10 Best Winteresque Animated Movies to Feel That New Year Spirit

10 Best Winteresque Animated Movies to Feel That New Year Spirit
Image credit: Universal Pictures

These animations are sure to bring the whole family to the screen.

Sometimes all it takes to get into the holiday spirit is to turn on your favorite cartoon, wrap yourself in a blanket, and believe in magic for a few hours. Traditional Christmas carols, familiar childhood characters, and exciting stories all help to create the New Year's mood and anticipation of a miracle.

1. Rise of the Guardians, 2012

DreamWorks, the studio that brought us Shrek and Madagascar, has masterfully transformed the familiar characters of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny into superheroes even cooler than Avengers. They are not just magical creatures, but guardians of dreams who protect children from fear and evil.

But they also have a powerful enemy – Pitch Black, who wants to plunge the children of all lands into darkness and leave them alone with nightmares. And there are also the Tooth Fairy mini-fairies – agile, bright, hummingbird-like, who love every child's tooth as their own, and it is just impossible not to fall in love with them.

2. The Grinch, 2018

A relatively new movie adaptation of the classic Christmas book about the evil creature, the Grinch, who hates the holidays and wants to ruin Christmas for everyone. Or better yet, just steal it.

The 2018 feature-length animated film is not the first attempt to bring a Dr. Seuss book to the screen: there was an animated film from the 1960s and a Ron Howard film starring Jim Carrey.

But this version may have been the most successful: the Grinch here is stripped of its naturalism and scary features, transforming from a nightmarish monster into a cheerful and ridiculous troll. And Benedict Cumberbatch, who gave the Grinch his recognizable voice, made him a kind of children's version of Sherlock.

3. The Polar Express, 2004

New Year's animation from one of the most talented storytellers on the planet, Robert Zemeckis, creator of the Back to the Future franchise. In his first (but not last) animated work, he turned to the plot of the most popular children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

The main characters are children who still believe in Santa Claus. As a reward for their faith, they take a trip on a magical train on Christmas Eve – straight to the North Pole, where magic lives and real winter miracles happen.

4. Tokyo Godfathers, 2003

A rare example of New Year's anime and a great addition to the traditional must-see list for the New Year holidays. The plot of the anime revolves around Tokyo vagabonds, dark and cruel, who are forced to survive in the harsh conditions of the metropolis.

But one day around Christmas, a miracle happens. It begins when the characters discover a small child in the garbage and decide to find its parents – and from that moment on, they are all transformed beyond recognition, proving that the Christmas miracle really exists.

5. Klaus, 2019

The owner of a postal empire sends his lazy son north to Smeerensburg to set up a post office capable of handling 6,000 letters a year. There is a battle between two clans: the families hate each other and compete at every opportunity. The young postman meets Klaus, who can change the life of the village.

The animation received critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for its fairy-tale atmosphere. Recognizing that Christmas is first and foremost a holiday of universal unity, the creators were able to make a sincere story that has every chance of becoming a classic of the genre.

6. The Flight Before Christmas, 2008

Little reindeer Niko has never seen his father, who, according to his mother, flies in Santa's sleigh. Niko also dreams of learning to fly and sets out to find his father.

Although the movie was released in 2008, the animation still does not look outdated. And the plot about the search for a father and the pursuit of a dream will be interesting not only for children, but also for adults and will melt the hearts of even those who did not cry over Bambi.

7. Arthur Christmas, 2011

Few people know this, but it turns out that Santa Claus has children. The oldest son, Steve, wants to take his father's place, so he tries to be a good assistant, and the youngest, Arthur, works in the post office. No one takes him seriously, but one day he gets a chance to prove himself.

Santa receives a letter from a girl named Gwen, who did not receive a present and got very upset. Arthur begs his father to correct this injustice, but neither Santa nor Steve are willing to change their plans for only one child.

8. A Christmas Carol, 2009

One of the best Christmas-themed movies ever made, combining the grandeur of Charles Dickens' prose, the directing skills of Robert Zemeckis, the acting charisma of Jim Carrey, and the best of 3D technology available at the time.

This is not a movie for children – to understand this, just watch one of the first scenes where Scrooge steals a coin that covers a dead man's eye. But then miracles begin to happen, and by the end of the movie, the viewer will feel as renewed as the lonely old miser Scrooge.

9. Balto, 1995

There are no New Year's or Christmas celebrations, no Santa Claus or reindeers in this project. But the adventures of a brave dog-wolf, a goose, and two polar bears will warm even the coldest of nights.

Half husky, half wolf, Balto doesn't even know who he is. One day he finds himself in the icy wilderness of Alaska. A diphtheria epidemic has struck a small village, and a blizzard has cut it off from the rest of the world. Only a team of dogs can travel 600 miles through an Arctic storm and bring back life-saving medicine. By chance, the fate of the children falls into the paws of Balto.

10. The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, 2006

This short film immerses you in the atmosphere of the New Year's holidays, as New Yorkers rush through shopping malls in search of the last gifts and finish preparing for the festive dinner at home.

There’s a strong contrast between the cheerful people and the zoo animals, because the zookeepers have forgotten about lions, zebras and hippos in the Christmas rush. But the situation is saved by a flock of penguins who take it into their own hands to create a festive atmosphere. A short but motivating story about how we can create our own Christmas and New Year spirit.