Cartoon shenanigans, animated drama, universally adored characters—this list of animated movies suits perfectly for family night.
We have curated an exceptional assortment of animated children’s movies, handpicked just for you. Prepare to be entertained by our collection featuring various titles from acclaimed studios such as Disney, Pixar, and Studio Ghibli (with a special emphasis on Disney).
While these giants take the spotlight, we have also included a delightful selection of other cherished family classics for your enjoyment.
Best Animated Family Movies
Deciding on a single movie to watch from streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix may prove challenging. This list is here to help.
35Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” humorously transforms a kids’ picture book into a food-filled romp. Aspiring inventor Flint Lockwood, residing in the sardine-dependent village of Swallow Falls with his father and pet monkey, struggles to perfect a food-replicating device to diversify the local diet.
However, an overpowered experiment goes awry, causing it to rain delectable meals, grabbing news attention and a weather girl’s interest.
34Beauty and the Beast: Disney+
“Beast and the Beast” is a recurrent Disney Princess narrative uniquely recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best picture—a first for animated films. Rooted in a 1700s French fable, it stands out through subtle changes, Broadway-grade songs by Ash and Menken, and superior animation.
Belle, an avid reader, rejects Gaston’s advances; she offers herself captive to the Beast, who has captured her father, thereby discovering a curse afflicting the Prince and his castle.
33How to Train Your Dragon
Dreamworks Animation adapted this film from the first book in Cressida Cowell’s series, birthing a franchise. The vibrant animation brings the story of Hiccup, a young Viking boy, to life in a captivating adventure. Instead of following his destined path to become a dragon slayer, Hiccup forms an empathetic bond with a mystical creature he names “Toothless.”
Families seeking a whimsical, thought-provoking film with captivating visuals and a unique storyline will find this cartoon movie perfect.
Hayao Miyazaki crafts a moving, dreamlike tale about a young girl, transformed into a pig by a witch along with her parents, journeying through an enchantingly beautiful world filled with thrilling adventures. As one of the all-time best animated films, it claimed the Academy Award for Best Animated Film.
“Coco,” an Oscar-winning best animated feature, stands as one of Disney-Pixar’s most lauded films. Despite his family’s past incident leading to a ban on music, Miguel harbors dreams of becoming a musician and idolizes the renowned singer, Ernesto de la Cruz.
Suspecting de la Cruz to be his grandfather, Miguel journeys to the land of the dead on Día de los Muertos to uncover the truth. There, he encounters his ancestors and a peculiar man, Hector, who fears oblivion as no one in the land of the living recalls him.
30Inside Out: Disney+
Prepare for a roller coaster of emotions with one of Pixar’s most creatively crafted family flicks! This sweet movie casts a little girl’s feelings—Disgust, Joy, and Sadness, among others—as the key characters.
They join her on an unplanned adventure as she moves from the Midwest to the West Coast. This clever, charming, and hilariously gut-busting movie is bound to win the whole crew’s heart. You can stream it on Disney+. It’s rated PG.
29The Mitchells Vs. the Machines
The team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse brings you a visual marvel in The Mitchells, drawing inspiration from classic road-trip films.
It showcases parents striving to bond with their unengaged kids, features pit stops at roadside attractions, and even involves a quest to liberate humanity from a machine apocalypse initiated by a sentient iPhone and an army of robots.
While the Griswolds never faced this scenario, at its core, The Mitchells remains a heartwarming family film. Its humor lands with a precision that resonates with both parents and kids. It’s rated PG.
Despite the minimal dialogue, particularly in the first half, this Pixar flick captivates kids. Wall-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, represents the last robot on Earth.
He busies himself picking up leftover trash from a past era until he encounters a female robot named EVE. This encounter sparks a new passion within him and propels both of them onto an exciting galactic adventure. It leaves kids with an essential message about preserving our Earth.
Disney expertly weaves magical tales, and Cinderella is no exception! This story revolves around a sweet young woman falling in love with a prince, complete with spirited mice friends, a comical hero dog, a fairy godmother, captivating songs, and an evil stepmother. These elements are sure to enchant you.
Children will delight in watching the birds and mice craft Cinderella’s ball gown, and cheer when these animal friends later rescue her from the attic, ensuring she gets to try on the glass slipper before the prince’s footman departs.
26Despicable Me: On Peacock
After five films and endless memes, it’s easy to overlook “Despicable Me” beyond the Minions. However, Illumination Studios’ debut was notably unique. It cleverly combines a Looney Tunes-style take on a reverse James Bond plot with slightly edgy humor, appealing to both kids and adults.
The protagonist, Gru, a down-on-his-luck supervillain, aims to restore his status by stealing the moon. This plan involves kidnapping three cookie-selling orphans to get a shrink ray, a rather dark plot for a children’s film. Nonetheless, “Despicable Me” perfectly balances the darkness with timely doses of warmth.
25Fantastic Mr. Fox: On Disney+
“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book, skillfully employs Wes Anderson’s signature techniques to evoke the author’s uniquely whimsical yet sharp tone. Mr. and Mrs. Fox used to pilfer chickens until their son Ash’s impending birth persuaded Mr. Fox to adopt a stable job as a newspaper columnist.
However, a dozen fox years later, wearied by the monotonous lifestyle and underground living, he impulsively mortgages a tree adjacent to three farms and devises mischievous plans again. Alarmingly, he drags his nephew, his son, and a friendly possum into his schemes.
His reckless behavior endangers not only his family but also his anthropomorphic community, making him fear the consequences of his actions.
In the American version of Hayao Miyazaki’s exceptional anime adventure, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson voice the characters.
The story revolves around a tiny aquatic creature yearning to become human, who embarks on a series of quirky, heartfelt adventures with a young boy. This stunningly animated, enchanting tale about family and youthful friendships will captivate your children.
This animated comedy invites you on a rollicking journey through prehistoric tundra, following three ancient creatures on a mission to reunite a human baby with his tribe. The CGI animation humorously animates the ancient world, offering fun for the entire family.
22The Incredibles: Disney+
Four years before “Iron Man” launched the MCU, Pixar scored a big superhero hit with “The Incredibles,” even featuring Samuel L. Jackson! The film revolves around the Parr family: Bob, Helen, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack.
As public sentiment sours towards uncontrolled vigilantism, the authorities relocate the super-powered family – possessing strength, speed, elasticity, invisibility, and combustion – to live a normal suburban life under the Superhero Relocation Program.
However, a new supervillain’s menacing robots draw Bob out of retirement, turning crime-fighting into a family business.
21James and the Giant Peach: Disney+
Adapted from Roald Dahl’s inaugural novel, “James and the Giant Peach” offers unique animation, blending Tim Burton’s surreal, gothic style with vibrant stop-motion.
James, living under his cruel aunts Spiker and Sponge after a rhino devours his parents, rescues a spider and subsequently triggers the growth of a huge peach nearby.
His aunts capitalize on it, but James can’t resist tasting the fruit. Before long, he finds himself inside the peach with a group of insects, including the saved spider. Their journey to New York City begins as the peach starts rolling.
This Disney masterpiece showcases the exceptional animation prowess of Disney Studios. Exquisite cartoons come alive amidst live-action shots of an orchestra producing a grand score from classical music giants like Beethoven and Bach. The enchanting animated segments featuring fairies, dinosaurs, spirits, and centaurs will charm youngsters.
Viewers of all ages will adore the renowned scene where sorcerer’s apprentice Mickey oversteps his bounds with magic. “Fantasia” is a cartoon movie that’s bound to mesmerize you.
19Kung Fu Panda
“Kung Fu Panda,” a martial arts cartoon movie, awaits you if that’s your dream genre. Jack Black provides the voice for Po, a humorous panda predestined to become the hero, despite his lacking Kung Fu abilities.
With training and a star-studded cast, including Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, and Angelina Jolie, this Dreamworks Animation comedy promises a fun ride.
18The Iron Giant
This animated film, based on Ted Hughes’ Cold War tale, follows a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) who crash-lands in the small town of Rockwell, Maine, in 1957. Local 9-year-old boy Hogarth discovers and befriends the robot.
However, when paranoid government agent Kent Mansley sets out to destroy the robot, Hogarth and beatnik Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.) must fight to protect their misunderstood mechanical friend.
17My Neighbor Totoro
In 1958 Japan, a young girl named Satsuki (voiced by Dakota Fanning) moves with her family to the countryside due to her mother’s illness.
In their new residence, magical beings appear, guiding Satsuki into a forest filled with astonishing encounters. A giant rabbit-like creature, Totoro, known as the “keeper of the forest,” assists her in adjusting to her changing world and new environment.
Inspired by J.M. Barrie’s classic book, Peter Pan is a movie tailored for kids who never want to age. One night, Pan and his fairy companion, Tinkerbell, soar into the Darling family’s London flat, home to Wendy and her two brothers.
They whisk the children off to Neverland, a realm where aging is nonexistent. Here, they encounter mermaids, the Lost Boys, Princess Tiger Lily, and face the challenge of overcoming Captain Hook.
Nemo, a charming yet naive young clownfish, has a deep desire to discover the world beyond his home shell. His curiosity leads him too far from his father, Marlin, resulting in his capture by a diver. Marlin embarks on a frantic search for his son, while Nemo faces a shark and other perils.
Along the journey, Nemo encounters a funny and endearing blue fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), who struggles with short-term memory loss.
This classic cartoon movie, featuring the voice of Robin Williams as the inimitable blue genie, is a favorite among kids. Aladdin, the young protagonist, stumbles upon a magic lamp and uses it to win Princess Jasmine’s heart.
You’ll find yourself swept away, possibly even singing along, to the Academy Award-winning song “A Whole New World,” during a thrilling magic carpet ride. The movie packs plenty of humor, much like these 100 funniest films.
The 2009 short computer-animated television film, The Gruffalo, springs from the 1999 picture book penned by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Jakob Schuh and Max Lang directed the film, while Michael Rose and Martin Pope from Magic Light Pictures, London, and Orange Eyes Limited produced it in partnership with the award-winning Studio Soi in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
An ensemble cast, including Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, John Hurt, and Tom Wilkinson, voiced the characters. The UK premiere on BBC One, aired on Friday, 25 December 2009, attracted an audience of 9.8 million viewers. The film later earned nominations for both an Academy Award and a BAFTA.
12Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: Disney+
The honorary Oscar awarded to Walt Disney for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” resonates with its cultural impact even today. “Snow White” played a crucial role in establishing the studio that continues to be a major player in the entertainment industry, generations on.
This film, based on a Grimm fairy tale, revolves around Snow White’s vain and jealous stepmother who orders a woodsman to murder her, aiming to remain the fairest in the land.
However, seven dwarves protect her until her prince arrives. While some elements might not resonate as strongly with contemporary audiences, “Snow White,” as an artistic masterpiece, still stands the test of time.
11Song of the Sea
When you desire to infuse magic and wonder into your family movie night, screen this lush and gorgeously animated Irish film. Despite the era of CGI, animators hand-drew this mythological tale, endowing it with a rich detail and a stirring beauty.
The narrative traces the journey of a brother and his sister, a selkie, as they wrestle with an Owl Witch and quest for their vanished mother.
10Big Hero 6
In the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, a vengeful villain steals an invention from 14-year-old genius Hiro Hamada, leading to his brother’s death.
To thwart this villain, Hiro assembles a team of science-themed superheroes. Among them, Baymax, an irresistibly adorable medical robot, stands out. You’re likely to consider this as the cutest superhero movie you’ve ever watched.
9The Secret World of Arrietty
Studio Ghibli’s delightful animated movie introduces you to the Clock family – tiny people only a few inches high. They secretly inhabit a human house, pilfering items for survival.
A human boy stumbles upon them and seeks friendship with the family’s daughter. Despite the size gap, they become friends. Mary Norton’s children’s book, The Borrowers, serves as the basis for this captivating story.
Sir Lionel Frost, a struggling investigator of mythical creatures in 1886, tirelessly pursued various creatures to study and announce to the world. His goal was to gain acceptance into the “Society of Great Men”, led by his rival, Lord Piggot-Dunceby.
After receiving a letter confirming the existence of a Sasquatch, Lionel struck a deal with Piggot-Dunceby – if he could prove the creature’s reality, he would earn his place in the society.
Disney excels at creating talkative animals, traditionally in doghouses, savannas, or seas. “Zootopia” introduces a shared urban environment where herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores coexist.
The protagonist, Judy Hopps, a rabbit, excelled in police training but faces parking duty due to her supervisor’s species-based bias. She crosses paths with a fox, Nick Wilde, and despite initial prejudices, they partner up to solve a missing otter case. “Zootopia” skillfully weaves a tale of prejudice, presenting a fun, family-friendly mystery.
6Over the Moon
Parents should be aware that Over the Moon presents mild fantasy violence and a few sadder scenarios – a mother’s demise and a “Chamber of Exquisite Sadness” for those engulfed in grief. However, these elements ultimately pave the way for positive lessons and personal growth.
The main character, Fei Fei (voiced by Cathy Ang), is part of a loving extended family that frequently unites over food in their picturesque Chinese village. She also shines in science and employs her talents to construct a rocket.
5All Dogs Go To Heaven
Anyone who has watched “All Dogs Go to Heaven” cherishes the memory of their first viewing. The tale revolves around a dog con artist who artfully swindles his way back to Earth following a car accident. Surprisingly, he forges a connection with a young orphan girl blessed with the ability to communicate with animals.
Thanks to the legendary animator Don Bluth, expect to shed a fair share of tears during this film. Additionally, don’t miss the iconic nightmare sequence.
4The Red Turtle
If your family seeks a beautiful, thought-provoking anime film, “The Red Turtle” is the perfect choice. From the first moments, the haunting tale of a shipwrecked man befriended by a large red turtle will captivate you. For those still searching for heart-stirring films, consider the most romantic movies of all time.
3Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – Disney+
Disney’s “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, a mature and darker blend of live-action and animation, is set in 1947’s Toontown, where humans and cartoons coexist. Eddie Valiant, a private investigator, is hired by studio head R.K. Maroon to spy on his star, Roger Rabbit, and Roger’s stunning wife, Jessica.
When Valiant reveals evidence of an affair between Jessica and Toontown’s owner Marvin Acme, Acme is found dead, leaving a distraught Roger. However, with Acme’s missing will and Maroon’s suspicious actions, Valiant suspects the case isn’t as straightforward as it appears.
Get ready for an exhilarating adventure where possibilities are limitless. Meet June, a young girl with an immense imagination, as she uncovers an extraordinary revelation – her dream amusement park has magically sprung to life.
Populated by spirited animals and brimming with the most thrilling rides, the park offers non-stop excitement. However, when adversity strikes, June and her ragtag group of furry companions embark on an unforgettable quest to rescue the park.
Bambi, a baby fawn, explores and discovers his world. He becomes captivated by a young doe named Faline, as well as his new friends Thumper, a bunny, and Flower, a skunk.
However, tragedy befalls Bambi’s once-peaceful forest existence, teaching him a profound lesson about the threat hunters pose. Despite this, young kids will be delighted by the carefree life in the forest and the vibrant personalities of the characters.
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