It’s helpful to have a collection of kid-friendly films ready to pop on the DVD player on rainy, grumpy, or otherwise stressful days.
The best films for children can now be found on a wide variety of streaming platforms, and they often switch between them throughout the course of a single month. You’ll never be in a jam if you subscribe to a paper that consistently features a large number of young readers on the staff.
These are presently the top Netflix children’s movie selections. Some of them are animated or aimed at younger children, but the whole family can enjoy them. Others are family-friendly films that even your adolescents and preteens can enjoy together.
Some of them are terrifying, or even just a little bit mature, so they’re best saved for the older kids. And many of them are exclusive to Netflix; you won’t be able to see them anywhere else (and neither will your kids if they enjoy them).
There’s something here for every member of the family, from heartwarming friendship tales to nail-biting adventures.
- The Sea Beast (2022)
On July 8, youngsters may watch a brand-new nautical adventure on Netflix. Maisie Brumble, a little girl, stows away on the ship of monster hunter Jacob Holland and heads off into unexplored territory.
2. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
Shaun and his farm pals are tasked with finding and rescuing an alien pup who became separated from her parents. All Shaun the Sheep adventures, including the TV show that is also available on Netflix, were created by the same people who gave us Wallace and Gromit, so you know they’re safe for kids.
3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)
The Mitchell family decide to take Katie, an aspiring filmmaker, on one more road trip before she heads off to college. The one and only catch? The Mitchells are humanity’s last hope as a robot catastrophe approaches. This film shares some of the same creative team as The Lego Movie, and it’s full of the same kind of offbeat fun.
4. Paddington (2014)
Paddington, a bear who grew up in the jungles of Peru but finds himself adapting into city life in London, is the star of a popular children’s book series by Michael Bond. Though there is danger, this is a very mild film that even the youngest moviegoers will enjoy. However, there are many who prefer Paddington 2, which isn’t available on the streaming service.
5. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Despite their obvious differences, Toothless the dragon and Hiccup the Viking make a charming odd couple. They need to convince Hiccup’s people that dragons may be useful assets rather than enemies. How to Train Your Dragon 2, the Dragons: Rescue Riders series and other dragon-related content can be found on Netflix.
6. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie (2021)
The movie is actually two separate features, each of which is long enough to warrant its own TV-14 rating. It follows the story of the Dead Moon Circus, which arrives on Earth during a solar eclipse with the intention of spreading fear over the continent.
The fate of Earth depends on Usagi and Chibi-Usa rounding up the guardians. They must be interesting to see, if not successful. Rotten Tomatoes has given this a perfect score of 10 out of 10.
7. The Willoughbys (2020)
The Willoughby kids come up with a scheme to get rid of their parents after they feel neglected. And you thought your kids didn’t think much of you. But life after independence isn’t what they expected. This cartoon was inspired by a book by author Lowis Lowry.
8. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (2022)
Anyone old enough to remember witnessing space shuttle launches on television can enjoy this with their kids. Richard Linklater, drawing on his personal experiences, uses animation to portray the story of a little boy’s perspective on the 1969 moon landing.
9. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
The film is based on the true story of a young African child who teaches himself engineering. His community is in the midst of a dry spell, and he has grand designs of installing a turbine to power a water pump.
10. Enola Holmes (2020)
The existence of Sherlock Holmes’ brother is common knowledge, but what about his sister? In Enola Holmes, a young detective helps her more renowned relatives investigate the disappearance of a runaway lord. The story is based on a book series by Nancy Springer. Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown plays the young detective.
11. A Whisker Away (2020)
This Japanese animation follows Miyo, a young girl who can’t stop thinking about a boy named Hinode. After purchasing a cat mask from an unknown vendor, she finds that she can approach Hinode more closely as her new cat persona, Tar.
Although Miyo is preoccupied with fantastical happenings, the story does have an underlying message about how adolescents deal with intense feelings.
12. Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs (2009)
In contrast to the soft, subdued tone of the picture book from which it takes its name, this film is full of wild antics. Everything goes wrong when a hobbyist inventor builds a device to make food rain down from the sky. The sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, is also available to watch on the streaming service.
13. Finding ʻOhana (2021)
This film will appeal to families who enjoy action-packed adventures like The Goonies and the Indiana Jones films. The story follows Pili and E, a brother and sister who move from New York to Hawaii for a while and then go on a quest to find buried pirate riches.
14. The Water Man (2020)
The Water Man is a story for preteens and teens about two kids who work together to investigate a local legend in the hopes that it may cure one of their parents of cancer. Directed by actor David Oyelowo, it has a fantastical tone and is reminiscent of a fairy tale.
15. Vivo (2021)
For all his wants, Vivo the kinkajou in Havana, Cuba, has all he could possibly want. Vivo is reluctant to leave when his owner plans a trip to Miami to reunite with an old friend and musical collaborator, but he eventually makes the trip anyway, where he meets a girl named Gabi who promises to assist him. Quiara Alegra Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the team behind In the Heights, collaborated on the screenplay and music for the film adaptation.
16. Puss In Boots (2011)
Get the whole family psyched for the upcoming theatrical release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish by watching the original Puss in Boots films. In this film, Mickey works with a fictional cat thief and other fairytale figures to steal the Golden Goose from a colossal villain.
17. Sing 2 (2021)
The Sing crew has reunited and is raring to put up an even bigger and better performance. Bono, of the band U2, appears as a solitary lion who must be coaxed back into the spotlight.
18. Monster House (2006)
Children have been known to enjoy watching films set in haunted houses. They occasionally enjoy films about monsters. A haunted home in this film is a monster, a living, breathing structure with the sole purpose of devouring its victims. Although horror stories can be enjoyed at any time of year, this one is perfect for Halloween.
19. Back to the Outback (2021)
Animals with a reputation for being dangerous to humans, such as venomous snakes, spiders, scorpions, toads, and crocodiles, are frequently misunderstood. Animals at an Australian zoo plot their escape after growing frustrated with their treatment. However, when the zoo’s most popular koala, Pretty Boy, joins them, things don’t go as planned.
20. Corpse Bride (2005)
A man makes a tragic mistake and marries a ghost instead of his true love in this disturbing stop-motion animated short. Tim Burton, the maestro of making scary stuff that kids can still watch, is behind this.
21. Wish Dragon (2021)
You’ve probably heard this one before: The protagonist, a young man with romantic feelings for a certain female classmate, meets a supernatural creature that grants him three wishes if he helps the being fulfill his wishes.
It’s not Aladdin; instead, it’s Wish Dragon, which updates the basic plot for the modern era. Din has been trying to get in touch with his old friend Li Na from back in the day, but she has since become a famous actress. Is there any chance that a dragon that grants wishes could be of assistance?
22. Octonauts and the Ring of Fire (2021)
This epic Octonauts tale is sure to be a hit with the little ones. When a series of submarine volcanoes begin to erupt, the crew will need to work together to deal with the situation.
23. Rise of the Guardians (2012)
The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Santa Claus have assembled an unexpected superhero team: they need Jack Frost’s support in their battle against the Nightmare King. If you have Santa on your side, why needs Captain America?
24. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)
This supernatural action flick is adapted from Joe Ballarini’s books and is aimed at preteens and teenagers. The story revolves around a teenager who joins a secret club of babysitters dedicated to slaying the Boogeyman every October 31st.
25. Annie (1982)
Songs like “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life” still have you singing along. It’s time to get down as a family and watch the 1980s film adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical.
26. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Gene Wilder’s legendary portrayal of Willy Wonka may be viewed exclusively on HBO Max. However, Tim Burton’s vibrant adaptation of the famous book is now streaming on Netflix, bringing Roald Dahl’s vision to life.
27. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)
Confusingly, while this film is based on Rudyard Kipling’s stories, it is not the Disney Jungle Book remake. (You’ll need Disney+ or Prime Video to watch that.) But this one, directed by Andy Serkis and starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Benedict Cumberbatch in motion capture roles, still features plenty of animal escapades.
28. Over the Moon (2020)
This dream about a young girl who launches her own rocket to the moon in search of a legendary moon goddess is directed by Glen Keane, a legendary animator who worked on films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin and is the son of The Family Circus creator Bil Keane.
The musical’s KPOP score was composed by Helen Park, with additional songs by Christopher Curtis and Marjorie Duffield.
29. Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)
Here, Mr. Peabody the dog and Sherman the 7-year-old boy have a whirlwind of adventures throughout the years, while Mr. Peabody struggles to accept Sherman’s maturation in the here and now. If your kids are into animation, they might enjoy watching classic Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes to learn more about the show’s history.
30. We Can Be Heroes (2020)
A trio of children with special abilities must rescue their superhero parents from an alien invasion. Robert Rodriguez, director of the Spy Kids movies, also helms this sequel to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.
31. Home (2015)
Know any youngsters who will identify with Oh, the alien protagonist of Home, because he just can’t seem to get anything right? While on Earth, he makes friends with a young lady named Tip, who becomes an ally in his mission to regain his home planet’s favor.
32. Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure (2020)
The interactive movies available on Netflix are a lot of fun since the audience gets to influence the plot by making decisions that will have consequences for the characters. It’s not the only interactive story out there; there’s also The Last Kids on Earth: Happy Apocalypse to You, Minecraft: Story Mode, The Boss Baby: Get That Baby!, and Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal.
33. The Smurfs (2011)
Remember the Smurfs from your childhood? They’ve evolved into a 3D animated series that blends in with real life. The Smurfs end up in the Big Apple when they try to escape from the villain Gargamel. The Smurfs 2 is available if your children enjoy this one.
34. Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution (2019)
For those who love Pokémon, Netflix is a sanctuary. This film is a computer-animated reimagining of Pokémon: The First Movie, which first aired in 1998 and inspired other TV shows. Following this, they can watch The Secrets of the Jungle (2021).
35. Marmaduke (2022)
Pete Davidson, a regular on Saturday Night Live, lends his voice to the big, lovable great dane in this film about an optimistic dog trainer named Marmaduke.
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