The Best Kids Movies on Netflix (April 2021)

Movies that offer something for the whole family

The best kid-friendly movies help the youngest in your family learn new things. They’re also just as fun and insightful for the older kids and adults in the room. Whether you’re looking for a laugh, a timely lesson, or a bit of both for your little ones, these top kids' movies on Netflix deliver wholesome entertainment for everyone in the family to enjoy.

01
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Arlo the Alligator Boy (2021): A Reptile Out of Water Musical Comedy

A scene from the animated film 'Arlo the Alligator Boy'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: n/a

Genre: Animated

Starring: Michael J. Woodard, Mary Lambert, Haley Tju

Director: Ryan Crego

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

When a half-human, half-alligator boy learns he's from New York City, he leaves his swamp and embarks on a journey to the Big Apple to find his long-lost father. So, basically the plot of Elf. This new animated musical adventure-comedy will be followed by a 20-episode streaming television series called I (heart) Arlo.

02
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Yes Day (2021): Standard Family Fare With a Valuable Lesson

Jennifer Garner and Jenna Ortega in 'Yes Day'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.7/10

Genre: Family, Comedy

Starring:  Jennifer Garner, Edgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega

Director: Miguel Arteta

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Allison (Jennifer Garner) and Carlos (Edgar Ramirez) are the types of parents who say "no" to everything. But one day they decide to say yes to everything—with a few ground rules, of course. Their kids quickly seize on the opportunity to make their parents do whatever outlandish stuff they can dream up. That's the premise of Yes Day, a fairly entertaining family film with an underlying message about when to say "yes" and "no." Kids will enjoy the hijinks, while parents will appreciate the lesson it tries to teach them.

03
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The Princess and the Frog (2009): An Inclusive and Uplifting Twist On A Classic

The Princess and the Frog on Netflix

Walt Disney Pictures

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring:  Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey

Director: Ron Clements, John Musker

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Tiana dreams of opening a restaurant in honor of her father, but she faces several setbacks—including the task of helping a prince and herself become human again after transforming into frogs. This inclusive reimagining of a classic fairy tale set in Jazz-age-era New Orleans encourages dreaming big and persevering, even when the odds are stacked.

04
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Klaus (2019): A Heartfelt Story About the Power of Good Will

Klaus movie from Netflix Animation Studios

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones

Director: Sergio Pablos, Carlo Martínez López

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

When Jesper’s father sends him to become a postman on the remote and chilly island of Smeerensburg, populated by two feuding clans, all he wants to do is work hard enough so he can leave. Then one letter changes everything. This animated feature teaches the infectious impact of performing actions out of generosity and not self-interest.

05
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Hugo (2011): A Poignant Fantasy From an Acclaimed Director

Hugo fantasy/family film from Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chlöe Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee

Director: Martin Scorcese

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Hugo is an orphan who lives in a Paris train station. His only source of hope is fixing an automaton that holds an important last message from his late father. Little does he know that it will uncover much more. This cinematic fantasy is jam-packed with history lessons and delivers a reassuring message about everyone having a place in the world.

06
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A Shaun the Sheep Movie (2020): Farmageddon: A Whimsical Claymation Feature

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon claymation family film

StudioCanal UK

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Amalia Vitale

Director: Will Becher, Richard Phelan

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 26 minutes

After a crash landing in a small town, a young alien is left stranded. Luckily, Shaun the Sheep and his herd are determined to help her reunite with her family. Akin to a modern-day E.T. without dialogue, this truly endearing movie reinforces the universal power of acceptance.

07
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How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014): An Entertaining Tale About Unity

How to Train Your Dragon 2 animated adventure movie

20th Century Studios

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler

Director: Dean DeBlois

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Hiccup and his trusty dragon Toothless are determined to save their village from a villain who wants to use an army of dragons for his gain. While there are some scarier moments in this 3D adventure, this visually rich and heartwarming story carries an important message about the importance of unity despite differences.

08
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Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005): Another Board Game Comes to Life

Zathura spaced-themed family movie

Columbia Pictures

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

Genre: Action, Adventure, Family

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard

Director: Jon Favreau

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Two brothers who fight constantly find a way to work together when they're launched into the world of a space-themed board game. This Jumanji-in-space movie is packed with adventure and humor, and serves up a helpful reminder to appreciating siblings, even when it’s difficult.

09
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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009): A Delicious Helping of Self-Acceptance

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs animated comedy

Columbia Pictures

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell

Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

A young inventor in Sardine Land has only ever wanted approval from his dad and others. When he develops a rocket that makes all sorts of delicious food rain down from the sky, he gets swept up by the recognition and forgets what really matters. This heartwarming and humorous film promotes self-acceptance and staying grounded by supportive family and friends rather than popularity.

10
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Over the Moon (2020): A Charming Musical Journey

Over the Moon animated musical

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Cathy Ang, John Cho, Sandra Oh

Director: Glen Keane, John Kahrs

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Fei Fei mourns her mother’s passing and resists moving forward. Determined to make sure her mother’s memory isn’t lost, she builds a rocket to prove her mom’s favorite mythical story about a moon goddess is real. Visually engaging and cute, this animated film also tackles the difficult subject of moving on after losing a loved one without ever having to let their memory go.

11
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The Polar Express (2004): Another Way to Enjoy a Beloved Holiday Story

Polar Express animated adaptation of the children's book classic

Warner Bros. Pictures

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

This movie adaptation of the beloved children’s book classic follows a young boy and many other children on an express train straight to the North Pole. This celebration of imagination and wonder is a welcome dose of lighthearted whimsy any time of year.

12
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The Willoughbys (2020): A Different Kind of Happily Ever After

The Willoughbys animated Netflix film

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.4/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara

Director: Kris Pearn, Cory Evans

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

A quirky animated film that follows four siblings who discover what family really means. While the subject matter is a bit dark, there’s a heartfelt message about appreciating loved ones, especially siblings, and that family doesn’t always have to look a certain way.

13
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Mirai (2018): A Nod of Encouragement for Older Siblings

Mirai anime film

Toho Co., Ltd.

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Daniel Dae Kim, John Cho

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

When his new baby sister arrives, young Kun struggles with feeling like he’s an afterthought. He seeks refuge in the garden which magically transports him in time to meet various family members. Each journey the young boy takes gives him a newfound appreciation of his loved ones and helps him embrace his new sibling. This mellow anime imparts a tender message of reassurance for children adjusting to becoming an older sibling for the first time.

14
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White Fang (2018): Teaches Stewardship and Love of the Natural World

White Fang animated adaptation of the classic novel

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure

Starring: Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Paul Giamatti

Director: Alexandre Espigares

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes

An animated version of the classic tale of a wolf/dog pup who is separated from his pack and experiences a series of unforgettable adventures. While this movie is probably best for older children, this adventure tale reinforces the importance of respecting animals and nature.

15
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The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019): Furry Friends Teach Embracing the Unknown

The Secret Life of Pets 2 animated comedy and family movie

Universal Pictures

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford

Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 26 minutes

When Max becomes a little too worried about protecting his favorite little human, he learns to let go with the help of all of his pet friends. This animated feature acknowledges it’s okay to worry about the unknown, but taking chances is important too.

16
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Hook (1991): A Swashbuckling Family Feature

Hook family film about adult Peter Pan returning to Neverland

TriStar Pictures

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts

Director: Steven Spielberg

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

This star-studded adventure imagines an adult Peter Pan who must return to Neverland to rescue his kids. His key to success? Remembering how to be less of a grown-up. This film extends a cheerful message about staying young at heart and allowing room for make-believe at any age.

17
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Canvas (2020): A Short Film With a Profound Message

Cavas short animated film from Netflix

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Animation, Short, Drama

Director: Frank E. Abney III

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 9 minutes

While this dialog-free short film is just 9 minutes, it’s a moving story about a grandfather who makes his way back toward his passion, painting, with the support of his granddaughter and daughter. This short movie does acknowledge death but in a gentle way which could begin a healing conversation with a young one.

18
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Finding 'Ohana (2021): Goonies for Generation Z

Finding 'Ohana family adventure film from Netflix

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Kelly Hu, Ke Huy Quan, Lindsay Watson

Director: Jude Weng

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 2 hours, 3 minutes

Two siblings from Brooklyn reluctantly head to Hawaii to visit their grandpa but end up on a life-changing adventure. Part Goonies, part Indiana Jones, this uplifting Netflix original is also a lively celebration of Hawaiian culture. This adventure highlights family togetherness and pride in one’s heritage.

19
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Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection (2015): 12 Memorable Stories for Bite-Size Viewing

Collection of classic Disney animated short films

Walt Disney Studios

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Paul Briggs, Alan Dale, Bill Farmer

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes

A collection of 12 classic Disney shorts with favorites parents will recognize from their own youth, plus newer characters your little ones may already know. In true Disney fashion, the power of storytelling stands out with themes ranging from accepting change to feel-good comedies featuring Mickey and Goofy.

20
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The Muppets (2011): A Feel-Good Musical Reunion

The Muppets movie featuring a reunion of the whole crew

Walt Disney Pictures

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper

Director: James Bobin

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 2 hours

With the help of his brother, one Muppets superfan fulfills his dream of getting the Muppets back together again for an epic performance. This zany and humorous feel-good musical promotes working together and is a great way to introduce young ones to this lovable puppet ensemble.

21
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We Can Be Heroes (2020): A Superhero Fantasy About Teamwork

We Can Be Heroes superhero action comedy for kids

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 4.7/10

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama

Starring: YaYa Gosselin, Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

When aliens invade earth and capture its most important superheroes, their children must step up to save the day. This superhero fantasy emphasizes collaboration and self-confidence as integral to both teamwork and leadership.

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