The 20 Best Family-Friendly Movies on Netflix for Fun, Cringe-Free Streaming

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After weeks of organizing and rescheduling, you've finally rallied the troops for family night. You've enjoyed a special meal together, played a few games, and caught up, so now it's time to cuddle up with a movie, which is when the bickering usually sets in. One kid wants to watch an animated movie, your other kid wants to see an action flick, you're in the mood for a coming-of-age tear-jerker, and the dog is insisting on an intellectual documentary. We all know how it goes, especially when you're streaming on Netflix and the sorting features that prioritize content based on past preferences make your differences glaringly obvious.

Well, we're here to deliver some conflict prevention with a watchlist of family-friendly movies on Netflix that will help you skip the extensive movie selection process. It's easy to get carried away looking through all of the options and before you know it, it's bedtime.

Below, we've rounded up 20 of the best family-friendly movies on Netflix to help you choose something you'll all want to watch.

01 of 20

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

To all the boys i've loved before poster


The rom-com genre is finally getting some love again in 2018, and we're definitely here for it. Especially when Noah Centineo, the dreamboat of all dreamboats, gets plenty of screen time. The coming-of-age movie is about a high school girl, Lara Jean, whose romantic fantasies are leaked to all the love interests she's ever had. It's also just a sweet film about growing up with sisters and a single dad. Everyone will find something to relate to, no matter their age. 

Available on: Netflix

02 of 20

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)


Another crowd pleaser, this charming comedy is based on the beloved children's book of the same name. It stars an inventor and a brainy weather girl, both equally geeky and endearing, as they scramble to save a town from mutant food falling from the sky, thanks to the latest invention gone awry.

Available on: Netflix

03 of 20

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

boy who harnessed wind


Directed by Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, this movie tells the incredible true story of a young Malawian genius, named William Kamkwamba, who uses his electronic gifts to build a windmill to save his family and village from drought and famine. Expect a moving and uplifting film for everyone.

Available on: Netflix

04 of 20

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

madagascar 2

The original zoo crew is back for this cheerful and funny sequel to the original Madagascar. Expect some surprise action when the penguins tape together a wrecked airplane to escape Madagascar only to crash land in Africa.

Available on: Netflix

05 of 20

Yes Day (2021)

Yes Day poster


While this light-hearted film may give your kids an idea or two, it's definitely worth the watch. After feeling stuck in a cycle of constantly saying "no," two parents decide to give their three kids a "yes" day—an entire 24 hours where the kids make the rules and craziness ensues.

Available on: Netflix

06 of 20

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future poster

Centretown Movies

You've no doubt seen this goofy sci-fi flick more than once, but now it's time to share the quirky cult classic with your kids. Relive the journey as Marty McFly and Doc travel 30 years back in time in the iconic DeLorean to make sure Marty's parents fall in love and avoid catastrophic repercussions.

Available on: Netflix

07 of 20

The BFG (2016)

The BFG movie poster

The Main Street Moms

Based on the beloved book of the same name by children's author Roald Dahl, The BFG is just as engaging and imaginative in film form. A young girl embarks on a life-changing journey when she crosses paths with a mysterious (and friendly) giant and they attempt to save the human world.

Available on: Netflix

08 of 20

Spelling the Dream (2020)

Spelling the Dream poster


Inspire your kids to do better in school (or at least finish their homework) by watching this fascinating documentary. The film follows four spelling bee competitors and dives into the long success of Indian Americans at the biggest bees in the country.

Available on: Netflix

09 of 20

Hook (1991)

Hook movie poster

Hook is the exact definition of an oldie but a goodie. Set decades after the classic film, Peter Pan is all grown up—a workaholic who has forgotten who he is. With the help of Tinkerbell, Peter must return to Neverland to save his kids from the vengeful Captain Hook.

Available on: Netflix

10 of 20

The Croods (2013)

The Croods movie poster


If your family is a big fan of animated adventures, The Croods is definitely one to add to your watchlist. Get lost in a prehistoric world of fantastical creatures following a cooky cave family as they journey through exotic lands in search of a new home.

Available on: Netflix

11 of 20

Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes poster


Got any natural sleuths in the family? This twist on a classic Sherlock Holmes story focuses on the detective's teen sister, Enola Holmes, and will satisfy that mystery-solving itch. While searching for her missing mother, the younger Holmes shows off an impressive intellect that rivals her brother's.

Available on: Netflix

12 of 20

The Little Rascals (1994)

The Little Rascals film still

Getty Images / Archive Photos / Stringer

When it comes to adorable kids getting into hilarious situations, you just can't beat The Little Rascals. You and your kids will be rolling with laughter watching this rag-tag bunch of tots rally together, breaking hearts and forging bonds along the way.

Available on: Netflix

13 of 20

Good Burger (1997)

Good Burger poster

Davis High News

Another hilarious cult classic ahead of its time, Good Burger chronicles the story of two teen boys (played by the iconic duo Kenan and Kel) thrown together by fate at a failing burger joint. Together, they take up the challenge of saving the restaurant from their giant competition.

Available on: Netflix

14 of 20

Open Season (2006)

Open Season movie poster

Siam Zone

The animal lovers in your family won't want to miss out on this goofy and heartwarming animated film. A domesticated grizzly and a fast-talking mule deer find themselves unlikely friends as they recruit a band of forest animals to resist hunters during (you guessed it) open season.

Available on: Netflix

15 of 20

Finding 'Ohana (2021)

Finding 'Ohana movie poster


If your family desperately needs a vacation, escape to the Hawaiian island of Oahu in this feel-good family flick. Two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their family and Hawaiian heritage over the summer while on a quest for long-lost treasure. Fair warning: We're pretty sure you'll be ready to pack your bags and jet off on an adventure in paradise after this one.

Available on: Netflix

16 of 20

The Smurfs (2011)

The Smurfs movie still


Share one of your favorite shows as a kid with your children in this modern film adaptation of the 80s TV show. The little blue guys are chased from their woodland home and pass through a magic portal to find themselves stranded in New York.

Available on: Netflix

17 of 20

Big Miracle (2012)

Big Miracle movie poster

Reel Life With Jane

Educate your kids on the real-life threats to wildlife and the ecosystem through this emotional film inspired by true events where a group of concerned friends work to rescue a family of whales trapped in the Arctic Circle. Trust us—you'll want to keep a box of tissues nearby.

Available on: Netflix

18 of 20

Rango (2011)

Rango movie poster

Deep Focus Review

Need a good laugh? Look no further. Rango—voiced by Johnny Depp—is a pet chameleon, but when he gets lost in the desert, he finds himself sheriff of a wild frontier town with trouble around every corner.

Available on: Netflix

19 of 20

My Octopus Teacher (2020)

My Octopus Teacher movie poster


Another heartwarming look at the animal kingdom, this documentary tracks an unusual friendship between a filmmaker and an octopus off the coast of South Africa. She has more to teach him about her world than he ever anticipated.

Available on: Netflix

20 of 20

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

The Princess and the Frog movie poster

They're All Fictional

A favorite bedtime story comes to life in The Princess and the Frog. Set in New Orleans during the Jazz Age, this interpretation of the classic will give you all the warm-fuzzy feels plus a few new favorite songs.

Available on: Netflix

Looking for more TV time with the kids? Here's a list of more family-friendly movies that are anything but lame.

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