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Dinner is well underway, but suddenly it’s in danger of becoming scorched because your hungry offspring have gone feral. The solution? Impromptu movie night. Of course the time it takes to browse the movie catalog could be the final nail in your meal’s coffin, which is why we did the research for you. Check out our roundup of kids’ movies on Hulu so you can entertain your wild things, stat (and hopefully score a little downtime on the couch for yourself once everyone is fed).

RELATED: The 30 Best Kids Movies on Amazon Prime

Clarius Entertainment

1. ‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return’ (2014)

This sequel to The Wizard of Oz doesn’t hold a candle to the original in terms of creativity, so if you’re a fan of the classic film, don’t get your hopes up. That said, this animated musical does introduce children to many of the same characters and the content is definitely kid-friendly. Parents should know that this movie has some intense scenes (those creepy flying monkeys make a comeback) and the central villain is convincingly evil. Meaning, this one will likely prove too scary for young or sensitive kids but will otherwise be fun entertainment for little people.

Best for ages 8+

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Pacific Bay Entertainment

2. ‘Swindle’ (2013)

Swindle is a cute and uproariously funny heist movie with major tween appeal. Given the content, kids will see some campy depictions of petty crime and the realistic portrayal of teen dynamics includes some stereotypical mean girl and bully stuff. Still, the themes are positive and the unsavory characters get their comeuppance. Bottom line: This action-packed comedy is sure to entertain older grade school kids and grown-ups alike.

Best for ages 7+

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DreamWorks Pictures

3. ‘Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’ (2002)

Positive messages about the importance of courage, compassion and belief in oneself are central to the narrative in this movie, which revolves around a wild stallion’s struggle to escape captivity. The heroism of a kind-hearted Native American boy who rescues Spirit is uplifting, but parents should know that peril is a relentless component of this animated musical. Strikingly intense scenes depict a slew of harrowing encounters—a near-drowning experience, disturbing acts of animal cruelty and the implied death of a character, to name a few. In other words, proceed with caution: This is a dicey pick for young and sensitive viewers.

Best for ages 7+

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Universal Studios Home Entertainment

4. ‘Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!’’ (2009)

George and the Man with the Yellow Hat (the kid-friendly odd couple) are every bit as charming in this feature-length film, which follows the beloved monkey on a cross-country adventure. This movie is fast-paced and markedly more intense than the ultra-mellow television series, so you can expect some light peril and plenty of action, but there’s nothing too formidable for the preschool crowd. Plus, the storyline, which emphasizes the importance of family and friendship, is particularly well-suited for little kids.

Best for ages 4+

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DreamWorks Pictures

5. ‘The Road to El Dorado’ (2000)

Gripping and engaging, this action-packed animated film will keep kids on the edge of their seats...and maybe raise a few eyebrows. Unsavory sexual innuendo—clearly included for the benefit of adult viewers—is present throughout the movie and, unfortunately, not very subtle. This film also has moderate violence, primarily in the form of sword-fighting, and a giant, vicious dog that will likely scare little kids. On the plus side, The Road to El Dorado is extraordinarily well-animated and exciting to watch, albeit only age-appropriate for tweens and up.

Best for ages 10+

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DreamWorks Pictures

6. ‘Antz’ (1998)

The comedic material in this animated film, delivered by neurotic characters and rife with irony, is guaranteed to amuse adults and teens, and the special effects are remarkable. Overall, a good watch—just keep it away from little kids: The laughs will be lost on them and the significant violence (battles and death) in this action-packed movie is only age-appropriate for an older crowd.

Best for ages 11+

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Universal Studios Home Entertainment

7. ‘Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas’ (2009)

Mellow, musical and full of feel-good vibes, this holiday special is stylistically cut from the same cloth as the TV series. Young Curious George fans will love watching their favorite monkey as he endeavors to find the best gift for the Man in the Yellow Hat, and parents will appreciate the positive messages, which provide a refreshing break from the materialism of the holiday season.

Best for ages 3+

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Warner Bros. Pictures

8. ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2001)

Not exactly a high-brow movie night option, but Cats and Dogs is a sure way to entertain grade school kids. The comedy isn’t very clever, so brace yourself for gratuitous potty humor, and there’s slapstick violence galore in this story about a war waged between cats and dogs. Note: Cat lovers, keep moving—this flick paints an unflattering portrait of your furry friends. While there’s little, if any, substance to the movie, the goofiness has kid-appeal and it’s not harmful in any way, either.

Best for ages 7+

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DreamWorks Pictures

9. ‘The Prince of Egypt’ (1998)

This animated feature brings the story of Moses to the screen and the viewing experience—which boasts beautiful music and striking imagery—is nothing short of magical. Needless to say, biblical stories are full of bloodshed, and parents should be aware that The Prince of Egypt doesn’t gloss over the disturbing parts of the narrative. Plagues, infanticide, and the savage abuse of slaves are among the perils and horrors graphically portrayed in the movie. In other words, only watch this one with a big kid.

Best for ages 8+

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DreamWorks Pictures

10. ‘Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas’ (2003)

Friendship and loyalty are among the themes in this animated reboot of the Sinbad story, voiced by an all-star cast (Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer). The female characters are strong role models—a refreshing departure from the doe-eyed and docile princess so often featured in this genre. That said, it’s pretty easy to overstate the substance of this movie, since most of it flies under the radar in the face of non-stop action and boatloads of fighting, set against a computer-generated 3D backdrop. This one is definitely not boring but, although the visuals are striking, it will very likely be a touch too stimulating for young kids.

Best for ages 8+

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Buena Vista International France

11. ‘March of the Penguins’ (2005)

If you think the chances of your kid sitting through a nature documentary are slim, you’re probably right, but March of the Penguins may very well be the exception to the rule. This French-made documentary, which tracks the epic journey of Emperor penguins in search of a mate, is breathtaking to watch and full of family love. The trek has its hazards, so little kids might need some hand-holding here and there, but don’t let that deter you—this riveting and educational film is a must-see.

Best for ages 5+

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CBS Productions

12. ‘Dr. Seuss: The Lorax’ (1972)

This made-for-TV adaptation of a classic story from beloved children’s writer Dr. Seuss is every bit as relevant today as when it was first aired nearly 50 years ago. This heartfelt, kid-friendly film promises to instill a respect for nature in even the youngest children, while emphasizing personal responsibility and the importance of caring for our environment.

Best for ages 5+

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NBCUniversal Television Distribution

13. ‘How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming’ (2019)

Fans of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy will be delighted by a little bit more of a favorite thing. This 20-minute short film is an entirely inoffensive gem with valuable messages—a brief, but fun watch that’s best enjoyed by kids who are already familiar with the other films in the series.

Best for ages 5 +

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Paramount Pictures

14. ‘Rango’ (2011)

Johnny Depp plays the part of Rango, a quirky lizard with the soul of a philosopher and a penchant for telling boastful tall tales, in this family-friendly dramedy. Rango finds himself between a rock and a hard place when his terrarium tumbles out of his owner's car. Ultimately, the well-meaning blowhard has his character put to the test when he’s appointed Sheriff of a new town and charged with the task of saving his fellow reptiles from a dire water shortage. Full of imagination and charm, this film is a breath of fresh air—just be advised that there are nods to classic wild west violence throughout, so it's most appropriate for tweens.

Best for ages 9+

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Paramount Pictures

15. ‘Charlotte’s Web’ (1973)

A heart wrenching story based on E.B. White’s book by the same, this 1970s classic is a beautiful animated depiction of friendship, love and the cycle of life. While death and loss play an important role in the narrative, the topics are handled with plenty of care and the cast of lovable, often funny characters add levity to the storyline. This one can and should be enjoyed from kindergarten, well into adulthood.

Best for ages 5+

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Universal Pictures

16. ‘Abominable’ (2019)

When Yi, a teenage girl from Shanghai, finds a spectacular surprise on the roof of her city dwelling (a yeti!), she befriends the mythical creature and endeavors to bring him back to his home on Mount Everest. The journey is harrowing and includes some intense moments—a couple of implied deaths on the mountain as well as a creepy scene in which children are shot with tranquilizer guns—but the light tone lends itself more to laughter than scares. With its enchanting animation, beautiful music and narrative that highlights Chinese culture and the universal importance of compassion, this movie is an excellent pick.

Best for ages 8+

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National General Pictures

17. ‘Snoopy, Come Home’ (1972)

Poignant and sad at times, but always subdued, this classic Peanuts film has an appealing dose of adventure, plus a storyline about the potential loss of Snoopy to a new and distant home that will pull on any little kid's heartstrings (grown ups, too). There are a few awkward scenes in which Charlie Brown projects his negative feelings and scorns his innocent pet, but it’s all pretty tame and the simple style makes this movie particularly well-suited for younger children who might be sensitive to flashy special effects.

Best for ages 5+

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New Line Cinema

18. ‘The Swan Princess’ (1994)

Somewhat dated but still a pleasure to watch, this animated fantasy film, inspired by Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet Swan Lake, is a family-friendly throwback with relatively good messages given the princess genre. Odette, the Swan Princess, refuses to marry her suitor and genuine love until she sees evidence that his interest in her is more than skin-deep. Things take a dark turn when an evil sorcerer with a sinister agenda casts a spell on Odette, forcing her to inhabit the body of the swan from sunrise to sunset. The bad guy is appropriately creepy and there’s a brief encounter with a dragon-like beast that might be a bit much for some young kids, but overall the scares are mild in this magical and engaging love story.

Best for ages 5+

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IMAX Entertainment

19. ‘A Beautiful Planet’ (2016)

This captivating IMAX documentary transports children to the International Space Station for a birds’ eye view of our planet. The documentary doesn’t shy away from the dark realities of climate change—showing troubling images that reflect the damage done to Earth by mankind—but the lesson is beneficial for even the youngest children and the views of Earth from space are impressive enough to amaze viewers of all ages.

Best for ages 5+

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National General Pictures

20. ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’ (1969)

Charles M. Schultz’s classic cartoons have timeless appeal and this full-length Peanuts feature is no exception. Even kids who are too young for pre-K can watch this one without issue, and the familiar cast of characters is as endearing and relatable as you remember. Thoughtful and funny, Charlie Brown movies are a crash course in social-emotional learning that always go down easy.

Best for ages 3+

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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

21. ‘Bolt’ (2008)

Superhero dogs are an easy sell for little kids and the fact that Miley Cyrus lends her voice talent will likely make tweens swoon too. Bolt, the main pup, embarks (pun intended) on a journey to find the loving owner from whom he was separated in this fast-paced flick. Full of thrills and somewhat overstuffed with action (explosives and guns make an appearance) parents of young kids might want to opt for something a little less aggro on movie night.

Best for ages 5+

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Lionsgate Home Entertainment

22. ‘Pinocchio’ (2012)

This Italian remake of the classic cautionary tale has familiar elements alongside quirky new characters and fun, original musical numbers. The same positive messages about the importance of being good and honest are present...and they’re still heavy-handed and a bit dated. Director Enzo D’Alo succeeds at bringing the fairytale to life with artsy animation that captures the charm of its Italian origin, but much like the Disney version, his take on Pinocchio has a combination of typical cartoon violence and unrelenting peril that is more likely to simply scare younger viewers, rather than scare them straight. Watch this one with kids who are old enough to handle the offbeat, creepy aspects and have already absorbed the moral teachings elsewhere.

Best for ages 7+

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The Orchard

23. ‘Life, Animated’ (2016)

Thought-provoking and moving, this documentary tells the incredible and triumphant story of Owen Suskind, the son of a journalist who was diagnosed with autism after he abruptly stopped speaking. The happy ending comes when Owen’s family realizes he’s a Disney movie savant and can, in fact, communicate verbally through the films and characters he loves. A powerful story that encourages empathy towards the differently-abled, this film is well worth a watch (and probably the best way you could hope to shed tears with your teen).

Best for ages 12+

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Magnolia Pictures

24. ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ (2012)

Empowering and inspirational, this Japanese documentary tells the story of a dedicated sushi chef who follows his dreams while lifting up those around him. There’s no questionable content, only good vibes and positive themes that stress the importance of perseverance and hard work—but due to its slow-pace and subtitles, this success story is more likely to hit home with an older (tween and teen) audience.

Best for ages 10+

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Warner Bros. Pictures

25. ‘Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole’ (2010)

This film, a dark fantasy based on the bestselling book series by Katherine Lasky, is a mesmerizing and exciting drama that will go over best with a big kid audience. The plot, which revolves around rivaling factions of owls, dives into heavy subject matter like war and oppression. Epic battles between good and evil play out with considerable violence, so this one is definitely not intended for a very young audience. Still, the visuals are remarkable and the narrative, a resounding endorsement of equality and justice, will benefit kids who are old enough to handle the intensity of the film.

Best for ages 9+

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United Artists

26. ‘West Side Story’ (1961)

A must-see musical that transforms the Elizabethan romance of Romeo and Juliet into an incisive and heart-wrenching exploration of race relations. ‘West Side Story’ is as relevant today as it was when it made both its stage and screen debut as a well-timed response to the rapidly growing civil rights movement. Parents should know that this classic film has stylized, yet powerful and disturbing depictions of violence that are too intense for younger kids. Definitely watch this one with a tween or teenager, though, to spark some very important conversations.

Best for Ages 11+

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Warner Bros. Pictures

27. ‘The Ant Bully’ (2006)

Produced by Tom Hanks, this kid-friendly flick features an undeniably impressive cast that includes Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. As the title suggests, there are some bullies in this narrative—namely the protagonist Lucas who takes his angst out on ants in the backyard. But when the bugs seek revenge with a little magic, Lucas is forced to walk in their tiny shoes and see the world from the perspective of a much smaller creature. (Yep, there are some scares involved, but they’re all age-appropriate.) This film’s emphasis on compassion, teamwork and friendship is what sets it apart, as does the fact that even the seemingly no-good characters learn and grow from their mistakes.

Best for ages 6+

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Paramount Pictures

28. ‘Big Time Movie’ (2012)

This homage to the Beatles is like candy for kids, especially tweens who are already hooked on the Nickelodeon boy band sensation that is Big Time Rush. This comedy is as innocent as it gets and genuinely funny, with plenty of throwback pop culture references to keep parents engaged and good music to boot.

Best for ages 8+

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IMAX Pictures

29. ‘Born to Be Wild’ (2011)

So you’ve (naively) turned on a nature documentary or two for your young child, excited about the educational content, only to frantically pull the plug when you realize that nature is cruel, violent, and sometimes scarier than The Godfather. We’ve all been there. Enter Born to Be Wild: This doc is genuinely kid-friendly as it omits visual displays of predator-prey carnage. The end result? A fascinating, informative film that celebrates wild life rather than sensationalizing wild death.

Best for ages 5+

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Nickelodeon Studios

30. ‘A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner’ (2011)

This family-friendly flick, which is based on the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon, is chock full of positive messages, feel-good comedy and surprisingly solid acting. There’s some teen romance involved, but it’s wholesome and age-appropriate for the youngest grade schoolers (albeit more interesting to the tween crowd). Little kids might need a minute to adjust to the unusual mixture of CG animation and live action in this movie—still, the visuals are pleasant and the storyline is irresistibly sweet.

Best for ages 6+

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