The Best Family Movies on Netflix Right Now

Last Updated: October 10th

While the world of streaming has opened up a vast amount of possibilities in terms of viewing options, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to decide exactly what to choose—especially when you have the entire family on the brain. That’s why we’ve crafted a specially curated list of the best family movies on Netflix, which runs down the very best movie-watching options for all (or at least most) ages to enjoy. They range from animated features to uplifting live-action stories of real-life heroes. Netflix has a host of options thanks to a sweet deal with Disney, bringing kid-favorites like Moana and Paddington right into your living room alongside 90s classics like Hercules or Mulan.

But it’s not only Disney movies—our list of the best family and kids movies on Netflix features films from all kinds of studios, all kinds of eras, and all kinds of genres. So if you’re looking for the perfect viewing option that both kids and parents will enjoy, we’re pretty confident you’ll find something here. Check out our full list below.


Image via Disney-Pixar

Although Pixar isn’t the unstoppable force it once was, they can still put together a great movie from time to time and Coco is definitely the studio operating at the top of its game. While it certainly falls into the familiar Pixar tropes—a buddy movie where two characters go on a trip of some kind—Lee Unkrich’s film stands apart due to its deep and abiding love for Mexican culture and putting the importance of family at the core of the story.

The movie boasts excellent music, a heartwarming story, memorable characters, and eye-popping design as its leads traverse the Land of the Dead on Dia de Los Muertos. Although I thought the film would be enjoyable, I didn’t expect it to eventually move me to tears. This is a movie you need to watch with your family. – Matt Goldberg

The Iron Giant

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Brad Bird

Writer: Tim McCanlies

Cast: Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Christopher McDonald, and Vin Diesel

A flop upon its initial release back in 1999, The Iron Giant has become a cult classic over the year and eventually found its audience. Brad Bird’s animated adaptation of Ted Hughes’ book follows young Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal), a smart but lonely kid during the Cold War who stumbles across a giant metal robot from outer space. Hogarth befriends the Iron Giant (Vin Diesel) and teaches him about life and death as well as what it means to be a hero rather than a weapon. It’s a beautiful story, and it’s no wonder that the film has found a special place in the hearts of viewers. If you still haven’t seen it, clear your evening plans, and watch it as soon as possible. – Matt Goldberg

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Image via Disney

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos

Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Ian McKellan, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson

Disney’s most nostalgic trip down memory lane yet resonated with a whole lot of moviegoers — it was the highest grossing movie of 2017 from March all the way till December (when it was knocked out of the top spot by Star Wars, in a surprise to no one). Dreamgirls director and Chicago writer Bill Condon brings his knack for theatrical cinema to the table, and Beauty and the Beast feels appropriately pegged between the charms of the beloved animated classic and the stage show adaptation that followed. Of course, Condon, his crew, and his impeccable cast bring their unique flourish to the familiar film, and the iconic songs, costumes and character beats are reinvented on-screen. None better than villainous duo Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad), who steal the show as the nefarious heels mucking up Belle and Beast’s unfolding love story. Whimsical and nostalgic without being cloying, Beauty and the Beast may not match the perfection of its animated counterpart, but it strikes a lovely note trying to. — Haleigh Foutch


Image via Focus Features

Director/Writer: Henry Selick

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders, Robert Bailey Jr., Dawn French, and John Hodgman

A word of warning: Coraline may be a little too intense for the super young ones, but if your kids are into fairy tales with a bit of edge to them, this gorgeous stop-motion-animation film could be right up their alley. It hails from the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the studio behind ParaNorman and Kubo and the Two Strings and tells the story of a young girl named Coraline who discovers a secret door in her new home that leads to an idealized parallel world, where her parents do her bidding and everything seems perfect—“seems” being the operative word. It’s gorgeous, fun, and wildly fantastical, and yes, a teensy bit disturbing. – Adam Chitwood


Image via StudioCanal

Writer/Director: Paul King

Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw

An adaptation of Paddington Bear could have been a disaster, something that takes the charm of the original and snuffs it out in favor of cheap CGI and an easy buck from families looking to keep their kids quiet for 90 minutes. Instead, Paul King’s Paddington establishes itself as a classic in its own right. The movie follows an adorable young bear from Peru (voiced by Ben Whishaw) as he travels to London and joins an uptight family whose lives he enriches despite constantly getting into mischief. The movie is warm, funny, and completely at peace with all of its British sensibilities. The second the movie is over, you’ll be eager to see Paddington 2 (which is even better!). – Matt Goldberg

The NeverEnding Story

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Wolfgang Peterson

Writers: Wolfgang Peterson and Herman Weigel

Cast: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Patricia Hayes, and Gerald McRaney

Fair warning that The NeverEnding Story does have the potential to scar children for life, but if you feel like rolling the dice this option is certainly available. The 1984 fantasy epic opens by telling the story of a shy, bookish 10-year-old who hides from school bullies in a bookstore, where he discovers a secret book that then transforms to life. The book is set in the fantasy world of Fantasia, which is being devoured by a darkness known as “The Nothing.” The Empress has fallen ill, and it’s up to a young hero named Atreyu to discover the cure, heal the Empress, and force The Nothing to go away. This movie is packed with thrilling high fantasy and a giant dog-like creature who flies, but also doesn’t skimp on the darkness of Fantasia. You’ve been trigger warned. – Adam Chitwood

Queen of Katwe

Image via Disney

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: William Wheeler

Cast: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, and Lupita Nyong’o

Based on a remarkable true story, Queen of Katwe follows Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), a chess prodigy in Uganda who sees a better way forward for her and her family when she quickly becomes a success at the game. It hits all the right beats you’d want from a story like this, from her good teacher Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), who sees the potential in Phiona, to her conflicted mother Nakku Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), who wants her daughter to succeed but also doesn’t want her hopes to get crushed. Nair handles all of it with a deft hand, and it makes Queen of Katwe a heartwarming and inspirational movie. – Matt Goldberg

Mary and The Witch's Flower

Image via GKids

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Writers: Mary Stewart (novel), Riko Sakaguchi, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, David & Lynda Freedman

Cast: Hana Sugisaki, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Yûki Amami, Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent

Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata passed away in early 2018, and though often outshined by the slightly more prolific Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata’s contributions to the famed film studio have influenced generations of artists, filmmakers, and creators alike. One such influence can be seen in the spin-off production company Studio Ponoc, whose first animated feature Mary and The Witch’s Flower promises big things ahead for the heir apparent.

Adapted from Mary Stewart’s novel “The Little Broomstick”, Mary and The Witch’s Flower captures all of that story’s magical elements and theme of self-discovery in a way that only an anime-styled movie can. Studio Ghibli’s style is very apparent here and it will take some time to see how Ponoc differentiates itself in order to stand on their own, but it’s clear that their grasp of story and eye for iconic creature creations is a strength. Seek out Mary and The Witch’s Flower to acclimate yourself with Studio Ponoc and get a jump on the next Ghibli-esque obsession. – Dave Trumbore

The Prince of Egypt

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Director: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells

Writer: Philip LaZebnik, Nicholas Meyer

Cast: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short, James Avery

The music from this film alone makes it worth the watch, as evidenced by the Oscar-winning song “When You Believe.” And yet the power of The Prince of Egypt is in its ancient, religious story that is still at the heart of many cultures today. While it might not be the most historically accurate retelling of the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, and the Exodus that you’ll ever see, it’s an honest attempt to present that telling in a mature fashion.

One of DreamWorks Animation’s earliest pictures, The Prince of Egypt tells the well-known story of the life of Moses, from his inauspicious beginnings, to his young adulthood in the court of the Pharaoh, to his eventual realization of his true heritage and the ultimate achievement of leading his people out from under the Egyptian leader’s cruel rule. It’s an impressive visual and aural display that’s a worthwhile adaptation of an ancient story, and one that brings archaic practices into a contemporary light. - Dave Trumbore

Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Joe Dante

Writer: Larry Doyle

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, and Steve Martin

What should have been the revitalization of the Looney Tunes brand instead became a nail in its coffin with Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which is a shame. While some people continue to revere Space Jam, Joe Dante’s 2003 comedy gets much closer to the core of Tex Avery and Chuck Jones’ original vision for their wacky characters. Brendan Fraser is perfectly cast as a stuntman who, with the help of Looney Tunes characters, must stop the evil chairman (Steve Martin) of the Acme Corporation from turning mankind into monkeys. It’s bizarre, madcap, and perfectly Looney Tunes. If you love Bugs, Daffy, and the gang, you owe it to yourself to check out this underrated movie. – Matt Goldberg


Image via Disney

Directed by: Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft

Written by: Rita Hsiao, Philip LaZebnik, Chris Sanders, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, and Raymond Singer

Cast: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, DB Wong, Miguel Ferrer, Harvey Fierstein

Inarguably the most feminist film of Disney’s Second Golden Age, 1998’s Mulan is also one that holds up considerably well. The story of a woman posing as a man in order to fight in her father’s place is compelling from the get-go, but directors Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft also absolutely nail the dynamic Ancient China aesthetic, bringing a rush of red and chilling landscapes to the big screen in fascinating fashion. Mulan is a story about honor and family, but also about learning to see beyond one’s limited perspective. All the men in China have been told that women are not fit to fight or stand in a man’s place, but Mulan as Ping shows that when a man doesn’t know it’s a woman he’s fighting alongside, it makes no difference. So while Mulan certainly deals with ancient traditions, it’s also a highly relatable and relevant film in terms of theme and character. – Adam Chitwood


Image via DreamWorks Animation

Directed by: Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson

Written by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, and Roger S.H. Schulman

Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, John Lithgow

It’s easy to forget just how big of a deal Shrek was when it hit theaters in 2001, but it was a very big deal. DreamWorks Animation challenged Pixar in the realm of CG animation with a more edgy, slightly more adult-oriented animated film—one in which parents would be laughing at jokes that went over their kids’ heads. But at its core, Shrek works beautifully as a story of an outsider looking for acceptance, and of love coming from unexpected places. It’s also just a really pretty and fun fairy tale in its own right, and while technology has advanced considerably in the two decades since its release, Shrek still holds up all these years later. – Adam Chitwood

Kung Fu Panda

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Directors: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson

Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris

Cast: Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong, Dan Fogler, Michael Clarke Duncan

Back in 2008, Kung Fu Panda not only earned an Oscar nomination, but it kickstarted a major film franchise for DreamWorks Animation. The origin story for the title character is perfectly cast thanks to the antics of Jack Black and the diverse, talented, and experienced supporting cast that surrounds him. It also introduced a wholly original character in audiences young an old, an unconventional hero who didn’t rely on strength and skill alone, but rather in developing his own unique talents and working alongside his friends and allies. That’s a rarity in these times of super-muscley superheroes and ultra-violent actioners. Do yourself a favor and revisit the original Kung Fu Panda or discover this fun, food-filled adventure for the first time! - Dave Trumbore


Image via DreamWorks

Director: Mike Mitchell

Writer: Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden, and Gwen Stefani

If pure unfiltered joy is what you’re looking for, it’s hard to go wrong with Trolls. DreamWorks Animation’s take on the popular children’s toy may seem at first like a shameless bid to sell toys (and maybe it kind of is), but director Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After) brings a swell sense of humor to the whole shebang, and the soundtrack is chock-full of new renditions of memorable songs like “The Sound of Silence” and “True Colors,” as well as the terrific Justin Timberlake hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” As for the story, well it’s a tale of two trolls who set out to save their village from destruction by creatures who eat trolls. Good times. – Adam Chitwood

*batteries not included

Image via Amblin Entertainment

Director: Matthew Robbins

Writers: Mick Garris, Brad Bird, Matthew Robbins, Brent Maddock, S.S. Wilson

Cast: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña

One of the criminally underrated and oft-forgotten Amblin Entertainment classics of the 80s, *batteries not included was a family-friendly film that ran into the box office buzzsaw of such films as Eddie Murphy RawThree Men and a BabyThrow Momma from the Train, and Wall Street. It was a rough time for cute little metallic UFOs that could easily be mistaken for hamburgers. Strangely enough, this film feels like it would be better received by modern audiences than it was in 1987.

As a kid, I remember this movie for its cool flying robots and its crazy old lady; 30 years later, I’m struck by the movie’s depiction of gentrification, class warfare, and the very real issues of mental illness. At its heart, *batteries not included is about romantic relationships: there’s love story between a long-married husband and wife who are dealing with the death of a son, a collapsing home/business, and increasingly difficult medical issues; a burgeoning romance between a single mother and a starving artist; and a newly created family of little “fix-it” robots learning to live alongside humans. The hook is that these little saucer-shaped critters can fix just about anything and everything, mechanical or emotional, as it turns out. They help the humans in the story put their lives and livelihoods back together. It’s a great watch, even if it’s fairly simplistic in its portrayal of hope and help. But honestly, we could all use a little extra helping of each now and then.

As some bonus trivia, two time Oscar-winner Brad Bird ended up getting his first share of a screenwriting credit on this film after working on a pair of episodes for Spielberg’s Amazing Stories series. That should be reason enough to give it a go. – Dave Trumbore


Image via Disney

Director: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Jared Bush

Cast: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk

One of the most refreshing animated movies in years is Disney’s Moana, the Oscar-nominated film that tells the tale of a young Pacific Island girl’s confident rise as a leader and visionary. Complicating her quest is the demigod Maui, played particularly well by Dwayne Johnson, though he’s clearly met his match with newcomer Auli’i Cravalho. The on-screen chemistry here is fantastic and reminiscent of some of the best pairings throughout Disney’s historic filmography.

Moana not only brings a rarely seen mythology and history to the big screen, it does so with earnest respect for the living culture that still exists today in the Pacific Islands. It’s a movie that will satisfy everything you’re looking for in a Disney movie but will also leave you wanting more because of how rich the world is, the film’s compelling and engrossing mythology, and just because Moana and Maui are so much fun to watch. I’d love a sequel and I’d love a spin-off series (we were robbed of more time with Heihei and the kakamora), but for now, at least Moana is on Netflix! – Dave Trumbore

The Little Prince

Image via Netflix

Director: Mark Osborne

Writer: Irena Brignull (screenplay), Bob Persichetti (screenplay), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (novel)

Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Riley Osborne, Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Bud Cort, Paul Giamatti, Albert Brooks

It’s not every day you get to see a modern animated adaptation of an iconic bestselling story like The Little Prince, but thanks to Netflix and the talented cast and crew assembled to bring Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s story to life, a whole new generation can now enjoy the classic tale. Now while it’s not a point-for-point translation of the tale, it does pay homage to the novella’s fan-favorite characters and scenes. The Fox, The Snake, and The Rose are all present, and they’re brought to life in contrasting animation styles that help to conjure up images of the original drawings alongside the cutting-edge computer-generated characters common in today’s kids movies. This contrast also sets apart the book’s story, which itself exists as a story within a larger framing story following The Little Girl (Foy) and her uptight, hyper-organized Mother (McAdams). Their addition brings a new wrinkle to a familiar story, but the movie’s at its best when it sticks to the original tale. If you haven’t read The Little Prince or seen any of its adaptations over the years, this is a great place to start. — Dave Trumbore


Image via Disney

Directed by: John Musker, Ron Clements

Written by: John Musker, Ron Clements, Donald McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi

Cast: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Rip Torn, Frank Welker, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amanda Plummer, Paul Shaffer, Wayne Knight, Keith David, and Hal Holbrook

Hercules came at an interesting time for Walt Disney Animation Studios, which was still trying to recapture the same zeitgeist-commanding fame of films like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. And while Hercules isn’t a home run like those early 90s Disney films, it’s a pretty delightful double. The animated retelling of the Hercules story is incredibly funny and colorful as we follow the young Hercules trying to find his place in the world, knowing he was meant for something greater. It’s almost something of a Superman remake, but with gods instead of superheroes. The songs are fantastic, and Megara is a refreshingly independent female lead. Who puts the glad in gladiator? – Adam Chitwood

Little Monsters

Image via United Artists/MGM

Director: Richard Alan Greenberg

Writers: Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott

Cast: Fred Savage, Daniel Stern, Margaret Whitton, Rick Ducommun, and Howie Mandel

If you’re looking for something a little twisted but not so much so your kids will be scarred for life, Little Monsters is a solid bet. This 1989 comedy stars Fred Savage as a kid afraid that monsters are under his bed—only to discover he’s right. Howie Mandel plays his own pet monster, who visits his bedroom from the monster world underneath. Director Richard Alan Greenberg takes viewers into said monster world with a cruel twist, but along the way there’s plenty fun to be had. It’s very 80s, very Spielberg influenced, but just a little bit offkilter to make it worth the watch. – Adam Chitwood

The Land Before Time

Image via Universal Pictures

Director: Don Bluth

Writer: Stu Krieger, Judy Freudberg, Tony Geiss

Cast: Pat Hingle, Judith Barsi, Gabriel Damon, Helen Shaver, Bill Erwin, Burke Byrnes, Candace Hutson, Will Ryan, Frank Welker

The Land Before Time, a classically animated tale about a group of young dinosaur friends in prehistoric times that kickstarted a series of direct-to-video animated movies that continues to this day. The original was producer by the super-team of Steven SpielbergGeorge Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall back in 1988, who all did pretty well for themselves even after leaving Littlefoot and company behind.

The first of the 14 films introduced young audiences to the Longnecks, Three-Horns, Spiketails, and more, names of different dinosaur species that had all historically kept to themselves. However, when an earthquake fractures the land and separates a group of young dinosaurs from their herds, they must put their differences aside to reunite with their families and maybe even find the fabled Great Valley along the way. - Dave Trumbore

Chicken Run

Image via Aardman Animation

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park

Writers: Peter Lord, Nick Park, Karey Kirkpatrick, Mark Burton, John O’Farrell

Cast: Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson, Julia Sawalha, Tony Haygarth, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton

It’s not like the House of Aardman has never had a dud. Flushed Away wasn’t particularly great and not every single short needs to be seen to understand the dry, comical appeal of Aardman’s style and perspective. Most of the time, however, Aardman leads the charge for stop-motion animation through new classics like Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit and this oft-forgotten, exquisite takeoff on The Great Escape. Julia Sawalha voices Ginger, a chicken who is looking to lead a rebellion amongst her sisters against her evil farmer owners, the Tweedys, voiced by Miranda Richardson and Tony Haygarth, and gets a miraculous bit of help from a damaged rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson). Not only is the movie a marvel of clever parody in its conflation of something like Peter Rabbit with The Great Escape, it’s also a very open appeal for labor reform and animal rights. All that, however, ends up behind secondary to sheer thrill of watching Aardman’s world of wonders, giving a full sense of a farm as a living ecosystem and a realm of unending physical work. A weaker film would put all the focus on the romance that blooms between Ginger and Rocky, whereas in the finished product of Chicken Run, their cute courtship is merely a facet of a much larger, endlessly entertaining whirligig. - Chris Cabin

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

Image via Universal Pictures

Directors: Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells

Writer: Flint Dille

Cast: Phillip Glasser, James Stewart, Erica Yohn, John Cleese, Jon Lovitz, and Erica Yohn

You need not have seen An American Tail to enjoy this 90s classic sequel An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. Produced by Steven Spielberg, this hand-drawn animation film tells the story of the impoverished Mousekewitz family who now find themselves enmeshed in the world of the Wild West. It’s a loving ode to the Western genre with some swell original songs and a voice performance by icon Jimmy Stewart. Give it a whirl if you’re in a throwback mood. – Adam Chitwood

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