Netflix has animated features for kids on lock, with plenty of Disney animated classics and other films available right now. When it comes to animated films for adults, though, Netflix could stand to do a little better; you don't have to be a child to want some quality animated content! Still, there are some quality animated films for your viewing pleasure, beyond your typical Disney movie. You just have to dig a little and then instantly watch some of the greatest animation movies currently available on Netflix.
If you're looking for something more diverse, check out our overall list of the best movies on Netflix. Looking for some of the best comedy shows on TV? Check out our list of the best comedy TV shows on Netflix that are guaranteed to make you laugh. Otherwise, make tonight a family night and scroll through the list of the best animated movies on Netflix right now to find the perfect movie to watch for the entire family.
Director: Tony Barcroft & Barry Cook
Starring: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong
One of the most action-packed animated Disney movies and based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Mulan follows young Mulan (Ming-Na Wen), as she disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in the Chinese military. Alongside her tiny dragon, Mushu (Eddie Murphy), Mulan helps the army ward off the incoming Hun invasion. Mulan doesn’t look like many other Disney movies, thanks to its gorgeous landscapes and tense action sequences. It’s as funny as other Disney movies, though, thanks mostly to Murphy’s performance, and also has more emotion with its depictions of family and the effects of war on ordinary people. Mulan famously has some of the best written songs in the Disney canon, as well, including “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”, which are impossible not to hear on any given Disney karaoke night. Mulan is one of Disney’s best.
The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Director: Mark Dindal
Starring: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt
Easily the most meta animated movie Disney has ever released, The Emperor’s New Groove is a strange and delightful beast. The movie follows arrogant Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) as he’s accidentally turned into a llama by this power-hungry advisor Yzma (Eartha Kitt) and must figure out a way to stop her, with the help of good-natured peasant Pacha (John Goodman). The Emperor’s New Groove is easily the most postmodern of Disney’s animated canon, thanks to Kuzco’s self aware narration, his ability to pause the film and comment on the action, and several other gags throughout the movie. The Emperor’s New Groove is one of Disney’s most ridiculous movies, but also one of their funniest.
Director: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson
Starring: Woody Allen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Gene Hackman
Z (Allen), a worker ant, faces a dreary life of moving dirt for his colony until he dies. A bit on the scrawny and reflective side, he doesn’t much care for his future and strives for more. He finds it when the ant princess (Stone) visits the worker bar one night and dances with him. Discovering that she gives his life meaning, he switches places with his burly soldier best friend (Stallone) to get close to her. But he gets led into battle, where he is the only survivor after a gruesome clash with acid-shooting termites. He returns a war hero, but soon, his deceit gets found out. So he escapes with the princess to the mythic land of Insectopia—an overflowing garbage can in Central Park. When she’s captured and brought back to the colony, Z discovers a sinister plot by a eugenics-spouting general to flood away the “weaker elements of the colony.” Being a member of those weaker elements, he rallies his comrades to resist this mass extermination.
Director: Ron Clements & John Musker
Starring: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods
Greek mythology by nature is not family-friendly thanks to the large amounts of sex and violence present in several myths. But in 1997, Disney managed to adapt a Greek myth into one of their most popular films. Loosely based on the mythical hero Heracles, Hercules follows the titular son of Zeus (Tate Donovan) as he’s snatched as a baby by Hades (James Woods) and forced to live among mortals. As Hercules grows up, he learns his true parentage and strength, and must band together with his friends to stop Hades from releasing the monstrous Titans on the world. Hercules is a plucky delight, but the side characters of Hercules are where the movie really shines: Megara is one of the best female characters in a Disney film, thanks to her snark and complicated morality, Phil is one of the funniest, thanks to Danny DeVito’s voice acting, and the use of a gospel choir as a Greek chorus is an unorthodox but strangely wonderful choice for the film as a whole. Hercules is a blast.
Monster House (2006)
Director: Gil Kenan
Starring: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke
An interesting mix of kids’ movie and horror flick, Monster House boasts an inventive premise. It follows teenager DJ (Mitchel Musso) and his friends as they learn that a house on their street is not only haunted, but is also a living breathing monster. This premise goes to some strange places, and thanks to the state of the art (at the time) animation, the titular monster house comes to life in wondrous, creepy fashion. As written by Community and Rick & Morty creator Dan Harmon, Monster House transcends its would-be-silly premise with well-written characters, a surprisingly mature story, and some solid scares that might just turn a kid into a horror movie fan. Monster House is an odd and underrated delight.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Director: Dean Deblois & Chris Sanders
Starring: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere
One of Disney’s most inventive animated movies, Lilo & Stitch follows a young Hawaiian girl who takes in an alien designed for chaos and destruction as a pet after he crash lands on Earth. As they become close, their friendship is threatened by an FBI agent and Stitch’s alien creators, who seek to contain him. Hawaii has never looked better than it does in this movie, thanks to some beautifully designed beaches and luscious island landscapes. Lilo & Stitch is also one of the most heartwarming animated Disney films, especially if you’re close to a pet, thanks to the realistic relationship between Lilo and Stitch. A favorite among ‘90s and aughts kids, Lilo & Stitch is absolutely worth a rewatch when you’re feeling nostalgic.
Meet The Robinsons (2007)
Director: Stephen Anderson
Starring: Daniel Hansen, Wesley Singerman, Angela Bassett
An underrated part of Disney’s 2000s animated filmography, Meet The Robinsons deserves more love. Orphaned boy genius Lewis (Daniel Hansen) is suddenly whisked into a fantastical future by the mysterious Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman) and meets his bizarre family. One of Disney’s most inventive animated films, Meet The Robinsons is zany in its use of time travel and other future technology, as well as in its villain, only known as Bowler Hat Guy. The plentiful humor masks a surprisingly deep story about the power of optimism in envisioning a better future for everyone. Not only that, but the animation here is some of the most stylish of the 2000s Disney films, thanks to its futuristic aesthetic. Meet The Robinsons deserves more love, despite being lumped in with the rest of Disney’s less-than-stellar early 2000s output.
Chicken Run (2000)
Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Starring: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Timothy Spall, Phil Daniels
If you ever come across stop-motion clay figures with big bulging eyes, drop everything and watch. You’re in good hands. The creators of Wallace and Gromit, Peter Lord and Nick Park came together to create a saga about a stunt rooster, Red (Gibson) who hatches a plan to save a coop full of hens when their farm transitions from selling eggs to making chicken pot pies. A truly sadistic couple run the farm, treating with special cruelty a hen that doesn’t take kindly to being penned up. She’s to be the first victim of the pie machine, until Red aids a thrilling escape from the pie-making machine. Eventually, the chickens fly to freedom, I’ll leave the “how” unspoilt. The highest grossing stop-motion feature of all time is as hilarious as it is touching, leaving a stick-to-your-ribs sense of satisfaction—not unlike chicken pot pie.
An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)
Director: Douglas McCarthy
Starring: Bill Farmer, Jason Marsden, Jeff Bennett
A Goofy Movie is an undeniable classic and pretty goofy, but An Extremely Goofy Movie may be just as great and, well, as the title indicates, much more goofy than the original. An Extremely Goofy Movie sees Goofy’s habit of embarrassing his teenage son Max Goof as he follows him to college and generally ruins his life in the way that all good-natured but clueless dads do. The typical college gags ensue, from beat poetry to dorm jokes, and it’s very funny to see Goofy react to all of these things as a concerned dad. Like the original, An Extremely Goofy Movie is a father/son movie at heart; as annoyed as Max is by his father, Goofy loves him and will defend him no matter what, especially in the face of the snooty and appropriately named Bradley Uppercrust III. An Extremely Goofy Movie is one of the few Disney sequels that matches up to the original.