Aside from anticipated movies like Causeway with Jennifer Lawrence and Spirited with Ryan Reynolds, Apple TV+ has great holiday specials in November.
'Tis the season to be streaming, as Fall (la la la la) approaches and people turn to their favorite platforms for some fun family movies and heartwarming holiday classics. With spooky season almost over, Apple TV+ is certainly getting into the spirit as well. Aside from an usually large amount of new episodes and seasons of Apple TV shows this November (Echo 3, Mythic Quest, Interrupting Chicken, Acapulco, Ghostwriter, The Mosquito Coast, and Central Park), there are also a few new original films on the streaming service throughout turkey season.
While it's not much, a couple of these originals are highly anticipated; additionally, Apple TV+ is a great place to turn to for holiday specials new and old. These are the best movies and specials to watch on Apple TV+ this November.
While it's not a new film, the encroaching holiday season is a perfect time to look back on one of the most entertaining yet underrated documentaries of recent years, 'Twas the Fight Before Christmas. The 2021 film from Becky Read (who made such a splash with the wonderful documentary Three Identical Strangers) chronicles Jeremy Morris' obsession with Christmas and his renowned holiday light display.
Unfortunately, his obnoxious demeanor and blindingly bright Christmas decorations rub his neighbors the wrong way, and Read's film documents the real-life tensions and escalating dispute that will ultimately land everyone in court. It's a thrilling look at the kind of unjustifiably over-confident person we all hate, who shuts everyone else down like the racist uncle at Thanksgiving. As Lucy Manga writes in The Guardian, "It is an extraordinary portrait of a man who is convinced he cannot be wrong, who will always position himself — at least in his own mind — as the persecuted victim struggling to do right."
Believe it or not, Selena Gomez has 353 million 'followers' on Instagram, so the new documentary about the musician, Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me, is sure to be a hit. The film will chronicle her rise to success while also shining a light on her struggles with mental health, her lupus diagnosis, and her recording process, with her new song "My Mind & Me" set to debut one day before the documentary premieres on Apple TV+.
A celebrated new film from the up-and-coming theater director Lila Neugebauer, Causeway caused quite a stir when it debuted at TIFF to soaring reviews. With many calling it the best Jennifer Lawrence performance in years, the film has already built up a lot of anticipation, but is actually a quiet, grounded, emotional, and deeply human film. Co-starring the wonderful Brian Tyree Henry, the film follows an injured soldier as she makes her way home to begin recovery.
Spirited has been discussed for years now, and is finally hitting the streaming service on Nov. 18th. The holiday film stars Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, and more in this loose adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. Ryan Reynolds will play the misanthropic, Christmas-hating Scrooge character, while Ferrell looks to be the Ghost of Christmas Past who will guide Scrooge through a haunting night of his own consequences. A lavish musical, Spirited will probably be a bit cheesy, but looks to be a well-produced, over-the-top blast for the family.
If your kids are a little too young for the humor of Reynolds and Ferrell or the ghosts of Dickens, then the Fraggle Rock — Night of the Lights Holiday Special is a surefire alternative on Nov. 18th. Hamilton star Daveed Diggs voices Jamdolin, who leads the Fraggle friends on an adventure to discover the greatest illumination there is, and perhaps find the true Christmas Spirit through the brightness. With all the Jim Henson Fraggles that kids love (Red, Wembley, Gobo, Mokey, Boober) and many more new Fraggles, this holiday special should be a kid-friendly delight.
If your kid has just watched the Fraggle Rock holiday special and is too excited and unruly to fall asleep, maybe the adorable and sweet Sago Mini Friends — Happy Thankful Day will do the trick, also released on Nov. 18th (Apple TV+ has apparently reached the peak demographic of pre-schoolers who prefer prestige TV).
The cute Sago Mini Friends Thanksgiving special will be cheery and optimistic, a meditation on gratitude and thankfulness stuffed with sing-alongs. Apple TV+ isn't kidding around here — they even hired a "gratitude expert," Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, to contribute to Sago Mini Friends.
Charlie Brown needs no introduction, though perhaps A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving deserves one anyway. The Emmy-winning 1973 special may not be as famous as A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965 and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but is still a Thanksgiving treat regardless (and a hell of a lot depressing than many Charlie Brown episodes and specials). While Charlie suffers the usual amount of abuse, he continues to try and be a decent human being, and the special actually ends on a heartwarming, friendly, funny, and positive note.
The Peanuts films are exclusively owned by Apple TV+, but part of that agreement with PBS and FCC licenses force them to provide some Charlie Brown specials for free during certain windows of time, so A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is available to stream for free on Apple TV+ from Wednesday, Nov. 23rd to Sunday, Nov. 27th, though it won't be available on PBS, and we're not very thankful for that.
Managing Editor and critic for MovieWeb. Lover of film, philosophy, and theology. Amateur human. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org