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Best family movies on Netflix in July 2020

best family movies on Netflix - the main event, the princess and the frog and mirai
(Image credit: Archive Photos/Getty; Bettina Strauss; GKIDS)

If you're looking for the best family movies on Netflix while everyone is staying at home these days, we've got you. 

Even though Disney Plus just snatched up Ant-Man and The Wasp and The Incredibles 2 and the Solo star wars movie, the Netflix Children and Family Movies section still offers many great films that can be enjoyed by kids and parents alike. That includes 2 actual Disney movies (for now).

They aren't always easy to find, which many parents and family members out there can attest to, after hours of scanning the rows of bright and shiny posters, looking for quality. So, we've put together a master list of the best family movies on Netflix, to help you schedule some quality TV time with films everyone can enjoy. 

We consider ratings from both Common Sense Media and Rotten Tomatoes, but neither is exactly the end-all be-all. The movie I keep going back to is Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, the rare Marvel movie that has strong odds of staying on Netflix.

HBO Max brought bringing a great roster of family friendly movies, including the Studio Ghibli films and The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. Consider our best Netflix shows list for something to binge after the kids nod off. And be sure to research the best Netflix VPNs if you're on a family vacation and want to keep them entertained with their favorite shows.

The best family movies on Netflix today

Mirai

best family movies on Netflix - mirai

(Image credit: GKIDS)

This beautifully hand-drawn animated film will connect with all members of the household. It starts with a familiar tale — four-year-old Kun finds his life shaken up when a new baby sister gets all the attention — that goes wild and weird quickly. A teenage version of his new sibling Mirai arrives, and soon Kun and the older Mirai go on adventures together, where they meet a myriad series of peculiar characters from their past and future. Warm, caring and unlike most bright and neon kids movies made today, Mirai will show your family that the Kids section on Netflix is more diverse than they know.

90% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says:
ages 8 and up
Watch now

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

best family movies on Netflix - ET

(Image credit: Archive Photos/Getty)

Classics earn their spot for a reason. The timeless E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial is a boon to all parents with Netflix accounts, who can finally show their kids this iconic sci-fi movie, where young Elliott (Henry Thomas) makes friends with the titular alien. E.T. may have scared other kids off, but Elliott is so lonely and attention-starved that he can't help but befriend his new slow-talking friend. Perfect for kids not ready for the frights of Stranger Things yet, E.T. will also let parents see a young Drew Barrymore, who co-stars as Elliott's sister Gertie. 

98% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says:
ages 7 and up
Watch now

The Main Event

best family movies on Netflix - the main event

(Image credit: Bettina Strauss)

Yes, we're recommending a wrestling movie. The Main Event is one of the best family movies on Netflix for a reason, though, thanks to the endearing performance of lead actor Seth Carr, who plays Leo, an 11-year-old who discovers a magical mask that lets him perform as well as his heroes in WWE. The film is grounded in realism, though, as Leo and his father (played by Adam Pally) are dealing with the departure of his mother, who left them to fend for themselves. Leo also has to deal with the ramifications of his selfishness, which quickly alienates his friends. Levity is found in and around the squared circle, thanks to comedy veteran Ken Marino and a star-making performances by pro wrestler Keith Lee. 

26% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says:
ages 7 and up
Watch now

The Willoughbys

best family movies on Netflix - The Willoughbys

(Image credit: Netflix)

Silly yet grounded in real emotional truths, The Willoughbys is a success that proves the Netflix animated films team should be up there with the best. The story is relatable as well, with Willoughby siblings Tim (Will Forte), Jane (Alessia Cara), Barnaby A and Barnaby B (both voices by Seán Cullen) devise the ultimate plan for freedom from their parents. And the kids aren't wrong for this either: mom and dad are too occupied with their never-ending love for one another to care for the kids. The Willoughby kids plan, though, is a bit crazy: sending their parents on a vacation so dangerous that the kids will likely be orphaned by the end. 

90% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says:
ages 8 and up
Watch now

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch 

best family movies on Netflix - John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch

(Image credit: Jeffrey Neira/Netflix)

Are your kids not exactly traditional? Parents of kids with particularly unique and slightly mature tastes in TV and movies should consider John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch for the next movie night. In this film, the titular comedian (who is also great on HBO Max's The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo) runs through all of the standard kids content tropes with a sly wit and a lot of kindness. Younger kids may not "get" it, but parents who are fans of Mulaney's will likely wonder why all kids-friendly content can't be this intelligent. It's also got musical numbers, to keep the especially young crowd from getting bored.

96% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says:
ages 8 and up
Watch now

Elf

Best family movies on Netflix - ELF

(Image credit: Allstar Picture Library : Alamy Stock Photo)

No matter what day of the year it is today, you can feel the Christmas spirit with Elf. Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf, a grown man with a child-like glee, who was accidentally separated from his home when sent to the North Pole as a wee toddler, where he's raised as an elf. But once he's of age, and realizing he needs to find his parents, he makes his way to New York, for a fish out of water story that will have you in stitches. Zooey Deschanel stars as Jovie, a new friend Buddy makes in the big city, but Buddy hits a bump in the road when his birth father Walter (James Caan) is a complete curmudgeon.

84% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says: ages 7 and up
Watch now

Back to the Future

Best family movies on Netflix: Back to the Future

(Image credit: Universal)

The 1985 classic starring Michael J. Fox as a time-traveling teen is blessedly now available on Netflix (along with Back to the Future Part II and Part III) for a fun family binge session. Fox's Marty McFly travels back to the 1950s in a DeLorean time machine invented by the lovably eccentric Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). But when he accidentally interferes in the romance between his own parents, Marty threatens to erase his own existence. He will have to help his dad stand up to the school bully to make sure he has a future to go back to. The movie is a great mix of adventure, comedy and heartfelt emotion. 

96% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says: ages 10 and up
Watch now

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

(Image credit: Jay Maidment)

Even though nobody was clamoring for a new Mary Poppins, Emily Blunt whirled into Mary Poppins Returns, and managed to make it a winner. Returns looks to improve on the original by offering an actual villain and some tumult, but it's still for the younger set, with plenty of positivity, as well as catchy songs (we're guessing co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda, best known for Hamilton, chipped in on those).

79% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 6 and up.

Watch now

Pokemon Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution

best netflix family movies pokemon mewtwo strikes back evolution

(Image credit: Netflix)

A CGI remake of the original Pokemon film, Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution is both familiar but new. It focuses on what happens when the iconic Pokemon trainer Ash (and his fellow trainers) discover the massively powerful Mewtwo, a psychic Pokemon who is a massive threat. While it's not high art, it's still a decent choice for family movie night if and when your kid just got into the Pokemon world. Especially since the original is not on Netflix. Mewtwo will also teach kids about when you shouldn't judge others. 

44% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 8 and up.

Watch now

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

spider-man: into the spider-verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation)

The rest of the comic book movie canon can stand aside, as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the most stylish superhero film ever. Visually inventive at a level that most films can only aim for, Spider-Verse shows what happens when you bring a comic to life and have fun with it (unlike Ang Lee's Hulk). Fortunately, Spider-Verse is grounded with a great story revolving around young Miles Morales, who finds his world invaded by Spider-Men from different realities.

97% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 9 and up.

Watch now

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

INVADER ZIM: ENTER THE FLORPUS

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix rebooted the Nicktoon classic Invader Zim with this 71-minute film that's practially made for younger parents with younger kids. Just like the classic show, Florpus offers a wild manic energy with some jokes that kids won't get and parents will chuckle at. Reviews point to the film's amazing eye candy and endearing energy levels, and small nods to other classic animated shows. If your kids love this film, maybe it's time to dig up the original series or get them started on Adventure Time. 

100% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 8 and up.

Watch now

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Best Netflix Family Movies

(Image credit: Ilze Kitshoff/Netflix)

This inspiring film — set in a small farming village in Malawi — will pull audiences in with the presence of lead actor (and director) Chiwetel Ejiofor. The award-winning actor doesn't take up too much of the film, though, giving proper time to lead Maxwell Simba, who plays a 13-year-old boy named William. While William's story may read like a middle-school assignment, his education is taken away before he conceives a windmill-power generator to solve his town's problems, it's the kind of motivational story that science-obsessed kids might love.

85% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 12 and up.

Watch now

Despicable Me

best family movies on netflix - despicable me

(Image credit: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment)

While cases of sequel-itis and over-exposure have plagued the Minions we met in Despicable Me, this movie is actually pretty great. Not only does it have an all-star cast of voice-actors (Steve Carrell leads as Gru, along with Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett and Kristen Wiig), but it's got a clever script too. Gru is a mad scientist who once hit great heights of villainy, now toiling in frustration, as rivals take headlines he wishes he could take. Of course, Gru's own humanity is tested when he happens upon three little girls, who test his priorities.

81% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 6 and up.

Watch now

Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling

Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling

(Image credit: Netflix)

For slightly older kids and parents on the younger end, Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling is both proudly progressive and delightfully nostalgic. Not only does the series match the original Nicktoon's vibe, but its approach to identity and transgender roles should be inspiring to other family programming looking to take the leap. And at only 45 minutes, this special won't take a huge bite out of your night. 

91% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 10 and up.

Watch now

Ralph Breaks The Internet

ralph breaks the internet best family movies netflix

(Image credit: Disney)

The mischievous, sentient video game characters Wreck-It Ralph and his buddy Vanellope von Schweetz are back, and trying to figure out how to support each other. Even if you wish Ralph Breaks The Internet's jokes stuck to the gaming world (which might be old hat for kids, but novel for parents) you'll still enjoy its underlying story of how friends can betray each other and learn to forgive. 

88% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 8 and up.

Watch now

Mary and The Witch's Flower

mary and the witch's flower best family movies netflix

(Image credit: Studio Ponoc)

If you're looking for a new twist on solid tropes, check out Mary and The Witch's Flower from Academy Award nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi, whose credits include Studio Ghibli masterpieces Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo. This animated film centers around a young girl named Mary who finds herself surrounded by the utterly fantastic: a magic flower that grants magical powers, a broomstick that she flies above the clouds, and the magic university of Endor College (no, there aren't any Ewoks). Features voice acting by Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent.

86% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 8 and up.

Watch now

White Fang

white fang best family movies netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Inspired by Jack London's novel, White Fang will capture the imaginations of those who love pets and nature. Tracing the story of a wolfdog's life, as he moves between three masters, this wonderful animated movie comes to us from France, where it was originally titled Croc-Blanc. Voice acting work comes from beloved names such as Parks and Recreation stars Rashida Jones and Nick Offerman, as well as Paul Giamatti.

88% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 10 and up.

Watch now

Next Gen

next gen best family movies netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Parents looking for a futuristic animated film for their middle-school-aged (and up) kids that successfully manages to be appropriate and entertaining should check out Netflix's Next Gen. Featuring voice acting from John Krasinski (The Office) and Charlene Yi (Paper Heart), who play an AI and a young girl, respectively, who unite to stop a baddie. Next Gen is a sci-fi adventure movie that keeps its action scenes kid-friendly with laser blasts and explosions, while staying away from the more grizzly stuff.

60% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 8 and up.

Watch now

Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You!

pokemon the movie: i choose you best family movies netflix

(Image credit: OLM)

Parents who loved the Pokemon games and anime can use this film (which breaks from conventions) to introduce it to their kids. If you can believe it, Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You! is the 20th Pokemon movie in the series, which is so storied and complicated that the franchise began to run itself into the ground of predictability. This chapter, though, thrives by breaking the rules. Sure, some fans were incensed by the decision to have Pikachu speak any words that aren't their own name, but that's one of a handful of choices that - in the end - made the movie better. Younger viewers will hopefully not be so attached to the Pokemon franchise that they'll feel betrayed by the absence of Brock and Misty.

43% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 7 and up.

Watch now

Pee-wee's Big Holiday

Best Netflix Family Movies

(Image credit: Ilze Kitshoff/Netflix)

Parents of a certain age, who would be eager to introduce their kids to Pee-wee Herman and his manic energy, will have fun streaming Pee-wee's Big Holiday. It may not provide as many laughs per minute as previous capers, reviews noted it offers a sweetness that will delight existing fans and kids who can handle some surreal humor. 

80% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 11 and up.

Watch now

The Little Prince

the little prince best family movies netflix

(Image credit: Orange Studios)

Netflix's exclusive adaptation of The Little Prince is as sincere, heartfelt, and visually striking as the beloved Antoine de Saint-Exupery book that inspired it. Mark Osborne directed the film, in which a young girl (Mackenzie Foy) strikes up a friendship with an old pilot (Jeff Bridges). The pilot spins an extraordinary yarn about a friend from his past: a Little Prince (Riley Osborne) from another planet. Read the book together beforehand, if you can.

93% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 10 and up.

Watch now

Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Best Netflix Family Movies

(Image credit: Disney)

In the 1910's in New Orleans, a young girl named Tiana dreamed of one thing and one thing only: owning her own restaurant. She encounters a lot of road blocks on her path to that dream, including a prince who is turned into a frog — and even getting turned into a frog herself. Praised for its animation style reviving the old-school hand-drawn Disney aesthetic and breaking a color barrier for Disney princesses, The Princess and the Frog is a great family film for parents looking for some quality wholesome goodness.

85% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 6 and up.

Watch now

Miracle

Best Netflix Family Movies

(Image credit: Alamy)

Young hockey nuts (or at least parents who regularly buy NHL tickets) will be enjoy streaming this sports drama about the US men's hockey team during the 1980 Winter Olympics. Starring Kurt Russell (as the coach who pushed the team to success), Miracle got praise for rising above the land of cliches that many expected it would trod in. 

80% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 8 and up.

Watch now

The Rugrats Movie

The Rugrats Movie

(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

Super-young audiences and their 90's-kid parents will have fun watching Tommy Pickles dealing with sharing his parents with a new, younger, sibling. Of course, this all starts when the maniacal Angelica convinces Tommy that his parents will literally forget about him once their new bundle of joy arrives. The zaniness occurs, though, when Tommy tries to return baby Dil (get it, because they're the Pickles family) to the hospital. Also a fun way for expecting parents to show their only child there's nothing to worry about.

59% Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media says: ages 4 and up.

Watch now

Silly yet grounded in real emotional truths, The Willoughbys is a success that proves the Netflix animated films team should be up there with the best. The story is relatable as well, with Willoughby siblings Tim (Will Forte), Jane (Alessia Cara), Barnaby A and Barnaby B (both voices by Seán Cullen) devise the ultimate plan for freedom from their parents. And the kids aren't wrong for this either: mom and dad are too occupied with their never-ending love for one another to care for the kids. The Willoughby kids plan, though, is a bit crazy: sending their parents on a vacation so dangerous that the kids will likely be orphaned by the end. 

90% Rotten Tomatoes
Common Sense Media says:
ages 8 and up
Watch now