Netflix is a repository of all sorts of great movies and TV shows to stream on-demand. These include plenty of family-friendly films, and the service’s collection of animated movies is impressive on its own.
Whether you want to find something for the kids or indulge your inner kid, Netflix has something you’ll love. We’ve rounded up the best animated movies on the site for all tastes so you can find what you’re looking for without having to dig through the clutter.
Can’t get enough Spider-Man? Then you’ll love Into the Spider-Verse. The 2018 Oscar winner for Best Animated picture opens up the multiverse to introduce a whole cast of Spider-Men, -Women, and even -Pigs that help to keep you on your toes for hours. This film also introduces the masses to Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) — who fans of Ultimate Marvel will already know — a New York teen who, like Peter Parker, is bitten by a radioactive spider and develops spidey powers. When the powerful Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber) attempts to use an experimental machine to open new dimensions, he unwittingly introduces Miles to a weary, older version of Parker (Jake Johnson), as well as a number of other Spider-folk who band together to stop Fisk before he causes irreparable damage to the universe. Into the Spider-Verse is unapologetically weird and frenetically fun for virtually anyone.
Everybody has a childhood story about the scariest house in the neighborhood, but DJ Harvard’s is probably better than yours. The house across the street from DJ’s is actually a monster. Or, rather, it’s possessed by a malevolent entity that needs to feed on the energy of the living. As Halloween draws near and the house looks forward to feasting on all of the neighborhood children, it’s up to DJ and his friends Chowder and Jenny to discover the source of the house’s power and defeat it before it’s too late. More of a comedy with some spooky animated elements, Monster House is a fun film that will engage viewers of all ages.
The first film from now-iconic stop-motion animation house LAIKA, Coraline is, at first blush, a supremely weird movie. It’s adapted from Neil Gaiman’s beloved, bizarre children’s book, so that makes perfect sense, but the revolutionary stop-motion animation adds a quirky element that makes Coraline slightly discomforting yet ridiculously engrossing. Coraline is an adventurous girl who moves with her parents to the countryside where she is exceedingly bored and lonely. However, when she discovers a parallel world locked behind a hidden door in her new house, she realizes that, despite the inhabitants of this world all having buttons for eyes, they appear to be the perfect mirror images of the busy, annoying, irritating people in her real life. But there’s evil afoot and it’s up to Coraline to sniff out the truth before it’s too late. The Oscar-nominated film is twisted but it’s a ton of fun.
The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
The Castle of Cagliostro is the debut film of animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, and an entry in the Lupin III franchise. For those not familiar with the franchise, The Castle of Cagliostro follows the thief Arsène Lupin III, grandson of Maurice Leblanc’s iconic gentleman thief. After Lupin and his partner, Jigen, rob a casino, they discover that the cash they stole is counterfeit. They trace the money to the country of Cagliostro, whose ruler, Count Cagliostro, is planning to marry Princess Clarisse to consolidate absolute power over the country and its hidden treasure. The action dances smoothly along scene to scene with Miyazaki’s characteristically ebullient touch and stands as an enjoyable watch for fans of Studio Ghibli and its founder.
Netflix’s first original animated feature film, Klaus is an alternative and entertaining Santa Claus origin story. When a selfish young postman is assigned to a remote Scandinavian town, his unlikely friendship with a recluse leads to the accidental creation of an incredible (and familiar) toymaker. Klaus features the voice talent of Jason Schwartzman (who really carries the film), J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Norm MacDonald, and Joan Cusack. The film earned a 2020 Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.
The Incredibles 2 (2018)
Brad Bird keeps the superhero magic alive despite a long hiatus between The Incredibles (2004) and its sequel. Capitalizing on society’s superhero craze sparked by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar’s very own superhero family returns with a vengeance in this surprisingly thought-provoking thrill ride. Bird, who wrote and directed, turns the genre (and gender norms) on its head as Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) sets off on a mission to restore the good name of superpowered people while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) takes on the equally challenging mission of raising the kids, including infant Jack-Jack who appears to be more powerful than the entire Incredible family combined. The Incredibles 2 strikes a nice balance between action and family-friendly fun.
A Silent Voice (2016)
Not all animated movies are for children and A Silent Voice is certainly one anime film geared toward an older audience. The film follows Shoya, a young man haunted by the guilt of bullying a deaf student named Shoko Nishiyima until she changed schools. Although he didn’t act alone, the other bullies turn on Shoya, marking him as an outcast and putting a target on his back. Years later, Shoya is overwhelmed by a need to make things right, so he learns sign language and seeks out Shoko to atone for his past sins. Through honest, painful communication, the two form a strong friendship as well as a community around them. With lush animation, deeply complicated themes, and flawed-yet-relatable characters, A Silent Voice is a riveting, soul-searching, and provocative film.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) is a waitress in 1920s New Orleans who dreams of opening her own restaurant. But when she attends an elegant gala with a potential beneficiary, a talking frog named Naveen mistakes her for a princess, explaining that he’s a prince who has been cursed by the voodoo witch doctor Facilier. When Tiana kisses the frog to break the spell, however, she becomes a frog as well. Suddenly, Naveen and Tiana are forced on a thrilling journey through the Bayou to try and break the spell before time runs out. One of the most underrated films in the Disney Animation library, The Princess and the Frog is packed with gorgeous animation, outstanding music, and consistent humor.
In This Corner of the World (2016)
While Netflix rightfully gets a lot of praise for its original content, it has also been remarkably deft with acquisitions, especially on the foreign film market. In This Corner of the World is a great example. This award-winning anime film was released in the U.S. in 2017 through Funimation Films and, after acquisition, it’s now available to stream on Netflix. It follows Suzu Urano, a young woman who moves to Hiroshima in 1944 to live with her husband’s family. When her town is hit by the atomic bomb, Suzu rises to the call to protect her family and rebuild her country, as much as any individual can after such unseen atrocity. A horrifying yet poignant tale that shows the Japanese perspective of World War II and depicts the challenges of overcoming overwhelming tragedy, In This Corner of the World is deeply illuminating.
The Little Prince (2015)
Another beneficiary of Netflix’s acquisition arm, The Little Prince received a limited release before Netflix snatched up the streaming rights, making it available for an even broader audience. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s famous novella comes to life with breathtaking animation and a faithful retelling of the classic tale in Mark Osborne’s 2015 adaptation. Classic characters like The Fox, The Snake, and The Rose all make appearances in different, contrasting animation styles that juxtapose the original drawings and computer-generated graphics. This visual technique helps frame the adapted story of the famous prince, which itself exists within a story of The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) and her uptight Mother (Rachel McAdams). Widely considered one of the best film adaptations of The Little Prince, this film is a joy for fans of the novella as well as newcomers.
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