It’s difficult to be stuck inside with the kids, especially with today’s current events. With more families taking to streaming, Netflix has an abundance of programs and films for kids. From fantasy and sci-fi to adventure and learning, there is an entire enriching array of choices. Additionally, Netflix has introduced interactive films where kids can choose their own adventure and decide how the story plays out. Below is a list of films for families to explore. From the interactive adventure of Minecraft: Story Mode to the heartwarming tale of Klaus, this is a great list to start with on Netflix.
Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution (2019)
Deep in an undisclosed location, scientists successfully create the most powerful Pokémon in existence, Mewtwo. Realizing he’s being used as the ultimate weapon, Mewtwo breaks free of the lab and wishes to fight the best Pokémon trainers in the world to get back at the humans who wronged him. Ash, Brock, and Misty continue their quest to become the ultimate Pokémon masters when they receive a mysterious invitation to an unknown island. The island invitation is a trap by Mewtwo, creating the setup of the ultimate showdown between Ash and Mewtwo. With Pikachu at his side, Ash uses the power of friendship in the battle for his life. Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution is an updated remake of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back, originally released in 1998.
Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Stars: Sarah Natochenny, Dan Green, Bill Rogers
Directors: Motonori Sakakibara, Tetsuo Yajima, Kunihiko Yuyama
Runtime: 98 minutes
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
Miles Morales is a smart and witty teen but struggles to live up to the ambitions of his parents. He attends a new boarding school, where he excels in the sciences but copes with his social awkwardness. Destiny has a way of roaring in when least expected, and for Miles, his life explodes into different dimensions when he is bitten by a radioactive spider. A scientific experiment, caused by the villainous Kingpin, causes the universe to bend, and Miles soon discovers he’s had more friends than he ever realized. If he is to save the city, and perhaps the entire universe, Miles must pair with his new super-powered friends and embrace his role as Spiderman. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is an animated tour de force that is unlike anything that has ever been created. The Academy Award-winning movie is a living, breathing comic book adventure with an excellent story, diverse array for characters, sharp kinetic action, and solid humor. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is great for Spider-Man enthusiasts and those diving into the world of Spider-Man for the very first time. It weaves the themes of friendship and selflessness, making it great for families!
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Runtime: 100 minutes
Dancing with the Birds (2019)
From the team that brought viewers the groundbreaking series Our Planet comes a fun, feathery feature documentary that is vibrant, colorful, and cheerful. Narrated by legendary actor Stephen Fry, Dancing with the Birds is a wonderful voyage into the world of exotic birds. Each moment feels like a small story, filled with humor and excitement that the whole family will enjoy. Dancing with the Birds sends audiences on a journey around the world to some of the most exotic places. While short, it’s incredibly colorful and diverse. This documentary film is perfect for young audiences looking for a fascinating and refreshingly enjoyable view into the worlds of exotic wildlife.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Stephen Fry
Director: Huw Cordey
Runtime: 51 minutes
Minecraft: Story Mode (2015)
Minecraft is one of the most popular video game properties in recent memory, encouraging players to build, explore, and learn. From teamwork to resource management and even coding, Minecraft has been a great learning utility. Minecraft: Story Mode takes the whimsical computer world of Minecraft and translates it into a miraculous adventure into the world of Minecraft. Originally released on video game platforms in 2015, Minecraft: Story Mode is a Netflix Interactive movie, where the viewer can decide what happens next. Using the remote control, viewers can shape choices and be a part of the action. Minecraft: Story Mode follows Jesse (Patton Oswalt or Catherine Taber), Axel (Brian Posehn), and Olivia celebrating their craftsmanship skills at EnderCon, when suddenly the entire world of Minecraft is threatened by a powerful evil. The trio is destined to save the universe and must trek across unknown lands to save all of Minecraft. This unique story and interactive adventure will keep families, especially young gamers, entertained.
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Stars: Patton Oswalt, Catherine Taber, Sean Astin
Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal (2020)
Carmen SanDiego (Gina Rodriguez) finds herself back in the evil organization, V.I.L.E., and must pull off an impossible heist for them, as V.I.L.E. has captured her friends and put them in danger. This interactive movie is similar to Minecraft in that it allows viewers to choose how the adventure will play out. Viewers will have the ability to choose how the heist will occur and shape their own story. Featuring sharp animation and voice talent, Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal is a great way to introduce young audiences to the world of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego.
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Finn Wolfhard, Abby Trott
It’s easy to lose the spirit of the holidays, and when a small town falls into hopelessness, an unlikely bond will be formed. Jesper Johannson (Jason Schwartzman) is a postman banished to the small island town of Smeerensburg at the behest of his father. Tasked with delivering 6,000 letters in a year, he feverishly attempts to fulfill such an audacious goal, until one fateful delivery puts him in touch with a woodsman, named Klaus (JK Simmons). While initially an unlikely friendship, the two look to each other as they work to bring the spirit and hopes of Christmas to the people of Smeerensburg. Klaus is an Academy Award-nominated animated film, with breathtaking visuals and top-notch voice performances. Klaus was lauded by viewers for its extraordinary animation and heartfelt story, making it perfect for any time of the year.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
Director: Sergio Pablos
Runtime: 98 minutes
White Fang (2018)
You never know where life will take you, and in White Fang, a small wolf-dog is about to embark on a journey of a lifetime — through the wilderness of North America, encountering new friends and great danger. White Fang is based on the novel of the same name by Jack London. Unlike other novels, White Fang told the story from the viewpoint of the wolf-dog, creating a fascinating way in which animals view the world around them. Director Alexandre Espigares, who won an Academy Award for the animated short film Mr. Hublot, adapts the story through a wondrous splash of smooth animation and shading that evokes watercolors. White Fang is a heartwarming tale of adventure, heroism, and the people that you meet along the way.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Nick Offerman, Paul Giamatti, Rashida Jones
Director: Alexandre Espigares
Runtime: 80 minutes
Mary and The Witch’s Flower (2017)
In this lovely fantasy anime movie, Mary (Ruby Barnett) is an 11-year-old girl who is curious about the world around her. She performs chores and is teased often by the local villagers until one day, she discovers a special flower, a coveted flower called “fly-by-night.” With the power of the flower, she sets off on a magical journey and an adventure of self-discovery. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of Mary and The Witch’s Flower, is a former member of Studio Ghibli, taking his talents and skill to create this wondrous movie. Mary and The Witch’s Flower features gorgeous animation, a strong story, and a leading cast.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Runtime: 102 minutes
The Little Prince (2015)
Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s seminal 1943 novella of the same name, The Little Prince gives the classic children’s story the stop-motion treatment. Beautifully animated and expertly adapted, The Little Prince‘s additions to the story feel natural and relevant, serving to expand the story rather than derail it. The film follows a little girl who lives in a very grown-up world due to her workaholic mother’s high expectations. But when The Aviator introduces her to a new world, the girl rediscovers her childhood and learns that it’s the human connections that matter most.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Mackenzie Foy
Director: Mark Osborne
Runtime: 106 minutes
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
Jump back into the world of Wreck-It Ralph with Disney’s sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet. Continue following the adventures of Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz as they head online in an attempt to repair an old Sugar Rush game cabinet and save its inhabitants from becoming homeless. As the duo pops online to eBay, they quickly discover that the web is a bit trickier than it seems as they encounter characters such as J.P. Spamley, who offers a lucrative job to help Ralph and Vanellope save their friends. Pop through websites that look oddly familiar, such as BuzzTube. If you enjoyed the original film, be sure to take Ralph Break the Internet for a spin on Netflix.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot
Director: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Runtime: 114 minutes
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Dustin and Suzie from Stranger Things love The NeverEnding Story, and your kids probably will, too. The first two films of the beloved ’80s fantasy franchise are currently on Netflix. In the original, young Bastian struggles to move on with his life after his mother’s untimely death. His nagging father and bullies at school aren’t helping matters at all, either. One day, he plays hooky and finds himself in a mysterious bookstore where he discovers a book called The Neverending Story. As he reads, he becomes so immersed in the story that he’s actually sucked into a magical world where the warrior Atreyu has been sent on a quest to find the cure for The Childlike Empress’ malady. Unfortunately, the entire land has been plagued by a hazard called The Nothing, generated by blighted dreams and hopeless fantasies. Now, with a surprising earth boy in tow, Atreyu must journey to save the Empress and the entire land.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Runtime: 94 minutes
John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch (2019)
Inspired by the classic Sesame Street, John Mulaney returns to Netflix with a new special, but this isn’t a standup routine aimed at adults — it’s a children’s musical comedy special. Alongside Mulaney are 15 child actors who dance about and sing to a collection of variety specials. In between songs and skits, Mulaney talks with the bunch. The variety-musical comedy special also features adult guest stars, including Jake Gyllenhaal as Mr. Music. A different avenue for John Mulaney, the Sack Lunch Bunch special is a fun film to watch with the entire family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: John Mulaney
Director: Rhys Thomas
Runtime: 70 minutes
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Do you remember the joy you experienced the first time you saw Disney’s Mary Poppins? Now you can see that same delight on your children’s faces as Mary Poppins revisits the big screen in Mary Poppins Returns. This 2018 musical fantasy film follows Emily Blunt as the magical Mary Poppins; it is set 25 years after the original, stepping back into her old role to watch over Annabel, John, and Georgie. The film itself was nominated for four Academy Awards and four Golden Globes, showing that it’s not just another reboot. Just be ready for the ride as you smile, laugh, and cry, all with family close by.
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer
Director: Rob Marshall
Runtime: 130 minutes
From Dreamworks Animation, Turbo tells the story of a snail who dreams of becoming the world’s greatest race car driver. Sounds unlikely, right? But when an accident imbues him with super-speed, Turbo will get the chance to chase his dreams. Before he knows it, he might just become the fastest snail in the world.
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Stars: Zach Braff, Joan Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: David Soren
Runtime: 95 minutes
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
Are you having trouble ripping your kids away from their tablets and smartphones? If they have an obsession with Angry Birds, then you might be in luck. The latest Angry Birds film, The Angry Birds Movie 2, has hit Netflix, and you can enjoy it directly from your couch. Follow the sequel to the original Angry Birds film from 2016, as the birds and the pigs must now team up to defeat a new island, led by Zeta, the leader of the eagles. This high-flying action-adventure shows how two opposing teams can work together to overcome the odds.
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones
Director: Thurop Van Orman
Runtime: 100 minutes
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
Everyone’s favorite Christmas crank from Dr. Seuss gets a modern update in Illumination’s 2018 edition of the beloved story. The Grinch and his loyal dog, Max, live happily alone on Mount Crumpet. That is, until Christmastime, when all of his neighbors in Whoville begin loudly and annoyingly celebrating the season. This year, the Grinch decides there’s only one way to gain some peace and quiet: to steal Christmas from Whoville. With a little help from Max, the grumpy green Grinch poses as Santa Claus and descends on the town to silence the Whos’ cheer for good.
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones
Director: Scott Mosier, Yarrow Cheney
Runtime: 86 minutes
The Willoughbys (2020)
This 2020 Netflix Original introduces us to the Willoughby children, who are convinced they’d be better off raising themselves than they are under the care of their parents. As such, they hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation while they embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family. As you might expect, everything they think they know isn’t exactly spot on.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara
Director: Kris Pearn
Runtime: 92 minutes
The Croods (2013)
With a star-studded cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, and Cloris Leachman, The Croods tells the tale of a prehistoric family living at a particularly dangerous moment in time. Grug, Ugga, Eep, Thunk, and Gran spend their days gathering food and their nights huddling comfortably together in a cave. They’re a perfect little family. However, when a more evolved caveman appears on the scene with tools and knowledge of impending doom, Grug is distrustful, believing the new intruder wants to steal his family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds
Director: Chris Sanders, Kirk De Micco
Runtime: 98 minutes
The Princess and The Frog (2009)
At the peak of the Jazz Age in New Orleans, Tiana is a hardworking and ambitious woman who dreams of opening the finest restaurant in the city. However, when she’s attending a swanky soiree, her dream takes a slight detour when she meets Prince Naveen, who just so happens to be a frog. Mistaking her for a princess, Naveen asks Tiana for a kiss to break the evil Dr. Facilier’s spell. But the kiss backfires, turning Tiana into a frog as well. Now, they’ll have to hop their way through the bayous to get help from a powerful voodoo priestess to break the spell and defeat Dr. Facilier.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David
Director: John Musker, Ron Clements
Runtime: 95 minutes
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
Based on the beloved series from the 1960s, Mr. Peabody & Sherman reintroduces the world’s most accomplished dog and his mischievous boy, Sherman, to a new generation. Using their time machine — the WABAC — to go on outrageous adventures through time, Mr. Peabody and Sherman may just have more fun than any other boy and dog. But when Sherman takes the WABAC out for a joyride to impress a friend, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe, vastly altering history’s most important events. Mr. Peabody will have to come to the rescue before past, present, and future are irrevocably altered.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter
Director: Rob Minkoff
Runtime: 92 minutes
Puss in Boots (2011)
Puss in Boots was one of Shrek’s greatest allies on his journey to save Princess Fiona from the evil Lord Farquaad, but before that classic journey, he was just a simple outlaw. This origin story tells the tale (tail?) of how Puss in Boots became one of the greatest heroes of his age. When his town is threatened, Puss sets off on an adventure with friends Kitty Softpaws and Humpty Dumpty to save his people and become a legend.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Chris Miller
Runtime: 90 minutes