Best kids' movies on Netflix: 16 reviews from our littlest critics

Keep your children entertained with the best kids' movies on Netflix – you'll thank us later...

Best kids' movies on Netflix: children watching a tablet
(Image credit: Netflix)

The best kids' movies on Netflix are a great way to keep little ones busy while stuck inside. If soft plays being closed, schools being shut and anything else that lets you enjoy a hot cup of tea in peace is no longer at hand to help, Netflix can save the day. While we're not suggesting that you plonk them in front of the TV from Monday to Friday, a movie they enjoy can give you the chance to have a much-needed moment's peace. We rate Netflix as the best streaming service around because it offers something for everyone.

We've rounded up the top kid-friendly movies on Netflix today, but, quite frankly, who are we to judge? We're not kids! So, we've called in the professionals. We've asked our littlest critics of varying ages for their favourite Netflix films and honest reviews too.

Head over to our streaming page for more recommendations on what to watch, where. From Netflix to Disney+ and Amazon Prime.

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1. Peter Rabbit 

If you have fond childhood memories of Beatrix Potter's endearing little bunnies and ducks, this one is for you as well as the kids! This modern take on the timeless story is alarmingly realistic, with a mixture of both live human action and CGI talking rabbits. 

Peter Rabbit himself is brought to life by James Corden's hilarious voice, and combined with an upbeat soundtrack and beautiful countryside views, it's a visual delight that'll warm you heart and have you laughing out loud. Snapshots of the original illustrations will give you all the nostalgic feels, too. Oh and did we mention the kids will love it? Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter are as cute as ever and ready to make your whole family smile.

Kid's verdict: 'I saw this at the cinema but it’s just as good watching it on the TV at home. I like it when Peter Rabbit is winking at his friends and none of the other rabbits can do it so they just end up pulling silly faces instead.’
Thomas, aged 5

 2. BFG

A Roald Dahl classic, reborn by Steven Spielberg in 2016, about a young orphan called Sophie who's saved by a giant that should have eaten her (a Big Friendly Giant, that is).  It's one that'll have the kids hooked and intrigued right from the first few minutes. The iconic tale is brought to life by amazing CGI, making the dream catching, lonely and emotional friendly giant seem more real than ever before. 

Kid's verdict: ‘The funniest part is when the Queen drinks Frobscottle at Buckingham Palace and does lots of whizzpoppers!’
Thomas, aged 5

3. Gnomeo and Juliet

In case you didn't guess, it's a child-friendly retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, but with the quirky twist that all the main characters are garden gnomes! A truly imaginative, clever and endearing film. The Capulets and Montagues are swapped for the red gnomes and the blue gnomes, but the forbidden romance and long-standing family fued remains the same. Put this on for the kids and we bet you won't be able to tear your eyes from the screen either, and you may even shed a tear or two (yes, crying at gnomes is weird, but it's a difficult love affair too and we won't tell anyone). 

Kid's verdict: 'I loved the music in Gnomeo & Juliet. The songs are funny and all really catchy.'
Freya, aged 9

(Well done Sir Elton, it gets the kid's approval).

If you haven't heard of this one, you've got to watch it! An instantly lovable, overly literal yeti called Mr Link is all alone in the world, and so he asks a leading explorer to help him find his long lost family. With the voices of Hugh Jackman and Emma Thompson, it's a hilarious adventure from start to finish. From unlikely friendships, to fabled lands and a hint of romance, it's a sweet tale of self-discovery and proof that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Kid's verdict: ‘It’s just really, really funny! Nothing else, it’s just funny.’
Thomas, aged 5

5. Matilda 

Every child needs to watch this. Roald Dahl’s characters have become household names, from Miss Trunchbull to Bruce Bogtrotter, and the legacy that is Matilda simply must be passed on to the next generation. Matilda is a very intelligent girl, whose supposed role models – her family and head teacher, are ignorant bullies who don’t care for her at all. She discovers that she has magical powers, and puts these to good use to help her friends. A feel-good story with being a good, kind and caring person at its centre. You’ll finish feeling all warm inside, and so will the kids.

Kid's verdict: '’I'm glad my school doesn’t have a chokey or a Miss Trunchball! The best bit is when Bruce Bogtrotter has to scoff the entire chocolate cake and all the class cheer him on.’
Freya, aged 9

(Editor's note: 'You can do it Brucey' is commonly shouted when anyone in my friendship group makes their way through a massive plate of food – this film certainly has quotes aplenty)

6. Annie 

'It's a hard knock life, for us! It's a hard knock liiiife, for us!' Just one of the songs in this timeless musical that'll have you and the kids singing and dancing round the house for sure. While modern remakes are all well and good, nothing will match the original with the ginger, curly haired Annie running round the streets of 1930s New York. The orphan's dreams come true when someone asks to adopt her. But he's not just anyone, he's a billionaire! Whisked into an unbelievably different world, Annie never looses sight of what really matters. A heart-warming and humbling family watch that you can't help but love. 

Kid's verdict: 'I liked watching this one with my mum because she knew all the words and was singing along.'
Freya, aged 9

7. The Wizard of Oz

Let them escape into the magical world of flying monkeys, talking scarecrows and scaredy-cat lions in this iconic musical that’s like no other. When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy – played by a very young Judy Garland in 1939 – her house and her dog Toto, are whisked away to the magical land of Oz. On a quest to get back home, Dorothy follows the yellow brick road, and meets some quirky characters and forms unlikely but lovely friendships along the way. From witches and wizards to magical red shoes, it's a fun, vibrant and creative musical that's sure to spark their imagination. 

Kid's verdict: ‘Even though this is a really, really old film (even older than my mum and dad, and they’re old), it’s like going on an amazing adventure, and I love joining in all the songs too.’
Freya, aged 9

8. Over the Hedge 

When a turtle, squirrel and some hedgehogs wake up after their long winter of hibernation, they discover that a human community has not only invaded their space, but they've also created a never ending bush barrier to keep the animals out of their precious gardens. The raccoons introduce the idea of 'foraging' from the humans, but is this a good idea? An interesting take on the problem of wildlife conservation, and a cute and funny story for kids of all ages.

Kid's verdict: 'It's really funny when they first come across the hedge and don't know what it is so they call it "Steve" then think it is talking to them'
Thomas, aged 5

9. Airplane Mode

Struggling to get your teens off their phones? Just subtly put this one on for them. When a social media obsessed teen crashes her car eight times in one month as she's constantly on her phone, and can't even let her boyfriend break up with her without broadcasting it to the world, her parents really see that something's got to change. They send her to her grandfather's farm in the countryside, where she must adjust to a different kind of life. A nod to the positives of a tech-free world which might get your kids off their tablets and out playing in the garden.

Kid's verdict: 'A bit of a wake up call for all tech-obsessed teens without feeling like it is trying to preach to us.'
Edie, aged 13

10. My Neighbour Totoro 

If finding fantasy cuddly creatures and going on secret adventures with them sounds like something your kids would enjoy, this film could be your rainy-day in lockdown saviour. Set in Japan, two daughters and their father move to the country to be closer to their mother's hospital. One night, a large cuddly, rabbit/bear like creature appears beside them, gives them some magical seeds and is whisked away on a giant bus-shaped cat! This Japanese film is beautifully animated, very sweet and sure to keep your kids quiet from start to finish.

Kid's verdict: 'A massive rabbit-like troll, adorable soot mites, a fun theme tune and a cat bus – what more could you ask for? This is the sweetest of films, albeit a slightly trippy one. There is adventure but not much peril and the art game is strong.'
Lindsey, aged 7 (+23)

11. Gangsta Granny 

A David Walliams masterpiece. At first, Ben hates spending time with his boring granny, but when he discovers that she used to be a gangster, everything changes. The pair set to work on a mission steal the Crown jewels from the Tower of London. A brilliant comedy that sees a rejuvenated relationship as the two characters become best of friends. 

Kid's verdict: 'I love David Walliams’ books and this film is just as funny, especially as he stars in it as one of the main roles. I've been to visit the Crown Jewels in London with my family and plotting to steal them would be really exciting!’
Freya, aged 9

12. Ballerina

Any budding young ballerinas in the house? Then this one is an absolute must. Félicie and Victor live in an orphanage in 1880s France, but her passion for dance prompts them to escape in search of the Opéra de Paris, a famous dance school. A story of following your dreams, not giving up and believing yourself. Be warned though, it may have your kids leaping round the living room for days to come.

Kid's verdict: ‘It’s great fun trying to copy all the ballet moves in this film.’
Freya, aged 9

13. White Fang 

Based on Jack London's 1906 novel, White Fang is half-dog, half-wolf, and the story follows his life right from when he was a pup. The cute-as-a-button puppy gets separated from his mother, is taken in by a guide dog, and leads an Inuit tribe's sled, to mention just a few of his adventures. Think stunning snowy mountains, a beautiful soundtrack and minimal dialogue to guide you through this unusual story. 

Kid's verdict: 'This is really sad in places, but if you love dogs you should definitely watch it. It is a heartwarmer'
Freya, aged 9

14. Tall Girl

This one's for the early teens, and is a great reflection on body image at the age when they need it most. Jodi has always been the tallest girl in school, as a 6 foot 1 and a half 16 year old who's so uncomfortable with her height, navigating the world of dating is even trickier than normal. As she falls for the Swedish exchange student who's even taller than her, the support of her best friends and sister make her realise that that she's so much to her than just her height.  She learns to throw comparison to the ground, gains new confidence and begins to love herself. After years of slouching, she's finally able to stand up tall and own her own body. A love triangle dilemma and inspiring watch for any teen (or any adult for that matter)!

Kid's verdict: 'I love Ava Michelle from seeing her on the reality show Dance Moms and she plays this part really well. It is a classic teen movie and some might find it a bit basic, but it is easy to watch with a good message.'
Edie, aged 13

15. Minions

These little guys are weirdly cute. A minion's sole purpose is to help out villains, but with no master to serve, they're left bored and depressed. One resourceful minion sets out to find a new master with two recruits in tow, and they head to New York. Soon they find a villain who takes them all to England, where their next mission begins... A hilarious, quirky watch for all ages.

Kid's verdict: 'I’ve watched this millions of times as Kevin, Bob and Stuart always make me laugh. They’re so stupid!’
Thomas, aged 5

16. Jumanji

Not much beats the 90s Jumanji. When two friends discover a board game, they don't realise its unimaginable powers, until Alan is magically transported into the jungles of Jumanji. 26 years later, another two children uncover the same board game, freeing Alan (who is now a grown man) and the team combine to try to beat the games powerful forces. An enchanting, fantasy, and in parts quite scary story, starring Kirsten Dunst as a child, and the legend that is Robin Williams. A fun adventure story for the whole family that'll have them sitting on the edge of the sofa and gasping at the shocking turn of events.

Kid's verdict: ‘It’s a bit scary at first but very exciting. I'm glad our board games don’t unlock secret jungle wildlife and scary hunters though! I’ll just stick to beating mum and dad at Ludo instead.’
Freya, aged 9

How to get Netflix:

Netflix | From £5.99 per month
Try Netflix now for just £5.99 per month to watch the best films, TV shows and documentaries around. Oh, and Netflix Originals such as Stranger Things, You, The Stranger, Don't F**ck With Cats, Sex Education and more.View Deal

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