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The Best Kids Movies Available On Netflix Instant Stream

Updated on August 27, 2013

It is not just boring young people like myself, with no lives of which to speak, who utilize Netflix for their viewing pleasure. It is also a great resource for families, as parents who choose to pay the $8 a month for instant streaming, there are endless kids movies and television shows at their disposal to keep their children quiet, happy and entertained. Check out my list of the best kids movies available on Netflix instant stream.

Rango (2011)

Directed by Gore Verbinksi, and starring Johnny Depp as 'Rango,' this film is an animated version of the classic western genre, with chameleons taking place of the regular cowboys. Depp stars as one particular chameleon who finds himself in line to be the unsuspecting sheriff of a lawless town, and hilarious adventures follow him from there. With some great computer animation, and voice work from the likes of Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and Isla Fisher, 'Rango' was a huge hit and is one of the funniest animated films in recent memory. Plus, it's got Johnny Depp in it. Can't go wrong there.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

One of my favorite kids films ever is Tim Burton and Henry Selick's masterpiece 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.' The only thing I can claim to dislike about this film is that I never know if I should watch it at Halloween, at Christmas or both! The film is animated using stop motion, which works really well and is perfect for the subject matter. It revolves around the society of 'Halloweentown' and one of it's most popular characters Jack Skellington, who discovers Christmas Town. The discovery is a mystery to these creepy characters and comedy and adventure ensues, including the kidnap of Santa Claus. A fantastic film for the whole family that should be in your instant stream queue twice a year!

Hugo (2011)

One of my favorite films of 2011, was 'Hugo,' Martin Scorsese's amazing, charming and sentimental tribute to movies and those who make them. Specifically the film actually acts as a tribute to real life groundbreaking and imaginative filmmaker Georges Méliès who was crafting movies well ahead of their time in the early 1900s. The film stars Asa Butterfield as young Hugo, who is a poor boy whose father passed away years prior, leaving him an automation (robot of sorts) that he dreams of completing. His efforts lead him to a host of fantastic characters played by the likes of Ben Kingsley, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sasha Baron Cohen. The film is truly touching and will hit home for people of all ages. It is also a fantastic tribute to the history of film, and any movie buff should be sure to see it.

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

One of my favorite childhood movies is 'The Great Mouse Detective' which essentially acts as Sherlock Holmes, but with rodents. Presented in the same style, the film presents all the class and 'proper' of Sherlock Holmes style mysteries in a children's animated feature, and the mice fit wonderfully. Our star is Basil (The Great Mouse Detective), who is assisted by the trusty Dr. Dawson in his attempts to determine what happened to a missing toy maker. Of course, the search leads the duo against their arch nemesis, Professor Ratigan, who is voiced brilliantly by Vincent Price (famous for classic horror films due to his creepy voice and demeanor). A fun, family mystery that the kids will definitely enjoy. One of my guilty pleasures on Netflix instant stream.

The Fox and the Hound (1981)

One of the all time classic Disney movies is 'The Fox and the Hound,' a film that is charming, sad and socially relevant to this day. The film includes the voices of Mickey Rooney and Kurt Russell as two childhood friends, one a fox named Tod and the other a hound dog called Copper. The two are best friends and spend hours together, but of course they are destined to be torn apart by the norms of society, where hounds historically hunt foxes. The two are pressured from their peers and society to become enemies, and also their natural instincts as they grow up. The sad reality of the film is incredibly poignant, even as you get older, and it makes for a really meaningful film for the whole family to enjoy.

Dumbo (1941)

Another absolute classic Disney feature, and the oldest film on this list, is 'Dumbo' the story of a circus elephant who is ridiculed and treated as a lesser due to his enormous ears and lack of confidence. He befriends a young mouse named Timothy, who decides to make Dumbo realize his true potential and inspire him to be special. As with all Disney films, especially the classics, the film's humor and adventure is always coated in a real life message for your kids to absorb. Despite it's age, this is still one of the most enjoyable kids movies out there, and is essentially timeless. If your kids are struggling with confidence, make sure to show them the story of 'Dumbo.'

The Adventures of Tin Tin (2011)

'Tin Tin' is one of the most beloved cartoons of all time, and when Steven Spielberg signed on the direct a movie version which would contain 3D motion capture animation, we basically knew we would be getting a good one. Then add great young actor Jamie Bell, along with Daniel Craig, and you've got a real winner. In this adventure Tin Tin and his dog Snowy take on an adventure to find treasure along with a ship once sailed by his friend Captain Haddock's ancestor. Of course, things are not as easy as they sound, and the group face terrible enemies and danger along the way. One of the most exciting and visually pleasing films on the list, a must see for kids and grown ups both.

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Based on the classic children's novel by legendary writer Roald Dahl, 'James and the Giant Peach' tells the story of a young boy who lives with his evil aunts due to the death of his parents, but is taken on an adventure to the city of New York on board a giant peach. Shown through a combination of stop motion animation and live action, the film has an interesting dynamic. As with all Roald Dahl stories, the proceedings are very bizarre, weird and often times a little disturbing in a child friendly kind of way. But the story is always charming and kids will be completely entertained by the adventure and magic of it all. Definitely one of the most fun kids movies on Netflix instant stream.

Pocahontas (1995)

This was the first Disney film to ever be based on a 100% real life historical character, the Indian native 'Pocahontas' who famously encountered John Smith during the time when settlers were arriving from England to the New World. Of course, the two fall in love despite their respective sides hatred for one another. Pocahontas is scheduled to marry an Indian warrior, and the settlers don't trust the natives. This leads to tension and pulls the two lovers apart as their own fight around them. A tale that has been told many times in many different forms, of two people in love who are on opposite sides of conflict, is presented very well here and will be entertaining to any audience.


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    • profile image

      Josh's 2 years ago

      Halloweentown 1netelix

    • jmartin1344 profile image

      jmartin1344 4 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Definitely agree Wakerra! CGI isn't always necessary! Thanks for these suggestions!! I've seen Mark Twain but I haven't seen the others.


    • Wakerra profile image

      Wakerra 4 years ago

      I would also argue any Miyazaki films, but it seems Netflix has pulled them from stream...and I was so looking forward to watching Howl's Moving Castle again...

    • Wakerra profile image

      Wakerra 4 years ago

      I guess Yobi could fill this category too, but I'd also like to add "The Adventures of Mark Twain" Nostalgia, creativity, imagination, adventure, humor, and the animation was mesmerizing! Oh, and "Tales of the Night" was really great too. while it was mostly done with silhouetted characters, the animation here was also great, as well as the stories! It just goes to show you don't need fancy CGI and 3-D to make a great movie!

    • jmartin1344 profile image

      jmartin1344 4 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks for reading, Jonathan!

    • jonathanshaw profile image

      jonathanshaw 4 years ago from Watford, Hertfordshire, Great Britian

      good stuff mate.