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Best family films on Netflix right now

Tired of scrolling through Netflix trying to find a film the whole family can enjoy? From new indie releases to timeless classics, here are 10 of the best family-friendly films available in the UK right now.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jun 2, 2021

Family Films

1. Spirited Away (PG)

Spirited Away

Japan's highest-grossing film of all time, Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away is an animated adventure following a young girl called Chihiro, and her family as they are sucked into a magical world inspired by Japanse folklore. It's up to Chihiro to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human realm.

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Depending on your child's maturity, Spirited Away might be a bit scary for very young children. If so, My Neighbour Totoro is a good anime film for the more sensitive to start with. And if they enjoy those, there are plenty of similar films from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki to watch on Netflix – but be warned, as this Mumsnetter will attest to, your child may become obsessed.

“It's wonderful, magical, a wee bit scary, but not too much. One thing, it's a gateway film. Be prepared for all things Miyazaki, from here it's a short step to your house being overrun with Totoros.”

2. The Book of Life (U)

Book of Life

Growing up in San Ángel, Mexico, Manolo must choose between fulfilling the expectations of his family and becoming bullfighter, or following his lifelong dream of becoming a musician. As he tries to make up his mind, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds and forces him to battle his greatest fears.

“The Book of Life is great!”

3. The Never-Ending Story (U)

Never-ending Story

Bastian, a ten-year-old bookish boy, finds himself lost in the mythical world of Fantasia when he sneaks into a book shop to avoid bullies, in this fantasy classic. Made in 1984, you may have watched this yourself as a child and remember being taken on an out-of-this world experience. Whilst the film might be close to 40 years old now, it's aged well and is still tonnes of fun for children.

“Watched it at Easter with the kids – my seven-year-old son was entranced. I've always loved it.”

4. The Breadwinner (12A)

The Bread Winner

Definitely not for younger children, but a good choice if you have any politically or socially concious children. Nominated for an Academy Award and produced by Angelina Jolie, it follows Parvana, an 11-year-old living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule as she attempts to secure her father's freedom. It's based on the book by Deborah Ellis, if your children are more bookworms than film buffs. If they (or you) get along with it, Persepolis (12) is another fantastic socio-political animated film, based on the cult classic graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi.

5. Charlotte's Web (U)

Charlottes Web

Based on the classic children's book, Charlotte's Web follows a young girl named Fern and her pet piglet Wilbur. When Wilbur grows into a pig, Fern is forced to sell him to her Uncle Zuckerman's farm. There he meets a whole host of animals – among them a friendly spider called Charlotte – from whom he learns that his fate will be on a dinner plate. Can his new friends save Wilbur from the chop?

“We thought it was brill. Laughed lots and also cried.”

“Charlotte runs the whole show and manipulates the situation. Fab little film."

6. Eddie the Eagle (PG)

Eddie the Eagle

Based on the true story of Eddie Edwards (the unlikely British ski jumper who stole the show at the 1988 Winter Olympics) this is a feel-good film about being the underdog and never giving up on your dreams. It also stars the lovely Hugh Jackman as Eddie's charming maverick coach.

“We recently watched the Eddie The Eagle film and everyone seemed to like it!”

7. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Night at the Museum

At the Museum of Natural History in New York, Larry the night manager is looking after a new exhibit which features the Tablet of Ahkmenrah. Upon realising that the tablet is corroding and that its magical ability to bring exhibits to life at night is diminishing, Larry embarks on a quest with the help of old and new friends – from Octavius to Teddy Roosevelt – to restore the magic.

“Very funny and educational – we all love the Night at the Museum films.”

“Brilliant for the whole family.”

8. Shrek (U)

Shrek

This Dreamworks Studios classic is funnier than ever – no matter your age. A mean-spirited ogre befriends a chatty donkey and the rest is history. Shrek brings to life a range of fairytale characters such as The Gingerbread Man, Puss In Boots and The Three Little pigs in a moving tale of love, war and friendship.

9. Hook (PG)

Hook

Despite his insistence to the contrary, Peter Pan (Robin Williams) is now all grown up and married to Wendy Darling's granddaughter. When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, Peter must return to Neverland once more and reconnect with the boy he once was, in order to save his family.

“In my opinion there is no better family film than Hook.”

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10. Happy Feet (U)

Happy Feet

It's hard to get more feel-good than a bunch of singing, tap-dancing penguins singing classic pop songs. Truly suitable for all ages, whether you're watching with someone aged 1 or 100 you can't go wrong with Happy Feet. The all-star cast features family-film hero Robin Williams, as well as Elijah Wood and Brittany Murphy.

“The kids all loved it. I like the underlying storyline about Mumble being like he is, and thought it was lovely.”

Titles available at time of publication.