The Best Family and Kids Movies on Netflix (November 2021)

While the world of streaming has opened up a vast amount of possibilities in terms of viewing options, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to decide exactly what to choose—especially when you have the entire family on the brain. That’s why we’ve crafted a specially curated list of the best family movies on Netflix, which runs down the very best movie-watching options for all (or at least most) ages to enjoy. They range from animated features to uplifting live-action stories of real-life heroes.

But it’s not only Disney movies—our list of the best family and kids movies on Netflix features films from all kinds of studios, all kinds of eras, and all kinds of genres. So if you’re looking for the perfect viewing option that both kids and parents will enjoy, we’re pretty confident you’ll find something here. Check out our full list of the best family movies on Netflix below.

RELATED: The 85 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now


Labyrinth movie david bowie and jennifer connelly social 1

Director: Jim Henson

Writer: Terry Jones

Cast: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Brian Henson, Frank Oz

There aren’t many movies in any genre more bursting with imagination than Labyrinth, Jim Henson‘s high fantasy puppetry extravaganza. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly) is frustrated with watching her baby brother…until the child is carried off by a pack of goblins, led by the Goblin King (David Bowie, just astonishingly iconic in this role). Sarah descends into a jaw-droppingly vibrant maze of monsters and mayhem to find her brother, encountering everything from a helpful dward named Hoggle (Brian Henson) to the Bog of Eternal Stench. Labyrinth is so dang impressive on a technical level that it’s a must-watch for pretty much any age, but it’s especially an irreplaceable gem as something to show a generation raised on CGI. This movie proves you can actually create magic with your hands. –Vinnie Mancuso



Image via Netflix

Director: David Yarovesky

Writers: Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Cast: Krysten Ritter, Winslow Fegley, and Lidya Jewett

Looking for something genuinely spooky to watch this Halloween season that’s also perfect for the whole family? Look no further than Nightbooks, a new witchy Netflix original from director David Yarovesky (Brightburn) and producer Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead). Alex (Winslow Fegley) is teased so much for his love of writing horror stories he swears never to pen another tale again. But when a witch (Krysten Ritter) traps Alex in her New York City apartment and demands he spin her a new yarn every night, the creative kid has to use every ounce of his storytelling talent to make sure he and fellow prisoner Yasmin (Lidya Jewett) make it out alive. Nighbooks occupies a vital space in the horror genre—one similar to the likes of Goosebumps, A Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hocus Pocuswhich is to say it’s just scary enough to act as a gateway movie for any kid (like Alex!) who might be interested in the harder stuff down the road. –Vinnie Mancuso

Stuart Little

Image via Sony Pictures Releasing

Director: Rob Minkoff

Writers: M. Night Shyamalan, Greg Brooker

Cast: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki

If you’re looking for some straight-up whimsical high jinks, my advice would be to think small. Based on the classic children’s novel by E.B. White, Stuart Little tells the story of the Little family—parents Eleanor (Geena Davis) and Frederick (Hugh Laurie), son George (Jonathan Lipnicki)—who adopt an anthropomorphic mouse named Stuart (Michael J. Fox). He is, in every sense of the word, delightful, as is this entire movie. (Which, yes, was co-written by M. Night Shyamalan.) No surprise, Lion King director Rob Minkoff, making his live-action debut, packs a gigantic heart into this tiny story. –Vinnie Mancuso

The Christmas Chronicles 1 & 2

Image via Netflix

Directors: Clay Kaytis, Chris Columbus

Writers: Matt Lieberman, Chris Columbus

Cast: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Julian Dennison

Netflix is shockingly consistent when it comes to pumping out quality Christmas content and that remains true in the case of the one-two punch of The Christmas Chronicles and its sequel, in which Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn play a delightful and quite frankly devastatingly attractive Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. In the first film, a pair of siblings, Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis), accidentally crash Santa’s sleigh on Christmas night. As the sunrise approaches, the two kids have to help St. Nick save the holiday. In the sequel—which sees Home Alone and Harry Potter helmer Chris Columbus take over directing duties—Kate has to re-team with the Clauses when an elf named Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) goes rogue and threatens to cancel Christmas. If a perfectly pleasant yuletide double feature is on your family’s wish list, look no further. –Vinnie Mancuso

A Cinderella Story

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Mark Rosman

Writer: Leigh Dunlap

Cast: Hillary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge, Regina King

If you happen to be a child of the early 2000s who started a family of your own, there is one, simple way to show them exactly what it felt like to live “back in the day”: show them A Cinderella Story, the most charmingly 2004 film ever made. An update on the classic Cinderella story, the movie follows California outcast Sam (Hillary Duff) and popular jock with a heart of gold Austin (Chad Michael Murray), who unknowingly strike up a pen-pal relationship. When the two finally meet at their high school’s Halloween dance, Sam’s wearing a mask, and in classic Cinderella-ian fashion, Austin must try and find the anonymous girl whose name he never got. A certified cult gem of the early aughts.

Spy Kids

Image via Dimension Films

Writer/Director: Robert Rodriguez

Cast: Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Danny Trejo

Married super-spies Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino) raise their two children, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), by day and travel the world taking down villains by night. But when the couple is captured by megalomaniacal children’s show host Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming), it’s up to the brother-sister duo to take on the super-spy mantle, assemble a whole host of gadgets, and rescue their parents…and the entire world. Robert Rodriguez, making his first successful leap to children’s filmmaking after breaking out as one of the action genre’s best, packs more imagination packed into single frames of Spy Kids than the majority of the last decade of kid’s movies combined. It’s a delightful, action-packed blast that you should only watch with your kids if you’re okay with at minimum a month of them wanting to grow up and become spies.

The School of Rock

Image via Paramount Pictures

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Mike White

Cast: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White, and Sarah Silverman

One of Boyhood and Dazed and Confused filmmaker Richard Linklater’s best films is fun for the whole family. 2003’s The School of Rock is a pure feel-good film, as it stars Jack Black as a broke guitarist who was just kicked out of his band, who poses as his roommate in order to land a job substitute teaching at a prestigious prep school. When he learns his students are all musically inclined, he decides to use them to win Battle of the Bands as revenge against his old band. Black is wildly charismatic, Joan Cusack is a hoot, and the music is catchy as heck. – Adam Chitwood


Image via Sony Pictures Releasing

Director: Joe Johnston

Writers: Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, Jim Strain

Cast: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Jonathan Hyde

This movie might have scared an entire generation away from board games, but there really is no better, more thrilling way to introduce a young movie lover to rousing Amblin-esque adventure than Jumanji. Directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer), the film sees two young siblings, Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce), who unearth a mystical jungle-themed board game that not only brings all of its wildlife into the real world—some much deadlier than others—but also releases Alan Parrish (Robin Williams), a man who was trapped inside the game 26 years earlier. A lively, effects-driven thrill ride with Robin Williams at his most heartwarming at its center? You really can’t ask for much more, and as an added bonus, both of its belated sequels, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level, both of which should not have worked, somehow worked extremely well! –Vinnie Mancuso

Enola Holmes

Image via Netflix

Director: Henry Bradbeer

Writer: Jack Thorne

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, Sam Claflin

Eliminate all the movies you’ve watched a hundred times before from your Netflix queue and whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is most likely Enola Holmes, a gem of a Netflix original that came and went in the pop culture conversation too fast. Based on the YA series of the same name, Enola Holmes sees Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown playing the title character, younger sister to history’s most famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill). But when the Holmes family matriarch, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) goes missing, it’s Enola on the case, tracking her mother’s trail of secrets straight into a grand conspiracy. Brown is, no surprise, endlessly charming in the lead, the mystery plot is just challenging enough to keep the kids guessing, and Cavill is clearly having a blast playing the stuffy Sherlock figure. The mystery of What to Watch, solved. –Vinnie Mancuso

Dennis Menace

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Nick Castle

Writer: John Hughes

Cast: Mason Gamble, Walter Matthau, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd

Who could have predicted Michael Myers himself would become such a delightful director of family films? After starring in Halloween, Nick Castle went on to helm a string of gems, first in the 80s with The Last Starfighter and The Boy Who Could Fly, and then straight into the 90s with Dennis the Menace, an adaptation of the precocious comic strip. The film stars Mason Gamble as the titular troublemaker, whose misadventures—usually at the expense of grumpy neighbor George Wilson (Walter Matthau, a joy)—get him tangled up with a criminal named Switchblade Sam (Christopher Lloyd). Overall, Dennis the Menace is a classic case of wacky high jinks, but be warned: Lloyd’s character is probably the most unsettling children’s movie character, uh, ever? –Vinnie Mancuso


Image via Universal

Director: Brian Levant

Writers: John Hughes, Amy Holden Jones

Cast: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci

Beethoven is a pure 1990s gem about a gigantic, slobbery St. Bernard who comes to live with Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt, which is about as easy a sell for a movie as humanly possible. It’s adorable, it’s delightful, and it also features Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt as a pair of devious bumbling dog-nappers working for an evil veterinarian named Dr. Herman Varnick (Dean Jones). Honestly, the fact that we’re not all constantly discussing the film Beethoven seems suspect. He is a good dog, he is very large, and he protects his family from, I repeat, Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt. Go watch this movie. –Vinnie Mancuso

Puss in Boots

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Director: Chris Miller

Writer: Tom Wheeler

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amy Sedaris

The 2011 film Puss in Boots is a spinoff of the Shrek franchise that does a solid job of expanding the fairy tale universe of the Shrek movies while also telling a contained, compelling story of its own. As the title suggests, the film follows Antonio Banderas’ Puss in Boots, first introduced in Shrek 2 as a swashbuckling kitty cat. In his own movie, he squares off against murderous siblings Jack and Jill with trusty companions like Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws. Like the Shrek movies, the film puts a fun twist on well-known fairy tales, but it’s Banderas’ charisma and Galifianakis’ silly Humpty Dumpty that really make this one sing. As an added bit of trivia, Guillermo del Toro served as an executive producer and creative advisor as the film was being developed. – Adam Chitwood

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

The Mitchells vs the Machines Dog
Image via Netflix

Director: Mike Rianda

Writers: Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe

Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, and Beck Bennett

The whole family will absolutely love The Mitchells vs. the Machines. The story of this original animated film follows a family in the wake of a robot apocalypse, just as they were about to embark on a cross-country road trip to take the daughter to college. They must work together if they have any hope of saving themselves (or the world), which is difficult because the father and daughter are having trouble communicating. This movie is silly and goofy but also emotional, with a rich heart at its center and a story of the importance of communication boosted by a female lead who is fiercely creative. It’s also tremendously rewatchable. – Adam Chitwood

We Can Be Heroes

Image via Netflix

Director/Writer: Robert Rodriguez

Cast: YaYa Gosselin, Lyon Daniels, Andy Walken, Hala Finley, Lotus Blossom, Dylan Henry Lau, Andrew Diaz, Isiah Russel-Bailey, Akira Akbar, Nathan Blair, Vivien Blair, Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Boyd Holbrook, Christian Slater

If you’re looking for a sweet and silly sci-fi adventure that’s fun for the whole family, Robert Rodriguez’s We Can Be Heroes is a pretty delightful option. Set in the same universe as his beloved 2005 family superhero film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, his Netflix film brings all that bright and bubbly energy to a new generation of heroes. After Earth’s legion of superheroes are captured by aliens, their children have to step up and save the day, each with their own distinct set of powers, from classic superhero abilities like controlling time to controlling objects by singing to a good old-fashioned knack for leadership. And lest we forget the scene-stealing Guppy, Sharkboy and Lavagirl’s adorable young daughter who inherited Shark Strength and knows how to use it. It’s a light-hearted, breezy fantasy/sci-fi adventure for kids that should land well with fans of Sharkboy and Lavagirl and Rodriguez’s Spy Kids franchise. – Haleigh Foutch


Image via Disney

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Melissa Mathison

Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Bill Hader

For a Steven Spielberg-directed Disney movie, The BFG kind of flew under the radar, so if you missed it before, now’s the perfect chance to catch up on the gorgeous family adventure. Adapting from Roald Dahl‘s beloved children’s book, The BFG stars recent Spielberg favorite Mark Rylance as the eponymous Big Friendly Giant, who befriends a human girl (Ruby Barnhill). Together, they set out on an adventure to take down the bigger, more bloodthirsty giants from his world, who want to invade earth and feast on mankind. The BFG isn’t top-tier Spielberg, but it’s still Spielberg, which means it’s definitely a top-tier family adventure, infused with the filmmaker’s signature sense of wonder, and featuring some captivating motion-capture work from Rylance. And on the matter of animation and effects, The BFG is just downright stunning to behold. – Haleigh Foutch

Zathura: A Space Adventure

Zathura Movie Cast
Image via Sony Pictures

Director: Jon Favreau

Writers: David Koepp, John Kamps

Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins

It’s not just Jumanji in space — though it’s that, too. Zathura: A Space Adventure was made by director Jon Favreau in between his two biggest hits — Elf and Iron Man — and represents the best impulses from both of those films in one shining, accessible, emotional, fleet, and funny package. When a trio of dysfunctional siblings (Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, and Kristen Stewart) find a sci-fi themed board game to play while bored out of their minds, they do so semi-begrudgingly, unwittingly unleashing all matter of space adventures and terrors into their actual home. The resulting adventures feel appropriately Amblin-esque (especially when centering around a never-better Dax Shepard), combining thrills and heart inextricably. The film is a slept on, minor cult hit, never quite attaining the pop culture pull of its jungle-themed older sibling. Now that it’s on Netflix, let’s rectify that. – Gregory Lawrence

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

Image via Netflix

Director: Andy Serkis

Writer: Callie Kloves

Cast: Rohan Chand, Matthew Rhys, Freida Pinto, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett

I know you’re thinking of the delightful Disney animated classic, but maybe save this one for when the kids are just a bit older. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, largely overshadowed by Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book released just two years earlier, is a much darker, more intense take on the source material, courtesy of the mo-cap king himself, Andy Serkis (who also provides the voice for brown bear Baloo). But it’s also got one heck of a cast, led by committed young actor Rohan Chand crawling through mud and leaves as Mowgli, surrounded by A-listers like Christian Bale as black panther Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch as villainous tiger Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as the python Kaa.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Image via Sony Pictures

Directors: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn

Writers: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein

Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, James Caan, Andy Samberg, and Terry Crews

This animated sequel returns to the food-filled town of Swallow Falls, where the enormous food that rained down has now evolved into animals. While the follow-up misses a bit of that Phil Lord and Chris Miller charm that made the original so delightfully unique, Lord and Miller remain producers and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 still finds some really great visual jokes and gags to keep audiences entertained. Plus, the addition of Will Forte to the cast is inspired. – Adam Chitwood


Image via Netflix

Director: Sergio Pablos

Writers: Sergio Pablos, Jim Mahoney, and Zach Lewis

Cast: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Neda Margrethe Labba, Sergio Pablos, Norm Macdonald, and Joan Cusack

With Klaus, Netflix made a bona fide original Christmas classic without a single holiday switch (incredible, I know). Co-written and directed by Sergio Pablos, a Spanish animation master who began working for Disney in the Paris outpost before moving to America and contributing incredible performances and designs for characters as varied and unrelated as Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Dr. Doppler in Treasure Planet before becoming a one-man idea farm, coming up with the initial concepts that gave way to Despicable Me and Smallfoot. With Klaus, which tells the origin story of Santa Claus (J.K. Simmons) via his relationship between a small-town mailman (Jason Schwartzman), Pablos cannily mixed traditional, 2D hand-drawn animation with cutting edge computer animation. The resulting film is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before; it’s like watching a magic trick and being unsure how it was accomplished but being transfixed just the same. (It was nominated for the Best Animated Feature and had a good shot at winning, too.) And the story, with warring villagers and a commitment to giving a grounded, emotionally resonant portrayal of the beginnings of the legend (call it Santa Claus Begins) means that it never tips into gooey sentimentality. This is the rare Christmas classic that can be watched any time of year and will still fill you with that singular holiday magic. – Drew Taylor


paranorman kodi smit mcphee
Image via Focus Features

Directors: Sam Fell and Chris Butler

Writer: Chris Butler

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Alex Borstein, Leslie Man, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi

If you’re looking for a fun family movie that’s also genuinely spooky and has a surprising message, I urge you to check out ParaNorman. The stop-motion animated film hails from LAIKA, the same studio behind Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, and it’s absolutely one of their best films. It revolves around a young kid named Norman who has the ability to see and speak with the dead, which comes in handy when his small Massachusetts town is overrun by terrifying ghosts. The story draws heavily from iconic 80s movies like The Goonies and E.T. but never feels derivative, and actually carries with it a surprising and emotional message about bullying and anger, and the complexity of emotions that kids can sometimes feel. It’s also just a ton of fun. – Adam Chitwood

The Real ‘Home Alone’ House Is Now Available on Airbnb, And You Better Bring Change You Filthy Animal

This time without traps, mostly.

Read Next

About The Author

https://collider.com/best-family-kids-movies-on-netflix/ The Best Family and Kids Movies on Netflix (November 2021)

Bobby Allyn

USTimeToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimetoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button