The Best Holiday Shows and Movies to Watch on Every Streaming Service
From Hallmark-ian rom-coms to festive horror flicks, we've got something for everyone
The meal is finished, the football game is terrible and everyone’s a little zoned out. Time to put on a show.
Below, we offer a Thanksgiving viewing guide based on both your family setup and your viewing options. To keep things simple, we’re only offering up suggestions for streaming on what we’ll call “The Big Five”: Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Apple Plus — nothing on network TV, no basic cable and no shows or movies that require any additional payments or downloads (sorry, iTunes and Vudu).
Disney Plus: Noelle
National treasures Anna Kendrick, Billy Eichner and Bill Hader star in a family-friendly, North Pole-set take on Succession. Essentially once Santa retires, who picks up the mantle? Singing, dancing, reindeer, some Elf-ish fish-of-out-water yuks when the Claus heirs hit America … this one checks all the boxes for every family member who doesn’t have a wager on that scintillating Lions-Bears match-up.
Other Disney+ holiday offerings: The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone
Hulu: Into the Dark: Pilgrim
Finally, a horror movie based around Thanksgiving (excluding Eli Roth’s excellent faux-horror flick Thanksgiving, teased in Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse). Here, some vets from the Saw series tell a tale of a woman who invites some history re-enactors to her home to recreate the first Thanksgiving for her unappreciative family. But the actors refuse to break character and things get (literally) dicey. Throw in some heavy commentary about the darker aspects of the holiday and whitewashed American history, and you’ve got a cynic’s ideal post-meal viewing.
Other Hulu holiday offerings: Home for the Holidays, The Night Before, The Oath, Pieces of April
Amazon Prime: Anna and the Apocalypse
A bloody zombie apocalypse during Christmas is no match for a bunch of singing teens in the only film that’ll ever be described as “La-La Land meets Shaun of the Dead.” Also available on Hulu.
Other Amazon Prime Video holiday offerings: It’s a Wonderful Life, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, You’ve Got Mail, Black Christmas
The streaming giant’s first original animated feature is a retelling of the origins of Santa Claus involving a postman, a reclusive toymaker and a desolate town in the Arctic Circle. The movie, which features a more traditional handdrawn animation style, is already a massive critical success.
Other Netflix holiday offerings: A Christmas Prince, A Very Murray Christmas, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, Let It Snow
Apple Plus: For All Mankind
If you’re not quite ready to go into full-blown tree-decorating mode, Apple Plus — which is yet to publish any original holiday content — might be your best bet. Hailing from Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, For All Mankind is a what-if drama series that’s fairly grounded in sci-fi. The story of the space race of the mid-20th century is re-imagined; now, it’s the Soviet Union that lands on the moon first. It’s not “holiday,” but it is a well-reviewed adult drama that features a lot of period-specific clothes and music.
Other Apple Plus holiday offerings: Nothing Thanksgiving or Christmas-y here, but this could be the only time you check out the coming-of-age comedy Dickinson, the new cartoon Snoopy In Space or M. Night Shamalyan’s creepy new series Servant.