Best New Family Films On Netflix

family watching netflix

Netflix is definitely pulling it out of the bag when it comes to family lockdown entertainment, with new titles being added almost every day!

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the endless choice of what to watch for family movie night (or movie morning, movie afternoon? Anything goes in lockdown) we have narrowed it down to the latest family-friendly additions to the Netflix catalogue.

There are some amazing movies on Netflix that the whole family are sure to enjoy, or will at least stir up some healthy debate! Some are new releases and others are just new to Netflix, we have included some classics and some lesser-known films for you to discover together.

If you are unsure if a movie will be suitable for the whole family, or a particular child and want a quick check with minimal spoilers, we recommend searching for the IMDB page, and checking out the 'Parents Guide'- this is an invaluable resource which highlights even the most minuscule scary moments or anything a tad inappropriate that might not be suitable. So prepare whatever quarantine snacks you can rustle up, dim the lights and get comfy!

Family film time

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

Created in 1988 by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli, Totoro was re-dubbed in English in 2006 with the voices of Dakota and Elle Fanning as the two sisters, Satsuki and Mei. The girls move to the countryside with their father, to be near their ailing mother (who is on the mend!) and they soon discover the kind and mysterious family of forest spirits who live nearby.  This film has stood the test of time in just about every way, the animation is beautiful, the soundtrack is peaceful and the story of family, hope and magic is perfect viewing for all ages.

Certificate U, suitable for all ages

Space Jam (1996)

A nineties classic, Space Jam is still a joy to watch and definitely a classic family movie, this should be high on your list for the next movie session! The Looney Tunes find themselves in a situation with some aliens, they need to win a basketball match to secure their freedom, so they seek out the help of recently retired basketball superstar, Michael Jordan (it's really him!). The plot of this movie could not be more bonkers, and it is loads of fun- kids used to hyper-realistic special effects will definitely get a kick out of this old school CGI!

Certificate U, some typical cartoon slapstick violence, Looney Tunes style.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

Another new-to-Netflix Studio Ghibli film, and this one is easily as charming as My Neighbour Totoro. Kiki is a young witch, off to find her own way in the world with her little talking cat Jiji, she settles in a seaside town and starts work helping to deliver packages on her broom. It's hard to explain what exactly makes this such a lovely film, but from start to finish the imagery is beautiful, Kiki is headstrong and super smart but also kind and a great role model especially for younger viewers, her mishaps and adventures are a delight to be part of for just under 2 hours.

Certificate U, suitable for all ages

The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)

If you have yet to experience one of the Lego animated movies, you are in for a treat- especially if you have any Lego fans at home.  Based on the Lego Ninjago toy collection, six teenagers must defend their home from an evil warlord- who just happens to be the leader of the group's dad! There are monsters, robots, dragons and heaps of hilarious one-liners, if you have seen Lego Batman- you will have an idea of what to expect and it is a LOT of fun!

Certificate U, suitable for all ages

Ponyo (2008)

A more recent Studio Ghibli animation, Ponyo has the most bizarre and amazing plot on this list- the characters will capture your heart! Five-year-old Sôsuke meets Ponyo, a young goldfish princess (it gets weirder!) when he rescues her from the ocean. Ponyo's father is desperate to get her back under the waves, but she wants to become human so she can stay with Sôsuke. There are consequences when such a magical being makes the choice to leave her ocean home. Ponyo became the 4th top-grossing anime movie of all time, and you will definitely see why.

Certificate U, suitable for all ages

The Willoughby's (2020)

Convinced they'd be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children come up with a clever plan to send their super selfish parents on away on a long (permanent!) holiday. They then embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family. This is a pretty dark humoured movie, but the overall message is a positive one, and the themes shown will start up some interesting family conversations for sure. We recommend The Willoughby's for slightly older kids, around 9+ as there are some scary moments and the theme of mean parents might be a bit much for little ones! This is a family story with a bit of a twist, narrated by Ricky Gervais and with an amazing cast including Maya Rudolph and Will Forte.

Certificate PG, some references to violence, and rude humour, dark themes (positive overall message!)

Projector for family film

Back to the Future (1985) and Back to the Future Part II (1989)

If you are working your way through the classics over lockdown, these two need to be on the list asap! Marty McFly (Michael J Fox), is a 17-year-old high school student, who accidentally gets sent thirty years into the past in a time-travelling DeLorean created by his eccentric and wacky close friend, the scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In part two, after visiting the far off 2015 (let's just say 1989 had pretty high hopes for the future-self tying shoelaces anyone?) Mcfly must hop back and forth again to prevent some pretty disastrous changes that might happen in the present- sounds complicated but you need to watch and it will all make sense, kind of.

Certificate both PG- worth checking the IMDB parents guide for the 80's humour!

Song of the Sea (2014)

This is an absolutely beautifully animated film, with a slightly sad but overall hopeful and sweet message. Oscar-nominated, and with voices such as Brendan Gleeson, this film set in Ireland will capture the imaginations of kids and grown-ups of all ages. Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world. Saoirse can turn into a seal... just a light nod to Celtic mythology! A wonderful family film, best suited to slightly older kids.

Certificate PG, suitable for kids 10+ (check IMDB parents guide to see what you think!)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

The original take on Roald Dahl's wonderful book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, published in 1964, both film and book are undisputed classics. Gene Wilder takes on the role of the eccentric, wicked and quick-witted Willy Wonka, in a tale set amongst a backdrop of incredible sets (before CGI!) straight out of Roald Dahl's imagination, we follow the journey of 5 lucky children who win golden tickets and get to visit the mysterious chocolate factory. Covering all sorts of moral themes, such as kindness, understanding, individuality and a strong message from Roald Dahl himself recommending that children should not be too spoilt, at least not to such a degree that you have a little Veruca Salt on your hands!

Certificate U- debatable due to some very strange and slightly trippy scenes, we would say slightly older kids or check it out and see what you think your kids might make of it!

If you're in search of more TV recommendations for a cosy afternoon, take a look at our suggestions for the best family-friendly documentaries and the funniest TV shows to watch together!


Written By

Amy Lines

Freelance writer Amy lives in Hampshire with her 3 year old daughter, who is a super energetic, chatty child, leading to Amy’s interest in all matters to do with infant and child sleeping patterns and mindfulness for adults and children. Amy’s degree was in fashion design and she loves filling their beautiful home full of interesting textiles, tiles, art, ceramics, and houseplants or, alternatively, pining over them on Instagram. When they aren’t out exploring in the fresh air they can be found cosying up at home, painting, knitting, and dancing!

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