The Best Kids Movies on Netflix (December 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
of 20

Back to the Outback (2021): A Film About Finding a Place to Fit In

'Back to the Outback' (2021)

Netflix

IMDb Rating: n/a

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Isla Fisher, Guy Pearce, Tim Minchin

Director: Harry Cripps, Clare Knight

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Australia is known for having some of the world's deadliest creatures. But, when some of them get tired of being gawked at while in captivity, they escape and head back to the Outback. There's Maddie, a sweet but poisonous snake; a cocky Thorny Devil lizard named Zoe; a lovelorn hairy spider named Frank; and the sensitive scorpion Nigel. They're joined on their mission by their nemesis Pretty Boy, an annoying koala. Featuring a big cast of talented voice actors, the film promises to be a fun time.

02
of 20

A Boy Called Christmas (2021): Santa Gets an Origin Story

Henry Lawfull in 'A Boy Called Christmas'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.3/10

Genre: Adventure

Starring: Henry Lawfull, Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig

Director: Gil Kenan

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) is a boy with a pet mouse and a reindeer named Blitzen. He's looking for his father, who went missing while on a quest to discover a fabled village called Elfhelm. What follows is the origin story of Father Christmas, a.k.a. Santa, which features a great cast, humor, and plenty of heart.

03
of 20

Nightbooks (2021): A Fun Horror Romp Suitable for Younger Viewers

Krysten Ritter in 'Nightbooks'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett

Director: David Yarovesky

Motion Picture Rating: TV-PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Alex (Winslow Fegley) is an imaginative young boy who loves scary stories. When he discovers an evil witch (Krysten Ritter) living in his apartment building, she captures him and demands he tell her a new spooky tale each night. He meets another prisoner named Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), and together they seek a way to escape. Whimsical and genuinely spooky at times, it's a good introduction to the horror genre for younger viewers, while older viewers will appreciate Ritter's fun performance as the evil witch.

04
of 20

My Little Pony: A New Generation (2021) — For Fans of Glitter and Nigh-Unbearable Cuteness

A unicorn and a pony go on an adventure in 'My Little Pony: A New Generation'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Elizabeth Perkins, James Marsden, Vanessa Hudgens

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

The latest offering from the My Little Pony franchise sees three ponies teaming up to help the land of Equestria, which has lost all of its magic. Idealistic Earth Pony Sunny (Vanessa Hudgens) is determined to bring magic back and reunite the various pony factions. She's helped by exuberant Unicorn Izzy (Kimiko Glenn), fellow Earth Pony Hitch (James Marsden), and many others. Anyone who's a fan of the long-running multimedia franchise will undoubtedly enjoy the ponies' latest adventures.

05
of 20
Klara Castanho in 'Confessions of an Invisible Girl'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.2/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Klara Castanho, Júlia Rabello, Stepan Nercessian

Director: Bruno Garotti

Motion Picture Rating: TV-PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Anyone who's ever felt like they don't quite fit in will enjoy this sweet Brazilian teen movie. Tetê is a socially awkward girl who feels alone both at school and at home. But when her parents are forced to move the family to Copacabana and she starts over at a new school, Tetê is determined to change for the better. Whether or not the school's queen bee lets her is another story.

06
of 20

Vivo (2021): Sony's First-Ever Musical Adventure

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ynairaly Simo in 'Vivo'

Sony Pictures

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Vivo is an animated musical from Sony Pictures and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Featuring an all-new original soundtrack from Miranda, it tells the story of a kinkajou who embarks on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to deliver a love song for an old friend.

07
of 20
A scene from the animated kids film 'The Loud House Movie'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Animation

Starring: David Tennant, Grey Griffin, Michelle Gomez

Motion Picture Rating: TV-Y7

Runtime: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Based on the popular Nickelodeon series, The Loud House Movie sees Lincoln Loud, his boisterous ten sisters, and his parents head to Scotland. There they learn they're related to royalty. It promises to be as witty and wholesome as the television series.

08
of 20

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans (2021): Concluding the Tales of Arcadia Trilogy

Characters summon some magic in 'Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans'

Dreamworks

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Animated, Action, Adventure

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Nick Offerman, Steven Yeun

Director: Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz-Velasco, Andrew L. Schmidt

Motion Picture Rating: TV-Y7

Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Rise of the Titans is the follow-up to Dreamworks and director Guillermo del Toro's Tales of Arcadia series. Characters from all three installments—Trollhunters, 3Below, and Wizards—must band together to defeat the evil Arcane Order and the ancient titans it summons in its attempt to destroy the world. Critics have praised the Trollhunters series for its animation, its darker storytelling, and its voice acting. It was nominated for nine Daytime Emmy Awards in 2017. Fans should enjoy this conclusion to the story, while newcomers can catch up on the rest of the Tales of Arcadia series on Netflix first before watching the finale.

09
of 20

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie (2021): Return of an Anime Icon

Characters strike a pose in 'Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie'

Toei Animation

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Genre: Animated, Action, Adventure

Starring: Kotono Mitsuishi, Stephanie Sheh (English version), Kate Higgins (English version)

Director: Chiaki Kon

Motion Picture Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 2 hours, 40 minutes

This two-part Netflix film brings back iconic anime magical girl Sailor Moon and her friends in all their pastel-colored glory. For the uninitiated, the Sailor Moon series is about a young girl who befriends a magical cat named Luna that lets her turn into a hero via the flashiest, most elaborate transformation sequences ever put on celluloid. In Eternal, she meets Pegasus, who's searching for someone who can break the seal of the Golden Crystal, while a creepy circus seeks the Silver Crystal in hopes of using it to dominate the universe. Anyone who's followed Sailor Moon's exploits for the last few decades is in for a treat.

10
of 20

Wish Dragon (2021): A Fun 'Aladdin' Retread

John Cho and Jimmy Wong in 'Wish Dragon'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Genre: Animated, Adventure

Starring: John Cho, Jimmy Wong, Natasha Liu Bordizzo 

Director: Chris Appelhans

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Din (Jimmy Wong) wants to reconnect with his childhood best friend. Thanks to a wish-granting dragon (John Cho), he may get his chance. But when he can wish for anything in the world, how can he decide what's truly important? Wish Dragon has heavy Aladdin vibes, but the modern-day setting and focus on friendship instead of romance helps it feel fresh.

11
of 20
Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Michael Rianda, and Doug the Pug in 'The Mitchells vs the Machines'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Animated, Adventure

Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph

Director: Michael Rianda 

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Katie Mitchell is a teen heading out on a road trip with her family to start her first year of film school. The only thing standing in her way? An army of electronic devices that suddenly developed sentience and decided to go on the attack. The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a fun and energetic adventure film. Kids will enjoy the silliness and hyperactive action, while parents can enjoy the deadpan humor and a heartwarming theme about family bonding.

12
of 20

The Last Kids on Earth: Happy Apocalypse to You (2021) – A Fun Interactive Adventure

A scene from the interactive animated short 'The Last Kids on Earth: Happy Apocalypse to You'

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

Genre: Interactive, Comedy

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Charles Demers, Brian Drummond

Director: Steve Rolston

Motion Picture Rating: TV-Y7

Runtime: 27 minutes

Based on a series of children's books by Max Brallier, The Last Kids on Earth is a humorous series about a scrappy but average 13-year-old named Jack Sullivan who teams up with his friends to battle monsters in an apocalypse. Critics have praised the streaming show for its strong plot and character development, and it boasts a talented adult voice cast that includes Bruce Campbell, Mark Hamill, Catherine O’Hara, and Keith David. Happy Apocalypse to You is a 27-minute interactive film that lets kids make decisions for the characters and see those choices play out on-screen.

13
of 20

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: 6.9/10

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. A 20-episode streaming television series called I (heart) Arlo will follow this new animated musical adventure-comedy.

14
of 20

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.

15
of 20

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 a critical 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.

16
of 20

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: 7.8/10

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.

17
of 20

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.

18
of 20

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.

19
of 20

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 gently and could spark a healing conversation with a young one.

20
of 20

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.

Was this page helpful?