Top kids’ and family movies on Netflix UK
Staff Reporter | On 16, Feb 2021
Struggling to find something to see with your littl ‘uns or don’t fancy the trek to the cinema? We round up the best children’s and family flicks on Netflix UK:
Netflix’s gorgeously old-fashioned animation is simple and sweet enough to charm the stockings off the humbuggiest of viewers.
Mark Rylance lends his dulcet tones to Steven Spielberg’s utterly charming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic kids’ book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kung Fu Panda 2
This animated sequel is a laugh-out-loud fest of purest awesome.
“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.
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.
This polished sci-fi adventure about a young girl making friends with a robot is a fun, thoughtful teen animation.
Surreal, serious and surprisingly subversive, some of Rango’s subtleties may go over younger viewers’ heads, but Gore Verbinski’s gorgeous animation and Hans Zimmer’s hilariously silly score makes for a bizarre, post-modern Western that is packed full of ideas and laughs.
Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr Link, who is 8 feet tall and covered in fur, recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. The result is a surprising, sweet and underrated animation.
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.
Jason James Richter brings earnest heart to this definitive 90s family drama about the sentimental bond that forms between a young orphan, Jesse, and Willy, a killer whale separate from his family at the local water park.
The Adventures of Tintin
This groundbreaking animated blockbuster based on the iconic comic books is an enjoyably old-fashioned romp.
The Christmas Chronicles
Kurt Russell is a brilliant Father Christmas in this darkly funny, enjoyably silly and surprisingly sincere adventure.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
This empowering Studio Ghibli anime sees a 13-year-old witch learn to overcome her self-doubt to set up a flying courier service.
My Neighbour Totoro
Perhaps the most accessible of Studio Ghibli’s output is this gorgeously simple tale of two young girls who move to the countryside after their mother falls ill. From a cat-shaped bus to Totoro himself, this is a wondrous environmental fairytale full of cute details.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Wholly unique and jaw-droppingly stylish, this progressive, post-modern story of parallel realities is one of the best superhero movies ever made.
The Addams Family
Barry Sonnenfeld’s live-action take on the creepy, kooky family is a delightfully dark comedy with a flawless cast.
Space Jam (1996)
Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny finally team up on screen for this rather bonkers but enjoyably zany basketball-vs-aliens comedy.
Over the Moon
Directed by Oscar winner Glen Keane and written by Audrey Wells (The Hate U Give), this charming animated tale follows a young girl who, fuelled by determination and a passion for science, builds a rocket ship to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
The laughs rarely stop coming in this clever, entertaining meta superhero animation.
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic story gets a winning screen adaptation in this 1993 classic.
A would-be werewolf transforms into a not-at-all ferocious poodle in this amiable animated adventure.
The Karate Kid
Before the family gets stuck into Cobra Kai, go back to the original 1980s classic martial arts drama.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination…”
The Peanuts Movie
This adorable CG animation remakes The Peanuts comics with real love, talent and wit.
A Beginner’s Guide to Monster Hunting
This bright and breezy adaptation of Joe Ballarini’s books is a likeable family adventure.
Where the Wild Things Are
A poignant feel-good movie, Where the Wild Things Are is a wonderful piece of childlike art.
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.
The Prince of Egypt
This bold biblical adaptation boasts cracking visuals, a strong voice cast and a stellar soundtrack.
Steve Carell and a bunch of slapstick sidekicks bring real charm to these villainous comedy.