10 movies like Spirited you must watch

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: November 28, 2022 (Last updated: 6 days ago)
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We discuss 10 movies like Spirited you must watch. Check out these excellent recommendations for your watch list.

Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones and of course, to spread cheer.

In Spirited directed by Sean Anders, the Ghost of Christmas Present‘s Will Ferrell finds someone who is unredeemable to haunt to restore their good spirit. After many years of working with his team, he is very close to retirement and has no idea what his next move should be. One file that is brought to his attention is incredibly important to him to solve, so he takes on one final mission. This file is labelled unredeemable; his name is Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds).

This film jazzes up the classic Charles Dickens story and turns it into a modernized musical with the same sentiments as the original story. Apple TV Plus has a wonderful holiday film on its hands because of the dynamic pairing of Ferrell and Reynolds.

There are plenty of Holiday films for the season that does bring so much joy. The films on this list have wonderful chemistry among the cast and some extremely funny moments that make it memorable.

10 movies like Spirited you must watch

A Christmas Carol (2009) 

There have been many adaptations of the Charles Dickens story and the animation in this film makes it a bit more engaging. Director Robert Zemeckis puts his spin on the classic tale and puts Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge. The animation does fall into the uncanny valley at times but the way this story was told really worked. Animation can help change the perspective of a story and there’s so much that you can do visually to make it feel different.

Carrey was the perfect voice for Scrooge because he committed to the character and changed his voice entirely. It’s hard to change the story of Charles Dickens, but sometimes it’s necessary to do so for a new generation.


Fred Claus (2007) 

Fred Claus is Santa’s bitter older brother, who is forced to move to the North Pole to help Santa and the elves prepare for Christmas in exchange for cash, as per the synopsis on IMDB. Director David Dobkin takes the unlikely pairing of Paul Giamatti who plays Santa and Vince Vaughn who plays Fred in this wild Christmas adventure.

Vaughn is unhinged as the reckless brother who has no direct lineage in becoming Santa Clause. So the brothers clash the entire time but also learn about how difficult it is to be in each other’s shoes. It’s also funny watching Vaughn around the elves because he is so tall.


The Santa Clause (1994) 

This film gained such a following back in the 90s that they made a whole trilogy for it. When one man accidentally makes Santa fall off his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place, as per the synopsis on IMDB. Tim Allen is a regular working man and after he takes on the role of Santa Claus for a short period of time, he begins to change entirely, his beard comes in and he starts gaining weight as well.

However, his tactics as a regular guy change the direction of the North Pole and the elves operate differently under his working conditions. It’s such a fun, magical film, and kids get an inside look at what happens on Christmas night.


The Christmas Chronicles (2018) 

This is by far one of the most under-appreciated Christmas films on Netflix. It has a heartfelt story about a young girl who lost her father and wants to get a bit of Christmas magic back in the family. She enjoys documenting everything through her camcorder, and one night she and her brother decide to catch Santa.

Santa is played by the wonderful Kurt Russell who has this glowing paternal energy and lights up every scene he’s in. He is the best actor who has played Santa to date and it was surprising how fun he was. It’s the perfect role for him and it’s easily one of the most rewatchable Christmas films from recent years.


Elf (2003)

When a young Will Ferrell and a young Jon Favreau get together, they make something magical. This original story brings so much Christmas cheer to everyone who watches it. It loosely takes the Scrooge storyline in a different route with James Caan who plays Buddy’s (Will Ferrell) biological father. Buddy has lived at the North Pole for so long that he didn’t realize that he’s different, and there’s a reason for it. He was never like the other elves, so he ventures to the Big Apple to find his father.

This fish-out-of-water story is incredibly funny and heartfelt because Will Ferrell is beyond excitable as Buddy. As an elf, he had to be over-the-top about Christmas and it was absolute perfection. Even in Spirited, he channelled some of that energy, so it almost felt nostalgic.


Noelle (2019)

Watching Anna Kendrick in anything brings such joy, but her cooky nature made Noelle an even cuter story. Santa’s daughter must take over the family business when her father retires and her brother, who is supposed to inherit the role, gets cold feet. This original story on Disney Plus does flip the script and gives everyone a new perspective on being the heir to a large business such as this one.

There are many politics at the North Pole and Noelle has to get used to that. It’s a sweet female-led Christmas film that adds another layer to the story that we all know and love.


How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 

Director Ron Howard has a pretty interesting mix of films in his filmography, but his best is still How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim Carrey takes on the grand role of the Grinch and made it one of his most iconic performances. There is no one else that could ever do what he did with such heart and grandiosity.

His Grinch was larger than life and even though he despises Christmas, his story allows audiences to connect with the outcast he is. It is one of the best live-action Dr. Suess adaptations and is a must during the Holiday season. There is never a dull moment in this film and the songs were also executed well.


Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) 

Netflix took a different approach to Christmas with a musical. An imaginary world comes to life in a holiday tale of an eccentric toymaker, his adventurous granddaughter, and a magical invention that has the power to change their lives forever, as per the synopsis on IMDB.

This musical had wonderful numbers and heartfelt songs that sure make it a Christmas classic for Netflix. There are some really fun moments and it’s great to see a young girl have a strong connection with her grandfather, especially over something they both love; Christmas and toys. The cast is a lot of fun and it just feels so grand.


Klaus (2019) 

It’s really great to see Netflix doing some different things with animation studios and delivering some unique original pieces. A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen faraway place. When Smeerensbug’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions, as per the synopsis on IMDB.

This film tells a heartfelt story and people can definitely connect with these characters. There’s a bit of adventure and the animation is beautiful to look at. It highlights the lengths a community can go to for one man alone, and it’s lovely.


Home Alone (2019)

In the 90s, no one really knew that Home Alone would become a Christmas classic, but Macaulay Culkin was too good to not make it iconic. Director Chris Columbus knows how to work with kids and this was an absolute joy to watch. An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation, as per the synopsis on IMDB.

Before his parents left him by accident, Kevin wanted to live on his own because he was tired of big families, but once he’s left fending for himself for a long period of time, he starts to miss them. That’s the main lesson in this film and it shows how perspectives can change.

Do you have any other recommendations for movies like Spirited? Let us know!

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