Amazon is adding its name to the list of places with free family movies and TV shows streaming online. Yes, after you've watched all of the best family movies on Netflix, and gotten tired of cycling through Frozen and Frozen 2 on Disney Plus repeatedly, you've got new options for what to watch next.
But your options don't end there — three other big names in streaming are also offering free content for families. This way, you can build a veritable pantry of stuff to watch with your kids while at home over the coming weeks.
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A lot of the content available from these services is targeted at the younger crowd, and we're not exactly surprised. Those parents probably need these options more than anyone else as more families find themselves at home with kids that need education and entertainment.
Amazon Prime Video
For those who don't want to pay for Prime right now, Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab) is now offering a lot of streaming shows and movies. Logging in under my account, and clicking to the Kids section of Prime Video, I can see the list of shows and movies includes both licensed content — Arthur, Caillou, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Rugrats All Grown Up — and Amazon Originals, including Creative Galaxy, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Little Big Awesome and The Snowy Day.
There are also classics like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow. Additionally, Prime is offering family-friendly films for free on Prime Video, such as Megamind, Elmo In Grouchland, Stuart Little and Short Circuit. They're in a row marked IMDB.TV, but they play free with ads.
If that selection seems a little too-dedicated to the really-young crowd, know that Amazon told TechCrunch it's "continuing to work with content partners to widen the selection over time."
Sling may be best known for its live TV services, but did you know there's something called the Sling TV Free Experience? Available at watch.sling.com/ (opens in new tab), Sling's increased its family-friendly offerings in response to the heightened demand for streaming content while we're all at home. They're giving away episodes of Teen Titans Go! Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls, Lego Ninjago, Bob the Builder and Craig of the Greek, among others.
The free Sling experience also has live news, from ABC and FOX, including local affiliates (like my local network FOX 5). Oh, and once the kids go to bed, there's also a bunch of shows and movies for parents to enjoy on their own.
And if you subscribe to Sling TV (opens in new tab), the first month will be cheaper than normal, as Blue and Orange packages are down by $20, from $30. Sling Orange has A&E and Disney Channel, while Blue has USA.
If you like what Sling TV is slinging, know that the service is currently doubling its free trial for its live TV streaming service, from 7 days to 14 days. If you're in a Nick Jr. household, go for Sling Blue, while Disney Channel-friendly folks should pick Sling Orange. Cartoon Network is on both, as is Nat Geo Wild.
Read our full Sling TV review
The free online TV streaming service Tubi has a lot of programming for families, broken into two sections: Kids Shows (opens in new tab) and Family Movies (opens in new tab). The former offers some recent shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Naruto, as well as older programs like the 1980's Transformers show and the black and white Dennis the Menace, for when your kids ask what was TV like when you (or your parents) were growing up.
In the Movies section, you've got Anne Hathway's early film Ella Enchanted, as well as Eddie Murphy's family film Imagine That. Other films include Finding Neverland, Mouse Hunt and The Secret of N.I.M.H..
Always free, the ad-supported Pluto TV has a whole Kids section worth checking out. As I type this article, the Pluto TV Family (opens in new tab) channel is streaming The Adventures of Tintin, and The Wild Thornberrys Movie is up next. Pluto's also got channels of content from Nick, Nick Jr. and Nickmovies, channels dedicated to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora the Explorer. There's even Anime All Ages, a network for family friendly Anime.