Netflix is giving kids a lot to watch before their summer vacation ends. This month, the service will launch more than half a dozen new shows or movies that are either originals or streaming exclusives in the U.S. Netflix has some major projects with a musical bent, too. These include the comedy film XOXO, set at an electronic music festival; and The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann's sweeping series about the dawn of hip-hop. There's also a good selection of comedy specials, some of which have an election theme. Enjoy.
Ask the StoryBots, Season 1 (Aug. 12)
Netflix's new animated educational series features five creatures that journey to exotic locales, including under the ocean and into space. While there, they answer questions such as, "How does night happen?" It's based on the multimedia educational platform StoryBots, produced by JibJab.
Beat Bugs, Season 1 (Aug. 3)
Five friendly bugs inhabit a backyard world and learn life lessons in this series inspired by the music of The Beatles. Modern music stars such as P!nk, Sia, Robbie Williams, and The Shins provide the vocals.
Bottersnikes and Gumbles, Season 1 (Aug. 19)
This Australian animated show is based on the children's books about two very different types of creatures in the Outback. The Bottersnikes are mean, lazy creatures with green, wrinkly skin, and the Gumbles are hard-working, friendly, puppy-like critters that can stretch themselves into all kinds of shapes.
Dawn of the Croods, Season 2 (Aug. 26)
Netflix has spun this popular 2013 animated movie about a Stone Age family into a very goofy TV series about their search for a new home. Season 1 ended on a literal cliffhanger.
Fearless, Season 1 (Aug. 19)
You've heard of bullfighting and horseback riding. How about bull riding? There is such a thing, and in this docuseries, Netflix takes an in-depth look at one of the wildest competition sports. It follows Brazilian riders from São Paulo to the Professional Bull Riders championship in Las Vegas.
The Get Down, Part 1 (Aug. 12)
In 1977, the Bronx was literally burning, but it was also heating up with the beginning of hip-hop. Baz Luhrmann, known for song-and-dance extravaganzas like Moulin Rouge!, directs the 12-part series, which looks to be one of Netflix's grandest.
Masha and the Bear, Season 2 (Aug. 1)
A little girl wanders into the forest and becomes best friends with a bear who's escaped the circus. The bear had been leading a rather pedestrian life until the goofy kid shakes things up in all kinds of ways, even providing romantic advice.
Movies and Specials
David Cross: Making America Great Again (Aug. 5)
Comedian David Cross (Arrested Development) uses Donald Trump's election slogan as a starting point to poke fun at the candidate and conservatism in this comedy special.
Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie (Aug. 1)
The goofballs at Funny or Die take Trump's 1987 book title as the jumping-off point for this spoof about the mogul's heyday in the '80s. A heavily made-up Johnny Depp plays Trump, and a wide assortment of comedic actors — including Michaela Watkins, Patton Oswalt, Jack McBrayer and Kristen Schaal — fill out the supporting cast.
Ever After High: Epic Winter (Aug. 5)
It's hard following in your parents' footsteps — especially if they are heroes and villains from fairytales. That's the challenge for children at this very special high school in Netflix's animated series. This time, winter is coming — early. One of the parents, the Snow King, loses his mind (or is he under a spell?) and creates a deep freeze in the middle of summer.
Holding the Man (Aug. 1)
Based on Australian Timothy Conigrave's memoir, this is the love story between two boys who meet in high school in the 1970s and remained together for 15 years until illness took them both. Critics' reviews have been mixed on this one; most loved it, but some called the dialogue and character development bland.
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Aug. 19)
Netflix continues its documentaries following celebrities (last month was Tony Robbins) in this portrait of Steve Aoki. He's one of the top musicians in electro house, doing up to 300 shows a year with outrageous antics. He's also the son of Rocky Aoki, a wrestler, powerboat racer and founder of the Benihana restaurant chain. The film dedicates space to showing the younger Aoki's efforts to live up to his father's high expectations.
In the Shadow of the Moon (Aug. 1)
This 2007 documentary is a thorough (and by no means dull) portrayal of the Apollo program, from John F. Kennedy's original pledge to multiple moon landings. The filmmakers assembled fantastic footage from the missions, plus commentary from key players, including astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Alan Bean and Gene Cernan.
The Little Prince (Aug. 5)
Netflix is promising a gorgeous retelling of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's story of a space-traveling boy who teaches people to see their lives anew. This animated feature takes a modern twist by adding a new character: a girl whose mother has planned out every minute of her life. That rigid structure crumbles when she meets an old aviator who recounts his experience with the Little Prince and reignites her imagination. Nearly every voice actor is an A-lister, including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd and Marion Cotillard.
Louis CK: Live at the Comedy Store (Aug. 15)
Credit: LouisCK.netPerhaps the world's top comedian, Louis CK needs no introduction. But just in case: The classic New Yorker finds a way of going to the edge of what's acceptable and somehow manages to delight rather than offend. He's also a master of self-deprecation, reveling in his image as a middle-age schlub.
Maz Jobrani: I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One On TV (Aug. 21)
LA comedian and Iranian-American Maz Jobrani draws broadly on his Middle Eastern heritage in his comedy. Sometimes, it's political. But often, it's just funny tales of cultural disconnect, like how his stern Iranian father taught him to never cry, or how his aunt came to visit and tried to haggle at Macy's. (Enjoy this clip from an earlier tour.)
No Country for Old Men (Aug. 11)
Javier Bardem has never been scarier than when he played psychopathic killing machine Anton Chigurh in this Coen Brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel. He's hunting a misfit, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), who stumbled into a load of money, which Chigurh will kill to protect. This 2007 film raked in the Oscars: Best supporting actor (Bardem), best writing, best director and best picture.
The Road (Aug. 25)
Even fans of The Walking Dead may have to steel themselves for this especially grim post-apocalyptic journey of a father and son through a devastated United States. The harsh, perverted natural forces aren't the biggest danger, though; the marauding bands of other survivors are.
XOXO (Aug. 26)
This Netflix film is the story of six 20-somethings who meet during one frenetic night at the EDM (Electric Daisy Carnival) music festival in Las Vegas. It centers on Ethan, a DJ who gets a last-minute invitation to perform at EDM after his tracks go viral online.
What Else to Stream
Already seen everything on this list? Check out our list of the best shows to binge watch to keep the stream going.