Family movie night is sort of a tradition for many families, at least in western culture. The secret to a good kids movie is finding something that will entertain everyone. Let’s be honest, Dreamworks is probably the best studio when it comes to incorporating grown-up humor. Despite this, I have a soft spot for Disney. Maybe it’s because of the characters and storylines, maybe it’s because it was such a big part of my childhood. Whatever the reason, Disney movies are an excellent choice for family movie night.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best Disney movies available for Netflix below. Keep in mind that a lot of Disney flicks have been removed from Netflix when Disney Plus launched, and the same may happen to the movies on this list eventually.
Best Disney movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as Disney movies leave and others make their debut on Netflix.
1. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
A few big names star in this movie including Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren. The story revolves around a girl named Clara who is transported into a parallel world where she meets a soldier by the name of Phillip along with the regents who control the three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. It’s up to Clara and Phillip to head to the Fourth Realm, which is the home of the tyrant Mother Ginger, to restore peace in what is an unstable world. There’s a lot more to the story, of course, but we don’t want to spoil it for you. This really is a great movie and is primarily aimed at kids.
2. Incredibles 2
I’ll be honest, I strongly prefer the original. So do my kids. Still, it’s a good movie and worth watching and comes close to matching the magic of the original. The movie follows directly after the events of the first, with superheroes still being illegal. Elastagirl is hired to help shift public opinion so that superhero work will become legal once more. Meanwhile Mr. Incredible finds himself taking on the role of a stay at home dad, all while being more than a little jealous of the attention his wife is getting.
Bolt isn’t necessarily a Disney masterpiece, but it’s a fun movie that’s at least a little different from the typical Disney movie formula and that makes it one of the best Disney movies on Netflix. The movie follows Bolt, the canine star of a TV show about a dog with superpowers. The only thing is he doesn’t realize it’s all a TV show. After believing his owner is legitimately in danger, Bolt finds himself on a long journey in the outside world where he soon discovers his powers aren’t working. There are some catchy pop songs and it’s certainly watchable enough as an adult, and odds are your little ones will love it.
4. Christopher Robin
I wasn’t sure I’d bother watching this one, but finally we bite the bullet when it hit Netflix. I’m glad we took the time because the story was fun, and there was a lot of nostalgia. Like pretty much every kids movie ever, the story has some predictable moments, but it’s heartwarming enough and should be good for both younger and older kids (though teens would likely find it a bit boring). The movie of course centers around Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh, but with a twist: little Robin is all grown up and has forgotten all about the hundred-acre woods.
There was a point in time when my son would request that we play this movie at least several times a week. Despite seeing it hundreds of times, this remains one of my favorite Disney movies even if it’s not quite up to the standard of the Lion King or Aladdin. I would say this is easily one of the best Disney movies on Netflix right now, as well as one of the best Disney movies period.
With a great soundtrack (courtesy of Phil Collins) and a decent Disney-ized adaptation of the classic Tarzan story, there’s a lot to like here. Tony Goldwyn and Minnie Driver offer excellent performances, playing Tarzan and Jane respectively. This movie does have some sad moments but most of it happens relatively off-scene, making the movie perfectly acceptable for even the littlest ones in your family.
6. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
I was a big fan of Wreck it Ralph. As you expect from sequels, Ralph Breaks the Internet isn’t quite as charming as its predecessor but it’s still fun to watch and my kids absolutely loved it. After a part breaks from the game Sugar Rush, Vanellope and Ralph head into the internet to try to find a way to fix it. Along the way the two characters have to split up, sending the young princess on a journey of self-realization in the process. Just like the first film, friendship is the overall theme of the movie but the direction it takes is certainly a bit different.
7. Princess and the Frog
We’ve all heard the tale of the frog prince growing up, but this charming Disney movie takes things in a different direction. After kissing the frog prince our unsuspecting heroine is turned into a frog. Eventually the two must work together if they want to ever become human again. Along the way, they meet a bunch of fun characters, sing some catchy songs, and realize that what they want and they need in life are not necessarily the same thing. The story is relatively predictable but it’s a fun watch. It’s also the last hand-drawn Disney movie to date which gives it a special place in my heart.
8. Chicken Little
Like Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little is a bit wacky but that’s probably why it remains a favorite among my kids. This movie didn’t do well rating wise but it’s still enjoyable enough, especially if you love the TV show Scrubs (as it stars Zach Braff as Chicken Little).
Chicken Little is a fun twist on the Chicken Little (also known to some as Henny Penny) fable. You know, the story of a young chicken who claims the sky is falling. The movie fast-forwards past the (Disney-ized version of) events of from the fable. Chicken Little is basically the butt of many jokes in his town of Shady Oaks and his own father is embarrassed by him constantly. Chicken Little sets out on a path to remedy his reputation but when a piece of sky falls once more it looks like there may be more to his claim than originally believed.
So that’s it for our look at the best Disney movies on Netflix, but we’re just really scratching the surface. For even more Disney Netflix films head here.