Everyone loves family movie night, except when things don’t work out and you spend the whole two-hour window scrolling through options while the rest of the fam groans in frustration that there’s nothing to watch. Here’s an idea: Solve the problem and save the evening by making an executive decision behind closed doors. Check out our roundup of the best kids’ movies on Amazon Prime and you’ll find plenty of quality films you can watch and actually enjoy before you put the kids to bed.
The 30 Best Kids’ Movies on Amazon Prime
1. ‘the Daniel Tiger Movie: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ (ages 3+)
Little kids who are too restless to watch the classic Mr. Rogers episodes can still reap all the rewards of his kind-hearted and kid-centered approach to programming with this animated series inspired by the original show. Full of catchy tunes and social-emotional learning, this sweet pick is a great option for little ones. And at 48 minutes, it’s just long enough to allow some chill time (and popcorn), but not so long as to inspire screen-time guilt.
2. ‘room On The Broom’ (ages 3+)
The beloved picture book by Julia Donaldson takes to the screen in this brief but thrilling animated film about a kind-hearted witch who always has room on her broom for another friend. Lyrical, rhyming narration stays true to the book with a plot that boasts an exciting combination of spooky and light-heartedness. A scary dragon encounter at the end may prove a tad intense for kids under three, but the happy ending serves to reinforce the positive message about friendship and the concept that good things comes to those who are kind.
3. ‘dinosaur Train: What’s At The Center Of The Earth?’ (ages 3+)
The curious, upbeat dinosaurs in this preschool crowd-pleaser take kids on an educational joyride through history (on the dinosaur train, of course) and cover topics including paleontology, geology and more. Fast-paced and energetic enough to keep kids engaged but with plenty of substance to boot (no offense, Paw Patrol), this is a kid-friendly choice that grown-ups can enjoy, too.
4. ‘frozen’ (ages 5+)
It’s basically impossible to have children and not know about Frozen, but did you know you can watch this Disney smash hit on Amazon for just a few bucks? (Although, you might want to consider just buying it outright because once your kid is introduced to Elsa, Anna, Olof and friends, there’s a good chance she’ll want to watch them on repeat every day.) Frozen fever aside, this Disney flick is full of refreshingly positive messages for young girls thanks to two strong female lead characters and a storyline that’s a salute to sisterhood. Plus, the singing is so impressive (hi, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel) that the whole family is likely to start belting out the tunes...everywhere, all the time.
5. ‘frozen 2’ (ages 5+)
Once you watch Frozen, there’s no way around it: Frozen 2 will be the feature for your next family movie night—and that’s not such a bad thing. This sequel is slightly darker than the original and there are a couple scary scenes (including one with a crazy rock monster) that more sensitive kids might opt to fast forward through. But perilous parts notwithstanding, the message of friendship, love and perseverance is empowering, and the music is still on-point.
6. ‘moana’ (ages 6+)
You don’t have to be a fan of Disney films to fall in love with Moana, because everything about this flick just feels right. The music, written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, is just as pleasing to the ears of parents as it is to young kids and the plot, which follows the adventures of a fierce young Polynesian girl on a quest to save her island, is pretty rockin’, too. A strong female role model (seriously, Moana is the woman we all want to be), a fresh cultural perspective and plenty of humor combine to make this movie an instant classic.
7. ‘big Hero 6’ (ages 7+)
This action-packed Disney superhero flick covers big themes of brotherhood, friendship and the importance of using your talents to help others. It follows Hiro Hamada, a young robotics prodigy, and his superhero team who must combat a masked villain in order to save their city. Entertaining and fast-paced with some touching messages about grief and camaraderie, to boot.
8. ‘wonder’ (ages 10+)
Based on the award-winning book by R.J. Palacio, Wonder tells the story of a young boy who was born with a genetic difference that distorts his facial features and struggles to find acceptance among his peers (and within himself). This poignant family drama touches on bullying and also speaks to the broader coming-of-age experience. It’s a heartfelt story that honors the unrelenting and unconditional love of family, while teaching kids to reject superficiality, embrace true friendship and find confidence within.
9. ‘home’ (ages 6+)
Based on the children's book The True Meaning of Smekday, this animated adventure film follows the unlikely friendship between a young girl named Tip (voiced by Rihanna) and an alien named Oh whose species is trying to invade planet earth. Can Tip find her mother and avoid being captured by the Boov aliens? You’ll have to watch to find out.
10. ‘the Gruffalo’ (ages 3+)
An adaptation of an acclaimed children’s book by Julia Donaldson, this enchanting animated short about a shrewd mouse who escapes a menacing fantasy beast is reminiscent of David and Goliath but with a touch more whimsy and plenty of mesmerizing visuals. The narrator’s soothing lilt takes the edge off the suspenseful and somewhat dark film, while the story itself successfully shows what considerable feats one can accomplish with a bit of wit.
11. ‘liyana’ (ages 11+)
Swazi orphans, the subjects of this powerful documentary, bring their own experiences to life with an awe-inspiring animated fantasy that promises to enthrall any viewer. Throughout the film, the brilliant and brave young orphans use storytelling as a technique to process their unspeakable trauma and the story of Liyana is the original work of fiction they collectively craft. Kids who are old enough to handle the sad and dark reality conveyed here will be captivated by the fairytale and blown away by both the talent and resilience of its creators. Watch this with your family for a truly mind-opening, empathy-building experience that’s hard to forget.
12. ‘the Snowy Day’ (ages 3+)
The award-winning picture book by Jack Ezra Keats is put in motion with this feel-good film about a young African American boy who’s brimming with excitement for Christmas Eve dinner (and his nana’s mac-and-cheese, of course). Slow-paced, but never boring, this sweet and soothing movie gets high marks for all the same reasons as the book: a celebration of cultural diversity, tradition, gratitude and family that serves up a dose of holiday spirit, any time of the year.
13. ‘my Girl’ (ages 11+)
You might remember this poignant coming-of-age story about friendship and grief from your own childhood, and we’re happy to report that this throwback—starring Anna Chlumsky, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Akeroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis—has stood the test of time. Mature themes (unexpected death and divorce) make this film better suited for a family movie night with tweens, but it’s packed with valuable life lessons that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Note: Nearly two decades later, this is still very much a tear-jerker, friends...so be sure to bring a pack of tissues along with the popcorn.
14. ‘black Panther’ (ages 13+)
Heed the PG-13 rating here because the violence in this movie is nothing to shake a stick at. Aside from that, this Marvel masterpiece, which boasts a black superhero (not a sidekick) and confronts many issues relating to both race and gender, promises to provide plenty of fodder for meaningful post-movie night discussions on pertinent topics that deserve the spotlight.
15. ‘the Land Before Time’ (ages 5+)
Things were rough for dinosaurs, but the lovable, colorful characters in this animated classic make for a pleasurable (and sometimes heart-wrenching) journey back in time. The plot of this popular choice for the kindergarten crowd does include some tough material (including the death of parents, prehistoric predators and the perils of natural disaster), but friendship and teamwork ensure a happy ending in which the group of young dinos stay safe and sound. Phew!
16. ‘charlotte’s Web’ (ages 5+)
The original 1973 screen adaptation of the classic book by W.E.B. DuBois still passes the family-friendly litmus test...and it’s still so good. Charlotte’s Web examines the cycle of life and death through a story of friendship that is equal parts approachable and poignant. Quirky farm animal characters lighten the mood, as do the other positive themes of perseverance, self-confidence and achievement. Bottom line: The story is a bittersweet—but invaluable—introduction to the notion of death and the age-appropriate content strikes the right balance between feel-good and big feelings.
17. ‘paddington’ (ages 6+)
Ben Whishaw lends his voice talent and Nicole Kidman stars as a sadistic taxidermist in this modern take on the classic Paddington Bear series, authored by British writer Michael Bond. The film version gives a decidedly Hollywood-style makeover to the children’s books, and at times the thrills (or scares) feel gratuitous. That said, the character of Paddington retains his charming, well-meaning demeanor and the overall vibes are good for children who can stomach the creepier scenes that pepper an otherwise touching storyline.
18. ‘babe’ (ages 6+)
James Cromwell stars as Arthur Hoggett, a charming, big-hearted Irish farmer and the proud owner of Babe (a pig suffering from the best kind of identity crisis) in this adaptation of the awarding winning children’s fiction book The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith. Young children might be rattled by the reality of farm animals bred and raised for food, but the beautiful landscape of the film, alongside Babe’s inspiring spunk, make this movie night pick worth a watch.
19. ‘the Princess Bride’ (ages 8+)
Fantasy, comedy and adventure combine in this cult classic with an impressive cast. Andre the Giant, Carrie Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin and Wallace Shawn are among the talented actors that bring magic to the screen in this fun movie—and the viewing experience is one that continues to dazzle and entertain audiences from elementary school through adulthood.
20. ‘wall-e’ (ages 5+)
Sparse dialogue and well-paced action are perfectly paired with stunning Pixar animation in this artsy film which delivers its eco-friendly message about caring for our planet by way of an engaging and poignant plot that’s sure to provoke profound empathy in even the youngest viewer.
21. ‘my Neighbor Totoro’ (ages 5+)
Viewers of all ages will enjoy this gorgeously animated film in which Japanese culture and breathtaking animation converge. This kid-friendly film is a beautiful introduction to magical realism—it’s also rife with positive messages about independence delivered via a plot that follows two adorable sisters and their exploration of the spirit world.
22. ‘annie’ (ages 7+)
Super cute and a little corny, this remake of the Broadway musical features talented people of color for both the roles of Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) and Will Stacks, aka Daddy Warbucks (Jamie Foxx). The commentary on social class follows the same script, more or less, as the original show, but the diversity of the cast makes for a more honest and insightful message.
23. ‘labyrinth’ (ages 8+)
A surreal, muppet-studded fantasy work of art from the '80s with great music, plenty of drama, and David Bowie in tight pants. Don’t worry if you somehow missed this classic the first time around—you can rest assured that it is still wholesome and kid-friendly enough to enjoy with a grade schooler. We could talk about the positive themes of redemption and familial love (like a teenage girl who decides her innocent baby brother should not be taken away by goblins, after all) but the real reason you should watch Labyrinth is that it’s so darn cool, everyone will dig it.
24. ‘the Color Of Friendship’ (ages 12+)
This crash course in tolerance and unabiding friendship is based on true events: A real-life bond between a black American girl and her white best friend, born and raised in apartheid South Africa. This film is a refreshing departure from the offensive savior narrative and a rejection of the “I don’t see color” trope. Indeed, both characters in the movie can see color perfectly well, which is why they must first confront their own discomfort before they transform one another’s lives. This hopeful and inspiring film will open the door to a family discussion of race relations, while emboldening kids to think freely and act from a place of kindness. (Note: The authenticity means that you can expect some bad language and tough scenes, so this one’s best watched with tweens and teens.)
25. ‘coco’ (ages 7+)
Disney/Pixar brings the Day of the Dead to life in this tribute to Mexican culture and tradition in a story about the courage it takes to pursue one’s goals. Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt are among the talented voice actors that contribute to this vivid portrait of a young boy who is determined to flout the family rules and follow his dream to become a musician. Fantastical, imaginative and moving for kids of all ages.
26. ‘the Farewell’ (ages 11+)
The multi-talented and self-made YouTube star Awkwafina won critical acclaim for her role in this dramedy that revolves around a Chinese-American family’s reunion, scheduled in anticipation of an unwitting and dying grandmother. The predictable (and relatable) dysfunction of family gatherings is taken up a notch when Eastern and Western philosophies clash in a way that is simultaneously hilarious and poignant, but Chinese culture is at the forefront throughout. Bonus: The Farewell is an excellent way to introduce a younger audience to foreign films, as the subtitled dialogue is especially easy to follow.
27. ‘imba Means Sing’ (ages 8+)
A Ugandan children’s choir takes on the United States, Canada and the U.K. in an inspiring documentary that displays the transcendent experience of childhood joy. Wholly positive and uplifting, this film is really appropriate for all ages, although the youngest may be too restless to enjoy it.
28. ‘the Many Adventures Of Winnie Pooh’ (ages 3+)
You might say this is the perfect movie for little kids, since the content is very unlikely to conjure up new fears or contribute to bad dreams. Best of all, this adaptation of the classic children’s books by A.A. Milne has a laid back pace that won’t rile up your child, making it an ideal pick for movie night (because an overstimulated preschooler is downright scary).
29. ‘happy Feet’ (ages 5+)
A straightforward family favorite with lively music and super cute penguins that’s fun to watch, if not a little light on substance. The movie touches vaguely on some environmental issues and the main message of acceptance is a positive one, but mostly Happy Feet is just a reliable way to entertain little kids with age-appropriate content.
30. ‘remember The Titans’ (ages 10+)
You don’t need to be into team sports to appreciate this film about football, because it’s actually about so much more than that. Remember the Titans presents a powerful depiction of racism and hate, as experienced by a young black football player at a newly integrated high school in 1970s Virginia. The historical context will have a valuable impact on kids and the inspirational story is so well-acted, we’d say this drama is a must-see.