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The best family movies on Hulu

When the workweek is through and school hours are completed, there’s no better way to unwind than around the TV. Might we recommend a family movie? If you’re a Hulu subscriber, then you’ll be happy to know that you’re sitting on a trove of family-friendly cinema, encompassing everything from recognizable classics to the latest in CGI spectacles. We here at Digital Trends are big fans of the genre and experts when it comes to hand-picking flicks from the biggest streaming services around. For your reading pleasure, here’s our roundup of the best family movies on Hulu this month.

Need more animated flicks for the weekend? Check out our roundups of the best family films on Netflix, the best family movies on Amazon Prime, and the best family movies on Disney+.

Sonic the Hedgehog
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

The titular blue hedgehog has been a gaming icon for decades, thanks to the folks at Sega. Now, the marvel-of-speed has finally received his own feature film. Our story kicks off with Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) being transported to Earth by the power of magic rings bestowed upon him by Longclaw the Owl (Donna Jay Fulks), his mythic guardian. On Earth, Sonic’s to-do list is rather slim, leaving him with bountiful energy and nowhere to exhaust it. After a game of team-less baseball goes a bit berserk, Sonic’s energy knocks down the power grid, prompting authorities to reach out to Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to track down the blue dude. But Robotnik has ulterior motives. Sonic the Hedgehog had an interesting development cycle, but as far as video-game-to-film adaptations go, this is one of the best. It’s funny, bombastic, and puts Jim Carrey back in his zany shoes. We highly recommend it.

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Stars: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey
Director: 
Jeff Fowler
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
98 minutes

Shrek
Dreamworks Pictures

Shrek (2001)

He’s big, green, and … slightly Scottish? In this humorous 2001 Dreamworks film, Mike Myers is the voice of Shrek, a grouch of an ogre who wants nothing but the peace and tranquility of his swamp. But when a bevy of fairytale creatures show up on his doorstep, a talking donkey named Donkey (Eddie Murphy) chief amongst them, Shrek and Donkey pay a visit to Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow), the man who banished the creatures from his kingdom. Shrek and the lordship strike a deal. Shrek will rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) for Farquaad in order to have his swamp returned to its peaceful state. Featuring state-of-the-art CGI (for its time) and an ensemble of spectacular voice performances, Shrek stands the test of time nearly two decades after its release.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow
Director: 
Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
90 minutes

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Times are tough for the island town of Swallow Falls. Its inhabitants confined to a diet of only sardines, a quirky inventor named Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) concocts a device that will convert water into food. But when the machine goes haywire, a rain of food descends from the heavens, burying the entire village in oversized grub. There are several flavors of jokes and gags on display in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — from immediate knee-slappers to visual hilarities — and the film as a whole is a cohesive blast from start to finish. CGI adaptations are rather hit and miss, but Cloudy manages to honor its source novel by Judi and Ron Barrett while delivering cinematic originality. It’s one you don’t want to miss.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Stars: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Mr. T
Director: 
Christopher Miller, Phil Lord
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
90 minutes

Trolls World Tour
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Trolls World Tour (2020)

A more-than-worthy follow-up to the first Trolls film, World Tour finds the mischievous darlings on an all-new journey. When Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover that there are six Troll tribes that each represent a genre of music (techno, funk, classical, country, rock, and pop), the leaders of the rock world, Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) and King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne), devise an evil plan to steal the magical strings that power each tribe’s music. It’s up to Poppy, Branch, and their fellow Troll pals to thwart the efforts of the King and Queen before they wipe out all the other music. Seeking to tell a larger story about diversity and inclusion, Trolls World Tour dishes out all the animated glitz we expect from a Dreamworks feature, but with plenty to smile at for both children and adults alike.

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom
Director: 
Walt Dohrn 
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
91 minutes

The Addams Family
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Addams Family (2019)

Creepy, kooky, and altogether spooky, the infamous clan is back for their first fully-animated feature. In The Addams Family, Gomez (Oscar Isaac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), and the rest of the bunch prepare for son Pugsley’s (Finn Wolfhard) Mazurka, a rite of passage essential to becoming a member of the family. At the same time, TV personality Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) has plans for a planned community of homes for her next reality show. The only issue standing in her way is the Addams’ estate. In a desperate bid to rid her development of the creeps, she devises a plan to incriminate and ostracize the family. Top-notch animation and powerful voice casting bring the Addams clan to life as we’ve never seen them before.

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Finn Wolfhard, Allison Janney
Director: 
Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan 
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
86 minutes

3 Ninjas
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3 Ninjas (1992)

Brothers Rocky (Michael Treanor), Colt (Max Elliot Slade), and Tum Tum (Chad Power) are highly-skilled martial arts fighters — and not one of them is over age 15. When the trio arrives at Grandfather Mori’s (Victor Wong) house for their summer training, a malicious ex-student of Mori’s, Synder (Rand Kingsley), kidnaps the siblings in a bid to draw out their FBI father. But Synder doesn’t know the bunch that he’s up against. A nice blend of action-comedy for younger audiences, 3 Ninjas went on to spawn three sequels, continuing the martial arts adventures of the fraternal fighters.

Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
Stars: Michael Treanor, Max Elliot Slade, Chad Power, Rand Kingsley
Director: 
John Turteltaub
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
84 minutes

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Taking place in the 19th-century Old West, Spirit follows the titular mustang stallion’s (voiced by Matt Damon) days as a leader of his herd. Investigating a mysterious light one evening, Spirit is captured by human wranglers and brought to a U.S. cavalry post. Under the harsh rule of “The Colonel” (James Cromwell), Spirit refuses to be tamed. That is until a captured Lakota named Little Creek (Daniel Studi) rescues him and flees from the post. But The Colonel and his army are hot on their tails. An exceptional blast of 2D animation and a mature story allow Spirit to stand tall amongst other animated features of the era.

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Stars: Michael Treanor, Max Elliot Slade, Chad Power, Rand Kingsley
Director: 
John Turteltaub
Rating:
 PG
Runtime: 
84 minutes

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
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