30 best kids movies on Netflix: Family movies to stream right now

We've rounded up the 20 best kids' films on Netflix. Treat them and you to some down time with one of these fun flicks...

a collage showing the best kids movies on Netflix

Watch together or leave them to be entertained on their own. We've shared our list of the 30 best kids' movies on Netflix.

We all love Netflix, but no one likes scrolling through the titles working out what to watch. Especially if you're a parent with an impatient child whose seeking some things to do with the kids (opens in new tab) to brighten up an otherwise dull afternoon.

Luckily Netflix have a dedicated children's section that's jam-packed with a whole host of movies to satisfy any little one's preference. Be it superheroes, animated animals, a sprinkle of magic or a beloved book adaptation - you can rely on the streaming giant to provide the perfect entertainment. And from just £6.99 a month (opens in new tab), Netflix works out a lot cheaper than other TV subscriptions that are otherwise going up in price (opens in new tab) at the moment too.

30 Best kids' movies on Netflix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bZFr2IA0Bo

1. Paddington

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Everyone's favourite Marmalade-loving bear gets given the big screen treatment in this charming family film. Voiced by Ben Whishaw (star of This is Going to Hurt (opens in new tab)), Paddington is forced to flee to London town after a terrible earthquake destroys his home in Peru. Arriving in none other than Paddington station, he quickly gets taken in by the Brown family and tries his best to adapt to urban life. But unfortunately a bear in the big city soon draws attention and the wrong kind at that in Taxidermist Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman). Queue chaos and a quest to save him from

Paddington earnt rave reviews when it came out in 2014 and even received two BAFTA nominations for Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also boasts an incredible 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9O2YTtdaZA

2. We Can Be Heroes

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

In We Can Be Heroes, alien invaders capture all of Earth’s superheroes, and their kids must learn to work together to save their parents — and the planet. Feel-good viewing with plenty of crime-fighting to keep kids happy, the Netflix original film stars Priyanka Chopra and Christian Slater.

"This was clearly made for kids, not critics, and the design and action are vibrant enough to divert them," writes reviewer Brian Lowry for CNN (opens in new tab). "Rodriguez is well-versed in superhero tropes for parents who can appreciate comic-book satire." It has a 74% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and some have claimed it to be director Robert Rodriguez's best film yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgO03BFtvSc

3. Gnomeo and Juliet

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Based on Shakespeare's classic play, Romeo and Juliet, this animated film transports the story to garden gnomes living in neighbouring gardens. The adorable film stars the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt and Michael Caine.

Ken Marks of the New York Times sums this sweet film up best: "'Toy Story' goes Shakespearean in this animated retelling of the tale of the star-crossed lovers of Verona". Gnomeo and Juliet has a respectable audience score of 54% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szby7ZHLnkA

4. Sonic the Hedgehog

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

The famous video game character sprints onto the big screen and delivers an action-packed perfomance in this family-friendly film. The speedy hedgehog buddies up with new friend Tom (James Marsden) to defend the planet from the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carey) who has plans to take over the world. But not if Sonic can help it.

Audience members lapped this film up and gave it a remarkable 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). As Evening Standard film critic Charlotte O'Sullivan (opens in new tab) puts it: "The world contains many terrible video game movies. This isn't one of them."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siLm9q4WIjI

5. Kung Fu Panda

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Panda Po (Jack Black) might just take the crown as the laziest and clumsiest panda in the Valley of Peace. But that doesn;t stop him from dreaming of one day becoming a Kung Fu legend. As luck would have it, Po gets his chance when the Valley comes under attack from evil snow leopard Tai Lung. Determined to defend his homeland he trains hard under Master Shifu to help tackle Tai Lung for good.

This Dreamworks original proved very popular when released in 2008. So much so that a second and third film followed. It features the vocals of Angelina Jolie and of course the legendary Jackie Chan. It currently records 87% on the Tomatometer (opens in new tab) too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AKsAxrhqgM

6. How to Train your Dragon

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

The animated action takes place on the fictional island of Berk - where dragons are part and parcel of everyday life. Norse teenager Hiccup is soemthing of a misfit in his hometown, despite dad's status as Chief of the Clan. In an effort to prove himself and his true Viking heritage, Hiccup throws himself into dragon-fighting school. And it's friendshipw ith injured dragon Toothless that really sets the course in motion for change.

We all know a kid or two who can't get enough of these prehistoric creatures. And this enchanting tale is sure to strike a chord. "Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars," reads the critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) (where it has a 99% rating).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHheHLDGy4w

7. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Kids seeking a superhero fix will love this caped adventure film. In an attempt to beat the bullies, young Max dreams up his own parallel universe which follows the adventures of Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley) and Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner). But one day he finds his visions come to life and Max sucked into to the action on Planet Drool. There he must help his friends save their homeland and fend off his real-life bullies.

Julie Terpstra had positive words for the film on Google reviews (opens in new tab). "Good kids film," she wrote. "I tend to have lower standards but I really liked it when I was younger and I still like it today."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laNiRXqh82Q

8. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Their favourite bunch of Zoo animals are back for a third installment - and still trying to make their way home to New York's Central Park Zoo. During their inbound journey, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are forced to take a detour via Europe to pick up those pesky penguins and cheeky chimps. But unluckily for them, they've caught their friends at an unfortunate time (post Monte Carlo casino robbery). And French animal-control officer Capitaine Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) is onto them. Seeking out a safe place, they end up finding refuge with a traveling circus. And of course the same old chaos ensues.

Three films down and this chapter didn't disappoint critics. "Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way," reads the critic consensus on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). It boasts a 'Fresh' Tomatometer score of 78%.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFcsn70hlHQ

9. Nanny McPhee

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Widower Cedric Brown is at his wits end with his seven troublesome children. Having driven away a whole number of previous nannies with their pranks and tricks, great aunt Lady Adelaide Stitch steps in and threatens a permanent separation. Unless they can sort their unruliness out once and for all. Enter Nanny McPhee with her mystical powers and unusual habits. And sure enough the kids soon learn a thing or two about discipline amongst all the magic.

From Colin Firth to Emma Thompson and Sir Derek Jacobi - this family film features the creme de la creme of British acting talent who help make this story a screen success. "The kind of movie that I would have loved to seen as a kid. Magical stuff," says Paul Chambers of CNNRadio. It ranks highly with a Tomatometer of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5EcRbTWm2A

10. Shark Tale

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Proving that life is far from quiet under the sea. Oscar the fish claims to have killed son of shark mafia boss Frankie in a ploy to up his community standing. To help keep up the facade, he teams up with Lenny - the mobster boss's other son. But of course things sail less than smoothly.

Will Smith, Robert DeNiro, Jack Black and Renée Zellweger all lend their vocal talent to this Dreamworks picture. It's nothing award-winning but generally the critics liked it. "Not up to "Shrek" level, but a feast for the eyes," says Newsweek's David Ansen (opens in new tab). "DreamWorks' computer-animated underwater adventure is crammed to the gills with pop-culture in-jokes, movie quotations and a stellar vocal cast."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su7g8JVY0xI

11. The Road to El Dorado

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh are the voices behind these two con men who team up on a quest to El Dorado aka the Lost City of Gold to retreive some valuable riches. After smuggling there way onto a ship and arriving in the city they meet a priest who proclaims them to be gods in a scheme to win control of the city for himself.

It's got a audience score of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Though critics put this down to the acting talent behind the animation. "Kline and Branagh, both good comedians, put a lot of zest into their roles, which makes this plundering mission more than just diverting," says Desson Thomson of the Washington Post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb0hEE9yAbU

12. Alvin and the Chipmunks

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

After their humble tree home gets cut down in LA, three singing chipmunks - by the name of Alvin, Theodore and Simon - have to seek accomodation elsewhere. Luckily they stumble upon songwriter Dave Seville and the situation seems to benefit both - as he introduces the vocal trio to a record executive who signs them on the spot. But amongst the concerts, money and fame - true loyalties are tested.

Warning - they may look sweet but their chirpful tunes are sure to be in you and your kid's heads for days. This being said, the first film (there's a further two sequels) seemed to go down well with audiences who gave it a rating of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). "An endearing effort that will appeal to under-10s with its slight tale of the three all-talking, all-singing rodents," says critic Karl French, then of the Financial Times.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtc8uvrUeW4

13. Matilda

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Another one of Roald Dahl's books that has been made into a film, Matilda tells the story of a little girl who discovers she has secret powers that she can use to stand up to the bullies in her life, including her head teacher Miss Trunchbull, and her awful parents and brother.

A real crowd-pleaser of a film. "This Danny DeVito-directed version of Matilda is odd, charming, and while the movie diverges from Roald Dahl, it nonetheless captures the book's spirit," reads the Critics' consensus on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Who gave it a strong 90% rating on their Tomatometer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qv6nWFnk5g

14. LOL Surpise: The Movie

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Legendary LOL Surprise doll sisters Queen Bee and Royal Bee are making their first movie together. But they need a little help from their fashionable friends to film it. A magical doll-world adventure.

Of course, this is essential viewing for any kids who are fans of the LOL Surprise dolls. "This movie was so fun and my six year old daughter loved it!" wrote one IMDB reviewer (opens in new tab). "She is obsessed the Queen B girl. Couldn't stop talking about her in the movie. This was such a sweet movie and it really focused on teamwork and friendship."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE5aHKJp6HI

15. Spy Kids

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Imagine your parents have been living a double life as secret agents your whole life and you had no idea? That's the premise of this fun and action packed kids movie which stars Antonio Banderas and Alexa Vega. When their parents are captured, Carmen and Juni must work together with their newly found state of the art gadgets to save them (and the world). In what turns out to be one hell of an adventure.

"Fulfills kids' empowerment fantasies and features enough techno-wizardry and cool f/x to satisfy those weaned on videogames," says Vairety critic Lael Loewenstein. A cult kids film, it's been given a rare 93% 'fresh' tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrGpgcQHroY

16. Hook

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Robin Williams stars as a now grown-up, workaholic version of Peter Pan in Hook. The film sees him return to Neverland to save his kids from the clutches of vengeful pirate Captain Hook (played by Dustin Hoffman).

Magic, Robin Williams and a classic kid's tale. It doesn't get much better than this. Audiences gave this 76% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). "I try to make it a point to watch this movie at least once a year, or when I feel myself getting too cynical," wrote one IMDB reviewer (opens in new tab). "This is because if you are looking for fun movie that really does pull at the kid inside you, then this is definitely it. Robin Williams is just the right kind of goofy for my tastes, and makes an excellent Pan. Captain Hook was perfectly fit by Dustin Hoffman."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4RK3jY7AVk

17. Hotel Transylvania

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Adam Sandler plays Dracula, the owner of Hotel Transylvania, who also happens to be an overprotective dad to his teenage daughter - played by Selena Gomez. When an unwelcome suitor (Andy Samberg) shows interest, he's not happy. This is another one of our great Halloween movies for kids (opens in new tab) picks too.

Richard Propes of TheIndependentCritic.com gave his verdict on this charming tale. "Hotel Transylvania isn't a brilliant animated feature, but it is a consistently entertaining one with Sandler's trademark silliness mixed with sweetness." Nonetheless audiences gave it a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) - so it's definitely worth a watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCdj71KRwEU

18. Bee Movie

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Starring Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger and Matthew Broderick. Bee Movie tells the story of Barry, a worker bee stuck in a dead-end job making honey. When Barry discovers that humans have been stealing bees' nectar all along, he gets angry and tries to sue them.

"Occasionally too silly for words, probably by intention," writes one IMDB reviewer (opens in new tab). "But lots to take in with superb animation, good gags, and quirky, memorable characters. Comedy is uneven at times, but still serves as acceptable entertainment for kids and adults alike.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogY3SjlU-rY

19. Jumanji

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG Starring the late Robin Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst, the 1995 version of Jumanji is a classic. When two siblings discover an enchanted board game that's a portal to a magical world, they meet a man who's been trapped inside the game for years, and bring the whole board to life.

This is an oldie but goodie. Audiences seemed to enjoy it, giving it a respectable 62% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). "The joy of Jumanji is in how sparingly director Joe Johnston deploys his arsenal of computers, making the tricks and shocks the more real," critiques Quentin Curtis of the Independent on Sunday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnG4ag3Nkes

20. The Willoughbys

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Maya Rudolph and Ricky Gervais star in this Netflix original film about four siblings with horribly selfish parents. The children hatch a plan to get rid of their mum and dad for good and form a perfectly imperfect family of their own.

This fairly recently released film went down quite well with critics - earning a 91% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) critics' tomatometer. "There's a taste of Roald Dahl, a hint of Despicable Me and a dollop of Mary Poppins," writes Richard Crouse of CTV News (opens in new tab). "But, all spun together, they form a delightfully dark (but not too dark) story about finding the true value of family."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkNEx9tqtPM

21. The Cat in the Hat

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

One of those books every child should read before they're 16 - that's packed with inspirational children's book quotes (opens in new tab). This 2003 film is based on Dr Seuss' book, with Austin Powers actor Mike Myers starring as the Cat in the Hat. The crazy, human-sized feline turns up to surprise a bored little boy and girl who've been left at home alone by their mum, and he turns their house into the "mother of all messes".

Alec Baldwin, Kelly Preston and Dakota Fanning make up the all-star cast. It wasn't well received by critics but Jamie Russell at the BBC (opens in new tab) wrote: "Not many actors can carry a film while dressed in a moth-eaten moggy suit, but Myers somehow manages it."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIwja07VVg4

22. Flushed Away

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Created by the team behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit, Flushed Away  stars so many of our favourite actors, including Kate Winslet, Shane Richie, Hugh Jackman and Sir Ian McKellen. The 2006 film is about a pet rat, Roddy St. James, who is flushed down the toilet by a sewer rat. Down in the sewers, he befriends a scavenger named Rita in order to return home while evading a toad and his rat henchmen.

"The best animated movie of the year and only a whisker shy of the brilliance of Wallace and Gromit," wrote Olly Richards of Empire Magazine at the time of it's release. Critics also gave this a 73% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Win win.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkrGBlvGK4I

23. Over The Hedge

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Another one of our favourite kids movies on Netflix is Over The Hedge. In this animated film, a group of  forest animals - voiced by the likes of Bruce Willis and Steve Carell - awake from their hibernation to find their greatest fear has come true, and humans have moved in.

With a 75% 'fresh' rating on the critic's Tomatometer via Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab), Over the Hedge is overall a relative success and easy, fun watch. "The story has a loony, slapstick verve, and the star-studded voice work is uniformly entertaining," wrote Bruce Diones of the New Yorker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MoIr7811Bs

24. Shrek the Third

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

The much-loved Shrek and Princess Fiona - voiced by Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz - return with Eddie Murphy's Donkey for the third film in the Shrek series. In this sequel, Shrek has to find an heir to the throne when Fiona's father, King Harold, falls ill.

It's a must watch for those who have seen and loved the first two films and the beloved characters. "A satisfying sequel that has its charm but isn't quite up to par with its predecessors," wrote critic Micheal Compton of Bowling Green Daily News. Whilst not a critic knockout, it did receive a 52% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fZg0hhBX8

25. The BFG

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Based on Roald Dahl's book of the same name, The BFG is about a little orphan, Sophie, who meets a kind giant, who is supposed to eat her, but instead protects them both from the other terrifying giants. Thus, he's actually a Big Friendly Giant!

"The BFG minimizes the darker elements of Roald Dahl's classic in favor of a resolutely good-natured, visually stunning, and largely successful family-friendly adventure," reads the critic's consensus on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Where it also received a 74% 'fresh' rating on the famous Tomatometer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnM4dl0IajU

26. Madeline

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

To save her boarding school from being sold, a mischievous little French girl, Madeline, uses her wits to discourage any prospective buyers.

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert gave this a 4 out of 5 stars back when it was released. "Madeline' is a quietly charming movie, for kids not too hyped on action and candy," he wrote. "It's assisted mightily by the presence of McDormand and Hawthorne, who play their roles precisely, not broadly, and come across as people, not caricatures." His fellow critics seemed to agree, giving this an average rating of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLEknBZ7NNw

27. Bratz: The Movie

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

Based on the Bratz dolls, when high school hierarchy divides four best friends into different cliques, the girls defy expectations and try to bring their groups together.

"I liked it! I thought it was a nice movie for young women and teens," wrote one audience reviewer about Bratz on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). "Its a movie about friendship, staying true to yourself and being who you want to be."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6lNi7cZ-Ho

28. Annie

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

In this 2014 remake of the Broadway musical, Jamie Foxx plays Daddy Warbucks - a millionaire who takes in orphan Annie and saves her from the clutches of Miss Hannigan and her orphanage.

The appeal of this version, as one Rotten Tomatoes audience reviewer (opens in new tab) puts it, is it's 21st century update. "I feel like kids can relate to this more because the remake is held in modern stanzas."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgUCPG2G50s

29. Swan Princess

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: U

Wicked sorcerer Sir Rothbart curses the beautiful Princess Odette by turning her into a swan - in the hopes of gaining control of her father's kingdom. The cure? The promise of true love. But as ever the path to finding it doesn't run smooth.

This came out way back in 1994, but many adults today may remember it well and want to pass it onto their kids. Even if the animation is a little dated. "The movie isn't in the same league as Disney's big four, and it doesn't have the same crossover appeal to adults," writes acclaimed critc Roger Ebert. "But as family entertainment it's bright and cheerful, and it has its moments." Audience members seemed to agree giving it a score of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_VFs9j95gc

30. A Cinderella Story

View on Netflix (opens in new tab) | Age rating: PG

One of the best kids' movies on Netflix for teenagers. Hilary Duff stars in this modern-day retelling of Cinderella. She plays teen Sarah, who dances with her dream boy (Chad Michael Murray) at the school dance, before being forced to work in the diner for her evil step-mum. And well - you know the rest.

"Funny and sweet update of the Cinderella story," wrote critic Nell Minow of Common Sense Media in 2010. It's remained a  noughties favourite amongst some viewers who gave it a 53% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).

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Emily Stedman
Emily Stedman

Emily Stedman is the News Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things royal, entertainment, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things celebrity and royal, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.