney song besides Peter Pan’s “Following the Leader.” Anna & Elsa learn more about their family history. Which later plays a crucial part in “Frozen II.” I haven’t seen the sequel. Someday. I’ll watch and post a review.

7. Recess – Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

As a kid, I used to watch “Recess.” In this holiday special, Principal Prickly is organizing a televised school play. He seeks Mikey in the role of Santa due to his singing ability. Meanwhile, Mikey doesn’t buy Santa isn’t real. He looks for proof if Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick exists. First, Mikey goes to the mall, he sees a random guy dressed as Santa. Turns out it’s not him. Then, he attends a parade. Unfortunately, no luck. Mikey begins to lose is self-esteem upon entering a radio station that a disc jockey is just another impersonator. Towards the end, Mikey performs as Santa to the children worldwide. The episode’s a heartwarming lesson not to give up your inner child.

6. The Proud Family – Seeven Days of Kwansa

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

“The Proud Family” is another show I used to watch during my childhood. Upon meeting a homeless family, Penny invites them for Christmas dinner. The titular family learn the true meaning of Kwanza, Especially Oscar (my favorite character on the show) who acts less of a greedy jerk with a hidden heart. I’ve yet to see The Proud Family’s revival on Disney Plus. There’s a reveal towards the end. I won’t give it away. Oscar’s catchphrase never gets old. “TRUDY!”

5. Phineas and Ferb – A Phineas and Ferb Family Christmas

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Although set during Summer, the titular duo film a live Christmas special in a cabin. As usual Candace attempts to bust them. Usually, Candance’s results are low. Agent Perry encounters Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Lather, rinse, repeat like peanut butter and jelly. The duo and their pals organize the special. There’s a good number of songs, jokes and Kelly Clarkson makes guest appearance as herself. The next Christmas episode gets good with an actual Winter Season.

4. The Muppets – Letters to Santa

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

After Disney bought the rights to Jm Henson’s beloved franchise “The Muppets” in 2004, Kermit and his posse including my favorite Muppet Gonzo, travel to The North Pole so they can deliver letters to Joly Ol’ Saint Nick. Like Phineas and Ferb, I enjoyed the songs and visual humor. My favorite part is when the group hangs on to the wing of an airplane. Celebrities including Nathan Lane, Uma Thurman & Whoopi Goldberg make guest appearances. 2011 was a big comeback for The Muppets in a movie with Jason Segal & Amy Adams. Someday, I plan on reviewing a few Muppet movies.

3. Toy Story That Time Forgot

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Set between the third and fourth movie, Woody & Buzz’ current owner Bonnie, is invited to hang out with her pal Mason during the holidays, she takes Woody, Buzz, Rex & Trixie over to his place. Suddenly, the toys encounter a dinosaur themed playset who are oblivious they’re toys. The toys partake in a Gladiator-esque match. Trixie gains a big role as the lead while Woody & Buzz take supporting roles. They already had their spotlight in the films. It’s a breath of fresh air for another character to shine. A half-hour long, I thought it was decent like a fun side quest.

2. Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Unlike the filmed Christmas in July episode, this one’s a full fledge holiday episode. The titular duo and their friends including my favorite character Isabella, seek to invite Santa over. Candace has a hard time looking for her boyfriend, Jeremy a gift. Agent Perry once again encounters Dr. Doofenshmirtz. The latter has a hard time with Christmas Carolers pestering him. Realizing Santa’s not coming to town, the duo fills in Santa’s role to deliver all the presents worldwide. Filled with jokes and musical numbers, this episode’s a runner-up reminded every single person to believe in the holiday spirit.

Honorable Mentions

  • Darkwing Duck – It’s a Wonderful Leaf
  • Even Stevens – Heck of a Hanukkah

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Were you expecting an unfunny Disney sitcom like “Hannah Montana?” My number one pick is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first ever Christmas special not entirely a mini-series or film. After James “JG” Gunn’s colleague beg Disney to rehire JG after he wrote offensive tweets on his Twitter account, JG and his crew resume production of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and the holiday special set before the aforementioned third movie. Drax & Mantis seek the perfect gift for Peter Quill/Star-Lord, capture Kevin Bacon. A low-stakes breather special, JG did an awesome job, performances were spot-on, jokes made me laugh so hard and I have to give Mr. Gunn credit for introducing me to the rock band Old 97’s. They get an Extra Point, because they’re from Texas. We also learn more about Peter & Mantis’ backgrounds. I won’t give anything away.

Those are my picks. Which Disney Christmas Specials are your favorite? Plese leave a comment and I’ll have a lil’ chat.

2 thoughts on “Nick’s Top 12 Disney Christmas Specials

  1. I really love your list of Disney Christmas specials and how you rank them. You’ve also made a good point about how Scrooge McDuck should have started in the title of the retelling of “A Christmas Carol” instead of Mickey.

    Like

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