Disney movies are something everyone can enjoy whether they’re 5 years old or 105 years old. Each movie pulls at your heartstrings and draws you into a world of magic and fantasy – the perfect way to spend the holidays (and not get bogged down in mushy holiday-themed movies)! Whether you are thrown into a story about Dias de los Muertos, San Fransokyo, the Pride Lands, or Sugar Rush, you’re likely to shed a tear at one point and reflect on those closest to you. Disney films are relatable and touch on subjects that you once experienced or felt, giving them a special place in our hearts. Here’s a list of some of the best Disney films that are emotional, uplifting, magical, and perfect feeling all the joy of the holiday season.

Coco, 2017

“Never underestimate the power of music. No one was going to hand me my future, it was up to me to reach for my dream, grab it tight and make it come true.”

Coco just recently hit theaters and it is already moving audiences worldwide. Since it’s still in theaters I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will tell you a few reasons why this is a phenomenal movie to see!

From the vast amount of people showing their support for this film, you can tell that Disney Pixar did a good job accurately depicting Dias de los Muertos festivals and traditions as well as Mexican culture. The film follows young Miguel who has a passion for music, but his entire family – dating back to his great great grandmother – have banished music from their lives.  On Dias de los Muertos, Miguel travels to the spirit world meeting ancestors from long before his time and learns the true meaning of family. The spectacular visuals and music are yet another reason to see this touching film, but if you still need a good reason to head to the theater, let it be this: this film and its message will bring you closer to your family during the holidays.

The Lion King, 1994

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either from it, or learn from it.”

An all-time classic Disney movie beloved by many, The Lion King is one of those gut-wrenching films that you can’t help feel emotionally attached to.  And it’s okay to admit that you want to bawl your eyes out every single time you see Simba’s dad fall to his death because of his evil uncle Scar. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen that scene it doesn’t get any easier. But, as tragic as that scene is, the movie does become much more positive and hopeful afterward. Simba runs off on Scar’s command and meets Pumbaa and Timon a warthog and meerkat who help Simba get back on his feet. Their signature “Hakuna Matata,” no-worries-lifestyle keeps them care-free and lifts the film up with humor.

This film serves to remind us all that no matter how afraid and alone you feel, you always have a home to come back to, even if it’s a new one you’re creating for yourself.

Big Hero 6, 2014

“I’m not giving up on you. You don’t understand this yet, but people need you.”

A well-known fact: Disney movies almost always include some type of death. Disney wants you to see and know that death is something we all deal with. Whether someone loses their parents, a sibling, or a special person is simply absent in a film, it should be no surprise that death is just a part of life. Big Hero 6 centers on the loss of Tadashi, Hiro’s big brother. We get it – this doesn’t sound like a great movie choice for the holidays. But enter, Baymax, Hiro’s personal healthcare companion, and watch the film’s tone turn fast.

Hiro, after already losing his parents and now his brother, is in unimaginable pain. Baymax, an adorable squishy balloon type robot, is designed to remain calm during the most hectic of situations, talking to his charge in a soothing, albeit robotic, way.  The pair goes on adventures, allowing Hiro to open up about his pain and feel closer to his brother. My favorite scene of the film is when Baymax has a low battery. He begins to act intoxicated, which the kid crowd may not understand but gives adults a huge laugh. It’s another example of how Big Hero 6 brings families closer together and will be a great addition to the holiday movie lineup.

Wreck It Ralph, 2012

“I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.”

This movie made it on this list for a few reasons:

1. If you’re a video game fan you probably appreciate the film’s references to Bowser, Sonic, Pac-Man, and Pac-Man.
2. The message the film sends is great. Ralph never wanted to be a bad guy, but he was designed that way. He’s made to be the one that smashes things just Fix-It-Felix is designed to be the hero who fixes everything. But, WHY? Because Ralph’s character in the game isn’t lovable, everyone shuns him and treats him like, well, the bad guy. It’s not his fault that he was programmed this way. Ralph leaves his game and meets Venellope and the two outcasts bond, forming an unforgettable friendship. This is a touching story showing why you really can’t judge a book by its cover.
3. Wreck It Ralph 2, the sequel, comes out in 2018 and will feature all the Disney princesses. ALL OF THEM. Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa, Moana, Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora. The excitement is all too real. If you haven’t seen this film yet, the sequel doesn’t come out until November 21st, 2018!

Whether you’re looking for the nostalgia of Disney films to perk you up or something new to add to your collection, each of these films will give you all the feels this holiday season. What are you waiting for? Head to your local Bookmans and grab these must-watch Disney movies on DVD or Blu-ray to make your holidays complete!