In 2020, we really did need the gift of new Netflix Christmas films.
If divining the magic of Christmas is an inexact science, then pinning down the magic of Netflix Christmas films is an even trickier job. Yes, you need the usual magic and trappings of Christmas, sure, but you also need a certain wry self-awareness, a fabulously contrived plot, nods to other films in the NCU (Netflix Christmas Universe) halfway through the film, and – if you have the budget – Vanessa Hudgens. In 2020, you’ll find another load of brilliant original festive flicks arriving on the streaming platform, and we’ve picked out the biggest releases that’ll wrap you up toastier than a roaring fire and a mug of hot chocolate. Here are the Netflix Christmas films we’re most excited for, listed in order of arrival date:
1. Holidate (October 28)
The premise is familiar: a young woman, single for the holidays and feeling the inexorable pressure of society’s smirking judgment. The solution is less familiar: finding a usefully-handsome “holidate” for all the major US holidays and bringing him on family adventures. You can probably already tell where this is headed, but still, should be fun!
2. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (November 13)
An original Christmas adventure featuring a magical town, whimsical inventions, and original songs from the likes of John Legend and Usher, Jingle Jangle looks like a real Christmas cracker. Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, and Phylicia Rashad star in the tale, which sees the granddaughter of renowned inventor Jeronicus Jangle using all her smarts to save the family business and unleash a little magic on the world.
3. The Princess Switch: Switched Again (November 19)
“Did The Princess Switch really need a sequel?”, I hear you say. Hush that blasphemy and just enjoy another dose of Vanessa Hudgens pulling double duty as Chicago baker Stacy De Novo and noblewoman Duchess Margaret Delacourt of Montenaro. Although having said that, the sequel actually includes a triple dose of Hudgens, who’ll also appear as “party girl” Fiona, here to mess up the Duchess’ ascent to the throne. Personally, I can’t wait for the third film (you know it’s coming), where presumably Vanessa Hudgens will play all the roles and it becomes the Netflix Christmas version of Being John Malkovich.
4. Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square (November 22)
Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton as an actual angel! Right, with the four most important things out of the way, we can also tell you that Mamma Mia and The Good Wife alum Christine Baranski leads the cast of this Christmas film, in which a Scrooge-like millionaire aiming to sell the town she owns, regardless of the consequences. Oh, and it’s a musical too!
5. The Christmas Chronicles 2 (November 25)
I personally thought Kurt Russell made a very convincing Santa Claus in the first film, despite the highly unexpected musical number and the potentially upsetting sight of Santa in jail. He’s back in the sequel, but the spotlight looks to fall more on his on-screen and real-life partner, Goldie Hawn, who stars as Mrs Claus.
You’ll find other seasonal arrivals trickling onto the streaming giant this summer, but if you want to keep that winningly light formula of Netflix Christmas films, you can dive into a back catalogue that includes the Christmas Prince trilogy, Klaus, Christmas Inheritance, Let It Snow, and last year’s undisputed heavyweight champion The Knight Before Christmas.
Merry watching, everyone!