Streaming movies for kids that aren't painful for adults

Christopher Robin
Christopher Robin

Stuck at home with the kids and can't bear to watch another horrid children's movie?

Never fear, we've got you covered.

The Advertiser has fished through the family movie collections on Disney+, Netflix and Stan to bring you a guide to kids' films that won't make you tear your hair out.

We haven't included some of the Disney and Pixar films with the biggest profiles - because you've undoubtedly seen them 10 times already.

Go, strap the kids in for some of these fantastic flicks for everyone to enjoy:


Adventures in Babysitting

This classic from the 80s is a rollicking, absurd adventure that's a whole lot of fun. Featuring the likes of Elisabeth Shue, Bradley Whitford and even Vincent D'Onofrio, it tells the story of a teenage babysitter who finds herself - and her charges - in more and more outrageous situations around the city of Chicago. It includes an unforgettable stop at a blues club.

Hocus Pocus

It came out all the way back in 1993, but Hocus Pocus hardly feels dated. The good-time Halloween flick follows the reincarnation of the Sanderson sisters - a trio of witches from 1600s Salem - who are determined to wreak havoc in order to stay alive. Sassy cat Thackery Binks and precocious kid Dani are highlights, as is Bette Midler's hypnotising take on I Put a Spell on You.


One of the best Pixar movies ever, Coco is absolutely a movie the adults can enjoy as well. Stunningly beautiful and filled with genuinely good Mexican-flavoured songs, the film is all about the importance of family and chasing your dreams - and how sometimes combining the two takes a lot of hard work. If your tissues are in short supply, maybe skip this one - it'll have you crying for sure.

Home Alone

An absolute classic that shouldn't be missed, Home Alone is the perfect cure for isolation. What could be better than watching a precocious pre-teen set a series of booby traps in his house to foil the 'wet bandits', a pair of dopey thieves? The jokes are still on point and Macaulay Culkin gives one of the all-time best child acting performances. Keep the change, ya filthy animal.


One of Disney's best recent animations, Zootopia doesn't seem to have all the love it deserves. Aside from being a really inventively crafted animal society, the film teaches important lessons about accepting differences and doing away with stereotypes. Parents will love all the sly references that'll go right over the kids heads, like nods to The Godfather and Breaking Bad.

The Mighty Ducks (1-3)

We all need a little inspiration at times like these, and what could be better than watching coach Gordon Bombay lead Charlie Conway's Ducks ice hockey team to victory? The series (all three films are amazing) is all about working together and rising above circumstance - an important lesson in times of self-isolation. And who doesn't love the campfire rendition of We Are the Champions?


Based on the seminal YA book by Louis Sachar, Holes is a whole lot of fun. The littlest kids might not be super interested in the tale of a down-on-his-luck teen who is sent to Camp Green Lake boys correctional facility after being falsely convicted of stealing a pair of donated shoes from a charity auction. At the camp, Stanley Yelnats III must dig a hole each day as penance - but really the warden just wants to find buried treasure. A killer soundtrack, memorable cast (Shia Labeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette, Jon Voight, Henry Winkler and even Eartha Kitt) and strong tale make this a winner for everyone in the family.

Ice Princess

Who says Disney princess movies have to be animated? Okay, so the princess of the title doesn't actually refer to royalty of any kind, but to a bright, dedicated high school maths whiz who is also a super talented ice skater. The film looks into balancing study and passion, and working hard to achieve your best in both. Ice skating is always enjoyable to watch and Ice Princess is no exception.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Be warned, if your kids are still quite young, some scenes in this groundbreaking mix of live action and animation might freak them out (if you've seen the film, you know which scenes will do the damage). But if they're a little bit older, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an absolute winner. The mix of cartoon slapstick, hard-boiled PI antics and more animated characters than you can poke a stick at will undoubtedly capture your children's attention - not to mention your own.

Christopher Robin

We all know Winnie the Pooh, but you've never seen him like this. The 2018 film brings the cuddly bear to life in a realistic way, as a walking, talking toy in post-war London. Ewan McGregor is a grown up Christopher Robin who has forgotten what it's like to be playful and leave your worries behind. Throughout the course of the film he embraces his inner child and learns to love life again. Just what we all need right now.


The Goonies

If you haven't sat your kids down to watch The Goonies yet, stop whatever you're doing, open Netflix and start the film. One of the all-time greatest kids adventure movies out there, The Goonies follows a group of youngsters who find a treasure map, head down a secret passageway into a hidden cave system filled with booby traps while being chased by a family of Italian criminals. All while trying to save their homes from developers. Features Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and more.

School of Rock

An all-round feel-good flick, School of Rock was literally written for Jack Black, who is excellent in the lead role of fake substitute teacher Dewey Finn. Dewey takes over a class of fancy prep school students and turns them into his own personal rock band. If you want to teach your kids some classic rock (Led Zeppelin features in a particularly memorable scene), you don't want to miss this one.


It doesn't seem like it should work, or entertain adults, but somehow Paddington is a practically perfect children's movie. Ben Whishaw is just delightful as the curious little bear in the hat, and the hijinks the family get into are hilarious and fun. Paddington even features Australia's own Nicole Kidman as a ridiculously over-the-top villain. You'll surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it.


Again, if tissues are in short supply, maybe don't go for Wonder. It's an inspiring, heart-warming, uplifting film about a boy (Auggie) with a serious facial disfigurement attending school for the first time and trying to understand where he fits in the world. The kids around him have to learn that everyone is different. There are some big lessons to be learned in this film, and not just from the kids around Auggie, but the boy himself. Great work from Julia Roberts as Auggie's mum, and several promising child actors.

The Road to El Dorado

An animation with music by Elton John that's not The Lion King? That's right! The Road to El Dorado is excellent, with great adventure, infectious songs and even some sly jokes for the parents that the kids will never ever cotton on to. The animation is beautiful and characters are a little rough around the edges, far from perfect people. This one will capture the kids' imaginations and entertain the parents.


Okay, there's little chance that you haven't seen Shrek yet, but just in case, we'll revisit it here. The film that won the very first Oscar for animation has as many (maybe more) jokes for parents than it does for kids. It's got fairytale characters galore, an epic soundtrack and some of the most quotable lines of the last 20 years. With a voice cast of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow, Shrek is really a must-see for everyone.

The Iron Giant

A 1950s throwback set in the Cold War, The Iron Giant is a brilliant, snappy, genuine film about embracing the unknown. It shows that friendships can form between the most unlikely of pairs, and also highlights the importance of keeping a level head in the face of uncertainty (once again, important for these turbulent times). Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel and Harry Connick Jr provide voices.


How to Train Your Dragon (1-3)

This trilogy is rare for animations in that the characters actually age up and mature as the films go on. It's truly beautiful - the landscape design is just stunning - and main dragon character Toothless is adorable. There's plenty of action and tales of overcoming adversity. Lots of fun.

Finding Neverland

If you love Peter Pan and love period films, you'll love Finding Neverland. It has enough whimsy and joy - not to mention a dog/bear dance - to capture the kids' interest, but also enough reality and even a little heartache to carry the adults through. Great flick.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Who doesn't love a stop-motion film? From the geniuses at Aardman comes this hilarious, rip-roaring, fake-historical adventure. Following the Pirate Captain, his off-sider Number Two, their pet dodo and even Charles Darwin and Queen Elizabeth, the film is ridiculous and amazing. A song from Kiwi comedy duo Flight of the Conchords called I'm Not Crying will have the adults in stitches.

The Lego Movie

The pure creativity on show with The Lego Movie will sustain adults and children alike. It's funny, sharp, silly, colourful and more. And it's great inspiration for the kids - why not challenge yourselves to create your own Lego Movie world after the film ends? Featuring voice talents from Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett and more.

Spy Kids

Okay, so this is one of the more silly entries on the list, but it's also super creative and quotable. The kids will love the hijinks while the adults will enjoy the spy nature that's a throwback to the likes of James Bond. The gadgets are fun, the characters are outrageously over-the-top. The Thumb Thumbs will haunt your nightmares. Features Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming and more.