ABC aired the 26th annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade this morning, with presenters Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest, and Nick Cannon and performances by Celine Dion, The Jonas Brothers, Anika Noni Rose and American Idol winner Kris Allen, who did a fun rootsy rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

I have to say that I probably would have loved the entire thing if I was a four-year-old who loves Cinderella, or the parent of a four-year-old who loves Cinderella. But as a jaded thirtysomething entertainment journalist I found it a bit disappointing that the whole thing looked so obviously pre-taped (at the beginning of December) and Celine Dion was singing in some Disney resort, not even pretending to be part of the parade. Also, that “spontaneous” flashmob dancing during the Jonas Brothers was way too gimmicky!

There was plenty of branding for Disney and Pixar characters, and Disney resorts…and Disney cruises…etc., etc. But there was also a lot of info about a new program “Give a day get a Disney day” — and encouraging volunteering is definitely in the spirit of the season, so Disney won me over in the end.

These were the bright spots for me:

Best performance: Stevie Wonder “What Christmas Means to Me”

Best awww moment: a float full of puppies plugging Santa Buddies — had to love that little one struggling to get that pink santa hat off. And you’d really have to be a grinch not to appreciate a sled full of puppies.

Best character float: Woody from Toy Story on a giant wooden rocking horse. Maybe I loved it so much because it showed alongside that awesome Toy Story 3 trailer.

Best biceps: Kelly Ripa — that horrid red plaid sundress (!) showed off sculpted arms to rival Michelle Obama.

Best inappropriate wardrobe for a kids holiday parade: Demi Lovato in black lace tights.

Best cringe-worthy performance: The Imagination Movers: “Give a gift to your ma-ma-mama” (granted, they are targeted to pre-scholers).

Best surprise: The Yanni Singers were fantastic.

Anyone else watch? What were your highlights and low points?

Photo Credit: Mark Ashman/Disney