It’s become a tradition at my house to go see a movie on Christmas Day. My kids are adults and nobody has young kids, so it’s sort of a family thing.
(“Little Women,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Greatest Showman” and “The Force Awakens” were good choices — “Sweeney Todd,” not so much.)
But we’re not going to a theater this year, for obvious reasons. And, like so many other families, we’re not having a huge gathering of friends and relatives.
But we can watch a couple of brand-new, big-time movies in our living room, and those won’t be the only all new offerings on Christmas Day. A much-anticipated, high-profile series will start streaming. A longtime TV favorite will air its annual holiday episode. And there’s both basketball and football.
“Wonder Woman 1984” (Streaming, HBO Max) • If going to theaters was a smart thing to do right now, this might well be the movie we’d go see. We all quite liked the 2017 “Wonder Woman” film.
This sequel reunites director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Godot and Chris Pine — even though Pine’s character was killed in the first film. Which took place during WWI. Which was more than six decades before the events of this film, set in — you guessed it! — 1984.
The villains in this new movie (which wrapped two years ago!) are Kristen Wiig as Dr. Minerva/Cheetah and Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord.
(At one point, “WW84” was scheduled to be released in November 2019, and it kept getting pushed back until the decision was made to stream it.)
“Soul” (streaming on Disney+) • There probably would’ve been a fight … er, uh, a discussion at my house about whether to see “WW84” or this if both were released on Christmas. “Soul” is the latest animated film from Pixar — and from the director of “Up” and “Inside Out.” It’s not just for kids, but for adults as well.
(It was originally supposed to hit theaters back in June.)
It’s the story of a jazz-obsessed, middle school band teacher whose soul is separated from his body, and as he fights to return, he ends up in a realm filled with unborn souls.
Unlike the live-action remake of “Mulan,” there’s no extra fee for Disney+ subscribers to watch “Soul.”
By the way, the Pixar short “Burrow,” which was to have screened before “Soul” in theaters, also starts streaming on Disney+ on Christmas Day.
“Bridgerton” (streaming on Netflix) • This is the first streaming series from uberproducer Shonda Rhimes, who signed a $100 million deal with Netflix in 2017. It’s a big soap opera, like all of her ABC series (including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “Station 19”), but this one is set in early 19th-century London, complete with fabulous costumes and gorgeous sets. It’s easy to see that this cost a fortune to produce.
And we hear (but don’t see) Julie Andrews, who narrates.
Netflix is hoping we’ll see this as the next “Downton Abbey.” Reviews are still embargoed, but … a more accurate comparison would be “Gossip Girl.”
“Call the Midwife Holiday Special” (8 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7) • “Midwife” is one of TV’s most charming and engaging series, and the holiday specials are always a treat. This year’s takes place in 1965, and Sister Monica Joan is rushed to the hospital; Trixie is infuriated by a gift she receives; Shelagh has a surprise reunion; and Crane has an exciting adventure.
“Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Celebration” (9 a.m., ABC/Ch. 4) • This special is always kind of hokey, but if you love Disney, it’s fun. Utah native Julianne Hough co-hosts with Tituss Burgess.
Basketball • The Jazz aren’t playing on Christmas, but if you’re a big NBA fan you can plop down in front of the TV and spend the whole day watching basketball — Pelicans at Heat (10 a.m., ESPN); Warriors at Bucks (12:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4); Nets at Celtics (3 p.m., AB/Ch. 4); Mavericks at Lakers (6 p.m., ESPN); and Clippers at Nuggets (8:30 p.m., ESPN).
And, weirdly, there are four college games: Wisconsin at Michigan State (10:30 a.m., Fox/Ch. 13); Maryland at Purdue (12:30 p.m., FS1); Michigan at Nebraska (4 p.m., Big Ten Network); and Iowa at Minnesota (6 p.m., Big Ten Network).
Football • There’s a college football game — the Camellia Bowl, teams TBA (12:30 p.m., ESPN). And there’s one NFL game — Vikings at Saints (2:30 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13 and NFL Network).