For parents looking for kid-friendly entertainment that won't make them pull out their hair, Netflix supplies a wealth of quality family selections. From animated classics to live-action laugh fests, here are seven of the best kids' movies streaming right now.
1) Minions (2015)
As the highest grossing non-Disney animated film of all time, Minions is the top of the heap for modern kids flicks. Sure, you might be sick of all those weird minions memes popping up on your Facebook, but the kids love the minions. The film, which comes after Despicable Me 2, follows the small, yellow creatures who only serve despicable masters through time, all the way to Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. It won a People’s Choice Award for best family film, making it a key place to start.
2) High School Musical (2006)
See Zac Efron when he was cute, not a hunk, in this Disney original movie that will ring nostalgic for a whole generation of theater kids. Before Glee brought singing and dancing mainstream, the kids of East High School were solving their problems one note at a time. It features classics like "We're All in This Together” and launched the careers of Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, and Corbin Bleu. This modern Romeo & Juliet adaptation is an ideal stream for family movie night.
3) Anastasia (1997)
This is the best way for young viewers to learn about the Russian Revolution, and something kids will likely come back to in a future Wikipedia hunt for the actual information about the actual fate of the Romanov family. (Spoiler: It’s much more depressing than the animated version will have you believe.) It’s a rare non-Disney movie during a major Disney classic era that had a vocal fanbase. It follows Anya, the supposed only living survivor of the Romanov family who doesn’t remember who she is, led on a quest to reunite with her grandmother. It’s a musical history lesson, and while there’s no prince, there’s a hot Russian servant Dimitri to ignite pre-pubescent love.
4) Fantasia (1940)
The Disney classic endures as something you can feel good about putting your kids in front of for a long stretch. Fantasia also contributes to one of the most iconic images of Mickey Mouse, in his blue sorcerer's hat during the Sorcerer's Apprentice homage. The art is beautiful, the music is a must-listen, and who cares if it was a commercial flop?
5) How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
The sequel to the 2010 Dreamworks film picks up five years later, with our hero now 20 years old. Vikings and dragons live together in peace. Hiccup and Toothless explore new lands and in the process discover a cave full of dragons, Hiccup’s long-lost mother, and they engage in a fight to save their village of Berk. Sure, Hiccup’s no Daenerys Targaryen, but the film is a thrilling dragon adventure.
6) Tinker Bell (2008)
Everyone’s favorite fairy from Peter Pan has her own series of films. In the first, the title character is born and learns she is a "tinker," or a fairy that fixes things. However, she yearns to go to the mainland and ring in the seasons. She tries to break into this new job, but another fairy sabotages her work and almost stops the coming of spring. When Tinker Bell realizes the importance embracing her tinker skills, she saves the day. Kids can find inspiration not only in Tinker Bell, but in a variety of fairies with different skills, teaching them about the importance of being themselves.
7) Holes (2003)
Before Shia LaBeouf became a walking performance art piece, he was the star of this film based on the novel by the same name. His character Stanley has bad luck due to a curse placed on his great-great-grandfather. He’s sent to a juvenile detention camp, Camp Green Lake. Their punishment is to dig holes in the dirt each day, looking for a buried treasure left behind by the dried-up lake. Stanley eventually finds a chest filled with money and jewels, which belong to his great-great-grandfather, and with his release from the juvenile detention camp, rain returns to the lake. It’s imaginative, intelligent kid-friendly fare that's held up well over time.