French Films & TV for Kids: What Are We Streaming in December?

As winter descends and the holidays approach, the search for heartwarming French films to delight young audiences and teens begins anew. In a landscape teeming with streaming options in the US, finding the perfect cinematic choices can be an overwhelming task. To simplify your selection process, Nathalie Charles, the program manager of CinéSchool at the French Embassy-Villa Albertine, has curated a handpicked list of French films. Whether you’re seeking pure entertainment, educational value, or family-friendly options, this list has got you covered. So, what cinematic treasures await this winter break?

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Week-End Family: Christmas Special
TV Series, 2022, 46 min., France, PG, recommended for ages 10+

For Fred, Christmas is about enjoying good food, presents, and family. But for Emma, Christmas is about taking care of people in need. She misses her parents and their traditions, so Fred suggests she goes to Canada. Emma asks Fred to join her, but the mothers of his daughters refuse to let them go on such short notice. Fred says he will go with Emma no matter what, so Vic, Romy, and Clara plot to stop them from leaving! And it’s a good thing they do, as surprise guests will be arriving!  

Available on Disney+

Tip: Be sure to click on “Audio & Subtitles” and select audio in French.

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Minuscule – The Yule Log (Buche de Noël)
By Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo, 2012, 5 min., France, TV-G, recommended for all ages

Minuscule revolves around the day-to-day existence of insects, which are presented in burlesque situations, with a fair amount of philosophical contemplation thrown in.

Available on Editions Montparnasse website.

If you like Minuscule – The Yule Log (Buche de Noël), you may also enjoy:
A candlelight christmas (Noël aux chandelles), 2 min., available on Youtube
A Christmas Apple (Pomme de Noël), 2 min., available on Facebook

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A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log (Panique au village : La bûche de Noël)
By Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, 2013, 26 min., Belgium-France, recommended for ages 10+

The end-of-year celebrations are coming. Christmas: the tree, the dinner, the presents. Indian and Cowboy are expecting their presents eagerly. Overexcited by the organization of the celebration, they fight and destroy the Yule Log on which Horse was putting the last touch. Horse is livid and cancels the gifts from Santa Claus. How will they win back the favor of Horse and The Old Bearded Man? How will they retrieve their gifts ? For Indian and Cowboy, this is just the beginning of a very long Christmas Eve.

Available on Tubi | Amazon Prime | GooglePlay | YouTube | AppleTV

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Charlie’s Christmas (L’Enfant au grelot)
By Jacques-Rémy Girerd, 1998, 26 min., France, recommended for ages 3+

After a snowstorm, an abandoned baby is found by a mailman in the middle of the forest. Clutched in his hand is a curious bell. The child, Charlie, grows up in an orphanage. He often confides in his favorite bell and tries to unravel the mystery of his origins.

Available on Vimeo on Demand (in French, no subtitles)

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Christmas & Co (Santa & Cie)
By Alain Chabat, 2017, 1h39, France-Belgium, PG, recommended for ages 12+

Santa’s 92,000 elves all fall ill and collapse… simultaneously, on Christmas Eve! Who will make the toys for all the kids around the world? He has no choice! Santa and his reindeer must go to Earth in search of a cure. But once he gets there, Mr. Claus will need some help to save the magic of Christmas…

Available on Vudu | AmazonPrime | YouTube | GooglePlay | AppleTV

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Leon in Wintertime (L’Hiver de Léon)
By Pascal Le Nôtre & Pierre-Luc Granjon, 2007, 26 min., France-Canadarecommended for ages 4+

In this short puppet animation, we meet Léon, an 8-year-old adopted bear suffering from an identity crisis. The distraught cub runs away from home in wintertime and embarks on many adventures. He stands up to an ogre and saves a princess from ending up in a pea stew.

Available on the National Film Board of Canada’ streaming platform.

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Petit Père Noël
Miniseries, 2020, Canadarecommended for ages 3+

Little Father Christmas is preparing to celebrate the festive season with his friends at the North Pole. With help from Plumeau the penguin, they have plenty to do if they want all the preparations to be finished in time.

Available on TV5MondePlus
Subscribing to TV5MONDE provides you with complimentary access to the largest French streaming platform, TV5MONDEplus, boasting a library of 6,000 titles available on demand.

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Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
By Christian Carrion, 2005, 1h11, France-Germany-UK-Belgium, PG-13recommended for ages 15+

Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) tells the real life story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French, and German troops in the trenches of World War I. Enemies leave their weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and forget about the brutalities of war. Diane Krüger (Troy), Daniel Brühl (Good Bye, Lenin!), and Benno Fürmann (The Princess and the Warrior) head a first-rate international cast in a truly powerful, must-see film.

Available on Tubi | AmazonPrime | YouTube | GooglePlay | AppleTV | Vudu | Microsoft

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Santa’s Apprentice (L’apprenti Père Noël)
By Luc Vinciguerra, 2010, 1h11, Australia-France-Ireland, PGrecommended for ages 6+

Santa doesn’t want to retire, but rules are rules and he must train someone to replace him. The lucky winner, to be chosen from among millions of children, must be named Nicholas, be an orphan, and have a pure heart.

Available on Starz | Freevee | YouTube | GooglePlay | AppleTV | Vudu | Microsoft | Roku Channel | Tubi

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The Magic Snowflake (L’Apprenti Père Noël et le flocon magique)
By Luc Vinciguerra, 2013, 1h25, France, recommended for ages 6+

If you liked Santa’s Apprentice, you will love the sequel The Magic Snowflake. Young Nicolas agrees to do Santa’s work for one year. But the stress of the job threatens the boy’s sense of joy–and Christmas itself.

Available on Roku Channel | AmazonPrime | YouTube | GooglePlay | AppleTV | Vudu 

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Santa Claus (Le Père Noël)
By Alexandre Coffre, 2014, 1h20, France-Belgium, recommended for ages 15+

One night, a burglar in a Santa Claus costume is surprised by Antoine, a young boy who believes he is the real Santa Claus. Antoine then follows him, and they embark on an unexpected adventure that will change their lives.

Available on Vudu | AmazonPrime | YouTube | GooglePlay | AppleTV | France Channel

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The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le grand méchant renard et autres contes…)
By Benjamin Renner & Patrick Imbert, 2017, 1h19, France-Belgium, PG, Recommended for ages 4+

The countryside isn’t always as calm and peaceful as it’s made out to be, and the animals on this farm are particularly agitated: a fox who mothers a family of chicks, a rabbit who plays the stork, and a duck who wants to be Santa Claus.

Available on AppleTV | Microsoft | Vudu | GooglePlay | YouTube | AmazonPrime 

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A Christmas Special – Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (Pire Noël – Miraculous : Les aventures de Ladybug et de Chat Noir)
Animated TV Series, 2016, 21 min., recommended for ages 7+

Parisian teen Marinette transforms herself into superhero Ladybug to find her lonely secret crush Adrien when he runs away from home on Christmas.

Available on Netflix 

Tip: Be sure to click on “Audio & Subtitles” and select audio in French.

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Opération Père Noël
By Marc Robinet, 2021, 26 min., France, recommended for ages 6+

A spoiled child living in a big mansion, William is used to getting everything he wants from his parents. So this year, he’s asking for a present… Santa Claus himself! To satisfy his wish, his father hires a renowned beast hunter. But will William’s wish put an end to the magic of Christmas, as his young neighbor Alice fears? The two children join forces for an adventure that will become the best Christmas present in the world!

Available on Vimeo on Demand (in French, no subtitles)

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