With so many streaming services, it's hard to figure out where the best kids' movies are. The biggest franchises have spread out across multiple platforms. Of course, Disney+ has all of the Disney animated and live action films — in addition to all the Marvel, Star Wars and 20th Century Fox movies. Big Warner Bros. movies, like the Harry Potter franchise and DC Comics movies, ended up at HBO Max. Nickelodeon movies, with favorite characters like Spongebob, the Paw Patrol and Dora the Explorer, all wound up at Paramount+. Even the Charlie Brown holiday specials are tucked away together at Apple TV+.
And Netflix? Well, Netflix has a little of everything, which makes its a perfect one-stop shop when it comes to browsing films for the next family movie night. The best kids' movies on Netflix cover all the genres. There are great animated movies for the whole family, from youngest to oldest, to watch together. There are scary movies for kids who are brave enough to endure some peril and suspense. There are imports from other countries you can finally stream in the US (usually in English or with subtitles), or Netflix originals movies you won't be able to find anywhere else. And there are even some classics you might remember from your own childhood that you can finally share with your kids. Pop some popcorn and browse the list of some of our favorites.
Katie Mitchell, a budding filmmaker, is headed off to school, and her family decides to drive her as one last road trip family vacation. The only problem? A robot apocalypse breaks out on the way, and the Mitchells are the only ones who can stop it. This movie comes from some of the same creative team as The Lego Movie, and has a similar zany energy.
This stop-motion animated film, from the makers of Coraline, follows a boy who can communicate with the dead in his Halloween-obsessed town. When an ancient curse causes a Zombie attack, it's up to him to save everyone. For parents who like scary movies, there are plenty of retro horror movie elements.
Based on the beloved children's book series by Michael Bond, Paddington follows the adventure of a bear who grew up in the jungles of Peru but finds himself settling into city life in London. While there's some peril, this is an extremely gentle movie even the youngest film fans can enjoy. And while it's not on Netflix, some like Paddington 2 even more.
This is actually a two-for-one, since the movie is split into two, feature-length, TV-14-rated halves. In it, a solar eclipse brings the Dead Moon Circus to Earth with plans to spread nightmares across the land. Usagi and Chibi-Usa have to round up the guardans and save the planet. They must be doing a good job, or at least an entertaining one: So far, this has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Based on a true story, this follows a boy living in Africa who teaches himself engineering. When his village suffers a drought, he has big plans to create a turbine that can power a water pump.
Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes had a brother, but what about his sister? Based on a book series by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes follows the teenaged detective as she helps her more famous family members look into the disappearance of a runaway lord. Millie Bobby Brown, star of Stranger Things, takes on the role of the young sleuth.
Deadly animals like snakes, spiders, scorpions, venomous toads and crocodiles often get a bad rap. When a bunch of dangerous animals feel unappreciated at an Australian zoo, they plan a jailbreak. Things don't go as planned, however, when they're joined by Pretty Boy, a rude koala who's a zoo favorite.
This movie will remind you of the babe. What babe? The babe who gets whisked away by the Goblin King when his older sister, Sarah, wishes him away. Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) must then go on a quest through to the center of the Labyrinth, where she must defeat the Goblin King (David Bowie) and rescue her brother. Along the way, she meets tons of puppet characters, both helpful and not, created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
Even if you've read Roald Dahl's classic book, if you picture Willy Wonka, there's a good chance you still think about Gene Wilder's performance in this movie. Then again, if you want to something more bizarre and brightly colored, Netflix also has Tim Burton's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as the ineffable chocolatier.
Po the panda never thought he'd be a warrior. He's more the sit-around-and-snack type. (Maybe your kids can relate?) But when a powerful villian comes to his valley, Po has to challenge himself and see if he has what it takes to become a hero.
In Havana, Cuba, Vivo the kinkajou, has everything he needs. When his owner wants to travel to Miami and connect with an old friend and musical partner, Vivo is wary of leaving, but journeys onward anyway — and meets a girl name Gabi who vows to help him. The movie was co-written by Quiara Alegría Hudes with songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the pair that created In the Heights together.
In the real world, Bastian is bullied. Through books, though, he can escape to the world of Fantasia and travel with a young warrior named Atreyu, who encounters a luck dragon, gnomes, oracles, rock-eaters and other fantasy beings as he tries to battle The Nothing. But is Bastian actually controlling the world of Fantasia? If your kids want to spend more time in Fantasia, there are two sequels, though they're not on Netflix.
Another Roald Dahl book gets the Steven Spielberg treatment, resulting in this fantasy epic for kids. In it, a girl meets a Big Friendly Giant and travels with him to the workshop where he creates dreams. If the giant looks almost uncannily like actor Mark Rylance, it's because Rylance performed the part through the magic of motion capture.
A new, animated Addams Family series is has been going strong since 2019, but it isn't on Netflix — and doesn't hold a candle to the 1991 Barry Sonnenfeld version. In this first film, Uncle Fester returns after vanishing in the Bermuda Triangle, but is he an imposter? The film features an all-star cast that includes Raul Julia as Gomez, Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as Addams.
Another one for anime fans, this Japanese film follows a young girl named Miyo who pines after a boy named Hinode. One day, she buys a cat mask from a mysterious seller, and it transforms her into a cat named Tarō — and Tarō can get closer to Hinode than Miyo can. And while Miyo gets caught up in magical antics, there is a message in there about the way adolescents process difficult emotions.
Maybe you've heard this one before: A boy wants to get close to a girl, so he meets a magical being who can grant him three wishes to help him on his quest. No, it's not Aladdin — it's Wish Dragon, which takes a similar premise and transports it to a contemporary world. This time, Din wants to reconnect with childhood friend Li Na, but she has gone on to greater fame. Can a wish-granting dragon help?
Here's an unlikely superhero team-up: the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and St. Nick need to recruit Jack Frost to help them fight the Nightmare King. Who needs Captain America when you've got Santa on your side?
If you want the Jumaji series that stars Jack Black and the Rock, you'll have to head to Starz. But if you want the '90s version, with an entertaining Robin Williams performance, Netflix has you covered. Both series are about what happens when a game causes havoc in the real world, though the 1995 version hews closer to the book by The Polar Express's Chris Van Allsburg. (The Polar Express, by the way, is also on Netflix.)
Director Steven Spielberg heads to Neverland, telling a story about what happens when Peter Pan (Robin Williams again) grows up and forgets about his swashbuckling adventures. Dustin Hoffman plays a perfect Captain Hook, a foil for Pan's antics.
This is a little confusing because it is a live action/CGI hybrid movie based on the work of Rudyard Kipling, but it's not the Disney Jungle Book remake. But this one, directed by Andy Serkis, still has plenty of adventures with animals, with motion-capture performances Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Legendary animator Glen Keane, who worked on films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin (and who is the son of The Family Circus creator Bil Keane), directs this fantasy about a girl who builds her own rocket to the moon to find a mythical moon goddess. It's also a musical, with songs by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield and Helen Park, who composed the KPOP musical.
Kids can't stay up late enough to watch Kenan Thompson's talents on Saturday Night Live, but they can enjoy his earlier, All That-inspired comedy. Throw it on when you want to laugh at unabashed silliness.
Save this for your older kids — it's rated PG, but is one of the movies credited with the need for inventing a PG-13 rating. If they can handle the scares, they'll get into the story of the cute mogwai and the vicious gremlins working against it to wreak havoc.