35 Best Kids' Movies on Netflix to Stream With the Whole Family
Spend your next inside day with one of these great family-friendly films.
Who says screen time isn't for kids? Some of the best memories can be made when you gather the brood, claim spots on the couch and all sit down to watch a movie together. Then again, the quality of the movie goes a long way. The best kids' movies will keep them engaged, stir up emotions and, hopefully, have something in them for the adults, too.
And, if your streamer of choice is the one with the big, red N, these are currently the best movies for kids on Netflix. Some of them are toddler movies or animated movies can be enjoyed by everyone, including the littlest ones in your family. Others are fun-for-the-whole-family movies, so everyone, including your picky tweens, can get in on the fun. Others are scary movies, or maybe just a bit mature, and are teen movies best reserved for your older ones. And a lot of them are Netflix originals, which means you won't be able to find them on any other services (and, if your kids love them, they're unlikely to leave the service, too). From thrilling action and adventure to sweet stories about friendships, you're sure to find something that'll please everyone in your brood. Many made our list of the best kids movies of 2022, and if you need more kid-friendly movie inspiration, you can check out the best kids movies coming out in 2023 (which also includes some Netflix picks).
The Bad Guys (2022)
Based on the book series by Aaron Blabey, this movie follows a crew of animals with bad reputations — with good reason. But when Wolf gets a taste of what it feels like to walk the straight and narrow, he contemplates a change of heart, much to the consternation of his crew-mates. The voice cast includes funny actors like Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson, Richard Ayoade and Awkwafina.
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 (not on Netflix) even more.
The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)
Katie Mitchell, a budding filmmaker, is headed off to school, and her family decides to drive her for 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.
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
An alien (that looks more like a puppy than anything you'd see on The X-Files) gets separated from her parents, and it's up to Shaun and the rest of his farm friends to reunite them. From the makers of Wallace and Gromit, every Shaun the Sheep adventure is pretty gentle and appropriate for younger film fans.
Roald Dahl' Matilda: The Musical (2022)
If the kids didn't get a chance to see Matilda on Broadway, now's the chance. The music comes courtesy of Tim Minchin, who also adapted Groundhog Day for the stage, and it stars Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough and Emma Thompson, among others.
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.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie (2021)
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 guardians 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.
Wendell and Wild (2022)
Two cinema giants come together for this stop-motion spectacular: It's directed by Henry Selick, who made The Nightmare before Christmas, and co-written by Jordan Peele, master of horror movies like Get Out and Nope. (Peele also does a voice.) It's about a girl who blames herself for past tragedy, and considers teaming up with two demons to help set things right. But are they trustworthy?
The Sea Beast (2022)
This Netflix adventure takes to the high seas in a time when the oceans were ruled by monsters. The film follows two heroes: a young girl named Maisie Brumble who longs for adventure and stows away on a ship, and the famed monster-hunter Jacob Holland who begrudgingly becomes her partner.
The School for Good and Evil (2022)
The School for Good and Evil is where fairytale characters go when they want to learn all there is about princesshood — or villainy, depending on the situation. Best friends Sopbie and Agatha attend together, assuming Sophie would attend the School for Good while Agatha would attend the School for Evil, only to find their situations reversed. Can they make it through the year? The movie, directed by Bridesmaids' Paul Feig and based on the book series by Soman Chainani, has a cast that includes Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Yeoh, among others.
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (2022)
This is one the whole family can gather around and watch together — especially if there are any adults around who have nostalgia for watching space launches on TV. Director Richard Linklater draws on his own memories to tell an animated tale of the 1969 moon landing through the eyes of a 10-year-old child.
The Willoughbys (2020)
When the Willoughby children feel neglected by their parents, they hatch a plan to get rid of them. (And you thought your kids' opinion of you was low.) But independence doesn't turn out the way they imagined. This animated movie is based on a book by author Lowis Lowry.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
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.
My Father's Dragon (2022)
When a young boy leaves his home city, he journeys to a mysterious island full of fantastic creatures, including a striped dragon. The story is based on a Newbury honor-winning book, and the animation comes courtesy of the esteemed Cartoon Saloon, the studio behind acclaimed animated movies like Wolfwalkers and The Secret of Kells (which are sadly not on Netflix).
Enola Holmes (2020)
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, and Enola Holmes 2 followed in November 2022. Both mysteries have a feminist bent to them for an extra dose of girl power.
Monster House (2006) ??
Sometimes, kids like haunted house movies. Sometimes, they like monster movies. In this film, a haunted house is a monster — a house that's come to life to eat people. Though scary stories work year-round, keep this one in mind when you're looking for Halloween movies for kids.
A Whisker Away (2020)
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.
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
Surprisingly, two different Pinocchio remakes came out last year. Netflix's was made by Guillermo del Toro, acclaimed director of The Shape of Water, and it goes in unexpected directions. (Watch out for themes of fascism, since they might require some explanations for younger kids.) Ewan McGregor is the voice of the cricket narrator.
Finding ?Ohana (2021)
If your family loves adventure movies, like The Goonies or the Indiana Jones series, this movie will be right up your alley. It's about a brother and sister, Pili and E, who relocate temporarily from New York City to Hawaii — and then go on a hunt for a lost pirate treasure.
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.
Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.
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