Best Kids Movies on Netflix: A Parent’s Guide

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Brad Bartlett


Netflix kids movies

Finding the right movies for your kids on Netflix can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. With so many options, it’s hard to know where to start to find the best family movie.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re looking for something educational, entertaining, or a bit of both, here’s a guide to the best kids’ movies on Netflix, tailored to different age groups.

What To Look For When Choosing Kids Movies on Netflix

When browsing through the vast selection of kids’ movies on Netflix, it can be helpful to keep a few key things in mind. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the perfect movie for your child:

  • Age Appropriateness: Make sure the movie is suitable for your child’s age group. Look for ratings and reviews from other parents to get an idea of the content and themes in the movie.
  • Quality Children Family Movies: Quality is crucial in children family movies, as filmmakers put significant effort into crafting films that cater to young audiences. This genre includes a variety of films from around the world, featuring superheroes and cuddly anthropomorphic animals.
  • Educational Value: Is the movie teaching your child something new? Whether it’s a lesson on friendship, perseverance, or science, finding movies with educational value can be a great way to make screen time more productive for your child.
  • Entertaining for Both Kids and Adults: Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than sitting through a movie that your child loves but you can’t stand. Look for movies that have elements that both kids and adults can enjoy, whether it’s clever humor or heartwarming moments.
  • Positive Representation: It’s important for children to see diverse characters on the screen, especially in today’s world. Look for movies with positive representation of different races, genders, and abilities.
  • Familiar Characters: For younger children, seeing familiar characters from books or TV shows can make the movie-watching experience more engaging and enjoyable.

It’s natural that your child may want to watch a particular movie on Netflix – especially as they get older. However, before you hand over the remote, take a moment to consider these factors and you’ll be sure to find the perfect movie that both you and your child will love.

Finding Feature Films for Specific Age Groups on Netflix

Netflix has a wide range of age-appropriate movies for various groups of children. Here are some suggestions on what to look for in different age groups:

  • Preschoolers (Ages 2-4): Look for animated movies with simple and relatable storylines, bright colors, and catchy songs. These movies can introduce basic concepts like friendship, feelings, and sharing.
  • Young Children (Ages 5-7): Movies with more complex storylines and developed characters can be enjoyable for this age group. They may also start to appreciate live-action films and documentaries.
  • Tweens (Ages 8-12): This age group may enjoy movies with more mature themes and messages, as well as comedies and adventure films. They may also be interested in watching family-friendly versions of popular teen movies.
  • Teens (Ages 13+): For teenagers, Netflix offers a wide range of options from romantic comedies to sci-fi thrillers. They may also enjoy watching popular TV shows and documentaries on the streaming platform. Just make sure to check the rating and content warnings before watching.

The Top Kid & Family Movies On Netflix Right Now

Annie (1982)

You know we had to put this one on the top of the list! This beloved musical classic follows the story of a young orphan named Annie, who is taken in by the wealthy Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. With unforgettable songs like “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” Annie’s infectious optimism and unwavering spirit capture the hearts of audiences young and old.

Why We Picked It: Annie is a timeless family favorite that has delighted generations of viewers. Its heartwarming story, catchy tunes, and talented cast (including Carol Burnett and Bernadette Peters) make it a must-watch for any family movie night.

Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood (2022)

Director Richard Linklater is over this fun and animated coming-of-age tale, which takes place in the days leading up to the Apollo 11 moon landing. Through the imaginative lens of a young boy, the film explores themes of childhood, nostalgia, and the boundless possibilities of the human spirit.

Why We Picked It: Linklater’s unique animation style and personal storytelling create a charming and relatable experience for viewers of all ages. The film’s nostalgic tone and exploration of childhood dreams make it a heartwarming and entertaining choice for the whole family – and you’ll definitely find something unique in your own past to connect with!

The Boss Baby (2017)

Even if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you’ve likely seen the iconic baby. In The Boss Baby, a suit-wearing baby voiced by Alec Baldwin joins a family and turns their world upside down. The movie performed exceptionally well at the box office, drawing in large audiences and receiving positive reviews. As the older brother navigates the challenges of a new sibling, he discovers that his “Boss Baby” brother is on a secret mission to save the world.

Why We Picked It: The Boss Baby offers a creative and humorous take on the challenges of welcoming a new sibling. Its clever premise and witty humor appeal to both kids and adults, making it a fun and engaging choice for family movie night.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

Look past the title, and you’ll find a gem in this one. Based on the book series, this animated adventure follows two prankster kids who accidentally hypnotize their mean principal into becoming their comic book creation, Captain Underpants. With plenty of laughs and a celebration of childhood imagination, this movie is a delight for kids, especially older kids, and adults alike.

Why We Picked It: Captain Underpants captures the spirit of the popular book series, blending humor, creativity, and a heartwarming message about friendship. Its zany storyline and colorful characters make it an entertaining and enjoyable choice for families.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

In this animated comedy, Count Dracula runs a high-end resort hidden away from the human world, where monsters can safely take a vacation. But when a human stumbles upon the hotel, hilarity ensues as Dracula and his monster friends try to keep their world a secret.

Why We Picked It: Hotel Transylvania offers a fresh and humorous take on classic monster characters, blending humor and heart in a story that celebrates acceptance and diversity. Its star-studded voice cast and vibrant animation make it an entertaining choice for families.

Klaus (2019)

If you’re on the hunt for an animated film that digs into the history of other cultures, Klaus is a great choice. This acclaimed animated film reimagines the origin story of Santa Claus – as a postman stationed in a remote town meets a reclusive toymaker named Klaus, a heartwarming friendship blossoms, spreading joy and the spirit of giving throughout the community.

Why We Picked It: Klaus is a beautifully crafted and heartwarming tale that captures the magic of Christmas. Its stunning animation, whimsical storytelling, and uplifting message about kindness make it a delightful choice for families during the holiday season or any time of year.

Leo (2023)

Think Adam Sandler can’t make a heartwarming kid’s movie? Think again! Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, a lizard named Leo embarks on an existential journey, accompanying different students home and teaching them valuable life lessons along the way.

Why We Picked It: Leo offers a unique and thoughtful premise that explores themes of mortality and self-discovery in a way that is accessible and relatable for both kids and adults. Sandler’s comedic touch and the film’s underlying messaging make it an engaging and meaningful choice for family viewing.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (2022)

Based on the beloved short video from early YouTube, this heartwarming movie follows Marcel, a tiny shell with a big human personality, as he searches for his long-lost family. With a perfect blend of humor, imagination, and emotional depth, this film celebrates the power of kindness and resilience.

Why We Picked It: Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is a delightful and original story that captures the imagination of viewers of all ages. Its charming characters, clever storytelling, and themes of empathy and perseverance make it a must-watch for families looking for a truly special cinematic experience.

Minions (2015)

Minions – you love them, or you hate them. (Well, the kids love them!) In this spin-off from the Despicable Me franchise, the lovable and mischievous Minions embark on a hilarious adventure to find a new evil master to serve.

For fans of animated movies, ‘The Lego Movie’ is another excellent choice. It offers entertainment, adventure, and valuable life lessons for kids and families. With its unique brand of slapstick humor and gibberish language, the Minions bring endless laughs and joy to viewers, young and old.

Why We Picked It: The Minions have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with their endearing antics and infectious energy. This movie offers a fun and entertaining origin story for these beloved characters, making it a surefire hit for families looking for a lighthearted and comedic adventure.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

When a family’s road trip is interrupted by a robot apocalypse, they must band together to save the world from a rogue AI system. This animated comedy combines heartwarming family dynamics with thrilling action and plenty of laughs, making it a crowd-pleaser for viewers of all ages.

Why We Picked It: The Mitchells vs. the Machines strikes a perfect balance between humor, heart, and excitement. Its vibrant animation, relatable characters, and clever storytelling make it a highly entertaining and enjoyable choice for families looking for a movie that touches on some of today’s top tech ideas and the future of human-technology interactions.

Orion and the Dark (2024)

In this imaginative animated adventure, a young boy named Orion embarks on a journey to conquer his fears by teaming up with an unlikely ally – the literal embodiment of darkness. With the help of his new friend, Orion learns valuable lessons about courage and self-acceptance.

Why We Picked It: Orion and the Dark offers a unique and creative premise that explores childhood anxieties in a relatable and engaging way. Its stunning visuals, heartwarming storytelling, and themes of bravery and self-discovery make it a captivating and meaningful choice for families.

Paddington (2014)

It’s the beloved bear brought to life! Based on the beloved children’s book series, this live-action film follows the adventures of Paddington, a polite and well-meaning bear from Peru who travels to London in search of a new home. Consider watching ‘Toy Story’ alongside Paddington for a great movie night. When the Brown family takes him in, Paddington’s endearing personality and mishaps bring laughter and warmth to their lives.

Why We Picked It: Paddington is a quintessential family film that captures the spirit of the beloved book series. With its charming blend of humor, heart, and a stellar cast (including Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins), it’s a delightful and heartwarming choice that appeals to audiences of all ages.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

From famed director Guillermo del Toro comes a dark and visually stunning stop-motion retelling of the classic tale of the wooden boy, Pinocchio. Set during the rise of fascism in Italy, this version explores themes of innocence, disobedience, and the consequences of our actions in a poignant and thought-provoking way.

Why We Picked It: Del Toro’s Pinocchio is a masterful work of art that breathes new life into a timeless story. Its stunning visuals, emotional depth, and exploration of complex themes make it a unique and rewarding experience for families looking for a more mature and artistically ambitious animated film. Younger kids might well find it scary, and there are several violent deaths which could make it a bad match even for pre-teens. It will however provoke great conversations with your older kids about some of the deeper ideas. It’s definitely a great addition to the category of films to watch and talk about together with your family.

The Sea Beast (2022)

In this epic adventure, a young girl named Maisie stows away on a legendary monster hunter’s ship, only to discover that the creatures they’re hunting may not be as monstrous as she thought. With stunning animation and a fresh take on classic sea monster tales, The Sea Beast is a thrilling and heartwarming journey.

Why We Picked It: The Sea Beast offers a unique and engaging blend of action, adventure, and emotional storytelling. Its stunning visuals, memorable characters, and themes of friendship and understanding make it a captivating choice for families looking for a film that combines excitement with depth.

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)

In this hilarious silent comedy from the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and his barnyard friends encounter a mysterious alien visitor and must help their new extraterrestrial friend find a way back home. With its witty physical humor and endearing characters, this film is a delight for viewers of all ages.

Why We Picked It: A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is a pure joy to watch, offering a masterclass in visual storytelling and physical comedy. Its charming characters, clever humor, and heartwarming themes make it a standout choice for families looking for a truly delightful and entertaining animated adventure.

Suzume (2022)

From the director of Your Name and Weathering with You comes this unique anime film about a young girl named Suzume who discovers a mysterious door that holds the power to prevent devastating disasters. As she embarks on a journey to close these doors, she uncovers secrets about herself and the world around her.

Why We Picked It: Suzume is a breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally resonant film that showcases the exceptional talents of director Makoto Shinkai. Its stunning visuals, compelling storytelling, and exploration of themes like responsibility and personal growth make it a captivating and thought-provoking choice for families looking for a more mature and artistically ambitious animated feature.

Trolls (2016)

Here’s another one that you can’t seem to escape. In this film, the perpetually happy Trolls find their world turned upside down when they are discovered by the miserable Bergens, who believe that eating Trolls is the key to their happiness. Fans of animated movies might also enjoy the newly released Super Mario Bros. movie, which features beloved characters and an engaging plot. With its catchy tunes, colorful animation, and heartwarming messages about embracing happiness and individuality, Trolls is a joyful ride for the whole family.

Why We Picked It: Trolls is a delightfully upbeat and energetic movie that’s sure to put a smile on the faces of viewers of all ages. Its infectious musical numbers, vibrant visuals, and positive themes make it a fun and uplifting choice for families looking for a feel-good animated adventure.

Wendell & Wild (2022)

From the twisted minds of director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and co-writer Jordan Peele comes this stop-motion animated tale about two demon brothers who strike a deal with a young girl grieving the loss of her parents. Similar to the visually stunning and emotionally impactful ‘Spider Man: Across the Spider-Verse’, this film captivates with its unique blend of dark humor, horror elements, and heartfelt storytelling. Wendell & Wild is a wild and unforgettable ride.

Why We Picked It: Wendell & Wild is a truly unique and visually stunning animated film that pushes the boundaries of what family-friendly content can be. Its creative storytelling, exceptional animation, and exploration of themes like grief and redemption make it a captivating and thought-provoking choice for families looking for something a little darker and more offbeat.

The Willoughbys (2020)

Based on the book by Lois Lowry, this delightfully quirky animated film follows the Willoughby children, who hatch a plan to get rid of their neglectful parents and find a new family that will truly care for them. Similar to ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’, which revolves around a magical last wish, The Willoughbys captivates with its eccentric characters, dark humor, and unexpected twists. The Willoughbys is a refreshingly offbeat and entertaining choice.

Why We Picked It: The Willoughbys is a delightfully quirky and unconventional animated film that offers a refreshing departure from typical family fare. Its unique sense of humor, creative storytelling, and talented voice cast (including Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, and Terry Crews) make it a standout choice for families looking for something a little different and more daring.

Questions to Ask During Family Movie Night

Watching movies together is not only a fun bonding experience but also an opportunity to start meaningful conversations with your children. By asking the right questions, you can help them think critically about what they’ve seen, relate the stories to their own lives, and develop important social-emotional skills. As you pick out and watch the above movies together, use these questions to spur conversation and engage with one another on the topics:

“What did you like most about the movie? What did you dislike?”

Encouraging kids to express their opinions promotes self-awareness and confidence. It also helps them develop the ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings.

“Which character did you identify with the most and why?”

This question fosters empathy and self-reflection. By relating to characters, children can better understand their own experiences and emotions.

“What would you have done differently if you were in the character’s situation?”

Asking kids to consider alternative actions promotes problem-solving skills and creative thinking. It also encourages them to think about the consequences of their choices.

“What lessons do you think the movie was trying to teach us?”

This question helps children recognize and internalize the movie’s themes and messages. It encourages them to think beyond the surface-level plot and extract meaningful insights.

“How did the movie make you feel? Did it remind you of anything in your own life?”

Discussing emotions and personal connections fosters emotional intelligence and self-awareness. It validates children’s feelings and shows them that it’s okay to talk about their experiences.

“If you could ask the characters one question, what would it be?”

This imaginative exercise encourages curiosity and critical thinking. It prompts children to engage more deeply with the story and its characters.

“What do you think happened to the characters after the movie ended?”

Speculating about the characters’ futures nurtures imagination and storytelling skills. It also reinforces the idea that stories continue beyond what we see on screen.

Remember, the goal is to create a safe, non-judgmental space for your children to express themselves. Listen actively, validate their opinions, and share your own thoughts as well.

Embracing Pop Culture with Purpose

So grab the popcorn, snuggle up with your little ones, and press play on a purposeful movie night. Rather than shying away from pop culture, we encourage you to engage with it purposefully.

Movies, like the ones we’ve highlighted in this guide, offer valuable opportunities for learning, growth, and connection when approached with intention.

By taking an active role in your child’s media consumption, you can help them navigate the messages they receive and develop the skills they need to thrive in today’s world. Use our criteria for selecting age-appropriate content, watch alongside your children when possible, and initiate meaningful conversations using the questions we’ve provided.

Remember, your guidance and involvement are key to turning screen time into quality time. With a little effort and a lot of love, you can transform family movie night into a powerful tool for bonding, learning, and growth.

At Kidslox, we’re committed to supporting parents in this journey. Our website’s Guides section is packed with valuable insights, tips, and resources to help you make the most of your child’s media experience. From setting healthy screen time limits to fostering digital literacy, we’ve got you covered. Visit us online to learn more and join our community of engaged, empowered parents.