20 supremely cozy books and movies for hibernation season

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Nothing makes you want to hunker down like the cold weather and short days of winter. Along with a cozy blanket and hot beverage, here are some of the best works of fiction to engage with this winter season.

What makes something “cozy”? That’s generally hard to define, given how much a work’s coziness is defined by the individual. However, there are at least a few different generalities to seem to be shared by everything on this list.

There’s the sense of familiarity, for one. Many of these works are already beloved and may have been read or watched many times over. Perhaps one of these (or more) is a well-known piece of your childhood that brings back fond memories like a Pavlovian response. Play the upbeat theme from My Neighbor Totoro, for example, and it’s like you’re six again, the smell of the plastic VHS case suddenly in the forefront of your senses.

Many of these works also focus on home or the process of building one. Bilbo Baggins longs after his home all throughout the Hobbit, while Little Women practically fetishizes the concept. The Harry Potter series is, in large part, all about finding good people outside of your birth family and building a home and community with them.

At least a few of these books, comics, and films will be just right for that one cold, gray sort of day that practically requires you to stay inside. If you don’t mind indulging in a bit of a stereotype, we recommend finding a warm blanket, some comfortable sweatpants and a mug of tea to complete the experience.

Of course, it would be difficult to include a work on this list if it didn’t include some sort of happily-ever-after ending. In the hands of a good artist, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice artistic integrity, of course. And though happy finales may or may not reflect the real world, it’s darn comforting when we need a fictional escape.

Though, fair warning: some of the works mentioned here have a dark side. That may be either a turn-off or a much-needed note to highlight all of the good in the rest of a piece. The ultimate decision will be up to you.

This list may contain mild spoilers, though we’ve worked to keep the best plot twists out of view. After all, some of the greatest pleasures of engaging with a “cozy” piece of art — however you define it — is exploring its path on your own.