Last updated on October 10th, 2022 at 06:05 pm
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Everyone loves animated movies. Kids love the cartoon style, the colors, and the characters. Parents and kids at heart love the story which can sometimes have real and relatable themes that children may not pick up on or fully understand.
It’s important to judge the maturity of your kids to know if the subject matter is something they can handle.
What Is Netflix for Kids?
Netflix for kids is a collection of animated movies, kids tv shows, and other content suitable for kids. Many of the animated movies on Netflix and that we have listed here are foreign films with deep narratives and gorgeous art. Some of which may not be for younger kids, but may be great for a teenager.
How It Works
When you load Netflix on your device and choose the profile to view from, you have the option to choose “For Kids.” This will only load movies and television suitable for those under the age of 18. Much of the content is the mindless stuff kids watch, but a parent wouldn’t enjoy.
However, that doesn’t mean there are not poignant animated movies that will connect with an adult.
1. The Dragon Prince (2018)
Netflix has been using the power of animation to tell epic original stories which are appealing for all ages. From the producers of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the director of Green Lantern: The Animated series comes this fantasy adventure.
Set in a world filled with fantastical beings and magical conflict, The Dragon Prince follows two princes, Callum and Ezran, who are targeted for assassination by a mysterious young elf named Rayla. After stopping her and learning about the ancient conflict that has defined their kingdom, they form an uneasy alliance to try to bring peace between their people.
2. 3 Below: Tales of Arcadia (2018)
Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro made his mark on Netflix with the 2016 animated fantasy Trollhunters. The story of an ordinary teenager who gets pulled into a millennia-old war between competing factions of rock trolls became one of the platform’s most acclaimed all-ages originals, and the final season introduced a new group of players – a pair of alien teenagers undercover as high school students in the central town of Arcadia.
Now in their own spinoff, the alien siblings attempt to adjust to life on Earth and fix their spaceship so they can return home and liberate their planet from a brutal conqueror. 3 Below and Trollhunters will eventually crossover in the 2019 sequel Wizards.
3. Green Eggs and Ham (Series, 2018)
The original Dr. Seuss book is one of the all-time classics of children’s entertainment, but did you ever wonder what happened to Sam-I-Am and his squeamish friend after the book ended? Produced by Ellen DeGeneres and Jared Stern, Green Eggs and Ham follows the two friends as they go on a cross-country adventure trying new things.
Featuring songs and comedy alongside timeless lessons about getting out of your comfort zone, Green Eggs and Ham is one of the most high-profile animated series produced by Netflix and is expected to become a new favorite for parents and kids alike.
4. Carmen Sandiego (Series, 2019)
90s kids will remember spending countless hours trying to catch the titular thief in her educational computer games, and the PBS game show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” was a fan favorite. Now, for the first time, the mistress of landmark heists takes the lead in an animated series focusing on her origin.
Combining globe-trotting adventure with an intimate look into Carmen Sandiego’s youth, this original Netflix series features the voices of Gina Rodriguez as Carmen and Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things as “Player.”
5. The Little Prince (2015)
Based on the 1943 novel of the same name, The Little Prince is a French English-language 3D animated movie using stop-motion in the fantasy, adventure, drama, and family genres.
A little girl is being prepared for adulthood by her mother, but she meets her neighbor, an aviator, she is introduced to the extraordinary, the universe of the little prince, taking a journey into her imagination and learning that the most important thing of all is the human connections she makes along the way.
It’s a heartwarming movie that will stay with you long after it’s over.
6. The Iron Giant (1999)
The Iron Giant is a classic among animated movies centering on a boy meeting a giant robot, and the bonds of friendship that develop when a paranoid government agency decides that they want to destroy it because they think it’s dangerous.
It’s the kind of movie that thrives on nostalgia and adults will want to watch again and again, while kids will enjoy it for the first time wishing for an adventure where they get to befriend a fantastical robot. Also, the robot is voiced by Vin Diesel which is almost as great as him voicing a giant tree that only says “I Am Groot.”
7. The Prince of Egypt (1998)
A Dreamworks animated movie that had an underwhelming reception at the box office, but never got the credit it deserved for its gorgeous artwork and soundtrack, along with a story that is renown in the bible.
While it’s not completely accurate, it is the story of Moses learning about his Hebrew heritage and defying his brother Ramses, marching his people to the promised land. It may not have technically advanced animation, but for its time, it was stunning and deserves more appreciation than it gets.
8. Song of the Sea (2014)
An Irish folklore story about a boy and his sister, the of the selkies, a legend in Ireland and Scotland about women who can turn into seals. They go on an adventure to save the spirit world.
It’s a magical and beautiful film directed by Tomm Moore, who also directed The Secret of the Kells (2009), a slightly more intense animated movie taking place during a medieval siege. Described by a reviewer on IMDb as “intoxicating,” Song of the Sea is definitely worth the watch and great for your young ones.
9. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
This Oscar-nominated film is a feat in stop-motion animation and is the story of a boy named Kubo, who with his snow monkey sidekick and samurai beetle, must go on a hero’s journey to locate magical, legendary armor that belonged to his late father, which destroys evil spirits that are pursuing Kubo and his family.
The film has a fantastic soundtrack which plays a part in the plot and got a rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. If there’s no other reason to watch this movie, the music and the stop-motion animation make it more than worth it.
10. My Life as a Zucchini (2017)
My Life as a Zucchini is a colorful stop-motion film that was nominated at the 89th Academy Awards for best animation. It is a dark comedy-drama about life in an orphanage as a boy gets sent to a foster home with many other children and must learn about love and trust.
It is a French animation that was also nominated for best foreign film in Switzerland. It is not for younger viewers, but pre-teens and teens will enjoy it. It scored 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and should be lauded for the dark, emotional, and realistic themes it addresses.
11. April and The Extraordinary World (2016)
April and The Extraordinary World is a film that deviates from the world as we know it and explores France in 1941 ruled by Napoleon V and deprived of technological advancements, which are now primarily powered by coal and steam causing people to have to wear masks when they go outside into a world without trees.
Scholars and scientists have been disappearing over the past 60 years, and April must go on an adventure to find her scientist parents facing dangers and mysteries in this unique world. The simple animation may not be the CGI standard we’ve grown accustomed to, but it is beautiful nonetheless.
12. The Breadwinner (2017)
The Breadwinner, created by the same company who released Song of the Sea and The Secret of the Kells, is the story of an 11-year-old girl, Parvana, living in Afganistan under Taliban rule in 2001, who must cut her hair and disguise herself as a boy to provide for her family after her father is wrongfully arrested.
She enters a world with both freedom and dangers in a story that is dark and evocative.
It is a story that western culture does not get exposed to often. In that way, you can parallel it with another Middle Eastern animated movie, that while vastly different is also worth seeing: Persepolis (2007), based on a graphic novel, it’s the story of a girl coming of age during the Iranian revolution.
Both films show the lives of girls in the Middle East and should be seen and praised for their beautiful representations of a culture and heritage that is largely ignored in America.
13. The Secret of Kells (2009)
The Secret of Kells is a critically-acclaimed animated movie exploring the magical tale of a young boy in medieval Ireland. With its uniquely captivating storyline and storytelling methods, The Secret of Kells is a sparkling gem in a seemingly limitless sea of kids’ movies currently available to stream on Netflix.
The protagonist of the story is a young boy named Brendan who lives in a remote area that is being constantly attacked by the barbarians. Brendan’s life changes when a master of the art of book illumination (medieval illustration) from the island of Iona comes to the outpost in which Brendan lives.
The mysterious illuminator has a magical, powerful book that needs to be completed. Brendan makes helping achieve this book’s completion his life’s purpose, but will have the wisdom and strength to overcome the challenges involved? He realizes that his success will be crucial in withstanding the barbarian invasions.
Brendan is voiced by Evan McGuire (the adult version of the character is portrayed by Michael McGrath). Aisling is voiced by Christen Mooney, and Abbot Cellach by Brendan Gleeson.
14. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Critically-acclaimed and the recipient of several prestigious film awards, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a 3D computer-animated movie of the first order. Set in a fantastical world of dragons and heroes, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is certain to delight kids of all ages.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a DreamWorks animated production full of adventure, action, and enchantment. It is based on author Cressida Cowell’s series of books.
The two main characters of the story, Hiccup, a Viking, and his dragon and loyal friend, Toothless, discover an ice cave where live hundreds of dragons, in addition to the Dragon Rider. A tyrant called Drago Bludvist ruthlessly seeks to conquer the world, humans and dragons alike. Hiccup and Toothless have to contend with not only Drago himself but his fearsome army of dragons and men.
Hiccup is voiced by Jay Baruchel, while Toothless is voiced by Randy Thom. Djimon Hounsou voices the tyrant, Drago.How to Train Your Dragon 2 was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Additionally, it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the Hollywood Film Award for Best Hollywood Animation, and the National Board of Review Award for Best Animated Feature.
15. The Boxtrolls (2014)
The Boxtrolls is a charmingly quirky and entertaining animated feature film, with strong elements of adventure and comedy. It is based on author Alan Snow’s children’s book, Here Be Monsters.
The movie tells the story of a strange society of trolls who are trash collectors and live in mysterious underground caves underneath the streets of Cheesebridge. This group of trolls has kindly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs.
Eggs fights to prevent his troll family from being killed by a malevolent exterminator called Archibald Snatcher. Eggs is aided in his quest by a new friend called Winnie.
Eggs is voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright (Baby Eggs is portrayed by Max Mitchell). Winnie is voiced by Elle Fanning, while Ben Kingsley provides the voice of Archibald Snatcher. The Boxtrolls was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Animated Feature.
Sir Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Archibald Snatcher garnered the Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Film.
16. Jumanji (1995)
Jumanji is a fantastical and adventurous family movie starring hilarious late actor Robin Williams. While Jumanji is well-loved by many and enjoyed strong box office returns, the movie has sometimes been criticized for being a little too scary for some young children (as a result of its extremely realistic computer animation of the jungle animals).
Jumanji is an adaptation of author Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s book.
Alan Parrish (played by Robin Williams) has been trapped in an enchanted jungle board game for decades since he was a child of 12. The board game is eventually discovered and played by two kids, Judy and Peter Shepherd. It is their playing the game that releases Alan.
Alan soon sees that he is still tied to the game, as while he is not actually trapped in it anymore, the jungle animals have followed him into his real life city! They cause destruction and chaos, and he is forced to take on the mission of stopping them.
He finds Sarah Whittle, the friend he was playing the game with when he became trapped. Sarah, Alan, Judy, and Peter play the game with the intention of resolving the chaos.
They cause destruction and chaos, and he is forced to take on the mission of stopping them. He finds Sarah Whittle, the friend he was playing the game with when he became trapped. Sarah, Alan, Judy, and Peter play the game with the intention of resolving the chaos.
17. Legends of Oz (2014)
One of my favorites! A new twist on an old favorite. The Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Glinda need to be saved from a new evil in Oz, The Jester. Dorothy returns to Oz to save her friends and meets new ones along the way. All star cast of voices including: Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammar and Lea Michelle.
18. The Little Ghost (2013)
The Little Ghost lives in the castle, it wakes up for one hour after midnight. He wants to see the world in the daytime just once. The ghost needs help from two children when he wakes up a noon one day.
19. The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (1983)
Some would say this one is an “oldie but goodie” I would have to agree. My kids loved this! With all your favorite Smurfs, Gargamel and Adventure.
20. Agent F.O.X (2014)
Super spy Agent F.O.X is mistaken for a distant cousin and things in Carrot Town go awry. His mission is to infiltrate the community of sweet rabbits and locate an artifact.
21. Ratchet and Clank (2016)
This is a great adaption of the video game. Two unlikely heroes save the world. Quality movie for all fans of animated movies.
22. VeggieTales In The House
The classic VeggieTales franchise has long been popular with kids, but a new series, titled ‘VeggieTales in the House,’ has expanded the characters’ horizons and is a fun, morally-based show that teaches children about virtue and moral character. With a lot of fun songs and humor for parents, this show is not for all kids, but it does have a strong message of morality and character development.
The show’s format features a letter from the viewer and the VeggieTales cast attempts to resolve the problem by using one of three segments. Archibald reads a story from the Big Book of Oddities, Pa Grape plays an old film, and Mr. Lunt enters the scene with a stick puppet named Paco.
After the VeggieTales characters have done their part to help the viewer, Bob and Larry step in and tell the story from the VeggieTales video.
VeggieTales is an American computer animated children’s television series created by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki under the Big Idea Entertainment label. It features a cast of fruit and vegetable characters who narrate Christian stories. Most episodes teach children life lessons through a biblical worldview. With a diverse cast of characters, VeggieTales is a show that is geared towards the entire family.
VeggieTales began as a small idea in the early 1990s. Creator Phil Vischer was testing animation software and had created a cartoon character based on a candy bar. However, his wife had another idea. She wanted her children to watch a healthier show about vegetables.
The show was created around that idea. Now, VeggieTales is one of the best kids TV shows on Netflix.
24. Dragons: Riders of Berk
If you’re looking for a fun new show to watch on Netflix, check out the How to Train Your Dragon series. Based on the 2010 movie, the series follows the adventures of young dragon trainer Hiccup and his band of dragon trainers. The series features original voice actors, dragon training, and even a soaring dragon. It’s definitely a must-see for fans of the 2010 film!
If you love the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise, you can’t miss the spinoff series Dragons! The first two seasons were released on the Cartoon Network, but now Netflix is bringing the series to the streaming service. The series will be 13 episodes long and takes place between the original 2010 film and the sequel. There are several different episodes available, so you won’t have to worry about missing out.
The show is based on the popular Dreamworks film, “How to Train Your Dragon.” The animated series stars Jay Baruchel and is set between the first and the second installment of the popular animated film.
For this list, we tried to pick films which are not the gold standard of animated movies according to the Oscars or the general public, but the hidden gems that movie buffs and animation junkies everywhere will love and appreciate for what they bring to the table.
Stories that have more adult themes that may not be appropriate for the youngest viewers, but are worthwhile for the topics they address. Their creative animation styles have a sense of cultural heritage.
Netflix has a wide variety of animated movies and here are a few really great ones that you can start with and enjoy with your family.