What to watch in December on TV, streaming and Blu-ray
December is a busy month for families, but chances are, you’ll find yourself with time to unwind in front of the television. Here’s what’s airing on TV, what’s new to streaming, and what’s coming to theaters this month.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 on ABC. In the digitally re-mastered 1965 special, Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees everywhere during the Christmas season. It takes a sad little Christmas tree to remind him of the meaning.
“Toy Story That Time Forgot,” Pixar Animation Studios’ special for television, will air at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 on ABC, followed by “Shrek the Halls” at 8:30 p.m.
Catch the broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 8 p.m. Dec. 10 and Dec. 24 on NBC.
The Wonderful World of Disney will present “Frozen” at 8 p.m. Dec. 11 on ABC.
“Disney Prep & Landing” and “Prep & Landing 2: Naughty Vs. Nice” will air back-to-back beginning at 8 p.m. Dec. 15 on ABC.
“A Home for the Holidays” will air at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 on CBS. The special tells touching stories about adoption from foster care to raise awareness for the social issue. Inspirational stories of families are enhanced with performances by popular artists.
Streaming suggestions for kids
“Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure” is a new Amazon Original Kids Special premiering on Amazon Prime this month. Based on the “Oz” books by L. Frank Baum, this animated show follows Dorothy and Toto’s adventures in the magical land.
“The Jungle Book” (2016) is now available on Netflix, and this live-action adventure from Disney is as much fun to watch for adults as it is for kids. Join Mowgli and his animal friends as he tries to learn what it means to be human in the wilds of the jungle.
“Santa Hunters” was recently added to Hulu, and this made-for-TV Nickelodeon movie follows some adorable kids as they try to prove that Santa Clause is real. Ultimately, they realize it’s up to them to restore Christmas magic before the holiday is ruined.
“The Secret Life of Pets” is new on Blu-ray and digital in December and available to rent or buy on demand. When sibling rivalry gets out of hand, dog Max must rescue his newly adopted brother Duke from the streets of Manhattan.
The “Pete’s Dragon” (2016) live-action remake is new on Blu-ray and digital and available to rent or buy on demand. Wholesome and emotional, the story follows an orphan and his pet dragon, who both get discovered by people after living wild in the forest together.
Disney’s “The BFG” is also new on Blu-ray and digital and available to rent or buy on demand. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, this magical film blends CGI and live-action for a charming, often silly tale of an unlikely friendship between a man-eating giant and a little orphan girl.
Streaming suggestions for moms
“The Crown” on Netflix: If you enjoy BBC television and were addicted to “Downton Abbey,” then “The Crown” might be your new favorite thing. This period drama is all about Queen Elizabeth II’s rise to power, but be careful of watching it with the kids around. There are some naughty bits.
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” on Netflix: “Gilmore Girls” is one of my favorite TV shows, so if you’re like me, you’ll want to watch the brand new four-part series that catches up with mother and daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore in Stars Hollow.
“Fuller House” on Netflix: If you’re faithful to the original show or the first season (that received mixed reviews), you can give it another chance when season two premieres Dec. 9.
“The Beginning of Life” on Netflix: This fascinating documentary series explores the complex lives of babies and how their parents (located in nine countries around the world) do and don’t impact their development.
Coming to theaters
“The Space Between Us” Dec. 16: In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot. Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and language.
“Sing” Dec. 21: Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he produces the world's greatest singing competition. Five contestants emerge: a mouse, a timid elephant, a pig, a gorilla and a punk-rock porcupine. Rated PG.
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