The best kids and family movies on Netflix: The Mitchells vs The Machines to The Sea Beast – top films young viewers will love

We round up the best in award-winning animation and inspirational storytelling to dazzle young viewers on Netflix, including kids' films Arlo The Alligator Boy and Over The Moon.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 8 July 2022 - 12.12pm
Netflix The Mitchells vs The Machines - Now streaming on Netflix

Netflix has tons of kids films and family movies to stream right now.

If you have young children, you're probably familiar with all the great kids' TV series on Netflix. But the streaming platform is also creating more and more original movies for children of all ages.

From award-winning animation to smash hit out-of-this-world adventures, here are some of the best Netflix Kids movies for the whole family to enjoy.

Netflix Originals – Best Kids films

The Sea Beast

Cast: Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dan Stevens, Kathy Burke

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%

From Oscar-winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero Six), The Sea Beast takes viewers to where the map ends, and the true adventure begins.

In an era when terrifying beasts roamed the seas, monster hunters were celebrated heroes - and none were more beloved than the great Jacob Holland.

But when young Maisie Brumble stows away on his fabled ship, he’s saddled with an unexpected ally. Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and make history.

Vivo

Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gloria Estefan, Juan De Marcos, Zoe Saldaña

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 87% 

Vivo is an exhilarating story about gathering your courage, finding family in unlikely friends, and the belief that music can open you to new worlds. 

This Netflix Original film sees a one-of-kind kinkajou (voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda) embark on an unforgettable, musical adventure to deliver a love song to Marta on behalf of his owner Andrés.

The Mitchells vs The Machines

Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric André, Olivia Colman

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

Not just one of the best animated kids films of 2021, it's one of the best films of the year so far, full stop.

A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.

A dazzling and life-affirming portrait of family life that everyone will love.

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Arlo the Alligator Boy

Cast: Mary Lambert, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Hale, Haley Tju, Jonathan Van Ness, Vincent Rodriguez III, Annie Potts, Michael Woodard, Michael ‘Flea’ Balzary

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

A story of inspiration, acceptance and self-discovery, this vibrant musical is going to be a huge hit with kids.

The story of Arlo, a half-human half-alligator, and his search for his father in New York City is uplifting, fun and perfect for families to enjoy together.

Over the Moon

Cast:  Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Robert G. Chiu, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, Kimiko Glenn, Artt Butler, Sandra Oh.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%

A magical adventure from Oscar-winning director Glen Keane with dazzling animation that will enchant young viewers.

The film is an exhilarating musical adventure about a young girl who builds a rocket ship to take her to the moon and ends up on unexpected quest.

Perfect for little kids with big imaginations.

The Willoughbys

Cast:  Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski, Seán Cullen and Ricky Gervais

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%

Based on Lois Lowry's book and boasting an all-star voice cast, the film follows the Willoughby children as they ditch their selfish parents and head off on their own adventure to discover the true meaning of family.

Beautifully animated, sprinkled with lots of laughs and coated with a dark edge, The Willoughbys is a joy.

The Little Prince

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Ricky Gervais, Benicio Del Toro, Albert Brooks

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

Inspired by the French classic Le Petit Prince, this is a beautiful film about friendship, love, loss and loneliness.

With beautiful stop motion animation, the film tells the story of a young girl, a kind-hearted neighbour and an odyssey into the universe of The Little Price – a place where you can only see things with you heart that are invisible to the eye.

As an added bonus, it also has a magical score from Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

Secret Magic Control Agency

Cast:  Nicholas Corda, Sylvana Joyce, Alyson Rosenfeld, Courtney Shaw, Erica Schroeder, Marc Thompson

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 86%

Hansel and Gretel turn secret agents in this fast-paced animated adventure about the search for a missing king.

Blending classic fairytale characters, sharp animation and a modern spy dynamic, this is the sort of crime-fighting fun that young kids will enjoy watching repeatedly.

We Can Be Heroes

Cast: YaYa Gosselin, Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Robert Rodriguez, Boyd Holbrook, Christian Slater, Chris McDonald, Adriana Barraza

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 73%

When alien invaders kidnap Earth’s superheroes, it’s down to their kids, led by Missy Moreno (YaYa Gosselin) to save the day.

Superhero hijinks that recreates all the fun of Marvel’s big screen action for younger viewers, We Can Be Heroes is a must-watch for any mini-Captain Americas or Captain Marvels in your family.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids), the colourful and fun film stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christian Slater and Pedro Pascal.

The best classic kids films streaming on Netflix UK

Alongside the Netflix Originals, there are ton of classic kids movies currently streaming on Netflix including:

Early Man

The Nut Job

Duck Duck Goose

Bee Movie

Horrid Henry The Movie

Turbo

The Lorax

Despicable Me 1-2

Shrek 1-3

Minions

Small Foot

Hotel Transylvania

Rango

Cats and Dogs

The Cat in the Hat

How to watch kids TV on Netflix

The Netflix Kids experience is great for families – building a simplified and safe area that only has TV shows and movies selected for younger viewers.

That means no more worrying about your children accidentally watching something inappropriate.

Head to the Manage Profiles area of Netflix to set up your own Netflix Kids section.