It’s finally that time of the year again: the time when streaming platforms get their Christmas decorations out of the box in hopes of releasing a brand new holiday classic.
Fortunately for viewers, the diversification of streaming services also means that they’ll get a larger library of holiday classics to choose from during the season’s festivities.
Even in the Christmas season, the streaming giants compete against each other in a highly competitive market. Each platform seems determined to release at least one major Holiday production – but there’s one specific service that might have the others beat quite easily.
The House of Mouse might have lagged behind Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for most of the year, but the holiday season is a time when Disney can show it still has its magic. This year, Disney+ is gearing up to deliver some of its best programs of the year – including some long-awaited movies and shows.
Marvel fans got an early Christmas with the release of “Hawkeye” – the latest show in Disney+’s list of exclusive MCU content. This has been a monumental year for the MCU on Disney’s streaming platform, as “WandaVision” and “Loki” proved to be massive subscription sellers.
Unlike Netflix and its “whole season in a day” model, Disney+ has taken a more conservative approach to seasons. While the first two episodes of “Hawkeye” were released just in time for Thanksgiving, the rest of the series will be releasing episodes weekly throughout December.
“Hawkeye” will also be the first time since 2013’s “Iron Man 3” that an MCU project will be taking place on Christmas. As a bonus, the series also marks a monumental moment for the MCU: finally, all six original Avengers have starred in solo movies or shows.
Speaking of high-profile exclusives and anticipated solo projects, Star Wars fans might be getting the biggest belated Christmas present of all, thanks to the December 29 release of “The Book of Boba Fett”.
Ever since his debut in the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, Boba Fett has been loosely tied to the Christmas season. Perhaps releasing his standalone show during the holidays is Disney’s way to honor Fett’s origins? Whatever’s the case, the success of “The Mandalorian” has made it clear that Disney+ Star Wars shows are a hit with fans.
Other programs that will be coming to Disney+ this December include some of the “Home Alone” sequels – a nice companion piece to the Disney+ original “Home Sweet Home Alone”. The new animated adaptation of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” will also be coming to the platform on December 3rd.
Perhaps one of the biggest releases of the season will be Disney’s “Encanto”, which is coming to Disney+ on Christmas Eve, exactly a month after its theatrical release. This is an amazing way for the platform to close its biggest year yet, and a surefire idea to earn some new subscribers to jumpstart 2022.
Netflix Decks the Halls
Never the one to be left behind, Netflix is decided to establish itself as THE place for holiday entertainment. With movies like “Klaus” and “The Christmas Chronicles”, Netflix has been making the waves each Christmas for its high-profile exclusive releases.
This year, Netflix seems determined to steal Disney+’s thunder with an impressive array of Christmas-themed releases making up most of the platform’s slate of new releases. But before we get into the holiday spirit, Netflix has some surprises in store for anime fans as well.
December 1st will be a great day for JoJo fans, as the anime’s latest season is set to make its debut. “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean” is the first entry in the JoJo franchise to be a Netflix Anime exclusive. Recently, the streaming giant has also been delving aggressively into the anime market, taking a huge chunk out of Crunchyroll’s subscriber base. Even though the divisive “Cowboy Bebop” live-action adaptation failed to meet everyone’s expectations, it’s safe to say that a new Japanese-produced anime might be more agreeable for fans of traditional animation.
Volume two of Money Heist’s fifth part will also be one of Netflix’s highlights for the season. Even though it has nothing to do with the holidays, this Spanish show has proved to be a worldwide success.
As we approach Christmas, Netflix prepares one of its biggest releases of the year. “The Witcher”’s second season will continue Netflix’s epic adaptation of the Polish book series of the same name.
Just before 2021 comes to a close, the streaming platform will also see the release of “Cobra Kai”’s season 4, which will be released on the 31st of December.
All throughout the month, Netflix will be releasing some other holiday-themed movies and shows; these include “1000 Miles from Christmas”, “Grumpy Christmas”, and “How To Ruin Christmas: The Funeral”, just to name a few.
Netflix sits comfortably at the top of the streaming services food chain, and it seems like it wants to end the year with a bang – a wise choice, seeing Disney+’s season lineup.
HBO Classics and Amazon Specials
While not as active as Netflix or Disney+, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video still battle for a piece of the Christmas streaming pie. HBO will be adding a ton of classic films to its HBO Max streaming service, while Prime Video will be releasing some holiday specials to capitalize on the season’s festivities.
December 1st will be a big day for both services: HBO Max will add the first entry in “The Hobbit” trilogy, Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown”, and “Adrienne”, a new exclusive documentary, among many other classic movies.
Prime Video will add over 40 new shows and movies on the first day of the month, including “The Royal Tenenbaums”, “Edward Scissorhands”, and two versions of “Pineapple Express”.
For the rest of the month, Prime Video will be adding new titles to its varied library of shows and movies. Additionally, some seasonal films like “Christmas is Cancelled” will be included in the platform’s growing list of holiday movies. As for original content, the platform will be releasing a new show called “Harlem” on December 3rd, alongside “Encounter”, an Amazon Original Movie that will be making its debut on December 10th.
HBO Max is fast becoming the best platform for classic films, and December will see a considerable number of new titles joining the platform’s library. Additionally, some high-profile films will be making their streaming debut during December: a perfect way to guarantee some new subscribers.
First off, we have the highly anticipated debut of “The Matrix Resurrections” on December 22. This movie marks the epic return of one of the most recognizable sci-fi franchises of all time, not to mention one of the first movies made by the Wachowskis in quite some a while.
Then, on December 23, James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” will be added to HBO Max’s library. Fans of the DC Extended Universe will get a chance to see Gunn’s interpretation of Harley Quinn and her team. While it might not be a very Christmassy film, it is a great movie that’s sure to set the DCEU right on track against the juggernaut that is the MCU.