In the past, watching movies with the family meant going to the theater or renting a DVD. With the arrival of Netflix, your family can sit at home and start a movie within minutes. The streaming service has a huge library. Luckily, this list of the 25 best family movies on Netflix can help you find one now.
Finding a family movie that the entire family will love can be challenging. Some family members might be inclined to watch a comedy, while others want more action. Regardless of what your family is looking for in a family movie, these 25 best family movies on Netflix should have something for everyone.
How We Chose Our Rankings
Narrowing the available Netflix family movies down to 25 is not an easy task. There are movies that cover a wide range of topics and time periods. Some are animated, while others are live action. However, we managed to find the best of the hundreds available.
A common mistake made by moviegoers is believing that kids’ movies and family movies are synonymous. However, a kids’ movie is aimed solely at children, while a family movie is something that the entire family can enjoy. Whether a movie will be entertaining for the entire family is one of our main considerations when determining the top 25 family movies on Netflix.
Family movies should also have an inspiring or positive quality. Ideally, family members should walk away with a feel-good attitude after viewing the movie. This does not necessarily mean that there should not be sad moments, but by the end of the movie, there should be some positive aspect to take away from the story.
Top 25 Best Family Movies on Netflix
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
The live action remake of the 1994 Disney animated classic follows Belle who is imprisoned by a beast. The beast is a young prince whose selfishness and cruelty led to a curse that altered his physical appearance. He must gain the love of another to have the curse broken. The remake features the same songs and characters that made the animated original an instant classic.
“The Gruffalo” is about a mouse who takes a walk through the woods and must evade danger at every turn. Along the route, the mouse encounters a fox, an owl, and a snake, but none of them present the danger that the Gruffalo does. The mouse must be cunning to survive its interaction with the Gruffalo and leave the woods alive.
“Mulan” is a modern update on a Chinese folktale about a young maiden who fights in her father’s place in a great war. The maiden hides her identity and becomes one of the most popular in the army until her secret is discovered. Ousted from the army, she still manages to become a hero with the help of a tiny dragon sent by her ancestors to help her.
The Pirate Fairy
Zarina is a dust-keeper fairy who steals the most important pixie dust and joins forced with a band of pirates. To recover the dust, Tinker Bell must follow Zarina and outwit the pirates. While on the quest, Tinker Bell’s talents are switched with another fairy, and she must learn how to use them and still recover the dust.
“Moana” tells the story of a young princess who is destined to lead her people. She has a yearning to travel the seas, but her father has forbidden her from doing so because of a tragedy in the past. As the island’s resources dwindle, Moana makes the decision to defy her father and act to save the island. To achieve this, she must get help from a self-absorbed demigod who is reluctant to do anything heroic that does not result in immediate adulation.
The Ant Bully
Lucas Nickle is a new kid to his neighborhood who has yet to make friends. After being targeted by local bullies, Lucas decides to take his anger and loneliness out on the ants in the backyard. Unfortunately for him, a magic spell turns him into an ant. After living as an ant, Lucas must decide what kind of person he wants to be.
Ernest and Celestine
In the world of “Ernest and Celestine”, rodents and bears are enemies. Ernest, a bear, and Celestine, a mouse, soon become friends after being rejected from each of their worlds. The two are forced to defend each other and their friendship in a bid to overcome bigotry. They also have a chance to help open others to the possibility of being more openminded about others.
The Iron Giant
Hogarth Hughes is a nine-year-old boy who befriends a giant robot. The robot is an alien who is being hunted by the government. The boy works to protect his friend by hiding him out at a local junkyard. However, the task might prove too big for the child.
2014’s “Paddington” is a live action story about a Peruvian bear who travels to London after his home is destroyed. Once he is in the city, he soon discovers that living there is harder than he thought it would be. However, he befriends a family that helps him to uncover the truth about his homeland.
Shrek is an ogre who happily lives in a swamp alone until his home is flooded with fairytale creatures. After striking up a deal with the local authority, Lord Farquaad, Shrek agrees to rescue a princess from a nearby tower. Along the way, he and his traveling companion—a magical donkey—discover there is more to the princess than meets the eye.
“Babies” follows four babies from different countries during one year of their lives. The babies discover the world around them while their parents learn about taking care of a new person. The movie shows the cultural differences between how children are raised and explores the relationships between newborns and their parents.
The Boss Baby
Tim Templeton has been an only child for seven years. After his parents have another baby, he is forced to deal with sharing their love and affection. However, the baby is not an average baby. He wears suits and carries a briefcase. After an outside force threatens to tilt the world’s affection towards puppies, Tim and his new little brother must join forces.
“The BFG” tells the story of a young girl who meets the Big Friendly Giant. The girl befriends the giant and is soon endangered due to their blossoming friendship. The girl and giant travel to London to meet with the queen in hopes of persuading her to help get rid of the dangers.
The Little Prince
In “The Little Prince”, a young girl befriends her elderly next door neighbor. The neighbor tells the girl of a young prince who lives in another world. After a medical scare for the neighbor, the young girl goes in search of the prince in hopes that he can provide her with the key to save him.
*batteries not included
“*batteries not included” is the story of a group of people being evicted from an apartment complex so that it can be demolished to make way for upscale developments. The tenants are being intimidated by local gangs hired by the developers until mechanical aliens arrive to help them. The aliens help the tenants to fight back.
Queen of Katwe
“The Queen of Katwe” is based on a true story of a Ugandan girl who quickly picks up the game of chess. The young girl moves from competing locally to internationally. Her success becomes an inspiration to others, including children from economically disadvantaged communities. Although the movie centers on chess, there is plenty of action to keep children of all ages engaged.
Coraline and her family move into an old home that has a hidden door. After feeling neglected by her parents, Coraline explores the world beyond the door and discovers that an idealized version of her parents exists. In the hidden world, her parents are caring, and all her wishes come true. Unfortunately for Coraline, it is a trick designed to get her to stay.
The Jungle Book
2016’s “The Jungle Book” is a live action version of the Disney animated classic. Mowgli is an orphan who is cared for by the animals of the jungle. However, danger lurks ahead in the form of Shere Khan the tiger. To protect Mowgli, a bear and panther must help him travel through the jungle to the local man village nearby. Along the way, Mowgli learns more about the jungle around him and encounters unexpected dangers.
Kung Fu Panda
The first movie in the “Kung Fu Panda” series tells the story of Po, a slacker panda. Po becomes the Dragon Warrior and must fight to save the city from the vengeful Tai Lung. Before the fight though, Po must train and become better than his Kung Fu idols. Not only do they doubt his abilities, but Po does, too. To defeat the danger that lies ahead, Po has to learn to believe in himself.
“Trolls” is a musical animated film about a village of lively and upbeat trolls. The movie centers on Poppy, the happiest troll in the village. After the village is raided and Poppy’s friend is kidnapped, she must work with others to find and rescue her friend. Along the way, there are plenty of adventures and memorable musical numbers.
Kubo and the Two Strings
“Kubo and the Two Strings” is the story of a young boy who lives in hiding with his mother. Kubo can tell vivid stories with his instrument, but is never able to tell a complete story because of safety precautions his mother has put in place. After disobeying her one night, he soon finds himself on the run from his sinister family, including his murderous two aunts and grandfather. Kubo has to discover the power that lies within himself to overcome the dangers around him.
Ginger the Chicken and Rocky the Rooster hope to avoid the fate of other animals on the chicken farm on which they live. They start a rebellion against the owners to save their lives. The farm animals create an escape plan that will hopefully save themselves from the farmers and death.
“Captain Underpants” is a screen adaptation of the popular children’s book. George and Harold are two children with overactive imaginations. They manage to convince their mean principal that he is a superhero after hypnotizing him. After hypnotizing him, the two soon learn that there are other issues that they must face.
Miguel is an aspiring musician who has forbidden from playing the guitar by his family. However, he resists and finds himself in the Land of the Dead after stealing his great-great-grandfather’s guitar. Once in the Land of the Dead, Miguel only has a short period of time to return to the living before he permanently ends up on the wrong side. He will have to rely on his family from both the living and the dead to return home.
In the animated movie “Hercules”, a young demigod must perform heroic feats to return to his home in Mount Olympus. He is guided by a satyr named Philoctetes who has a knack for training almost heroes. Along the way, he meets a young woman and falls in love. What he does not know is that she has a secret that threatens his homegoing and puts her own life at risk.
To ensure that a movie is safe for the family, you should start with the rating. For instance, if you have small children, a movie that is rated G or PG might be the best option. Older children can obviously view movies with a higher rating.
You also need to take into consideration the subject matter. Younger children might have difficulty in processing storylines that involve romantic relationships or death. Older children might be bored by storylines that do not contain these elements.
Another factor to consider is the comedic element. If you have younger children, more complicated jokes might be too sophisticated for them and ruin the movie experience. By contrast, overly cheesy jokes might be unappealing to older children.