The Christmas period is the absolutely best time to find TV entertainment for the kids, whether its showing them the classics or seeing the latest animated versions of their favourite books. Here’s my pick of the bunch from the main channels based on my browsing of the holiday listings so far…

This year’s highlight

Michael Rosen’s much loved story about a family going on a bear hunt gets the animated treatment this year. It doesn’t take too long to read as a book so we’ll see how it adapts into a longer feature. Fingers crossed that it’ll be a good one.

  • We’re going on a bear hunt 7.30pm Christmas Eve / 5.25 Christmas Day Channel 4

Short stories

Julia Donaldson

There’s been a growing number of animated adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s extremely popular childrens books in recent years, with the festive Stickman being the most recent, first shown last Christmas. BBC1 is showing the lot from Christmas Day onwards.

  • The Gruffalo 4.05pm Christmas Day BBC1
  • The Gruffalo’s Child 3.25pm Boxing Day BBC1
  • Room on the Broom 3.55pm Fri 29 December BBC1
  • Stickman 3.40pm Fri 30 December BBC1

Raymond Briggs

The Snowman is the best loved but its recent sequel and his Father Christmas character are also well worth a watch. Channel 4 has the lot on Christmas Day.

  • Father Christmas 8.40am Christmas Eve / 11.20 Christmas Day Channel 4
  • The Snowman 4.45pm Christmas Eve / 11.50am Christmas Day Channel 4
  • The Snowman and the Snowdog 5.15pm Christmas Eve / 4.55pm Christmas Day Channel 4


  • Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas Christmas Day 1.20pm BBC1

Feature films

  • 101 Dalmatians 4.20pm Christmas Eve ITV
  • Muppet Christmas Carol Christmas Eve 5.50pm Channel 4
  • Frozen 3.10pm Christmas Day BBC1
  • The Lion King 3.10pm Christmas Day ITV
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