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The best Netflix animated movies you should add to your watchlist

From fairy tales to robots fighting humans, there's lots of great animated movies to watch on Netflix.
By
March 10, 2022
Netflix animated movies

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.

Read: What’s new on Netflix

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 noteWe will update this post as more great Netflix animated movies are added to the service’s catalog, and others depart.

The Mitchels vs The Machines

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the producers behind such hit movies as The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, produced this original Netflix film. It’s about a modern-day family with typical problems at first. Then an evil artificial intelligence decides to take over the Earth via its machines and technology. Believe it or not, the Mitchels are humanity’s last hope. This is a generally funny family film and one of the best Netflix animated movies.

Klaus

netflix animated klaus

Netflix’s Christmas movies have leaned towards cheesy romantic fare, but the streaming service has an instant classic on its 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.

White Fang

white fang
Netflix

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.

Wish Dragon

This 2021 Netflix original was made specifically for Asian audiences but can be enjoyed by literally anyone. It’s basically the story of Alladin but set in present-day Shanghai. A young man, who misses his female best friend, finds a dragon trapped in a tea kettle. The “wish dragon” tries to help the man connect back with his best friend, but of course, things are not that easy to fix.

Next Gen

Next Gen Netflix

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.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

how to train your dragon 2
Netflix

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.

Monsters vs Aliens

This movie has a classic premise: an alien invasion of Earth has started, and no human can defeat them. However, some monsters (and one 50-story tall woman) have a shot at defeating the alien menace, if they can get their own lives in order first. It’s definitely different than the other movies on this list, but it’s well worth checking out.

Shrek

Shrek

One of the best Netflix animated movies on this list, Shrek takes apart some classic fairy tale stories while at the same time offering a new tale that could fit right in with those legendary stories. An ogre named Shrek who lives in the swamp just wants to be left alone. However, he gets involved with the evil king of this land to recuse a princess so the king can marry her. As Shrek soon learns, this arrangement is not what it first seems to be. Mike Myers is perfect as the voice of Shrek, and Eddie Murphy is equally perfect as the voice of Shrek’s friend Donkey.

Also read: The best Studio Ghibli movies coming to Netflix and HBO Max

Over The Moon

over the moon netflix
Netflix

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.

Despicable Me

netflix animated despicable me

What do supervillains do when they are not trying to take over or destroy the world? We find out in this excellent movie. Steve Carell plays Gru, who spends his days coming up with weapons and plans to take over the planet. Things take a turn when he encounters three orphan sisters who need a home, and Gru slowly starts to develop real human feelings. We are also introduced to his mutant henchmen, the Minions. These short yellow creatures became so popular, a spinoff movie featuring them was released, with a second in the works.

Honorable mentions

Here are a few more Netflix animated movies that didn’t make our “best of” list:

  • Kung Fu Panda — A lazy panda has to learn how to fight to save the kingdom in this mix of animation and kung fu.
  • Dog Gone Trouble — A dog, who is pampered by his rich owners, finds himself lost in the big city.
  • Monster House — A trio of kids tries to solve the mystery of a haunted house that seems to actually eat people.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — An inventor makes a way for food to be created via clouds, but things quickly get out of control.
  • Mr. Peabody and Sherman — The classic TV series is rebooted, about a super-intelligent dog, his young human friend, and a time machine.