Netflix has a wonderful amount of original programming, but it’s also a great place for popular kids and family movies as well. This situation might get a bit more bleak with Disney pulling out of Netflix in the not too distant future but for now there’s a plethora of choice.
As a parent of three young kids, I’ll admit I watch more kid movies than films aimed at my age. I also am not ashamed to admit I don’t mind! To help you find the best options, we’ve created a list of the best family movies on Netflix right now.
While some of the kids movies on Netflix might not be as interesting for adults, we’ve tried to find movies that kids and families of all ages will enjoy. The good news is that this list just scratches the surface of the list as there is a ton of family movies on Netflix that are actually worth watching.
(Note: yes, there’s a lot of Disney, probably because my family loves Disney!)
I’ll be honest, I strongly prefer the original. So do my kids. Still, it’s a good movie and worth watching and comes close to matching the magic of the original. The movie follows directly after the events of the first, with superheroes still being illegal. Elastagirl is hired to help shift public opinion so that superhero work will become legal once more. Meanwhile Mr. Incredible finds himself taking on the role of a stay at home dad, all while being more than a little jealous of the attention his wife is getting.
Writer/Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Huck Milner, Sarah Vowell, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk, and Samuel L. Jackson
I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen Coco at least six times, and my kids have probably watched it another dozen. This is arguably one of the best Pixar movies in recent times and one of the best kids movies on Netflix, despite being pretty predictable. The story follows a young Mexican boy with a love for guitar, despite his family’s outright ban on all things relating to music. Determined to make a name for himself and prove his worth with the guitar, young Miguel finds himself on a strange journey where he learns more about his family and how important it truly is.
Writer/Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, Jason Katz, and Matthew Aldrich
Cast: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, and Benjamin Bratt
Bolt isn’t necessarily a Disney masterpiece, but it’s a fun movie that’s at least a little different from the typical Disney movie formula and that makes it one of the best family movies on Netflix. The movie follows Bolt, the canine star of a TV show about a dog with superpowers. Only thing, he doesn’t realize it’s all a TV show. After believing his owner is legitimately in danger, Bolt finds himself on a long journey in the outside world where he soon discovers his powers aren’t working. There are some catchy pop songs and it’s certainly watchable enough as an adult, and odds are your little ones will love it.
Writer/Directors: Byron Howard, Chris Williams and Dan Fogelman
Cast: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, and Susie Essman
Cars is one of my 5-year-old son’s favorite movies, but we typically don’t ever put on Cars 2 because.. it was awful. The final installment in the Cars series isn’t in the same league as the first, but it’s welcome return to form that trumps the second. Taking place many years after the first two, Lighting is finding that he’s not quite the young hotshot he once was, with newer generations of cars performing better, thanks to improved tech and faster engines. With most of his former peers retiring from the rat race, Lighting is determined to win the Piston Cup once more — even if it means outpacing race cars that are supposedly superior.
Writer/Directors: Brian Fee, Kiel Murrary, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich
Cast: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, and Nathan Fillion
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
This movie is dumb but in a good way! Flint Lockwood is a genius but also a major screwup. None of his inventions ever go right. Hoping to finally prove folks wrong, he invents a machine that can turn water into food, which is quite the commodity on his remote island where the locals mostly eat sardines. One thing leads to another and he screws up again, this time with his machine getting stuck in the clouds, creating what at first seems like a welcome miracle: raining food. If you haven’t seen this 2009 flick for some reason, I highly recommend it.. just be sure to know going in that the story, characters, and humor are all a bit weird.
Writer/Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Cast: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, and Bruce Campbell
I wasn’t sure I’d bother watching this one, but finally we bite the bullet when it hit Netflix. I’m glad we took the time because the story was fun, and there was a lot of nostalgia. Like pretty much every kids movie ever, the story has some predictable moments, but it’s heartwarming enough and should be good for both younger and older kids (though teens would likely find it a bit boring).
Writer/Director: Marc Forster, Alex Ross, Tom McCarthy, and Allison Schroeder
Cast: Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell
This is nothing short of an iconic 90s movie, I don’t care what you say! Great cast, fun story, and it’s a bit different than your average kids movie. This one is perfect for slightly older kids, and maybe even younger teens. The story follows a ghost therapist (yes, really) and his daughter who are hired to get ghosts out of a house. While the titular Casper is a friendly ghost, his uncles? Not so much.
Writer/Directors: Brad Silberling, Sherri Stoner, and Deanna Oliver
Cast: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, and Cathy Moriarty
Bless my soul, Herc was on a role. This might not have the status of some of other big 90s Disney hits like Aladdin and the Lion King, but it had a good story based loosely on Greek mythology, some fun songs, and plenty of subtle references I didn’t understand as a kid but as an adult bring a smile to my face. The story follows a young Hercules who doesn’t fit in, having superhuman strength he can’t control. Soon he learns about his true parentage and sets on a quest to become a true hero, restoring his place among the gods.
Writer/Directors: Ron Clements and John Musker
Cast: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, and James Woods
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard
Cast:Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 (2017)
Whether your kids are young or teens, this is a wonderful movie. Tons of 80s music references, quirky characters, lots of action, and a solid story. I’m not sure which I like better, the original or the sequel, which is rare for me to say as I usually turn my nose upward at most sequels. This movie follows directly after the first with Peter Quinn unintentionally unraveling the mysteries of his parentage and the dark secrets that his history holds.
Writer/Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Kurt Russell
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War won’t go on any “best films you don’t know about” list anytime soon. If you have any passing interest in the MCU as a series, you probably saw this film in theaters, or at home when it hit iTunes and other digital platforms a few months after its release. Whether or not you saw it, its release on Netflix makes it the perfect time to revisit before catching the record-breaking Avengers: Endgame in theaters.
I’ll admit I haven’t been as big into the Avengers and we actually just watched Infinity War recently, I’m that behind. I know I’m in the minority though and this is certainly a great movie. The film follows the Avengers team with players including Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America. The villain is none other than Thanos. The Avengers series melds story and characters from tons of Marvel movies, making it a must watch if you’re a fan of the Marvel universe.
Writer/Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth
Bridge to Terabithia
This is a great movie but I warn you that it might be a bit much for younger kids or those who are particularly sensitive. The film revolves around Leslie and Jesse, two outsiders who instantly become friends. When not at school or dealing with daily life, they live in their own imaginary world called Terabithia, filled with all sorts of epic fantasy creatures. While the story seems innocent enough, it takes a tragic twist that will pull on the heartstrings more than a little.
Writer/Directors: Gabor Csupo, Jeff Stockwell and David Paterson
Cast: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, and Zooey Deschanel