Nothing says family togetherness like a night spent watching Netflix. For parents, kids, and everyone in between, here are 10 good, family-friendly movies you can stream on Netflix right now.
Update, 10/27/22: After reviewing our guide, we’ve replaced Monster House with a new recommendation because it left Netflix. We’re still confident these are the best movies on Netflix for the family movie night.
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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
The children’s picture book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs might not have seemed like enough material for a single feature film, let alone two, but Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 proves that there’s plenty of wacky fun left in the original idea.
The island of Swallow Falls is now overrun with giant food monsters, and scientist Flint Lockwood returns to his former home to set things right. The animated movie is full of silly puns and inventive takes on mutant food, with a bit of father-son bonding along the way.
Homegrown Netflix star Millie Bobby Brown, whose breakout role was on the Netflix series Stranger Things, takes the lead for Enola Holmes. Brown plays the title character, the younger sister of renowned detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) and a keen detective herself.
Enola deals with the restrictions of being a young woman in Victorian society while setting out to London to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. The movie combines large-scale action with family-friendly messages of self-confidence and acceptance.
Kung Fu Panda 3
The third movie in the animated Kung Fu Panda franchise finds the panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black) fully actualized as an unlikely kung-fu master, but facing a bit of an identity crisis as he reconnects with his panda heritage. J.K. Simmons is entertainingly devious as the voice of the villain, who attempts to steal the chi from all the warriors in ancient China.
Co-director Jennifer Yuh Nelson continues to create evocative sequences in various 2D animation styles, and the whole movie is a colorful, rousing adventure.
Possibly the most kid-friendly movie from stop-motion animation studio Laika, Missing Link stars Zach Galifianakis as the voice of the title character, a sasquatch on a quest for others of his kind. Mr. Link, as explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) dubs him, is a dapper but naïve fellow who speaks perfect English but takes things a bit too literally.
Lionel accompanies him on his journey to the Himalayas, as the characters bond and share. The lessons may be simple, but the animation is gorgeously detailed, and Galifianakis is consistently funny as the earnest, open-hearted mythical creature.
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The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Road trips are a hallmark of family vacations, but for the Mitchell family in animated comedy The Mitchells vs. the Machines, a family road trip turns into a battle against killer robots. The Mitchells are on the way to take daughter Katie (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) to college when sentient machines capture humanity and take over the world. Somehow, this quirky, dysfunctional family becomes Earth’s last hope, and their battle against the robots helps strengthen their fractured family bonds.
Although Paddington the bear has been around for more than 60 years, he’s experienced a pop-culture resurgence thanks to his recent live-action movies. In Paddington, the overcoat-wearing bear travels from his native Peru to London, where he’s taken in by the friendly Brown family.
Paddington causes mild havoc in the Brown household, even as he works to win over the family patriarch (Hugh Bonneville). Nicole Kidman relishes her role as a sinister taxidermist who wants to hunt down Paddington and turn him into a trophy, but the movie’s humor remains gentle and sweet throughout.
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Pee-wee’s Big Holiday
Adults who grew up on Paul Reubens’ Pee-wee Herman character in movies and on TV can introduce their own kids to the zany man-child in Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Pee-wee is just as unflappable and exuberant as ever, even when faced with bizarre obstacles as he attempts to travel from his small hometown to New York City for the birthday party of his new friend Joe Manganiello (playing himself).
Reubens mixes silly slapstick with sly wordplay and a strong sense of the absurd for a character whose ridiculousness carries universal appeal.
The Sea Beast
Veteran Disney animator Chris Williams brings a longtime passion project to Netflix with The Sea Beast. Williams gives life to a vibrant fantasy world, in which maritime adventurers fight fearsome aquatic monsters to protect the human populations that are vulnerable to attack.
At least that’s what the royal family wants everyone to believe, but a scrappy orphan and a renowned hunter team up to discover that there’s far more to the story than what people have been told. Williams mixes large-scale action with simple life lessons in a movie that’s cute and silly just as often as it’s suspenseful and thrilling.
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A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
The second feature film starring the characters from the stop-motion animated Shaun the Sheep series, Farmagaddeon finds Shaun and his fellow sheep dealing with the unlikely scenario of an alien invasion. Of course, this alien is sweet and endearing, fitting right in with the bumbling, scheming flock on the farm.
The animation retains its lovely handmade charm, and the filmmakers continue to capture the spirit of classic silent comedy with the wordless antics of Shaun and his friends, whether fleeing from government agents or just messing with the hapless farmer.
It’s a little off-putting to root for the children in an animated family movie to be orphaned, but The Willoughbys somehow makes it work. The Willoughby siblings hatch an elaborate plan to rid themselves of their wealthy, dastardly parents, and they even find some suitable replacement parental figures as backups. The movie’s sparkly, candy-coated visual style balances out its incongruously dark subject matter, channeling Tim Burton and Roald Dahl with inventive animation and morbid wit.
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