Kids movies are a dime a dozen. Yet, they are the holy grail for content creators. Provide a respite for weary parents, one that is actually going to help your children, and you will have some very satisfied customers. Break that trust and it will be something that is very hard to get back. Something that will not only stain your reputation as a provider of solid content, but also something that will make you easily forgotten in today's world of content overload. Basically, you have a lot more to lose than one time viewership, because the beauty of today's content enriched world is that younger people tend to watch the same things over and over.
Add to that the ease with which this content can be obtained. Netflix is on every device imaginable. Open the app and you have thousands of films at your fingertips. It literally is so easy a very young child could figure it out. It is with all of this in mind that we have put this list together. The best part? Netflix is constantly switching up their content. They are a "consumer obsessed" company so chances are more than one of the films on this list will grab your interest.
The Jungle Book (2016)
This much revered retelling of The Jungle Book tale boasts such cast members as Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and Bill Murray. It follows Mowgli, who leaves home and braves the jungle with a big assist from a panther named Bagheera and a bear named Baloo. At first you might wonder about the need to make such a film, however, I defy you to watch The Jungle Book and not thank Netflix for putting it in your queue.
The BFG (2016)
This somewhat overlooked gem from Steven Spielberg (hey, it cost $140 million to make and it grossed a paltry $183 million worldwide), The BFG has everything you want in a kid's film. Netflix certainly knows how to grab content people want, even if they don't want to see it in the theater. The story is essentially about a Big Friendly Giant that teams up with a little girl to stop giants from taking over the human world. With a strong message of acceptance, dazzling special effects, there's something here for both adults and kids.
Paddington is the story of a young bear finding a home with the Brown family. So special is this story, so deftly woven together by director Paul King, that it literally glides effortlessly across the screen. Paddington is quiet in tone, big on laughs, and strong in spirit. It's the kind of movie Netflix needs and the sort of film that parents love sharing with their kids.
Baby's Day Out (1994)
With the name of the title character being Baby Bink, Baby's Day Out is a classic screwball comedy in the mode of Frank Capra. Basically, Baby Bink gets kidnapped but ends up giving the kidnappers much more than they bargained for. With a cast that includes Lara Flynn Boyle, Joe Mantegna, and Joe Pantoliano (whose fun bad guy recalls Ralph Cifaretto from The Sopranos), this Netlfix gem from 1994 is a true darling. Baby's Day Out may be sort of an oddball film, but that's only because it's so much fun.
Bee Movie (2007)
Jerry Seinfeld as the main voice in a kid's film like Bee Movie? Talk about a slam dunk. The story follows Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) as a bee who goes against nature. He doesn't want to make honey. He soon finds out that human's devour honey, and he sets about taking legal recourse. With a truly unique premise, Bee Movie is a stand-out on the content stacked Netflix and that's saying something!
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
The voices of Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes and Michelle Pfeiffer truly enhance The Prince of Egypt. This long told tale of Moses and how he brings his people out of bondage in Egypt is captivating in both its scope and style. It is honestly a time where animation rises to the level of art. It is hard to know how long The Prince of Egypt has been on Netflix, but we have a feeling it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Chicken Run (2000)
A cockerel makes it's way into a dreary chicken farm and suddenly captive chickens see a chance at freedom. Chicken Run is one of the best animated films, not just from Aardman, but in the history of the medium. It is littered with solid voices from Phil Daniels, Mel Gibson and Miranda Richardson, and that not only lends gravitas to the proceedings but a lot of fun as well. Netflix is steeped in the original content game and they would be well to try and duplicate a film like Chicken Run.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
A young Anne Hathaway top-lines this movie that truly defines what a 4 quadrant film is. She plays the title role of a woman who has sworn obedience to protect a prince. Along the way she encounters many obstacles and uses her cunning wit to come out ahead. What a special film for the #metoo/#timesup movement. Ella Enchanted may not be everybody's cup of tea, but this is a Netflix offering that is clearly for everyone.
The Little Rascals (1994)
How can you deny the staying power of The Little Rascals. With characters like Spanky, Stymie, Buckwheat, Alfalfa and Darla, this redo from 1994 is full of spunk, laughs, and adventure. The story is really an aggregation of The Little Rascals from many years ago, but the fact that this film was directed by Penelope Spheeris (Suburbia) only ups this movie's cool quotient.
Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade (2003)
Okay, if you don't enjoy the deepness of Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade then you may want to find out if you have a pulse. As usual, the main characters are coming up against obstacles that stop them from having fun. However, like all the Recess films there is a bigger lesson afoot. One of friendship, loyalty, and the preciousness of youth. Netflix has hit a home run by having this movie in their kid's line-up.
Charlotte's Web (2006)
The classic tale of a pig named Wilbur teaming up with a spider so they can save his life is kept in solid form in this new version of Charlotte's Web. With a cast that includes Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey, this film never stops being special for a second. If your kids are on media overload, de-stress them with with this tale from a simpler time about love, friendship, and family. Netflix, you did good making this film available.
Disney films usually hit the mark but Pocahontas scores a bullseye. This tale of romance between the daughter of an Algonquin Chief and a soldier in the English army gets better with every viewing. And for Pocahontas this bodes well because users can watch this tale of colonists invading Virginia as many times as they like. Sure, there is going to be some skepticism about the historical accuracy of this movie, but to get bogged down in that is to miss the point of love conquering all.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
In today's rabid, pet centric culture it's surprising that a film like Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, and others of its ilk, aren't looked at with more reverence. Well, thank goodness that Netflix does, right? This story of dogs and a cat teaming up to find their owners is the kind of film that Disney does best. However, amidst its milquetoast nature it is brimming with the kind of heart and soul that human centric movies only wish they had.
Snow Buddies (2008)
Snow Buddies follows a rag tag group of golden retrievers as they make their way across Alaska. Why is is that all the best animal movies seem to involve adventure? Who knows? The reality is that Disney seems to have a winning formula. Netflix has the winning platform and that means that these two content providers are a match made in animal heaven.
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997)
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is the long awaited follow-up to 1989's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Rick Moranis is again the wacky scientist/dad-type who just can't resist using his shrinking machine one more time. Things go far from smoothly as the kids now think that their parents have disappeared. When will they ever learn? Probably never as there is most likely a reboot of this franchise happening somewhere and chances are it will be on Netflix at some point.