Top kids’ movies on Netflix UK
VOD News | On 20, Aug 2017
Struggling to find something to see with your littl ‘uns or don’t fancy the trek to the cinema? We round up the best childrens’ and family flicks on Netflix UK:
Brad Bird’s underrated film follows Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who finds that she is transported to a futuristic city every time she touches a lapel pin with the letter “T” on it. She tracks down reclusive old scientist Frank Walker (George Clooney) for answers, leading to an unabashedly old-school adventure.
In an age of reboots, reimaginings and straight-up reversals, Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella almost appears bold by comparison: where others have tweaked, updated or subverted fairytale traditions, Cinderella follows them to the letter.
Loved the stage show? Then now’s the perfect time to revisit Danny DeVito’s pitch-perfect screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale.
“I made my family disappear.” Macauley Culkin charmed his way into everyone’s hearts with a raise of his eyebrows and two hands on either side of his face. Learning what it’s like to be left behind his parents, Kevin McCallister’s battle to defend his house from Joe Pesci unites the whole family in the universal joy of schadenfreude. Because what says Christmas more than laughing at other people’s physical pain?
Night at the Museum
Ben Stiller stars in this likeable fantasy adventure about a security guard who finds himself trapped in a museum overnight with his son, just as all the exhibits come to life.
“We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!”
James and the Giant Peach
This stop-motion take on Roald Dahl’s book captures the magical fantasy of a young boy escaping from his aunts (by travelling in a giant fuzzy fruit with a team of talking insects) with wit and magic.
Board games are enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment, but back in 1995, the idea of someone playing something other than Monopoly was breathtaking. What happens when Jumanji gets into full swing – CGI monsters, shouting children, general pandemonium – is equally so. The script may not hold up to much scrutiny, but pre-Captain America Joe Johnston’s sense of adventure and spectacle keep you transfixed.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
“Who am I, Kylie?” “What now?” “Why a fox? Why not a horse, or a beetle, or a bald eagle? I’m saying this more as, like, existentialism, you know?” Wes Anderson brings his signature whimsy to Roald Dahl’s classic tale, turning the familiar story into a colourful, neurotic, anarchic adventure.
Robert Rodriguez is on enthusiastically explosive form in this family action movie, which sees super spies Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino kidnapped, leaving their kids to save the day. As witty, self-aware and stylish as his adult fare, the director’s child-friendly silliness makes for an unexpected, underrated gem.
Aardman’s animated take on The Great Escape is full of the stop-motion studio’s trademark wit and humour, as Mel Gibson voices a bird leading the flight to freedom from the tyranny of Tweedy’s farm.
How to Train Your Dragon
Free Willy with dragons? Any excuse to relive this charming story of friendship and flying is one to grab with both wings.
Nathan Lane. Lee Evans. A mouse. What more do you need? Christopher Walken as an eccentric exterminator? Go on then.
Steven Spielberg’s take on Peter Pan, which sees the young boy all grown up, remains as divisive as ever, but if you can embrace your inner child, there is much to admire here. From Robin Williams’ superb performance as the increasingly jovial grown-up to the Goonies-style child-friendly combat, Hook is a sweet blockbuster that has just enough Hollywood clout to avoid being sickly. If Bob Hoskins as Smee doesn’t make you chuckle, you’ll be wowed by Dustin Hoffman’s unrecognisable transformation into the scene-stealing villain: Spielberg’s take on Peter Pan may not be for everyone, but it certainly gave us the definitive Captain Hook.
The Little Prince
“Netflix’s animated take on the classic novel uses the strange allegorical story to allow its audience – both young and old – to celebrate, wholeheartedly, the power of imagination… It may seem strange to have a children’s film this philosophical. There are no cheap gags, no lame pop culture jokes.As the film heads towards a conclusion, ideas of coping with loss are woven into the thematic tapestry. Perhaps this melancholy is what deterred distributors from releasing it in cinemas, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from showing it to their children. The Little Prince is stunning. It brims with ideas and will cause you to wonder once more.” Read our full review.
Monsters vs Aliens
This animated adventure about a team of “monsters” recruited from around the world to save the planet from attacking aliens is a delightful combination of bright visuals, silly jokes and clear love for the creature features it so wittily references. Entertainment for kids and grown-ups alike.
Kung Fu Panda
This DreamWorks adventure, which stars Jack Black as a fat, clumsy panda who learns kung fu, proved that Pixar weren’t the only ones who could produce animated classics and that even the most rotund of animals can learn to fight for themselves. From the top-notch voice cast to the beautiful visuals, this laugh-out-loud comedy never gets old.
“Things are really coooool in Nazareth…” Martin Freeman stars in Debbie Isitt’s charming comedy about a grumpy teacher put in charge of his primary school’s nativity. The improvised hijinks from the young performers prompted the director to return for multiple sequels, but the real sparkle and shine is in this cute original.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Pirates! Ham! Scientists! Aardman’s stop-motion sea-faring outing is as good as “Wallace and Gromit meets pirates” would suggest. (We highly recommend Gideon Defoe’s original books.)
The Dark Crystal
Before Netflix can release its new Dark Crystal TV series, don’t miss the chance to go back to the original 80s Jim Henson classic.
An unashamedly feel-good Australian children’s movie that knows exactly which buttons to press. Read our full review
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
The tale of Count Olaf and his attempts to get his hands on his orphan nephew and nieces’ inherited treasure is an enjoyably dark modern classic. Before the Netflix TV version came this equally impressive film adaptation, with Jim Carrey turning the “odd” dial all the way up to 11.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Can your favourite stop-motion duo work as a feature-length film? By heck, they can: Aardman’s 85-minute adventure is full of visual slapstick, verbal wit and endless puns, not to mention Ralph Fiennes in his first truly comedic role – and, of course, a giant monster rabbit. It’s when you stop noticing the action set pieces are made out of clay that you realise just how superb it is.