Looking for kid-friendly entertainment that’s sure to satisfy? Netflix has a ton of options, but frankly, they can be overwhelming. So, we’ve simplified things by highlighting ten excellent movies that will delight kids – or those who are still kids at heart.
Whether you want a stellar musical, a wild adventure, a spooky treat or something to get you into the holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the 10 best kids movies currently streaming on Netflix.
1. above the moon (2020)
Young Fei Fei is enchanted by the story of the moon goddess Chang’e and the legend of her lover. Still grieving over the death of his mother, Fei Fei spitefully takes on his father to find new love and decides to build a rocket to the moon to find Chang’e. She discovers a magical world beyond her imagination and must reconcile the fantasy of the moon with the life that awaits her on Earth. Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho and Sandra Oh star, so yes, above the moon is a powerful lineup of Asian American acting talent. —Proma Khosla, Senior Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: above the moon(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Elaborate Character Design of Chang’e Is Netflix’s ‘Over the Moon’ Superstar
2. The cat in the hat (2003)
Mike Myers’ 2003 turn as the eponymous headgear feline holds up surprisingly well to kids in 2022 (unfortunately for adults, there may be 2019 triggers Cats). The chaotic cat visits Sally and Conrad Walden (Dakota Fanning and Spencer Breslin), making a huge mess of their house and ending up locking them up (the cat is no moral compass by any means). Parents will feel seen in Myers’ flashy delivery, and kids won’t quickly tire of the cat’s endless hijinx. —PACK
How to watch: The cat in the hat(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
3. Klaus (2019)
It might be a Christmas movie, but the Netflix original about a spoiled postman-in-training Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) who stumbles upon an old toymaker is a charming, year-round movie. He becomes the intermediary between the toymaker, Klaus (JK Simmons) and the neighborhood children who write him letters hoping for toys. The story turns to become the origin of Santa Claus and a humbling journey for Jesper. —PACK
How to watch: Klaus(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
4. Mirai (2018)
When four-year-old Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi)) parents tell him that he is going to have a little sister, he is initially excited. But when baby Mirai (Haru Kuroki) arrives, he struggles to adjust to sharing his mom and dad’s attention. Seeking solace, Kun disappears into the garden behind his house, where he embarks on a magical adventure with the adult version of Mirai that puts his relationship with his family in a whole new perspective. This is a deeply warm, funny and insightful piece from veteran Japanese director and animator Mamoru Hosoda. Nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2018, Mirai is the perfect feel-good choice for family movie night.* —Kristina Grosspietsch, freelance contributor
How to watch: Mirai(opens in a new tab) is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
5. The Willoughbys (2020)
Based on a bizarre book by Lois Lowry, this Netflix original centers on a deeply dysfunctional family in need of some wild changes. Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby have four adorable, passionate and talented children, whom they utterly despise. So life is very hard for eldest Tim (Will Forte), dreamy Jane (Alessia Cara) and eccentric twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B (Seán Cullen). Until they concoct a crazy scheme that sends their parents on a perilous vacation, from which they may not return! However, the siblings’ deadly plan for independence is thrown into question when a brave nanny (Maya Rudolph) arrives on their doorstep. Soon, agonies and antics give way to the jubilant adventure of a lifetime.
Director Kris Pearn’s sharp design style and Ricky Gervais’ snarling narration combine with Lowry’s dark plot to give this outrageous animated feature a cheeky yet charming edge.Kristy Puchko, Associate Entertainment Editor
How to watch: The Willoughbys(opens in a new tab) is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Sony Pictures Animation has given audiences animated films as bold and dynamic as Surf’s Up, Hotel Transylvania, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This goofy 2021 release centers on a family that fights the robo-apocalypse with friendliness, internet savvy, and a golden pug named Monchi (voiced by social media icon, Doug The Pug).
The Mitchells’ adventure into chaos begins when their daughter Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is about to go to college. Desperate for one last family road trip, his father (Danny McBride) piles the whole family into his beater vehicle, unknowingly charting a fateful route to heroism. Director Mike Rianda infuses Katie’s exciting perspective throughout the film by working in internet memes, social media-style reactions and the blitz of bonkers visuals. It’s a bold move that might alienate some viewers, but it won wide praise from critics and kids alike.* —computer
How to watch: The Mitchells vs. the Machine(opens in a new tab)s is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
seven. Paddington (2014)
Inspired by beloved children’s books by Michael Bond, Paddington is a critically acclaimed game that mixes a live-action cast of crackerjack (Hugh Bonneville! Sally Hawkins! Julie Walters! Peter Capaldi!) with an adorable CGI bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw), who wears a blue coat and love marmalade. Traveling from the jungles of Peru to London, the titular bear is reluctantly taken in by the Brown family. But as cultures collide, Paddington’s freedom – indeed, his very life! – are threatened by an overzealous taxidermist (a fearless Nicole Kidman), who is ruthlessly determined to make her her next specimen! Full of fantasy, wit and warmth, Paddington is a joyful delight that begs to be revisited. —computer
How to watch: Paddington(opens in a new tab) is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
8. night books (2021)
From David Yarovesky, the director of Brightburn, comes a spooky tale that will rock the family evening. Based on the horror-fantasy novel of the same name by JA White, night books centers on a Brooklyn bookworm (Winslow Fegley) who is kidnapped by an evil witch (Krysten Ritter). Held captive in his magical apartment, he is forced to tell her a new scary story every night in exchange for her survival. Fortunately, he is not alone. A hard-nosed fellow inmate (Lidya Jewett) not only helps him avoid the pitfalls of this precarious prison, but also helps him unlock the secrets that could get them both out!
Dotted with PG-level scares and plenty of style (we’d die for Ritter’s witch wardrobe), night books is a great time for kids (and adults) who appreciate a good bump in the night.* —computer
How to watch: night books (opens in a new tab)is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
9. The monster house (2006)
Fancy something scary but kid-friendly? Then step into this sensational 2006 film, in which the big bad is a hulking, sentient old house that gobbles up toys as well as intruding children. Although the premise may seem disturbing, children will enjoy the story of three fiery children who discover not only the horrors of the Monster House, but also its hidden heart.
A surprisingly poignant finale follows a slew of scares and fun, making it a great choice for family movie night. Using motion capture animation, director Gil Kenan taps into Amblin Entertainment’s established aesthetic, where grounded drama meets bizarre fantasy. Adding punch – and some adult appeal – is a voice cast that includes famous actors, like Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kathleen Turner, Jon Heder and Jason Lee. Charity please? Why not the two of them! .* —computer
How to watch: The monster house(opens in a new tab) is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
ten. Finding ‘Ohana (2021)
If you grew up watching The Goonies, then you will enjoy sharing this gem with your children. Director Jude Weng channels Spielberg’s brand of admiration for a thrilling tale of Hawaiian legend and childhood heroism. Raised in New York, siblings Pili (Kea Peahu) and Ioane (Alex Aiono) feel like fish out of water when their mother brings them to Oahu. But soon, they make friends and go in search of a legendary lost treasure. Along the way, there will also be teen romances, family dramas, and local lore coming to life. Looking for something fun and exciting? Look no further. —computer
How to watch: Finding ‘Ohana (opens in a new tab)is streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)