Best Netflix Films For Your Next Family Movie Night

By Phillip Moyer | Published

If you and your family regularly sit down to watch movies, there’s a good chance you find yourself trolling the archives on Disney+ time and time again. However, the world’s most popular streaming service, Netflix, has no shortage of family-friendly content either. Here are five films that are worth checking out if you’re looking for something non-Disney-related for your family movie night.


Storks didn’t get a lot of attention when it was released in 2016, getting overshadowed by the likes of MoanaFinding Dory, and Zootopia. While those films certainly deserved the attention, chances are that you’ve seen them plenty of times already and are looking for something different this family movie night. Lucky for you, Storks is on Netflix, giving you the chance to view this forgotten but often hilarious look into the world of everyone’s favorite baby-delivering avians.

Storks follows an undelivered girl and a status-seeking stork in a world where storks have decided to deliver packages rather than babies; the oddly-satirical movie takes swipes at corporate politics, modern family dynamics, and profit-seeking corporations. It also has plenty of manic energy and a gut-busting fight scene in which both sides prioritize not waking a sleeping baby as they beat each other up. If your family movie night needs something you’ve never seen before, boot up Netflix and give Storks a try.

The Christmas Chronicles

For a time, it felt like studios had stopped making traditional Christmas movies, with only horror films, irreverent comedies, and low-quality rom-coms celebrating the holiday season. In 2018, Netflix decided to put a stop to that by creating The Christmas Chronicles, a movie that had more in common with Frosty the Snowman and The Santa Clause than with Bad Santa or Black Christmas. The plan caught on, and Netflix has continued making original Christmas films ever since, including a sequel in 2020.

Starring Kurt Russell as a tough but surprisingly-traditional Santa Claus, the movie follows a pair of kids who accidentally cause Santa to crash his sleigh. They have to join forces with old St. Nicholas to retrieve his presents, hat, and reindeer so Santa can successfully deliver gifts around the world in one night. While not a masterpiece, The Christmas Chronicles is fun enough to justify a watch during family movie night if you’re ever feeling in a Christmassy mood.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

If you want to watch an animated movie for your family movie night, but you want something that hits differently different from your average cartoon, it’s worth checking out The Mitchells vs. the Machines. After the unexpected success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony Pictures realized the potential for creating unconventional animated films. Ignoring the more traditional stylings of Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and Illumination, Sony took what it learned and created the manic, wacky, and oddly-touching movie about a robot uprising.

The unusual movie follows the Mitchells, a family with relatable problems: A father and daughter who don’t understand each other, an awkward son who has difficulty making friends and an army of hyperintelligent robots interrupting their cross-country road trip. The tale of how this unlikely group manages to save the world (and the family’s father-daughter relationship) might rely a little too much on quirky, Gen Z-style humor for some, but it delivers where it counts. The Mitchells vs. the Machines was distributed by Netflix, so it’ll be around on the platform for a long time to come.

The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys came out of nowhere in 2020, showing up on Netflix a month after most of the world locked itself down. The strangely-subversive film follows four children who trick their unloving parents into leaving on a dangerous vacation, allowing them to fend for themselves. Be warned: only watch this if your family movie night can handle something very weird.

There are hardly any plot points in The Willoughbys that work out how you’d expect them to, as the plot seems dedicated to taking unexpected turns whenever possible. There are no conventional consequences for the kids’ unusual actions, no tearful family reunion, and not even any promotion of traditional family values that are so ingrained in society that you almost take for granted that they’ll be there.

What The Willoughbys does have, however, is a lot of heart — and a lot of hilarity. 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

There’s a reason that this Antonio Banderas movie has become of the most popular movies on Netflix shortly after launching on the platform earlier this month. The well-loved sequel to the Shrek spin-off movie Puss in Boots, the film proved there’s still life left in the 22-year-old franchise. If you have any love for Dreamworks’ familiar brand of fairy-tale mashups, it is well worth loading up the film and giving it a watch.

After getting crushed by a bell leaves the adventurous Puss in Boots with only one of his nine lives left, he tries to restore his life by setting out on a quest to find the legendary Wishing Star. He crosses paths with Pinocchio, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Big Bad Wolf, and more. There are few families who watched Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and didn’t love it, so you’d be well advised to give it a try on your next family movie night.