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10 Best Holiday Movies And Shows To Watch Like Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was recently released on Disney+, and it is about as hilarious, heartwarming, and absurd as the series has always been. The focus on these misfits and former criminals trying to understand Christmas was very charming. Plus, the contrast between the superhero shenanigans and Christmas corniness was gut-bustlingly funny.


Of course, this is far from the first superhero-style Christmas special. When comic book wackiness mixes with the holiday season, it makes for some truly memorable movies and episodes to enjoy.

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Shazam!

The Shazam Family united as a team in Shazam (2019)

Shazam! was the DCEU’s first real attempt to shift from the overly serious or gritty tone of its predecessors (well, the first one that’s good for those that count Suicide Squad in 2016). To really drive that jolly vibe home, they decided to set the film entirely in the Christmas season.

RELATED: Shazam’s Comic Book Villains, Ranked Lamest To Coolest

Shazam!’s overall theme, tone, and messaging are very in line with the holidays. The holidays are a great time to spend with one’s family, and in Billy’s case, family time just so happens to be turning into superheroes and fighting a demon-possessed sorcerer with daddy issues.

The Venture Bros.

Brock swinging his giant sack in a Santa outfit

A Very Venture Christmas, just like anything that The Venture Bros. does, ruthlessly parodies the holiday in its trademark deadpan way. The dysfunctional Venture team is celebrating their annual office Christmas party, and it’s doubly chaotic, as most holiday feuds tend to go.

Inexplicably, Hank and Dean unleash the Christmas demon Krampus, and it’s up to the rest of the team to put the demon down. It’s a fun special that highlights the awkwardness of office gatherings. Even if everybody involved is super spies and ruthless mercenaries in this iconic Adult Swim series.

Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight

Jolnir standing proudly in his workshop

A nearly feature-length Christmas special, Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight sees the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot teaming up to take down Loki, who are nefariously planning to steal Santa Claus’ powers for themselves.

While an enjoyable time mostly geared at kids, what makes this special kind of awesome is the reveal that Santa Claus was the son of a Light Elf mother with a Frost Giant father. A divine heritage that certainly gives Atreus from God of War: Ragnarok a run for his money.

A Very Supernatural Christmas

The Winchesters setting up a Christmas tree

The holidays have arrived, but the Winchesters get no respite from their monster-hunting careers in this Supernatural Christmas special. This time around, they’re investigating a mysterious series of murders involving chimneys and a sort of pagan “Anti-Santa” seems to be behind all of these horrors.

RELATED: 20 Most Powerful Characters In Supernatural, Ranked

Despite the festive setting, the Winchesters don’t really have fond memories of Christmas, seeing as monsters have always been a huge part of their lives well before they took up monster hunting. If they’re planning on getting some eggnog in before year’s end, they need to slay these Christmas curs.

Powerpuff Girls

The Powerpuff Girls prepping for Christmas

Kids’ shows and Christmas specials fit like gifts into stockings, and the Powerpuff Girls Christmas special titled Twas the Fight Before Christmas is no exception. Boasting an extra-long runtime, this episode follows Princess as she tries to convince Santa that her rivals are naughty.

Rather adorable, this episode shows that even the villains are on their best behavior on Christmas, hoping to get gifts from the snowy Saint Nick. It’s a great episode to watch with kids, and the assortment of witty quotes for the holiday is pretty funny, even for adults.

Iron Man 3

Tony Stark in front of a Christmas tree.

Despite being set during the Christmas season, Iron Man 3 is ironically the darkest of Iron Man’s movies as far as personal introspection goes. Traumatized by his near-death experience at the end of The Avengers, Tony Stark is once again struggling with his personal demons and a mad terrorist hellbent on destroying him.

The snowy setting makes for a surprisingly comfy vibe for such a heavy-seeming movie. Despite the darkness, the Christmas vibes leave audiences with a warm sense of ease, and eventually, Tony gets into the holiday spirit in his own over-the-top and charismatic way by the movie’s end.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye, Yelena Belova, and Contessa de Fontaine in the Hawkeye Disney+ series.

The MCU has a habit of setting personal self-reflection arcs during the holidays, as Iron Man 3 showcased, and Hawkeye’s storyline follows in this same vein. Hawkeye finds his present being threatened by the ghosts of his Ronin past, and his attempts to hide it result in him inexplicably training a new protege.

RELATED: The 10 Best Hawkeye Comic Book Storylines, According To Ranker

Being released during the winter months, Hawkeye is a fantastic series to sit down and watch for the holidays. There are a ton of awesome action scenes backdropped with beautiful Christmas locales. It also helps that the dynamic between Katie and Clint is genuinely hilarious.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

All the Spider-Men in Miles' dorm in Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse may be a dimension-hopping visual feast of a film with a fantastic Spider-Man story, but it’s also a subtly wholesome Christmas movie. The setting of the movie being so near the holidays immediately makes for a genuinely beautiful setting for the Spider shenanigans to happen.

Familial themes are also present throughout the movie, with an emphasis on the Spider-People pushing themselves away from their loved ones, whether accidentally or intentionally. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a great spectacle to watch for the holidays, especially for fans of the webheads.

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman and Gordon toasting for the holidays

Batman: The Animated Series doesn’t have just one, but two Christmas specials, both of which showcase different sides of the Dark Knight during the holiday. The first is Batman on a thrilling quest to stop Joker’s plans of ruining Christmas with his favorite gift: urban terrorism.

The second special takes a more laid back approach, following three different unrelated stories. The first is Batman pursuing Ivy and Harley, the second is Batgirl chasing after Clayface, and the last is with the Joker once again escaping Gotham with the Dynamic Duo in hot pursuit. It’s true that crime doesn’t sleep, especially in the holidays, but there are moments of respite even for the Dark Knight.

Justice League

The Ultra Humanite giving toys to kids

Justice League only had one Christmas special, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect holiday story for the entire team. Comfort and Joy follow five superheroes, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Superman, and Martian Manhunter enjoy the holidays in their own misadventures.

This episode does a fantastic job of humanizing these larger-than-life heroes. Seeing the usually stoic John Stewart be so excited by a snow planet in front of Hawkgirl, the Flash on his annual visit to give toys to orphans on Christmas, and Clark inviting J’onn over to the Kent household for Christmas are incredibly heartwarming, showcasing that they aren’t heroes just because they’re strong, but because they’re truly compassionate souls.

NEXT: 10 Best Justice League Movies & TV Shows, Ranked According to IMDb

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