The 35 Best Kids Movies on Netflix

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The 35 Best Kids Movies on Netflix

If you go to Netflix’s “Children and Family Movies” category and search by highest rated, the first thing you see is Fred: The Movie. Also on the first page of results are The Suite Life Movie and a snowboarding adventure called Cloud 9. This is to say that kids don’t always have the best taste in movies. That’s fine if they’re going to go watch on their own. But if you want to watch with them, we’ve got 35 films that you may actually enjoy, or even love. Not all of these are marketed specifically for kids (we’ve got the occasional superhero flick or sci-fi adventure), but we’ve included age-appropriate guides for each film.

Whether you’re in the mood for some classic animated storytelling, slapstick comedy-adventure or just a great movie that you can watch with the whole family, here are our picks for the 35 Best Kids Movies on Netflix. Add your own suggestions in the comments section below.

antz.jpg 35. Antz
Year: 1998
Rating: PG
For Ages: 3+
Before Dreamworks became a powerhouse with Shrek and Madagascar, the newly founded company recruited an all-star cast for Antz: Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Anne Bancroft, Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken and many more. Released in the same year as Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, Antz follows the inspiring story of a lowly worker ant Z (Woody Allen) who tries to work his way up the social ladder in the ant colony while falling in love with Queen Ant’s daughter, Princess Bala (Sharon Stone).—Eric Gossett

freaky-friday.jpg 34. Freaky Friday
Year: 2003
Rating: PG
For Ages: 8+
The remake of the 1976 film of the same name, Freaky Friday brings us Lindsay Lohan during a time when she was still kid-friendly. The story is a teenage-girl classic. A mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her daughter can’t get along until one day something freaky happens—they switch bodies. Suddenly the line “You couldn’t last a day at my high school, mom!” is a sweet and sour reality.—Alexa Carrasco

prince-of-egypt.jpg 33. The Prince of Egypt
Year: 1998
Rating: PG
For Ages: 3+
The scene where Moses parts the seas in this animated musical is a truly epic moment. An adaptation of the Book of Exodus, the biblical DreamWorks release follows Moses in his climatic quest to free the slaves from Egypt—all of which can be summed up by the line “Let my people go!” The score was composed by Hans Zimmer, who collaborated with Stephen Schwartz on “When You Believe,” which won Best Original Song at the 1999 Academy Awards. Disclaimer: kids might argue plot lines are factual history at a later date.—Alexa Carrasco

jumanji.jpg 32. Jumanji
Year: 1995
Rating: PG
For Ages: 9+
Another “kid’s” movie with an unexpectedly horrific backbone, Jumangi is a weirdly jumbled thematic puzzle box. You’ve got Robin Williams, who reins in the shtick but still remains a classic comic actor, but at the same time he and the kids are constantly facing challenges that are legitimately deadly. As in, this evil board game spends all of its time trying to murder them as violently as it possibly can. One of the challenges is literally a man with a gun who tries to hunt you down and shoot you! Understandably, my 9-year-old self thought that, along with some effects that were pretty inventive for their time, was pretty awesome.—Jim Vorel

aristocats.jpg 31. The Aristocats
Year: 1970
Rating: G
For Ages: 3+
The best kids’ movies are the ones that entertain while simultaneously imparting some sort of lesson, and The Aristocats achieves both. Besides the inherent adorableness that comes with a family of animated cats and classic Disney musical numbers like “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” (courtesy of Scatman Crothers’ Scat Cat character), we get all the morals that come from watching a snobby, wealthy feline family rescued by an alley cat.—Bonnie Stiernberg

phineas.jpg 30. Phineas and Ferb The Movie
Year: 2011
Rating: G
For Ages: 3+
Tucked among The Disney Channel’s awful TV lineup is an 11-minute show packed with intersecting plot lines, adventure in suburbia, intrigue and a pet platypus doubling as a super agent. “Hey Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today,” Phineas says each show before launching into his latest ambitious plan to pass the summer days, whether it’s building a giant tree house that transforms into a giant robot or filming a movie or creating a time machine. Unlike most Disney shows, the kids have a deep-seated affection for both siblings and parents—even as Candice tries to bust her brothers. Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh met while working on The Simpsons. Povenmire later worked on Family Guy, and the cleverness of those shows has wore off on both. And the movie captures all that’s great about the show.—Josh Jackson

cat-in-paris.jpg
29. A Cat in Paris
Year: 2010
Rating: PG
For Ages: 8+
The beautifully drawn panorama of the city at night is what first catches your eye as A Cat in Paris begins, and the fast-paced, action-packed story keeps you enthralled throughout the entirety of the film. The story follows a cat who leads a double life, living the typical, pampered existence as a young girl’s pet and companion during the day and moonlighting as a cat burglar’s sidekick (pun definitely intended) each evening. The story incorporates themes of loss, friendship, moral standards and the search for truth, while bringing the cat’s owners together in a delightful, if not somewhat predictable turn of events as the story unfolds. A Cat in Paris is definitely a great movie for the whole family to watch; funny, sweet, visually striking, suspenseful, captivating and overall simply trés bien.—Ann-Marie Morris

annie.jpg 28. Annie
Year: 1982
Rating: PG
For Ages: 5+
John Huston was nominated for 15 Oscars; his only Razzie nomination came from this 1982 adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie. But his version has become beloved by many who grew up with this version of the story. And there’s no denying Carol Burnett’s terrifying performance as Miss Hannigan, the cruel director of Annie’s orphanage. It’s a hard knock life for the precocious kid.—Josh Jackson

hercules.jpg 27. Hercules
Year: 1997
Rating: G
For Ages: 3+
Hercules was another staple in Disney’s reign during the ‘90s. Released in 1997, it was stuck in between 1996’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and 1998’s Mulan. Featuring voice contributions from Tate Donovan, Danny Devito and James Woods, the film follows the harrowing adventure of Greek demigod Hercules. After he’s banished to earth by his evil uncle Hades, Hercules must learn to become a “true hero” and go back home to Olympus to defeat Hades once and for all. It’s not the most substantial of Disney films, but it’s fun all the same.—Eric Gossett

hunchback-of-notre-dame.jpg 25. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Year: 1996
Rating: G
For Ages: 3+
Based on the French, gothic novel of the same name, this film comes to us in Disney animated musical drama format. Definitely one of Disney’s darker animated classics, the film follows Quasimodo, the somber, deformed bell-ringer of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, who lives hidden from the exterior world. The score, composed by Alan Menken and written by Stephen Schwartz, makes the film’s lessons against superficiality a bit more uplifting than they would be otherwise.—Alexa Carrasco

despereaux.jpg 24. The Tale of Despereaux
Year: 2008
Rating: G
For Ages: 4+
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it—along with fearlessness—make young Despereaux a most unusual mouse. The film from Gary Ross (Big, The Hunger Games) and Sam Fell (Flushed Away, ParaNorman) was adapted from Kate DiCamillo’s 2004 Newbery Medal-winning novel. The gorgeous animation outshines the story, though it’s engaging enough for the younger set.—Josh Jackson

the-rescuers.jpg 23. The Rescuers
Year: 1977
Rating: G
For Ages: 3+
A bright spot between The Jungle Book, released in 1967 just after Walt Disney’s death and his company’s renaissance with 1989’s The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers took four years and $8 million, time and money reflected in the quality of the production. Based on a pair of Margery Sharp fantasy novels, the story tracks a pair of mice, Bernard (Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianco (Eva Gabor) as they travel the Devil’s Bayou in search of a missing child. It’s a charming tale celebrating the little guys with big hearts.—Josh Jackson

croods.jpg 22. The Croods
Year: 2013
Rating: PG
For Ages: 5+
The Croods is a fairly straightforward tale about family. There’s Grug (Nicolas Cage), the overprotective father, and his rebellious daughter, Eep (Emma Stone), each trying to make the world in their own view, one cautious and the other curious. Things kick up a notch or two, though, when a nomad named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) arrives, full of ideas—the biggest of which is that the world is ending and the family that was sequestered in a cave needs to get out and get moving, or end up as fossils. It is through his eyes that The Croods really comes to life. Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins consulted on some of the visuals, and it shows in scenes involving Eep’s discovery of fire and the enormity of the universe, as seen for the first time from the top of a forest. The animators echo Guy’s sense of adventure—he invents shoes and belts; they create creatures that wouldn’t look out of place in something imagined by Guillermo Del Toro. There’s true joy in seeing both the world that has been fashioned and the way these neophytes react to it.—Tyler Chase

adele-blanc-sec.jpg 21. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
Year: 2010
Rating: PG
For Ages: 10+
From the director of The Fifth Element and Léon: The Professional comes an adventure with all the whimsical flair of Terry Gilliam or Michel Gondry. Adèle Blanc-Sec has a wit as dry as her name, a fearlessness that would do Indiana Jones proud and a temper to match. An woman in early-1900s Paris, the boys club that surrounds her is just one more obstacle to casually brush aside. Her story involves an Egyptian tomb, a reanimated pterodactyl and an unstoppable resolve to help her sister. French with English subtitles, it’s the type of hidden gem that’s waiting on Netflix Instant to be discovered.—Josh Jackson