A well-written movie with great visuals and valuable life lessons is a good way to entertain and educate your kids while spending quality time with them. There are family movies on TV, but they might not fit your schedule. Thankfully, there are lots of family movies on Netflix. If you can't decide which ones are good, worry not. We made this list to help you, so get the kids ready (and the popcorn) and enjoy your family movie night.
What Is a Family Movie?
A family movie is for kids' entertainment and education, but it's also meant to be watched with parents in tow. The family movies on Netflix are perfect because you can enjoy them at home anytime. Family movies feature great visuals and stories. It can be a magical tale of a young heroine or a sci-fi adventure of a child hero. There are many that feature talking animals, too! Also, family movies usually tell a story that highlights the importance of family and friendship.
How We Reviewed
For our list of family movies on Netflix, we chose some with great visuals. We believe images are the best at capturing your kids' attention and driving home the movie's message. We also chose the movies with great musical score and voice acting since children are often drawn to fun music and catchy songs. Although there are plenty of classic family movies to choose from, we picked more recent films, so read on to find out the best family movies on Netflix right now.
Family Movies on Netflix We Reviewed
Here's a rundown of the movies on our list (in no particular rank).
If your kids are into a touching story with great music, we recommend Coco. This movie may have the most "feels" in our list of family movies on Netflix. Coco is a 2017 animated musical from Pixar, the creators of Up and Toy Story. The movie tells the adventures of the boy Miguel, a good-natured Mexican kid with a flair for music. One day, he sets off to the land of the dead to meet his long-dead grandparents.
Coco takes inspiration from the Mexican tradition of Dia del Muertos, or "day of the dead." But this is not your horror-filled Halloween; the Mexicans celebrate their deceased loved ones with music and offerings. Add the gorgeous animation of Pixar, and you have a feast for the eyes and ears. This movie tells the importance of family, which is why it is the first item on our list.
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Mary and the Witch's Flower
The next item on our family movies on Netflix will take you to the magic school of Endor College. If your family likes Japanese anime, then you will love the 2017 animated movie Mary and the Witch's Flower.
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The movie tells the story of Mary, who while following a strange cat stumbles upon a magical flower and a broomstick. This flower, called Fly-by-Night, blooms once every seven years. Onboard the magical broomstick, Mary gets taken away to Endor College, a school for witches run by Madame Bumblechook and his shady associate Doctor Dee.
"Bewitching" may be the best word to describe this film. If your kids are fans of Harry Potter, and you are a devotee of Studio Ghibli, then this movie offers the same charming, magical story. It is a loose adaptation of the 1971 children's story, The Little Broomstick. This movie features Studio Ghibli's trademark character: a strong-willed young girl with an independent spirit and youthful innocence. The studio's gorgeous animation is magical and will definitely captivate your children.
Beauty and the Beast
A tale as old as time, this film is the live adaptation of the animated classic for the millennial audience. Your kids will learn the power of love and family the way you did when you saw the movie for the first time. The Disney animation Beauty and the Beast captivated generations during its release in 1991. In 2017, Disney brought its beloved animated classic to life with the musical romance Beauty and the Beast.
You can relive this tale of love in our list of family movies on Netflix. It stars Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame) as Belle, the country girl who through love literally changes the life of the titular Beast, played by Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey). Expect lavish production and a captivating musical score.
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We have another Disney entry on our list of family movies on Netflix. We will take you to the tropical islands of Polynesia with the 2016 animated movie Moana. The movie features critically acclaimed musical score and superb voice acting led by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and upcoming actress Auli'i Cravalho.
The film tells the story of Moana and her quest to find the demigod Maui. Blessed by the ocean spirit, Moana sets sail to save her people with the help of Maui. Once more, Disney features a "princess" but this time, a strong-willed girl who is no damsel of distress. This film will make a great inspiration for young girls.
April and the Extraordinary World
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April and the Extraordinary World is a French-Belgian-Canadian animated film that tells a story that's a great parable for technology and its threats to society and family. It will also inspire your children to have a curious mind and a compassionate heart.
This movie combines history with steampunk and fantasy elements. It features the unique animation style based on the work of French cartoonist Jacques Tardi. The story is set in an alternate-history 1941 Paris, where technology is still based on coal and steam power. The movie tells the adventures of April and her scientifically enhanced talking cat as they set out to find her missing parents.
The Iron Giant
Set in 1957 Maine, our story tells the unlikely bond between a robot and a town kid. Nine-year-old Hogarth discovers a giant alien robot after it crash-landed near his hometown. When a government agent tries to destroy his robot, it is up to Hogarth to save his precious friend. The Iron Giant is a charming tale that features a comic book-like animation style and the voices of Vin Diesel (as the robot) and Eli Marienthal (as Hogarth). This film is a good treat for your robot-loving kids.
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Speaking of unlikely friendship, we have another similar tale on our list. Instead of a robot, we feature a dragon. Pete's Dragon is a 2016 fantasy film that tells the story of 11-year-old Pete and his dragon Elliot. The green dragon found Pete in the forest as a kid after his parents died in an accident. The two form an unlikely friendship that is put to the test when the village tries to hunt Elliot down.
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As kids, we loved the cute toys called Trolls. It's our kids' turn to meet these fuzzy-haired creatures in the 2016 computer animation Trolls. The film features the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey Deschanel. Props to the animation as the lovely troll dolls came out realistically.
Trolls tells the story of two trolls who embark on a quest to save their village from being destroyed by their archenemies, the monsters known as Bergens. Trolls are small earth creatures known for their joyous love of life. When grumpy Bergens kidnapped her friends, troll Poppy with the help of her friend Branch goes on a rescue mission.
From computer-generated films, we go to a more old-school style of animation: stop motion. Chicken Run is full of funny scenes that will make you and your kids burst with laughter, making it a feel-good movie for the family.
Chicken Run is a 2000 film produced by Aardman Animations of Wallace and Gromit fame. Chicken Run tells the story of a group of chickens as they live their lives as egg-laying slaves in a Yorkshire chicken farm. When a chicken-pie machine is installed near their coops, the chickens hatch a plan to escape with the help of a flamboyant American rooster.
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Sports movies are good for family viewing because they teach kids the values of friendship, sportsmanship, teamwork, and perseverance. For the only sports movie on our recommended family movies on Netflix, let's slide back in time and watch Cool Runnings. This film is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaican national bobsled team who competed in 1988 Winter Olympics.
This 1993 sports comedy tells the story of a group of Jamaican bobsled athletes as they work towards their dreams of joining the Winter Olympics (despite not having snow in Jamaica). The story revolves around an ex-Olympian sprinter who enlists the help of a disgraced former medalist.
Looney Tunes: Back in Action
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Looney Tunes will always be part of our childhood. It's about time for the kids to meet Bugs Bunny and company with the 2003 movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action. This mixed live-action/animated comedy film features the beloved Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in their usual misadventures. This time, they will help Brendan Fraser find a rare "blue diamond" before an evil corporate man uses it to transform mankind into monkeys. Expect the usual slapstick humor of Looney Tunes and the forever-funny Steve Martin.
Horror novels rarely translate into kid-friendly movies, but with the 2009 hit Coraline, kids are treated to a dark fantasy that puts a twist in their childhood nightmares. Based on the novel of the same name by award-winning writer Neil Gaiman, Coraline tells the thrilling adventure of Coraline, a girl who discovers a parallel world behind a door in her home. She likes staying in the mirror world, which she thinks is better than her real one. But when her family in that world tries to keep her there forever, Coraline must face her fears and do everything to return to her original family.
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Family movies on Netflix often feature superhero movies because lets' face it, everyone loves superheroes. Doctor Strange is no stranger to this love. This 2016 superhero film tells the story of Dr. Stephen Strange as he goes from a car accident survivor to the most powerful sorcerer in the universe. His newfound power and status soon face a challenge as unseen powerful forces threaten to destroy reality. He must now choose whether to defend the world. The film stars actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams and part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.
Kubo and the Two Strings
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There's a distinguishable difference between stop-motion animation and 3D animation. Kubo and the Two Strings seamlessly combines the two, making one of the most visually appealing family movies on Netflix. This 2016 animation is a fantasy film featuring elements such as samurai, sword fights and Japanese folklore creatures. It tells the adventures of Kubo and his friends as they set out to defeat the Moon King, the evil lord who stole his left eye and now threatens to world. The film features the voices of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson and Matthew McConaughey.
A film about another unlikely friendship, The BFG is a 2016 fantasy film that tells the story of 10-year-old Sophie and her encounter with a 24-foot giant. Afraid of him at first, Sophie then discovers his gentle side and soon forms a friendship with him. But this bond gets threatened by bad giants, and now Sophie must do everything to protect her and her friend. This movie was directed and produced by director Steven Spielberg.
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Our list of family movies on Netflix is not ranked by any order. We highly recommend choosing the ones based on your kids' preferences and be sure to take their age and maturity level into account when choosing the right family movie. So sit back and enjoy your family bonding!