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. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Before their work on The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller made their feature writing and directing debuts with this great 2009 movie. It tells the story of a scientist who comes up with a way to make food out of water. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for us as an audience) his invention goes completely out of control. This is a generally funny family film and one of the best Netflix animated movies.
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. White Fang
Based on the classic Jack London novel, this 2018 film centers on a young wolf-dog hybrid who at the beginning of the film gets separated from his mother in the Yukon. We see his journey to get back home as he grows up, and encounters a number of different human “masters.” This is a beautiful film to look at, and its story is also universal as well.
4. The Polar Express
The 2004 Christmas-themed tale is fun to watch, no matter what the season is. Based on the popular children’s book, it features a mysterious train who drives by a boy’s home on Christmas Eve. The boy’s journey on the trail will feature a trip to the North Pole, a visit from Santa, and all under the watchful eye of the train’s conductor, voiced and motion captured by Tom Hanks.
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 Croods
One of the best Netflix animated movies on this list, The Croods is a simple story about a family trying to find a new home after their old one is destroyed. The twist? This family lives in prehistoric times and gets kicked out of their cave after an earthquake.
This 2015 movie is memorable for its voice cast, which includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, and the always great Nicolas Cage. You can also rent or buy the recent sequel to this movie, The Croods: A New Age, via Amazon Prime Video.
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.