There are a surprising number of good Animation and Family movies available right now on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Since a lot of people have both (Prime for shipping, Netflix for watching), here are the best movies currently available ordered by their average review score from RT, Metacritic, IMDB, and Letterboxd. The Amazon/Netflix icon and the poster images link to stream each movie.
- Song of the Sea (2014) PG – 88
Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the faeries and save the spirit world.
Song of the Sea boasts narrative depth commensurate with its visual beauty, adding up to an animated saga overflowing with family-friendly riches.
- The Iron Giant (1999) PG – 86
A boy makes friend with a robot from outer space, but the army are not happy with a robot in the city.
The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
- Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) PG – 86
A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing — and bravely melancholy — story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.
- Zootopia (2016) PG – 86
In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy.
The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that’s as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation — all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
- Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) PG – 82
When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.
Warm, funny, and brilliantly animated, Shaun the Sheep is yet another stop-motion jewel in Aardman’s family-friendly crown.
- Finding Dory (2016) PG – 81
The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.
Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor’s classic story.
- Hugo (2011) PG – 81
Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.
Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids’ movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema.
- Paddington (2014) PG – 80
A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.
Paddington brings a beloved children’s character into the 21st century without sacrificing his essential charm, delivering a family-friendly adventure as irresistibly cuddly as its star.
- Coraline (2009) PG – 79
An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.
With its vivid stop-motion animation combined with Neil Gaiman’s imaginative story, Coraline is a film that’s both visually stunning and wondrously entertaining.
- A Town Called Panic (2009) Not Rated – 78
Animated plastic toys like Cowboy, Indian and Horse have problems, too. Cowboy and Indian’s plan to surprise Horse with a homemade birthday gift backfires when they destroy his house.
Imagine a world not unlike Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations mixed with a dash of Robot Chicken, The Mighty Boosh and finish with the wonder of the mind of a child at its most innocent imaginative play and you are close to the beauty that is ‘A Town Called Panic’.
- Chicken Run (2000) G – 77
When a bird “flies” into a chicken farm, the fellow chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.
Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular.
- Kung Fu Panda (2008) PG – 77
In the Valley of Peace, Po the Panda finds himself chosen as the Dragon Warrior despite the fact that he is obese and a complete novice at martial arts.
Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
- Corpse Bride (2005) PG – 77
When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.
As can be expected from a Tim Burton movie, Corpse Bride is whimsically macabre, visually imaginative, and emotionally bittersweet.
- Babe (1995) G – 76
Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett.
The rare family-friendly feature with a heart as big as its special effects budget, Babe offers timeless entertainment for viewers of all ages.
- Tarzan (1999) G – 76
A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human.
Disney’s Tarzan takes the well-known story to a new level with spirited animation, a brisk pace, and some thrilling action set-pieces.
- Stardust (2007) PG-13 – 75
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.
A faithful interpretation that captures the spirit of whimsy, action, and off-kilter humor of Neil Gaiman, Stardust juggles multiple genres and tones to create a fantastical experience.
- Anastasia (1997) G – 72
The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death.
Beautiful animation, an affable take on Russian history, and strong voice performances make Anastasia a winning first film from Fox animation studios.
- The Prince of Egypt (1998) PG – 72
An Egyptian prince learns of his identity as a Hebrew and, later his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.
The Prince of Egypt’s stunning visuals and first-rate voice cast more than compensate for the fact that it’s better crafted than it is emotionally involving.
- Dolphin Tale (2011) PG – 71
A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap.
Wisely dialing down the schmaltz, Dolphin Tale is earnest, sweet, and well-told, a rare family film that both kids and parents can enjoy.
- Happy Feet (2006) PG – 69
Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance something fierce!
Visually dazzling, with a thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers, Happy Feet marks a successful animated debut from the makers of Babe.
- Antz (1998) PG – 68
A rather neurotic ant tries to break from his totalitarian society while trying to win the affection of the princess he loves.
Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
- The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) PG – 66
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
The Spiderwick Chronicles is an entertaining children’s adventure, with heart and imagination to spare.