the willoughbys
Photograph: Courtesy Netflix

The best kids’ movies coming to theaters in 2020

Your kids will love the family movies 2020 has in store! Check out this list of super-cool flicks for the whole crew.

By Oliver Strand
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Update: Some movie releases for 2020 have been changed – learn more about what's streaming early. Several 2020 movies have been rescheduled for 2021, including The Eternals, Tom and Jerry, The Croods 2 and Godzilla vs Kong.

It looks like it is going to be a boffo year for family films. Amazing animated features and live-action adventures are sure to keep your brood plenty busy.

So what are the kids' movies 2020 has in store? There's a lot of cute going on and, of course, a lot from Disney: We'll see which ones become classics and join the ranks of the best Disney movies of all time. Maybe some will enter the canon, and become one of the best 50 films to watch together as a family. 

If you're in search of more things to watch with your little film buffs, check out where to stream fun old-school cartoons (everything from Popeye to PowerPuff Girls) and find your favorite family spots in these New York movies for families.

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The best family movies on Netflix
The best family movies of all time
The best kids’ movies on Amazon Prime

The best family comedy movies
The best Disney movies on Netflix

Kids’ movies 2020

Dolittle
Dolittle
Courtesy Universal Pictures/Jay Maidment

1. Dolittle (January 17, 2020)

The famous British veterinarian Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) no longer leaves the walls of his manor—or the company of his animal pals (voiced by Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Marion Cotillard and others). But when Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) becomes sick, the doctor sets out to find a mythical island in search of a cure. Rated PG. 

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
Courtesy Paramount Pictures/Sega of America Inc.

2. Sonic the Hedgehog (February 14, 2020)

Update: Sonic the Hedgehog is currently available for purchase or rental. Learn more at sonicthehedgehog.com

Sonic the Hedgehog makes the leap from the gaming screen to the big screen! The electric blue creature (voiced by Ben Schwartz) escapes interstellar evil forces by hiding on Earth only to cause a power outage—and to be hunted by the megalomaniac Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Will the small-town Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) help Sonic escape? Rated PG.

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ONWARD
ONWARD
Courtesy Disney/Pixar

3. Onward (March 6, 2020)

Update: Onward is currently available on Disney+.

This Pixar feature is set in a fairy tale land that’s losing its magic—the elves who live there would rather use their phones and other devices than spells. But then young Ian Lightfoot (voiced by Tom Holland) brings his dead father back to life. Or, rather, just his legs. He sets off with his brother Barley (Chris Pratt) to complete the spell so he can see his father one last time—and maybe bring magic back to the elves. Rated PG.

Trolls World Tour
Trolls World Tour
Courtesy DreamWorks Animation LLC

4. Trolls World Tour (April 10, 2020)

Update: Trolls World Tour is currently available for rental. Learn more at universalpictures.com

Anna Kendrick is back in this sequel to the 2016 hit Trolls. She voices Poppy, the hug-happy troll who learns that there are six different tribes of trolls in the world. Each one specializes in a different kind of music: pop, funk, classical, techno, country and rock. The problem? King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne) wants rock to crush the others. Featuring the voices of James Corden, Rachel Bloom, Sam Rockwell and a who’s-who of music. Rated PG.

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Photograph: Courtesy Netflix

5. The Willoughbys (April 22, 2020)

Update: The Willoughbys is currently streaming on Netflix

Abandoned by their heartless parents, Jane Willoughby (voiced by Alessia Cara) and her twin brothers (Séan Cullen and Séan Cullen) try to please their sour nanny (Maya Rudolph) and become perfect children. Based on the bestselling book by Lois Lowry, this animated film also features the voices of Ricky Gervais and Terry Crews. Rated PG.

SCOOB
SCOOB
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

6. Scoob (May 15, 2020)

Update: Scoob is currently available to stream. Learn more at scoob.movie

Before he became Sooby Doo, the world-famous canine sleuth, he was young Scoob (voiced by Frank Welker), a Great Dane pup who had yet to meet Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma. This animated origin story starts with—what else?—a ghostly mystery. Those meddling kids! Rated PG. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Disney

7. Artemis Fowl (May 29, 2020)

Update: Artemis Fowl is currently available on Disney+.

Based on the books by Eoin Colfer, this Disney film tells the story of Artemis Fowl II (Ferdia Shaw), a 12-year-old supergenius and the latest in a long line of criminal masterminds. His quest? To find his missing father. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, it also stars Judi Dench. Rated PG. 

Photograph: Courtesy STXfilms/STX Financing/Motion Picture Artwork/Michael Gibson

8. My Spy (June 26, 2020)

Update: My Spy will be released on Amazon Prime on June 26. 

A tough-guy CIA agent named JJ (Dave Bautista, the former professional wrestler and six-time world champion) is tasked to watch over a family with a particularly precocious nine-year-old girl named Sophie (Chloe Coleman). Spoiler alert: He’s no match for her. Rated PG-13.

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9. The One and Only Ivan (August 21, 2020)

Update: The One and Only Ivan will stream on Disney+ starting August 21. 

Why does a gorilla named Ivan (voiced by Sam Rockwell) live in a cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade with an aging elephant named Stella (Angelina Jollie) and a dog named Bob (Danny Devito)? When an abandoned baby elephant named Ruby (Brooklynn Prince) appears, Ivan starts asking questions. This animated Disney feature is based on the Newberry-winning book by Katherine Applegate. Not yet rated.

Live-action Mulan
Live-action Mulan
Courtesy Disney/Film Frame

10. Mulan (September 4, 2020)

Update: Disney has decided to debut its highly-anticipated Mulan reboot on Disney+ beginning Sept 4 for an additional $30. 

The '90s classic gets the live-action reboot. Watch as Mulan goes undercover to take her ill father's place in the military, though women are forbidden to do so. 

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11. Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe (August 28, 2020)

Update: The film is now available to stream on Disney+.

The stars of the television series Phineas and Ferb are on an epic adventure, traveling through space to find their kidnapped sister Candace—who’s actually doing quite well thank you, and would rather not go back. 

Photograph: Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment/DC Comics/Clay Enos

12. Wonder Woman 1984 (October 2, 2020)

Gal Gadot is back in this sequel to the 2017 film. This time she's living in the year 1984. That was the era of Footloose, Wham!, and the evil Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), an archeologist who is set on world domination, and who can turn into the superhuman anti-hero Cheetah. Rated PG-13.

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13. Raya and the Last Dragon (November 25, 2020)

An animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Raya and the Last Dragon tells the story of a warrior named Raya and her search for the last dragon in a mythical land named Kumandra. Not yet rated.

14. The Croods 2 (December 23, 2020)

The Croods are back! We were introduced to this goofy family of cavemen in the 2013 animated 3-D film. Now the Croods face off with the Bettermans, a family that’s a little more evolved. Featuring the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Kelly Marie Tran, Emma Stone, Nicholas Cage and Peter Dinklage. Not yet rated.

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