If you are looking for great Netflix animated movies, look no further. We have picked out the best ones made by Disney, Sony Animation, Universal/Illumination, and a bunch of other studios.
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Keep in mind that this article is for standard animated movies on Netflix. If you are a fan of anime-based animated movies, we have our top picks for those kinds of films on Netflix as well.
Best Netflix animated movies:
Editor’s note – We will update this post as more great Netflix animated movies are added to the service’s catalog, and others depart.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
What was the best superhero movie in 2018? Avengers: Infinity War? Black Panther? Aquaman? Incredibles 2? Nope. In our view, the best superhero movie of 2018 was Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The Academy Award winner for the best-animated film of 2018, this Sony Animation-Marvel movie not only introduces us to Miles Morales as a new version of Spider-Man, but it also brings us lots of other versions of the web-slinger from different universes. The funny and cool story is helped by 3D animation that seems to come out straight from the comics page.
Netflix’s Christmas movies have leaned towards cheesy romantic fare, but the streaming service has an instant classic on their hands with Klaus. The beautiful, hand-drawn animation brings to life a new take on the origins of Santa Claus.
Jesper (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), the Postal Academy’s worst student, is stationed at the dreary settlement of Smeerensburg in the North Pole. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with Klaus, the toymaker, voiced by the always amazing J.K. Simmons, and helps bring life, light, and laughter back to the drab town.
3. Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Here’s another Disney film on our best Netflix animated movie list. The 2018 sequel Wreck-It Ralph finds the arcade video game “villain” Ralph, along with his friend Vanellope Von Schweet, traveling into the internet to help save the characters in a racing game from becoming homeless.
The plot doesn’t matter much; the enjoyment of this animated movie comes with Ralph’s and Vanellope’s interactions with the companies and characters of the internet. That includes many cameos from Disney-owned characters, including a memorable sequence with nearly all the Disney princesses.
4. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
The 2018 released movie from Universal-Illumination is just the latest adaptation of the classic Christmas-themed tale from Dr. Seuss. The movie has Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the title role. While he’s not as crazy as Jim Carrey in the older live-action adaptation, Cumberbatch does have a lot of funny and cruel scenes as he tries to ruin the holidays for Whoville’s populace.
5. Next Gen
Netflix also has its own original animated movies for kids and family members to watch. That includes Next Gen, a sci-fi movie from 2018. It centers on a young girl who lives in a future where there are lots of robots. However, she happens to hate robots and is also constantly bullied. In the midst of all this, she meets an AI robot prototype (voiced by John Krasinski). Together, they have to stop a threat that could bring down the entire planet. The storyline is fun and makes some good points about treating people fairly, and the animation is also solid.
6. How To Train Your Dragon 2
Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and Toothless return in this 2014 sequel. The story picks up again after a five-year time jump, in which time, dragons and the Vikings villagers have learned to get along. Dragon racing is now a favorite past-time, and all seems to be well. Hiccup continues his search for new and far away lands, only to stumble across something that once again brings battle back to Berk.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is an excellent follow-up and sets up the trilogy’s final installment quite well. You’ll, unfortunately, need to have a subscription to three different services to enjoy the series in its entirety, but you can catch this movie on Netflix.
7. The Little Prince
Based on the classic children’s book, this is a 2016 Netflix animated film that uses different techniques (3D, 2D, and even stop motion) to tell its tale of a young girl who befriends an older man. He tells her stories of encountering The Little Prince, who lives on a tiny planet. It’s definitely different than the other movies on this list, but it’s well worth checking out.
8. The Breadwinner
Unlike other Netflix animated movies on this list, The Breadwinner isn’t exactly a jolly film to play for a fun night with the family. This movie takes on a more serious note, telling the story of Parvana, an Afghan girl living under the Taliban’s control.
The girl becomes the provider for her family after her father is arrested. Because girls don’t have the same freedoms as men, she has to cut her hair off and dress as a boy. A new world makes her braver, and she gets the courage to go looking for her dad.
9. Over The Moon
After Klaus (also on this list) and The Willoughby’s (2020), Netflix Animation, in conjunction with Pearl Studio and Sony Pictures Imageworks, is back with another fantastic animated feature film — Over The Moon. Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), upon learning that her father (John Cho) is going to marry Mrs. Zhong (Sandra Oh), builds a rocket and jets off to find the moon goddess.
The story tropes are familiar, and almost nostalgic in a way, in its exploration of the importance of family and one’s ability to accept overwhelming change. However, the excellent voice cast and fantastic animation make the latest Netflix Animation release worth checking out.
10. Walt Display Animation Studios short films collection
Disney’s animated studios don’t just make full feature films. This collection of 12 animated short subjects has a ton of variety, including two Academy Award winners in Paperman and Feast. Popular characters from Frozen and Tangled return, and “Tangled Ever After” is a particularly fun watch with two “side” characters that deserve in the spotlight.
Both Paperman and Feast are definitely worth the watch and are Oscar winners for a reason. I also highly recommend “The Match Girl.” The oscar-nominated short from 2006 is beautifully animated and tugs at your heartstrings. All 12 shorts are quite different and unique and are bound to keep any audience engaged.