Having summer movie night? It’s not always easy to find something that the whole family will love. But at least you don’t have to sift through the same DVDs you’ve seen a thousand times if you’re a Netflix subscriber. Netflix has a huge collection of family flicks that will appeal to all, whether you’re in the mood for a comedy or drama. But that lineup frequently changes so, to help you out, we’re on top of it with our list of the best family movies on Netflix right now.
Fans of Cobra Kai in the house? Educate them on the original source material because The Karate Kid trilogy is on Netflix. After moving to Southern California with his mother, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) soon finds himself the target of a group of bullies from the Cobra Kai karate dojo. When Daniel befriends his building’s older repairman Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), he unwittingly finds a master martial arts trainer of his very own. Mr. Miyagi takes Daniel under his wing, training him in a more compassionate form of karate and preparing him to defeat the brutal Cobra Kai in competition.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Ralph Macchio, Randee Heller, Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita, Elisabeth Shue, William Zabka
Director: John G. Avildsen
Runtime: 126 minutes
Dennis the Menace may have fallen from the modern zeitgeist, but that’s all the more reason to revisit the classic character with your modern family. That, and the performance of Walter Matthau as the grumpy Mr. Wilson. When mischievous, troublemaking Dennis Mitchell’s parents must leave town for work and can’t find a babysitter, they finally must ask grumpy old Mr. Wilson and his wife, Martha, to take care of Dennis. But when burglar Switchblade Sam descends on the neighborhood to steal Mr. Wilson’s coin collection, he takes Dennis as a hostage, forcing Mr. Wilson to put aside old animosities.
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Stars: Mason Gamble, Walter Matthau, Christopher Lloyd
Director: Nick Castle
Runtime: 96 minutes
If you’re going to do a family movie night, why not watch a movie about a dysfunctional family coming together? This Lord/Miller (The Lego Movie) animated romp is a ton of fun for everyone. Young Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) feels a bit like an outcast in her family of outcasts, but she knows she’ll find her people once she leaves for her first year of film school. Worried about losing his daughter permanently, Katie’s dad cancels her flight to LA and decides to do a family road trip instead. However, family bonding time is interrupted by the global uprising of electronic devices, organized by a scorned artificial intelligence (A.I.) named Pal. With the rest of the world rounded up and due for banishment to space, the Mitchells must come together to save their family and the planet.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Stars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
Director: Michael Rianda
Runtime: 114 minutes
A timeless classic, The Little Rascals has delighted multiple generations. Founders of the He-Man Woman Hater Club, Spanky and Buckwheat are ready to lead the boys to victory at the annual soapbox car rally. They elect their pal Alfalfa to represent the club, but when they find out he’s canoodling with schoolmate Darla, the boys decide they must break up the happy couple. Unfortunately, while Spanky and Buckwheat are meddling with Alfalfa and Darla, their prized race car is stolen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Stars: Travis Tedford, Bug Hall, Brittany Ashton Holmes
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Runtime: 82 minutes
Roald Dahl’s beloved story about a little girl and her friendship with a giant gets the CGI Spielberg treatment in this family-friendly epic. Initially scared by the 24-foot behemoth (voiced by Mark Rylance) peeking through her window, 10-year-old Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) soon realizes that he’s actually a Big Friendly Giant. As their friendship grows, Sophie’s presence attracts the unwanted attention of nastier giants like Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater, and the like. As the threat becomes imminent, Sophie must travel to London with her new friend to convince Queen Victoria to rid the land of bad giants once and for all.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Stars: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton
Director: Steven Spielberg
Runtime: 115 minutes
One of the very few Disney options still available on Netflix, The Princess and the Frog is also one of the most underrated entries in the Disney Animation Vault. This New Orleans fairy tale inspired by the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase, centers on Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), a hardworking woman who dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant New Orleans has ever seen. Her dream, however, hits a detour when she meets Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), who has been turned into a frog by the evil Dr. Facilier. Mistaking her for a princess, Naveen kisses Tiana, accidentally turning her into a frog as well. Now, the pair must hop through the bayou to find a powerful voodoo priestess who might be able to help them break the curse.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Runtime: 95 minutes
As Millennials are growing up and having their own kids, there are few family movies that check as many nostalgia and fun boxes as Good Burger. An absolute smash hit for ’90s babies, Good Burger still resonates with kids of all ages. Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell star as a couple of teen misfits working at a modest burger joint to earn a few bucks. But when the burger conglomerate Mondo Burger opens across the street, Good Burger is threatened with closure. Fortunately, dim-witted Ed (Mitchell) has an accidental ace-in-the-hole: His secret sauce.
Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
Stars: Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Sinbad
Director: Brian Robbins
Runtime: 95 minutes
The Croods has experienced a recent revival as a new sequel hit theaters and streamers in 2020. But don’t miss the original! The Croods are a prehistoric family living in a particularly dangerous time. Grug (Nic Cage) and Ugga (Catherine Keener) do their best to lead their clan to gather food by day and stay safe in a cave at night. But when a more evolved caveman called Guy (Ryan Reynolds) shows up, he starts implementing “technology” and “ideas” that frighten Grug and make him suspicious. Especially when it becomes clear that Guy’s apocalyptic theorizing proves to be correct.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds
Director: Christopher Sanders, Kirk De Micco
Runtime: 91 minutes
Netflix’s remake of the classic doggy hero tale is a heart-warming, fun adventure for the whole family. Siblings Carter (Gabriel Bateman) and Frankie (Darby Camp) are struggling with a family that’s falling apart at the seams. The only silver lining appears to be Benji, a stray dog that has struck up a special friendship with the children. But when they stumble into serious danger, Benji will have to save the day.
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Stars: Gabriel Bateman, Darby Camp, Jerod Haynes
Director: Brandon Camp
Runtime: 114 minutes
Film critics didn’t love Steven Spielberg’s Hook, but audiences embraced the story of a grown-up Peter Pan. Robin Williams stars as Peter’s older self, Peter Banning. After falling for and marrying Moira (Caroline Goodall), Peter has no idea that he was once the immortal boy. However, Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) wants his revenge. That’s why he kidnaps Peter and Moira’s children, which forces Peter to return to Neverland and reclaim himself, as well as the Lost Boys who remained behind.
Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins
Director: Steven Spielberg
Runtime: 142 minutes
Monster House is a rare family-friendly horror story. Mitchel Musso voices as Dustin James “D.J.” Walters, a young boy who has a contentious relationship with his cranky neighbor, Horace Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi). After Nebbercracker suffers a heart attack, D.J. and his friends, Chowder (Sam Lerner) and Jenny (Spencer Locke), learn that Nebbercracker’s house may be the true monster on the block. And they’re the only ones who can save the neighborhood from a dire fate.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi
Director: Gil Kenan
Runtime: 90 minutes
Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski, Sean Cullen, and Ricky Gervais lend their voices to this computer-animated film based on the book of the same name by Lois Lowry. It’s about the Willoughbys, two neglectful parents, and their unique children who try to survive on their own until a mysterious nanny arrives. Despite the presumably sad subject matter about orphaned children with bad parents, critics loved the film and lauded its silliness that is “anchored in genuine emotion.”
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Ricky Gervais
Director: Kris Pearn
Runtime: 92 minutes
While it may not be the same Invader Zim millennials grew up watching, the Netflix-adapted Enter the Florpus will still get the entire family reeling. The story tracks Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) after the events of the original TV series, seeing the little alien in the throes of an existential dilemma. As he’s fighting for a chance to make a difference and attempting to unlock his true purpose on Earth, Zim’s arch-nemesis plots his downfall in the shadows. Can the little alien gain the confidence he needs to overcome his human rival, or will he only be a memory? With a critics review score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, no family can go wrong with Invader Zim and his Florpus adventures.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Jhonen Vasquez, Richard Steven Horvitz
Directors: Hae Young Jung, Young Kyun Park, Jhonen Vasquez
Runtime: 71 minutes
Given the ample amount of time on everyone’s hands nowadays, Hugo is an unmissable family-friendly escape into a world that uniquely portrays this unstoppable temporal movement. Martin Scorsese’s steampunk adventure captures a 1931 Paris through the eyes of a 12-year-old and has an emotional weight unlike any of his previous films. Hugo’s (Asa Butterfield) adventures in the railway station are where the narrative and themes are expressed most boisterously, depicting a world made vibrant by its art, yet inundated with controlled abandon. Hugo is a tale of spellbinding woe and familial hardship, proving the necessity of creativity to thrive. It’s not an award winner for nothing, after all.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley
Director: Martin Scorsese
Runtime: 129 minutes
Like any franchise, it’s probably best to start with the first How to Train Your Dragon. But you won’t be completely lost if you jump in with the equally outstanding sequel. Five years since Hiccup and his dragon friend Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk, the town is more intrepid and more peaceful than ever. However, when Hiccup and Toothless discover a secret cave out in the ocean that’s filled with hundreds of wild dragons, they begin to ask questions. Soon, they find that the dragons answer to a mysterious rider, and they’re just the first domino to fall as a power-hungry warlord closes in on Berk.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler
Directors: Dean DeBlois
Runtime: 102 minutes
For anime-enthusiast families and Studio Ghibli connoisseurs, here is an international Alice in Wonderland lookalike. Mary and the Witch’s Flower is as heartwarming as it is artistically expressive, namely due to the direction of Hiromasa Yonebayashi. This animated adventure is based on Mary Stewart’s The Little Broomstick. Mary (Hana Sugisaki) is a young girl with no friends, living in the northern English countryside with a deep-seated hunger for adventure. After chasing a cat into a forest, her whole life changes upon the discovery of a mysterious broom with enchanted abilities. Netflix may have an array of the best anime series, but it doesn’t often have the best selection of family-friendly animated movies. Mary and the Witch’s Flower is certainly a testament to its potential.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Runtime: 103 minutes
During the Golden Age of Nickelodeon, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius stood out for its unique premise and a heavy focus on science. Jimmy Neutron is an 11-year-old boy whose intellect is matched by none. Of course, his brain results in the arrival of an alien species who want to kidnap and sacrifice Earth’s parents to Poultra, the species’ god, who is incidentally a three-headed chicken. Smart and humorous, the movie was the launching pad for the franchise, which brought two different television shows to Nickelodeon over the following decade.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Stars: Debi Derryberry, Rob Paulsen, Jeffrey Garcia
Director: John A. Davis
Runtime: 90 minutes
The classic duo of Mr. Peabody and Sherman gets a modern update for a new generation in this 2014 animated hit. Mr. Peabody is the most accomplished dog in the world, and with his mischievous boy Sherman, they travel time and space together in their time machine, the WABAC. But when Sherman takes the WABAC out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they inadvertently tear a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on history. Before past, present, and future are forever altered, Mr. Peabody must put everything back together again, simultaneously making the world right and becoming a parent.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Ty Burrell, Ariel Winter, Max Charles
Directors: Rob Minkoff
Runtime: 92 minutes
This Pokémon movie is a CGI remake of the massively popular 1998 Pokémon film, Pokémon: The First Movie. It doesn’t quite meet the hype of the original movie, which many of today’s parents probably went bananas for as kids, but it’s nonetheless a fun trip down nostalgia lane for adults and an action-packed ride for kids. Starring all the characters from the original Pokémon series, the movie follows Ash, Brock, and Misty as they discover the enormously powerful psychic Pokémon Mewtwo and realize he’s not the villain he’s made out to be.
Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Stars: Ikue Otani, Rica, Matsumoto
Directors: Kunihiko Yuyama, Tetsuo Yajima, Motonori Sakakibara
Runtime: 98 minutes
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