Finding something to watch with your whole household can be a pain. Luckily, Hulu’s got you covered with a strong selection of movies that are fun for everyone.
We’ve looked through Hulu’s library and chosen the ten best options for a family movie night. From heartwarming tales of friendship to beautifully animated adventures, these selections are guaranteed to satisfy every branch of your family tree. Plus, you don’t need any of Hulu’s add-on subscriptions to watch these, so they’re completely hassle-free.
Here, in no particular order, are the 10 best family-friendly movies on Hulu.
1. Shrek (and Shrek 2)
Ogres are like onions!
Credit: Dreamworks Animation
A meme-worthy masterpiece still celebrated 20 years after its release, Shrek is one of the most iconic kid movies of all time. It perfectly balances fairy tale characters and gross-out gags with a sweet story about loving yourself and never judging a book by its cover. Everyone’s favorite grouchy green ogre, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers), reluctantly quests to rescue Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz). Along the way, he encounters trusty sidekick Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy), fights a dragon, and monologues about onions. The shenanigans reach new heights in Shrek 2. Also on Hulu, the sequel is worth the watch for the “Holding Out for a Hero” sequence alone. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Fellow (*)
How to watch: Shrek is now streaming on Hulu.
2. Free Willy
Few children’s movie tropes are as tried and true as an unlikely friendship between humans and animals. And few children’s movies nail that trope as hard as Free Willy. A classic coming-of-age story, Free Willy follows Jesse (Jason James Richter), a troubled orphan who winds up working at an amusement park as punishment for vandalism. There, he befriends the park’s new orca, Willy. When he realizes that the park’s owner plans to harm Willy, Jesse works to help his friend escape. The bond between Willy and Jesse is about as heartwarming as you can get, and Willy’s triumphant jump over the rocks is a pure distillation of family-friendly joy. Free Willy may be over 20 years old, but it’s still one for the ages. — B.E. (*)
How to watch: Free Willy is now streaming on Hulu.
3. Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Grab your backpack and map and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Dora and the Lost City of Gold. In this live-action version of the popular cartoon, Dora (Isabela Merced), now 16 years old, has trouble adjusting to high school life. However, when her parents disappear in search of a lost city, Dora returns to the jungle to save the day. With plenty of hilarious action and meta references to the original show, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an exceptionally fun time. Merced delights as Dora, and she’s joined by familiar faces like her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), Boots the monkey (voiced by Danny Trejo), and the nefarious fox Swiper (voiced by Benicio del Toro). — B.E. (*)
How to watch: Dora and the Lost City of Gold is now streaming on Hulu.
4. Missing Link
From Coraline to Kubo and the Two Strings, animation studio Laika has consistently produced some of the best and most visually stunning movies of the past years. Missing Link is no exception. It tells the tale of Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a glory-seeking adventurer who discovers Sasquatch, A.K.A. Mr. Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Mr. Link is the last of his kind in the United States, but he desperately wants to join the Yetis rumored to be living in the Himalayas. He and Sir Lionel set out on an epic globetrotting adventure, joining up with the formidable Adelina (voiced by Zoe Saldana), running from hired assassins, and perhaps even stumbling upon a hidden civilization. Missing Link is full of quirky characters and action, and its exceptional stop-motion animation will take your breath away. — B.E. (*)
How to watch: Missing Link is now streaming on Hulu.
5. A Boy Named Charlie Brown
Credit: FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives Via Getty Images
A Boy Named Charlie Brown was the first full-length film based on Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, and it manages to effectively capture Peanuts‘ charm and complexity. Though the movie revolves around Charlie Brown (voiced by Peter Robbins) trying to win a spelling bee and prove he isn’t a failure, it feels more like a slice-of-life film thanks to the inclusion of several vignettes from the children’s daily lives. Beautifully animated and featuring an excellent score, A Boy Named Charlie Brown captures the whimsies and frustrations of childhood, all while delivering an important message about failure and continuing to push ahead when things go wrong. — B.E. (*)
How to watch: A Boy Named Charlie Brown is now streaming on Hulu.
6. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Plucky inventor Flint (voiced by Bill Hader) creates a device that makes food literally rain from the skies, to the initial delight of his small town. Unfortunately, he discovers before long that these meals come with a hefty side of unintended consequences, and must figure out a way to stop his own creation from destroying the world.
Combining silly jokes, slick animation, and a sweet message, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a tasty dish for all ages. — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor (*)
How to watch: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is now streaming on Hulu.
7. Happy Feet
Want a toe-tapping good time? Then, check out this cool cartoon about a band of penguins, who love to sing and dance. Elijah Wood lends his voice to Mumbles, an emperor penguin who feels left out because he’s not much of a singer, like the rest of his raft. Instead, he prefers to shake a tail feather. This winsome fable about learning to love yourself is directed by George Miller. Along with sweeping musical numbers, he brings together a star-studded cast that boasts Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Steve Irwin, and many more. Together, they lend their voices to cuddly critters who burst into a panoply of popular songs, like “Somebody to Love,” “Kiss,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” A beak-to-toe delight, it’s only natural Happy Feet won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2007. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor (*)
How to watch: Happy Feet is now streaming on Hulu.
8. The Baby-Sitters Club
Long before Netflix made The Baby-Sitters Club book series into a streaming show, this 1995 gem brought Kristy, Dawn, Mary Ann, Claudia, Stacey, Mallory, and Jessi to life for a movie that pretty much encapsulates everything great about the 90s. It’s got Blossom hats, overalls, butt cuts, unsupervised children, and a rap number about the human brain that’s been stuck in people’s heads for 26 years and counting. While this Baby-Sitters Club movie may not have been a hit at the time, it successfully translates the book series’ blend of aspirational childhood fun and thoughtful handling of real-life issues. — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: The Baby-Sitters Club is now streaming on Hulu.
9. The Lorax
Anyone who says climate change activism is some newfangled thing clearly hasn’t seen the ’70s animated classic that is The Lorax (or read the Dr. Seuss book, published in 1971). Through whimsical rhymes and catchy tunes, The Lorax animated-special packs a brutal environmentalist punch that was as relevant 50 years ago as it is today. The story of the greedy Once-ler, who puts his capitalist desires ahead of the Lorax’s beloved Truffula forest, is still a recognizable analog for corporations that destroy the environment for profit, just as the short’s final phrase is still recognizable as a haunting call to arms: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — A.N.
How to watch: The Lorax is now streaming on Hulu.
10. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Someone let these children have a good time, please.
If you’re looking for a family flick with darker flair, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is the movie for you. Jim Carrey gives a delightfully deranged performance as Count Olaf, a sinister villain trying to steal the Baudelaire orphans’ family fortune.
Violet (Emily Browning), Klaus (Liam Aiken), and Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) try their best to escape Olaf’s clutches, but this proves difficult thanks to a host of incompetent adults and terrifying locations, including a reptile house and a leech-infested lake. With arresting visuals and a cast including Meryl Streep and Catherine O’Hara, A Series of Unfortunate Events is a morbidly fun ride that isn’t afraid to get weird. — B.E.
How to watch: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is now streaming on Hulu.
Asterisks (*) indicate this entry previously appeared in another Mashable streaming list.