Get us in your inbox

Image: Netflix"Nimona"

The best new kids' movies on Netflix US right now

Looking for a great family movie night? Look no further: These are the best new kids’s films on Netflix.

Matthew Singer
Written by
Andy Kryza
Matthew Singer

Movie night is a battlefield. Don’t get us wrong, it’s also one of those traditions that can unite families like few others. But in order for that to happen, everyone has to agree on a movie first. And picking one that satisfies the youngest, pickiest demographic – without fully alienating and/or annoying everyone else – can be a monumental challenge for parents. Make the right choice and you make warm, lasting memories. Choose poorly and prepare for an evening of grumbling, eye-rolling and TikTok scrolling. 

Thankfully, one of the things Netflix does well is kid and tween-centric films. Of course, as with every other genre on the platform, there’s a lot of half-baked crud among the sparkling gems, and trying to blindly differentiate between the two isn’t easy. Well, that’s why we’re here. On this list, we’ve sorted out the best of the kiddie crop, from wild roadtrip comedies to nostalgic rock’n’roll stories to animated tales with diverse casts and progressive themes. The next time the fam is gathered on the couch, pick any of these and you can feel confident that everyone will stay glued to the screen. They may even think you’re cool – or at least, a little less lame than before.


The 100 best animated films of all-time
👪 The 50 best kids movies to watch as a family
💻 The best family movies on Netflix for all-ages
🤣 The best family comedy movies
🧒 The best kids’ movies from the ’90s

Best new kids' movies on Netflix

1. Nimona (2023)

Initially buried by Disney – reportedly due to its LGBTQ+ themes, including a same-sex kiss – this medieval adventure was rescued by the triumvirate of Netflix, Annapurna Pictures and DNEG Animation, and thank goodness, because it’s one of the year’s best animated movies. Indeed, it’s something of a queer parable, involving a rebellious shapeshifter (Chloë Grace Moretz) who teams with the knight (Riz Ahmed) sworn to kill her to take down the system that oppresses them both.

2. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

Part road-trip comedy, part sci-fi action adventure and every bit hilarious, this hyperkinetic instant-classic from the Into the Spider-verse team – already one of the best animated films of all time – is wall-to-wall delightful. With an all-star voice cast and colorful action, the film – about a family whose cross-country trek is interrupted by a pesky machine uprising – is breathless in its joke-a-minute charm, but its greatest strength is its universal theme of family bonding. 


3. The Willoughbys (2020)

The Roald Dahl vibes are strong in this oddball animated feature about a group of kids seeking to become orphans to escape their selfish parents. It’s a slightly darker kids’ tale that ultimately reinforces the importance of family, with an all-star cast delivering hilarious lines as the Willoughby children navigate an increasingly big world with the help of a loving nanny and a wacky candy maker. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Film
  • Drama
  • Recommended

No matter your age, prepare to be inspired by this true-life story of a young boy from Malawi attempting to build a windmill that may save his poor farming community from a terrible drought. Chiwetel Ejiofor directs and stars, but the true standout is Maxwell Simba as William Kamkwamba, the teenage wind-harnesser in question. It will make your heart swell – in a good, totally healthy way. 


5. Mixtape (2021)

Millennial parents are likely to start feeling sudden joint pain realising their youth is now period-piece fodder, but at least the end result is energetic and heartfelt. It’s 1999, and a young girl who lost her mom and dad in a car accident discovers a cassette tape belonging to her late parents. When it breaks before she can listen, she sets out on a mission to find the songs and maybe learn something about who she is and where she comes from. It’s a movie with genuine rock’n’roll spirit, and a legitimately rad soundtrack to match. 

6. Nightbooks (2021)

Following in the heavy, ominous footsteps of Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, this anthology horror film is set to be a sleepover favourite for the new generation. Its linking scenes concern a kid being held against their will by an evil witch (Krysten Ritter) who demands to be told a scary story every night. If you’re worried about nightmares, don’t be – this is playful spookiness ideal for the tween set.


7. Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie (2017)

If you were a fan of the original Nickelodeon series about a boy with a football-shaped head living with his grandparents in a fictional US inner city, you probably had one burning question throughout the show’s run: what happened to his actual parents? Two decades after it went off the air, Arnold and his buds attempt to find out for themselves, venturing into the wilds of Central America in search of answers.     

8. Enola Holmes (2020)

If there was ever any worry that Millie Bobby Brown would forever be typecast as a troubled child with psychic powers, this young adult-oriented crime caper erases all doubts, and confirms even bigger things are in store for the charismatic actor after Stranger Things wraps up. Brown plays the titular character, the little sister of Sherlock, who is forced to prove that super-sleuthing run in the family after their mother goes missing.


9. A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

Kelly Ferguson thought she was signing up for a simple babysitting gig on Halloween night. Well, it turns out she was recruited into a secret society of babysitters who need to be sheltered from wicked monsters. How's that for a scary Halloween? Now, she just has to figure out how to defeat the Boogeyman known as ‘The Grand Guignol.’

10. Over the Moon (2020)

In this delightful animated adventure, young Fei Fei is so determined to prove that the stories she’s heard her whole life about an enigmatic space queen are real, she builds a spaceship and sets course for the moon – only for her plans to go haywire when her stepbrother smuggles himself aboard. With a talented all-Asian voice cast (including Margaret Cho, Ken Jeong and Sandra Oh), confectionary imagery and wonderful songs, this is a lesser-known gem to charm the entire family.

More fun for kids: What's new on Netflix


    More on Netflix

      You may also like
      You may also like