10 best kids’ movies on Netflix streaming right now

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Credit: Composite: Mashable / Images: Netflix

Seeking kid-friendly entertainment that is sure to satisfy? Netflix has a ton of options, but frankly, they can be overwhelming. We’ve made things simple by highlighting 10 excellent films that’ll delight children — or those who are still children at heart.

Whether you want a stellar movie musical, a madcap adventure, a spooky treat, or something to get you in the holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the 10 best kids’ movies now streaming on Netflix.

1. Over the Moon (2020)

Chang'e and her rabbit on the moon.

Credit: Netflix

Young Fei Fei is enchanted by the story of the moon goddess Chang’e and the legend of her lover. Still mourning the death of her mother, Fei Fei takes unkindly to her father finding new love and decides to build a rocket to the moon to find Chang’e. She finds a magical world beyond her imagining and must reconcile the fantasy of the moon with the life that awaits her on Earth. Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, and Sandra Oh star, so yes, Over the Moon is a powerhouse lineup of Asian American acting talent. — Proma Khosla, Senior Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Over the Moon is now streaming on Netflix.

2. Nimona (2023)

Set in a world that madly mixes the medieval with pop futurism, Nimona tells the story of the good-hearted knight named Ballister Boldheart (voiced by Riz Ahmed), who pulled himself up by his commoner bootstraps to become a valiant protector of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, somebody with old-school ideas of the class system doesn’t much like the look of all that upward mobility, and Ballister finds himself framed for the murder of the realm’s much beloved Queen Vaerlin (Lorraine Toussaint). 

Enter Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a rascally teenage outcast with the magical ability to shape-shift, who’s embraced everyone’s fear of her powers to play at being the bad-ass. Seeing Ballister’s downfall, Nimona thinks she’s found a partner in her little league of villainy. Claiming his innocence, Ballister vehemently disagrees. But he needs her help, and the two end up hitting it off despite their differences as they dodge the law. 

Queer as all get out — Ballister’s got himself a boyfriend, and Nimona’s shape-shifting is Trans Representation 101 – this wondrously exciting and funny adventure from directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (based on ND Stevenson’s 2015 graphic novel) had a tortured path to the screen, all because of its big, beautiful rainbow-colored heart. But this is one that will withstand the test of time and bigotry, because it’s simply a rippingly awesome yarn, told with masterful panache and deep wells of emotion. — Jason Adams, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Nimona is now streaming on Netflix.

3. Klaus (2019)

Klaus and his friends in

Credit: Netflix

It might be a Christmas movie, but Netflix’s own original about spoiled postman-in-training Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), who happens upon an old toymaker, is a lovely and rewatchable film year-round. He becomes the go-between for the toymaker, Klaus (J.K. Simmons), and the local children who write him letters hoping for toys. The story spins out to become the origin of Santa Claus and a humbling journey for Jesper. — P.K.

How to watch: Klaus is now streaming on Netflix.

4. Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

Speaking as a person whose sense of humor and entire life outlook were profoundly shaped in childhood by Paul Reubens (RIP king) via his iconic character of Pee-wee Herman in the 1980s, I pray that parents are still gifting their children with the same unfettered joy and madcap lunacy that I got. And while Reubens’ last spin in the gray suit and red bow-tie isn’t quite as universally beloved as his earlier Big Adventure or Playhouse antics, 2016’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is way underrated and a heaping helping of fun.

A road-trip movie much in the vein of Pee-wee’s first transcontinental outing in search of his stolen bicycle, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday sends our favorite boy-man on a much happier kind of adventure — he’s got to get to his new best friend Joe Manganiello’s birthday party in New York City! Yes, Joe Manganiello of True Blood and the Magic Mike movies, here playing a world-class goofball version of himself. And the big muscly lunk is a natural comedian. Who knew? 

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Along the way, Pee-wee must overcome all sorts of madcap roadblocks, including Farmer Brown and his nine daughters, a trio of Russ-Meyer-flavored bad-girl car-thieves, and a layover in an Amish community that involves the world’s most hilarious balloon gag ever. It’s the silliest bunch of nonsense and an absolute blast for kids of all ages. — J.A.

How to watch: Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is now streaming on Netflix.

5. The Willoughbys (2020)

The Willoughby children and their new friends.

Credit: Netflix

Based on an outlandish book by Lois Lowry, this Netflix original centers on a deeply dysfunctional family in need of some wild changes. Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby have four adorable, eager, and talented children, whom they utterly despise. Thus, life is very hard for eldest Tim (Will Forte), dreamer Jane (Alessia Cara), and oddball twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B (Seán Cullen). That is, until they concoct a wacky scheme that sends their parents off on a perilous vacation, from which they may not return! However, the siblings’ deadly plan for independence is challenged when a plucky nanny (Maya Rudolph) arrives at their door. Soon, agonies and antics give way to the jubilant adventure of a lifetime.

Director Kris Pearn’s sharp design style and a snarling narration from Ricky Gervais pairs with Lowry’s dark plot line to give this outrageous animated feature a cheeky yet charming edge.*Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor

How to watch: The Willoughbys is streaming on Netflix.

6. The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

Katie and her imagination cut loose on

Credit: Netflix

Sony Pictures Animation has given audiences such daring and dynamic animated movies as Surf’s Up, Hotel Transylvania, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This zany 2021 release centers on a family who’s battling back the robo-apocalypse with togetherness, internet savviness, and a walleyed pug named Monchi (voiced by social media icon Doug the Pug).

The Mitchells’ adventure into chaos begins when daughter Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is poised to go off to college. Desperate for one last family-unifying road trip, her dad (Danny McBride) piles the whole family into his beater of a vehicle, unknowingly charting a fateful route into heroics. Director Mike Rianda infuses Katie’s excitable perspective throughout the film by working in internet memes, social media-style reactions, and blitz of bonkers visuals. It’s a bold move that might alienate some viewers but has largely won the acclaim of critics and kiddos.*K.P.

How to watch: The Mitchells vs. the Machines is streaming on Netflix.

7. Paddington (2014)

Inspired by Michael Bond’s beloved children’s books, Paddington is a critically heralded romp that blends a crackerjack live-action cast (Hugh Bonneville! Sally Hawkins! Julie Walters! Peter Capaldi!) with an adorable CGI bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw), who wears a blue coat and cherishes marmalade. Traveling from the jungles of Peru to London, the titular bear is reluctantly taken in by the Brown family. But as cultures collide, Paddington’s freedom —indeed, his very life! — are threatened by an overzealous taxidermist (a gamely over-the-top Nicole Kidman), who is ruthlessly determined to make him her next specimen! Full of whimsy, wit, and warmth, Paddington is a jolly delight that demands rewatching. — K.P.

How to watch: Paddington is streaming on Netflix.

8. Nightbooks (2021)

Krysten Ritter is a scary and stylish witch in

Credit: Netflix

From David Yarovesky, the director of Brightburn, comes a spooky tale that’ll thrill on family night. Based on the horror-fantasy novel of the same name by J. A. White, Nightbooks centers on a Brooklyn bookworm (Winslow Fegley) who is kidnapped by a wicked witch (Krysten Ritter). Held captive in her magical apartment, he’s forced to tell her a new scary story each night in exchange for his survival. Thankfully, he’s not alone. A hard-nosed fellow prisoner (Lidya Jewett) not only helps him avoid the pitfalls of this precarious prison, but also helps him unlock the secrets that could get them both out!

Peppered with PG-level scares and plenty of style (we’d die for Ritter’s witch wardrobe), Nightbooks is a rollicking good time for kiddos (and grown-ups) who appreciate a good bump in the night.* K.P.

How to watch: Nightbooks is streaming on Netflix.

9. The Lego Movie (2014)

Hard to believe this one is a decade old at this point! But before directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller could make animated magic with their two (to date) Spider-Verse films (the second of which is also streaming on Netflix), they turned their scrappy eyes toward Legoland in 2014 and made this wickedly fun and pop-referential adventure about a lowly builder named Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) who somehow manages to save the day. 

And what about that animation? The herky-jerky movement of all the Lego people, which remains true to their stiff plastic origins, never fails to amuse. And, it doesn’t seem to come up much, but this movie definitely laid the groundwork for what Greta Gerwig accomplished with Barbie – turning a corporate property into sly movie magic. But even though the Lego-verse has expanded exponentially over the past decade, what with the Lego Batman and Ninjago movies all battling for our attention, the best remains the first because it remains the simplest. Pure playtime fun. — J.A.

How to watch: The Lego Movie is now streaming on Netflix.

10. Finding ‘Ohana (2021)

A foursome of kids search for lost treasure.

Credit: Netflix

If you grew up watching The Goonies, then you’ll treasure sharing this gem with your kiddos. Director Jude Weng channels Spielberg’s brand of awe for an exciting tale of Hawaiian legend and childhood heroics. Raised in New York City, siblings Pili (Kea Peahu) and Ioane (Alex Aiono) feel like fish out of water when their mother brings them to Oahu. But soon enough, they’re making friends and setting forth on a quest for a legendary lost treasure. Along the way, there’ll also be teen romance, family drama, and local lore come to life. Seeking something fun and thrilling? Look no further. — K.P.

How to watch: Finding ‘Ohana is streaming on Netflix.

UPDATE: Jun. 28, 2024, 5:09 p.m. EDT This article was originally published on June 25, 2022. It has been updated to reflect the current steaming options on Netflix.

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Proma Khosla is a Senior Entertainment Reporter writing about all things TV, from ranking Bridgerton crushes to composer interviews and leading Mashable’s stateside coverage of Bollywood and South Asian representation. You might also catch her hosting video explainers or on Mashable’s TikTok and Reels, or tweeting silly thoughts from @promawhatup.

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Kristy Puchko is the Film Editor at Mashable. Based in New York City, she’s an established film critic and entertainment reporter, who has traveled the world on assignment, covered a variety of film festivals, co-hosted movie-focused podcasts, interviewed a wide array of performers and filmmakers, and had her work published on RogerEbert.com, Vanity Fair, and The Guardian. A member of the Critics Choice Association and GALECA as well as a Top Critic on Rotten Tomatoes, Kristy’s primary focus is movies. However, she’s also been known to gush over television, podcasts, and board games. You can follow her on Twitter.

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