10 best Netflix animated movies you should add to your watchlist
If you are looking for great Netflix animated movies, look no further. We have picked out the 10 best ones made by Disney, Sony Animation, Universal/Illumination, and a bunch of other studios.
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:
- Incredibles 2
- Ralph Breaks The Internet
- Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
- Hotel Transylvania 3
- Dr. Suess’ The Grinch
- Despicable Me 3
- Next Gen
- The Little Prince
- An American Tail
Editor’s note – We will update this post as more great Netflix animated movies are added to the service’s catalog, and others depart.
If you want a Netflix animated movie to watch with your kids without wishing you were somewhere else, Disney-Pixar’s Coco is the one to stream. It may be the best Netflix animated movie at the moment, in addition to being one of the best movies on Netflix, period. The 2017 release centers on a boy in Mexico who manages to travel to the afterlife during Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. Bring a bunch of tissues with you when you watch Coco because you will be crying at some point — trust us.
2. Incredibles 2
Writer-director Brad Bird’s 2018 sequel to the hit Pixar/Disney movie The Incredibles is a worthy continuation of this story of a family of superheroes. They still have to deal with the outside world that doesn’t like them, or superheroes in general, all that much. In fact, the Parr family is so desperate to go back to their daring deeds in public that they get sucked into the seductive enticements of a wealthy brother and sister who claim to want to help bring back superheroes, by offering assistance to Elastigirl. However, Mr. Incredible and the rest of the family, along with friend and superhero Frozone, soon learn there’s more going on under the surface. It’s certainly one of the best Netflix animated movies at the moment.
3. Ralph Breaks The Internet
Here’s one more Disney film on our best Netflix animated movie list. The 2018 sequel Wreck-It Ralph finds the arcade video game “villain” Ralph, along with his friend Vanellope Von Schweet, traveling into the internet to help save the characters in a racing game from becoming homeless. The plot doesn’t matter much; the enjoyment of this animated movie comes with Ralph’s and Vanellope’s interactions with the companies and characters of the internet. That includes a ton of cameos from Disney-owned characters, including a memorable sequence with nearly all the Disney princesses.
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
What was the best superhero movie of 2018? Avengers: Infinity War? Black Panther? Aquaman? Incredibles 2? Nope. In our view, the best superhero movie of 2018 was Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The Academy Award winner for best animated film of 2018, this Sony Animation-Marvel movie not only introduces us to Miles Morales as a new version of Spider-Man, but also brings us lots of other versions of the web-slinger from different universes. The funny and cool story is helped by 3D animation that seems to come out straight from the comics page.
5. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Sony Animation has had a lot of success with the first two Hotel Transylvania films, and the third installment, released in 2018, is no exception. This movie is different in that it actually doesn’t take place in Transylvania, but on a cruise ship that Dracula (voiced once again by Adam Sandler), his daughter (Selena Gomez), and other hotel team members take for a well-deserved break. As you might expect, chaos ensues. This funny film is definitely one of the best Netflix animated movies you can currently watch.
6. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
The 2018 released movie from Universal-Illumination is just the latest adaptation of the classic Christmas-themed tale from Dr. Seuss. The movie has Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the title role, and while he’s not as crazy as Jim Carrey in the older live-action adaptation, Cumberbatch does have a lot of funny, and also cruel, scenes as he tries to ruin the holidays for the populace of Whoville.
7. Despicable Me 3
Another Universal-Illumination animated movie release on Netflix, Despicable Me 3, continues to tell tales around Gru, the former super-villain who is now trying to fight for the forces of good. Steve Carell is back voicing both Gru and his just revealed twin brother Dru, but as always the real stars of these movies are Gru’s minions. The yellow creatures are once again trying to get into crazy situations and the result is always funny.
8. Next Gen
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 trying to treat people fairly, and the animation is also solid.
9. The Little Prince
Based on the classic children’s book, this is a 2016 Netflix animated film that uses different techniques (3D, 2D, and even stop motion) to tell its tale of a young girl who befriends an older man. He tells her stories of encountering The Little Prince, who lives on a tiny planet. It’s definitely different than the other movies on this list, but it’s well worth checking out.
10. An American Tail
Want to see some classic 2D animation? This 1986 animated movie on Netflix from director Don Bluth provides that in spades. It tells the “tail” of Fievel Mousekewitz, a mouse in 19th century Russia. He and his family make the dangerous journey to America with the belief that the new world has no cats. Fievel gets separated from his family and has to connect with them again in the U.S. The storyline was a bit darker than the normal Disney film at the time, and it holds up well even today.
Best Netflix animated movies — honorable mentions
Here’s a quick look at just some of the good Netflix animated movies that didn’t make our top 10 cut:
- Mulan — A great classic Disney 2D animated film that is set in ancient China, following a girl who wants to fight with the men in the Chinese army.
- Tarzan — Another great Disney 2D animated movie and the latest adaption of the Tarzan character that is helped a lot by the great musical score and songs by Phil Collins.
- Coraline — Based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, this stop-motion animation movie is about a girl who finds a doorway to another parallel world in her room.
- Walt Disney Short Films Collection — Disney’s animated studios don’t just make full feature films. This collection of 12 animated short subjects has a ton of variety, including two Academy Award winners in Paperman and Feast.