From Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (2009) to Sea Beast (2022), these are the best family movies on Netflix as of April 1, 2023.
What better way to bond with our loved ones than snuggling up with a good movie? Netflix has an impressive selection of family movies that are perfect for a movie night with the kids or a cozy afternoon with the entire family. From heartwarming animated movies to live-action adventures, there’s something for everyone.
To help you choose the best family movies on the streaming service, we have curated a list of 30 must-watch films. Whether you’re looking for a classic tale like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or an action-packed adventure like Jumanji, we’ve got you covered. We’ve picked movies from a variety of genres, ranging from heartwarming dramas like Little Women to animated comedies like Shrek.
Besides entertaining viewers, these movies are an opportunity to spark conversations and share experiences with our loved ones, making family movie night an excellent bonding activity.
So, grab your popcorn, turn off the lights, and let’s dive right in!
Best Family Movies On Netflix
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as the eccentric Willy Wonka, the movie tells the story of a young boy who wins a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory. It’s a fantastic tale of wonder, imagination, and friendship that will leave you with a smile. The film’s colorful characters, including the lovable Oompa Loompas and the spoiled Veruca Salt, add to the fun and whimsy of the story.
Whether you’re a fan of the book or just looking for a fun family movie, this timeless classic is sure to delight viewers of all ages.
Related: 50 Best Kids Movies Of All Time
2. Matilda (1996)
The delightful, magical film adapted from Roald Dahl’s Matilda, the beloved children’s book, follows the story of a gifted young girl who uses her intelligence and bravery to stand up against her cruel, neglectful parents and the tyrannical headmistress of her school. The performances are outstanding, particularly Mara Wilson’s portrayal of the clever and courageous Matilda, which captures the character’s charm, wit, and spunk.
With its clever humor, engaging storyline, and heartwarming messages, it’s a movie the whole family can enjoy.
3. Shrek (2001)
A classic that needs no introduction. Shrek is a hilarious and heartwarming animated comedy that parodies conventions of fairy tales while also delivering a moving message about the importance of accepting others for who they are. With a star-studded cast, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy, and groundbreaking animation, the movie has become a cultural phenomenon and a beloved classic.
Shrek is all humor, heart, and family-friendly entertainment that viewers across ages will quickly warm up to.
4. Little Women (1994)
This adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of the same name, is a heartwarming story of sisterhood, love, and growing up. The timeless classic tells the story of four sisters coming of age during the American Civil War. The all-star cast, including Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, and Kirsten Dunst, delivers outstanding performances, and the movie is a visual and emotional masterpiece. One of the best family movies, it’s a powerful and inspiring tale that reminds us of the beauty and value of togetherness, love, and resilience.
5. The Little Prince (2015)
This animated feature is a retelling of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic children’s book. A charming and poignant film, it tells the story of a young girl who discovers the magic of the world through the eyes of a kind-hearted aviator and his friend, the Little Prince.
One of the best kids movies, it blends fantasy, adventure, and philosophy to create a rich and meaningful tale about the power of imagination, love, and cherishing things that matter most in life. It captures the essence of childhood wonder and inspires viewers to embrace their inner child.
6. Jumanji (1995)
Brace yourself for a classic family adventure movie that has stood the test of time. Starring Robin Williams, the movie tells the story of a mysterious board game that unleashes a jungle world into the real world, forcing its players to fight for their survival.
It’s a thrilling and imaginative tale that combines action, humor, and heart, and delivers a powerful message about the importance of family and friendship. Based on the novel of the same name, this timeless classic will entertain and delight viewers of all ages.
7. How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
An epic and thrilling adventure, How to Train Your Dragon follows a young Viking named Hiccup as he befriends a dragon and sets out to change his village’s perception of these mythical creatures. It’s a heartwarming tale of friendship, loyalty, and self-discovery, with breathtaking animation, lovable characters, and a stirring musical score.
This DreamWorks movie is a masterpiece in storytelling that will appeal to younger kids and adults. It combines action, humor, and heart in a way that is both entertaining and meaningful.
8. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a heartwarming, emotional movie based on the real life story of journalist Tom Junod’s encounter with beloved TV personality Fred Rogers. The movie explores the transformative power of kindness, empathy, and forgiveness, and how these values can help us navigate life’s challenges.
Tom Hanks is outstanding as Fred Rogers. The best family movie in recent times, it inspires us to be better people while appreciating the beauty of everyday life.
9. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Arthur Christmas is a heartwarming and hilarious movie that reimagines the classic story of Santa Claus in a modern and innovative way. It follows Santa’s clumsy son, Arthur, as he embarks on a mission to save Christmas for a young girl who has been missed on the present list. It’s a beautiful tale of family, perseverance, and the true meaning of Christmas.
The animation is top-notch, the voice cast is stellar, and the story is both touching and funny. It delivers holiday cheer and laughter for viewers of all ages.
10. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
A stunning work of animation and storytelling, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind tackles themes of environmentalism, pacifism, and the power of empathy. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the film follows the journey of a young princess named Nausicaa as she fights to protect her people and the planet from destruction. The animation is breathtaking, the world-building is immersive, and the characters are complex and compelling.
11. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
My Neighbour Totoro is a heartwarming and magical film that captures the essence of childhood wonder and imagination. The film tells the story of two sisters who move to the countryside and befriend a forest spirit named Totoro. It’s a beautiful tale of friendship, and the power of the natural world. The animation is stunning, the characters are lovable, and the story is enchanting.
This Studio Ghibli classic will appeal to both kids and adults and has a timeless quality to it.
12. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
One of the best family movies, Howl’s Moving Castle is an exquisitely crafted animated tale. Our young protagonist Sophie is cursed by a witch and transformed into an old woman. She embarks on a journey to find a cure, where she meets Howl, a mysterious wizard. The stunning visuals, enchanting storyline, and endearing characters combine to make this a memorable family film. It imparts important lessons on love, self-discovery, and the power of kindness.
13. Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Whisper of the Heart is a charming family film about creativity, passion, and self-discovery. The plot revolves around young Shizuku, who aspires to be a writer. She learns the value of following her heart and pursuing her dreams through her experiences and relationships. The movie is visually stunning, with lovely animation and a charming soundtrack.
It’s a relatable story that encourages viewers of all ages to explore their passions and take the leap towards their dreams. Can’t go wrong with this one!
14. Ponyo (2008)
Ponyo tells the story of a young boy Sosuke who befriends a magical goldfish named Ponyo. The fish longs to be human. Together, they embark on a fantastical adventure filled with danger and wonder. Ponyo deals with themes of friendship, family, and environmental awareness, with potential to spark important discussions.
Kids and adults can enjoy this whimsical, enchanting story, making it a perfect addition to a family movie night.
15. Kung Fu Panda trilogy
With its lovable protagonist, Po, and the supporting cast of martial arts-loving animals, the movies are full of humor, action, and heartwarming moments. The stunning animation and beautifully choreographed fight scenes will keep both kids and adults engaged.
And with themes of self-discovery, friendship, and teamwork, the Kung Fu Panda trilogy provides valuable life lessons in an entertaining package.
16. Arrietty (2010)
Arrietty is about a young girl who is only a few inches tall. She and her family live under the floorboards of a house and must keep their existence a secret from the human occupants. When Arrietty meets a young boy named Sho, their friendship blossoms despite their size difference. The film’s beautiful animation and charming characters make it a perfect family movie to enjoy together. It teaches valuable lessons about friendship, acceptance, and the importance of respecting others.
17. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Another Ghibli classic! The title character is a young witch named Kiki who moves to a new town to start her own delivery business. The anime explores themes of independence, perseverance, and the importance of friendship. Kiki‘s journey of self-discovery and finding her place in the world is relatable and inspiring for both kids and adults. If you’re looking for a movie that’ll leave you uplifted and inspired, this one’s an excellent choice.
18. Wasao (2011)
It’s a heartwarming Japanese film about the life of a loyal and lovable dog named Wasao. The film tells the true story of a small town in Japan that came to love and admire the dog, who was known for his incredible loyalty and ability to bring people together. A moving tale about love, loyalty, and community, it’ll resonate with viewers of all ages. The feel-good movie celebrates the power of animals to bring joy and comfort to people’s lives.
19. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
The story follows the Grace family as they move into an old mansion and discover a magical world full of fairies, goblins, and a wicked ogre. The film’s impressive special effects bring these creatures to life in a captivating and believable manner. The young actors’ performances are noteworthy, particularly Freddie Highmore in the dual roles of twins Jaredand Simon.
The Spiderwick Chronicles balances action, suspense, and humor in an exciting and thrilling adventure that will keep you riveted.
20. Madagascar (2005)
The film follows the exploits of four Central Park Zoo animals who are unexpectedly shipped to Madagascar. Along the way, they meet a host of colorful characters and learn the true meaning of friendship and freedom. The voice acting is excellent, and the animation is vibrant and colorful. The comedy in the film appeals to both kids and adults, making it an excellent choice for the entire family.
Madagascar is a fun-filled adventure that will leave you smiling from beginning to end, and its positive message about the value of friendship and perseverance is sure to resonate with viewers of all ages. It’s streaming on HBO Max.
21. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Meet inventor Flint Lockwood, who develops a machine that can turn water into food. Chaos ensues as the machine goes haywire and creates food storms that threaten to destroy the town. The film is visually stunning, with bright and colorful animation that perfectly complements the wacky humor of the story. The voice acting is also top-notch, with standout performances from Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and James Caan.
But what truly distinguishes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is its message about the importance of being true to yourself and following your dreams.
22. Rango (2011)
Directed by Gore Verbinski, Rango is delightfully eccentric and visually stunning. Rango, a chameleon with a flair for the theatrical, finds himself in a dusty western town in need of a hero in the story. The film is beautifully animated, with a distinctive and imaginative art style that makes the town of Dirt and its inhabitants come alive. Voice acting, led by Johnny Depp as Rango, is superb and brings the quirky characters to life. Rango is an enjoyable, memorable family film that combines humor, action, and heart.
23. Castle in the Sky (1986)
This beloved classic tells the story of Sheeta and Pazu, two kids who embark on a journey to find a legendary floating castle that is said to hold the key to uncovering the mysteries of a long-lost civilization. The film boasts breathtaking visuals, an epic adventure, and endearing characters that will win over both kids and adults. The themes of courage, friendship, and perseverance are woven throughout the narrative, making it an inspiring watch for the whole family.
Directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, Castle in the Sky is a timeless masterpiece that continues to enchant audiences of all ages.
24. Stuart Little (1999)
This delightful family film tells the story of a lovable mouse named Stuart who is taken in by a human family and raised as one of their own. Only, the family cat wishes to get rid of him. Ouch! Stuart’s bravery and perseverance, despite confronting difficulties and obstacles, serve as an example to those around him.
The movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at, with impressive special effects that bring Stuart and other animal characters to life. The performances from the cast, including Michael J. Fox as Stuart‘s voice are excellent, capturing the heart and humor of the story. The film’s themes of acceptance, family, and friendship are universal and resonate with both children and adults.
25. When Marnie Was There (2014)
Studio Ghibli’s stunning anime follows Anna, a young girl who is sent to the countryside to live with her aunt due to her poor health. There, she finds an abandoned mansion where she meets a mysterious girl Marnie who becomes her friend. As their friendship blossoms, Anna becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth about Marnie‘s past.
The animation in this film is breathtaking. The scenery is beautifully detailed, and the characters are all uniquely designed and expressively animated. The story is also well-crafted, weaving together elements of mystery and coming-of-age. The themes of loneliness, self-discovery, and the importance of human connections are all explored in a delicate and poignant way.
26. Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away tells the story of a young girl named Chihiro who gets trapped in a mysterious spirit world after her parents are transformed into pigs. A timeless masterpiece from the visionary mind of Hayao Miyazaki, it takes us on a fantastical and imaginative adventure. The beloved classic brilliantly explores themes of perseverance, bravery, and love.
The story is a testament to the power of imagination, the resilience of the human spirit, and the importance of holding onto hope in the face of adversity.
27. Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Rise of the Guardians tells the story of a group of beloved childhood characters, including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, who come together to protect children around the world from an evil spirit named Pitch. Its lessons about courage, friendship, and the power of belief will resonate with both kids and adults. Voice acting is remarkable, with standout performances from Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, and Hugh Jackman.
28. Puss in Boots (2011)
A spin-off of the popular Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots is a fun, entertaining adventure. The film is filled with clever jokes and witty one-liners that will have the whole family laughing. The story is engaging and well-crafted, with plenty of action and heartwarming moments.
It follows Puss in Boots as he teams up with his old friend, Humpty Dumpty, and a new ally, Kitty Softpaws, to steal the magic beans that lead to the legendary goose that lays golden eggs. The adventure takes them through dangerous territory and puts their friendship to the test.
29. Monster House (2006)
In the spooky and fun Monster House, we follow three kids who discover the creepy old house in their neighborhood is actually a living, breathing monster that preys on unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. The animation perfectly captures the eerie atmosphere of the film. The characters are also well-developed, with excellent voice acting from the likes of Steve Buscemi, Catherine O’Hara, and Jason Lee.
Despite its creepy premise, Monster House is also filled with humor and heart, making it a well-rounded family movie.
30. The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
Kids love their furry friends. And this delightful animated film explores the hidden world of our beloved pets when we’re not around. The film follows Max, a pampered terrier, who lives a comfortable life in New York City with his owner Katie. However, his world is turned upside down when Katie brings home a new dog, Duke, who Max sees as a threat to his happy life. After a series of misadventures, Max and Duke find themselves on a wild adventure across the city, encountering a host of colorful characters along the way.
The film perfectly balances humor and heart, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and those that will tug at your heartstrings.
Notable mention: Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood (2022)
Richard Linklater’s A Space Age Childhood warmly recalls NASA’s historic launch of Apollo 11. The director uses rotoscope animation to craft an intriguing ‘what if’ scenario, surrounding the memorable summer of 1969 in Texas. Schoolboy Stan is recruited by NASA officials to test out a lunar module that’s feared to be too small for adults to use. Stan clearly seems to be a stand-in for Linklater, and the filmmaker showcases what it meant to have grown up during the space age in American suburbia. An exhilarating walk down the memory lane appropriate for teens and older kids!
These are some of the best family movies on Netflix streaming right now. If you’re done with these, check out 2020 documentary Octopus Teacher, The Lego Movie (2014), Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022), Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022), winner of the Best Animated Feature at 2023 Oscars and The Sea Beast (2022) from Chris Williams. What are your favorites on the list?