From brilliant Pixar films to the movies of Studio Ghibli, the best PG films will delight the little ones as much as older folk, and thankfully, streaming giant Netflix has a whole host of these incredible movies available to watch right now. If you’re putting together a family movie night, babysitting some younger children, or just fancy something a little more wholesome, then check out this list of the 10 best PG movies on Netflix right now to find something brilliant to watch, no matter what age the viewer!
10. The Water Man
This heartbreaking but ultimately beautiful film follows Gunner, an 11-year-old whose mother is suffering from leukemia. The pair have just moved into a new town in Oregon, without Gunner’s father who is a marine and often away. A friendless Gunner spends most of his time working on a graphic novel, which he one day hopes to sell. While finally getting to know some of the kids who live near him, Gunner stumbles across a rumor about the Water Man, a magical being that has the ability to help people cheat death.
Desperate and determined, Gunner joins forces with a girl named Jo and ventures into the forest in an attempt to find the Water Man and save his mother. While there, the pair are subject to a whole bunch of weird and wonderful happenings, and Gunner escapes further into his fantasy world. A sad watch, for sure, but a good one.
9. Puss in Boots
Part Shrek spin-off, and partly inspired by the famous tale of Puss in Boots, this wonderful computer-animated film is full of laughs and adventure, and is suitable for all the family. The movie follows the titular character before the Shrek years as he goes on an adventure to try and find magical beans that will lead him to fame and fortune. Puss in Boots has an absolutely stellar cast, with Antonio Banderas voicing the main character, and his two sidekicks Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws being played by Zach Galifianakis and Salma Hayek.
The hilarious villains of the film are an evil version of Jack and Jill, played by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris, who also put in sterling performances. You’ll smile, you’ll be intrigued, and you might even shed a tear or two — but most importantly you’ll have a good time watching this film.
While this Peter Pan-related film hasn’t quite received the critical acclaim that avid fans feel it deserves, there’s no doubt it’s a fun romp that all the family will enjoy. Hook follows an excellent Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan, who’s forgotten his roots in Neverland. However, when his children are kidnapped by his old enemy Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman at his brilliant best), Peter has to return to the place he once swore he’d never leave and try to rescue them. A wonderful little bit of cinema that has a truly heartwarming ending, this Steven Spielberg movie might not be the director’s very best work, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
7. Howl’s Moving Castle
Is there anything that matches the magic of Studio Ghibli? The Japanese animation powerhouse has released hit after hit, and since 2020 almost all of its films have been available to stream on Netflix, bar the ultra-depressing Grave of the Fireflies. Without a doubt, one of the best Ghibli films is Howl’s Moving Castle, based loosely on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, and this movie shows off the skills that legendary writer and director Hayao Miyazaki has honed over years of producing fantastic content. It follows a young girl who is accidentally turned into an elderly woman, and her attempts to get her old life back while becoming entangled with a wizard named Howl. Truly spellbinding.
A Christmas film that can be enjoyed year-round, Klaus was the first animated Netflix original to be nominated for an Academy Award, and when you watch the movie it’s easy to see why. With a stellar cast led by Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, and Will Sasso, the talent translates brilliantly into an engaging and affecting story. Klaus offers us an alternative origin story for Santa Claus and follows the adventures of a postman who is sent to work on a remote northern island town, where he befriends an imposing but friendly toymaker. Along the way, they end a years-long family feud, and bring joy to plenty of kids. Heartwarming and wonderful, this became an instant classic upon its release.
5. Spirited Away
Another iconic entry from Ghibli, this famous tale is about a young girl named Chihiro whose family stumbles upon what seems to be an abandoned theme park, only for her parents to be turned into pigs. Chihiro soon discovers the amusement park is actually a spirit hotel, and she’s forced to work there while she tries and discovers a way to free her parents from the spell they’re under and escape back into the real world. Aesthetically unmatched, with a beautiful story and some truly outstanding voice acting, Spirited Away is an absolute classic, and perfect for all the family to enjoy.
4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Like all the best family movies, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs has a real profundity to it, addressing topics like intergenerational trauma, food scarcity, and the impact of unchecked experimentation. The film follows the adventures of Flint, a young inventor who lives with his father on an island with a failing economy thanks to a declining sardine population. After an accident, one of his machines begins turning rain into food, thus solving a lot of the town’s problems.
However, complications soon arise as the machine spirals out of control, and Flint has to redeem himself by saving the day. A fun but emotional journey that perfectly utilizes its slightly ridiculous premise.
This villain-to-hero story puts a unique spin on an old premise and does so brilliantly. The titular character (voiced by Will Ferrell) is a bored supervillain who, after defeating his latest nemesis, builds his own superhero so he’ll actually have a challenge. However, he soon loses control of his creation, and as a result, has to become the hero that he once so despised. Like a blend of the best of Despicable Me and The Incredibles, Megamind guarantees laughs and good times for all ages.
2. Paddington & Paddington 2
The bear from Peru who loves marmalade has been a staple of British popular culture for decades, but this live-action comedy and its even better sequel brought the loveable creature to the rest of the world, and it turns out they adore him too. Paddington follows the titular bear as he comes to London after his home is destroyed by an earthquake, in search of a friendly explorer who once met his uncle and aunt. After some trials and tribulations, he settles with the Brown family and finally gets a real home.
The sequel saw the adorable bear framed for robbery and sent to prison, before escaping and trying to clear his name. There’s a reason Paddington 2 retains a 99 percent RT rating, and was the most-reviewed film on the site to keep a 100 percent, and when you watch it, it’s easy to see why. Thankfully, we’re all set for a third film soon.
This 1996 film based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name has everything you want in a family movie. Matilda follows the adventures of the titular character, a precocious young girl with a love of reading and a totally rotten family who discovers she has the ability to move things with her mind. As she joins the local school she meets the sweet Ms Honey and begins a series of battles with the brutish headmistress, Ms Trunchbull. With a stellar cast, a great script, and all the magic in the world, this is an absolute classic.