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30 Best Animated Movies On Netflix [December 2022]

With streaming services like Netflix filling our homes with endless amounts of content on a weekly basis, it can sometimes be a chore to even find what you want to watch at any given moment. So when you're in the mood to move away from the "real world" and immerse yourself in a film filled with imaginative, visual splendor, where can you turn? What can you do? What possible options do you have?

Well, never fear because we've got you covered on all the best animated feature films that are waiting for you on Netflix! From family favorites and adult masterpieces to television adaptations and original stories crafted for the silver screen, the world of feature animation is rich and varied. And compiled for your viewing pleasure, here are the best of the best for your perusal on Netflix at this very moment!

Updated on December 1, 2022: Because Netflix is constantly updating their expansive catalog, we'll be refreshing this list each month with new animated flicks for your enjoyment. So whether you're looking for a cartoon that's for the whole family or a film that's a little more grown-up, we'll keep things current each month with new selections.

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Richard Linklater is a masterful indie filmmaker of many talents, and with "Apollo 10 1/2," he combines the dreamlike animation of his "Waking Life" and "A Scanner Darkly" with the tender unflinching approach to adolescence in "Boyhood," creating a joyful, fun-for-all-ages celebration of the Apollo space program. "Apollo 10 1/2" is a period piece set in suburban Houston, not far from the NASA command center in 1969 in the lead-up to the moon landing. A fantastical take on real events, the plot concerns NASA recruiting a kid to travel to the moon first because they goofed and built the lunar module so small that only a child can use it to travel into space.

Arlo the Alligator Boy

Though this new direct-to-Netflix release may have gone fairly under the radar, it's absolutely worth seeking out the darling musical adventures of "Arlo the Alligator Boy." Arlo's just your typical half-human, half-alligator kid, yearning to find where he came from. And just his luck, on his 15th birthday, he learns the truth of who his father might be. So off we go on a magical, singing adventure, and with a cast of fun-loving characters and wonderful lessons to be learned along the way about accepting who you really are, "Arlo the Alligator Boy" is the earnest, joyful new movie you've been looking for.

  • Starring: Michael J. Woodard, Mary Lambert, Jonathan Van Ness
  • Director: Ryan Crego
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: TV-Y7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

The Bad Guys

Based on Aaron Blabey's popular graphic novels and animated in lush style, "The Bad Guys" is a gleefully wicked action-packed comedy that gives the traditional villains of children's, folk, and fairy tales their time in the limelight. Cynical baddies Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, Mr. Piranha, and Ms. Tarantula are finally nailed for their legendary misdeeds. To avoid prison, they agree to work with smarmy guinea pig Professor Marmalade in a high-stakes effort to be good, decent, mild-mannered citizens. They initially bristle, but eventually find they kind of like the quiet life ... only to be pulled back into the underworld when a new and unaffiliated bad guy threatens their city.

  • Starring: Sam Rockwell, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron
  • Director: Pierre Perifel
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Beowulf

It's hard to believe that until 2007, "Beowulf" — the ancient epic poem that stands as one of the earliest artifacts of action storytelling in the world — hadn't seen a major Hollywood adaptation. But Robert Zemeckis, technical wizard that he is, came along to right that wrong with this motion-capture, gory retelling of the ancient saga of the great hero Beowulf taking on the hideous creature Grendel (played by Crispin Glover in a career-best performance). Though a lot of the visuals may appear clunky by today's standards, there's something delightful about an animated film so devoted to visceral scenes of nightmarish action, and "Beowulf," standing as one of the few adult-oriented animated blockbusters out there, is well worth seeking out.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

After Phil Lord and Chris Miller took a bizarre children's book and turned it into an animation success, the sequel door opened wide for "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2." After turning his home island into a giant food depository, inventor Flint Lockwood learns that his food-generating device is creating sentient food creatures, and he must journey back to the island to halt even further impending doom. Mixing the heightened action of a "Jurassic Park" film with the delightful puns you might find on an episode of "Veggie Tales," this delicious sequel is able to heighten the absurdity of its predecessor to mouth-watering results.

Flavors of Youth

"Flavors of Youth" is comprised of three short vignettes, each of which explores a different necessity of life: food, clothing, or shelter. In the first story, a man grown nostalgic for his long-gone childhood desperately recreates the rice noodle dish he fondly associates with that time. The second shows two distant sisters attempting to reconnect. The third follows a young man who's moved back to his hometown as he recaptures memories of an old girlfriend by listening to her cassettes. Each chapter is a luminous delight.

  • Starring: Mariya Ise, Hiroki Yasumoto, Haruka Shiraishi
  • Directors: Li Haoling, Yoshitaka Takeuchi, Jiaoshou Yi Xiaoxing
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 75 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Funan

Too often, animation is waved off as nothing more than a children's medium, but that's honestly the farthest thing from the truth. Like any art form, animation is just the medium for artistic expression and can tell stories about any subject under the sun. Nowhere is that clearer than the tragically epic "Funan," chronicling the story of Chou, a woman desperate to find her son after he was taken from her during the Khmer Rouge revolution of 1975. With vivid 2D-animation crafting masterful images, "Funan" is just the film for those looking to see how the world of animation can tell more adult, serious stories.

  • Starring: Berenice Bejo, Louis Garrel, Colette Kiefer
  • Director: Denis Do
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Gnome Alone

Tween Chloe and her mother have just moved to a new house in a new town where she doesn't know anybody. As if finding her place here isn't strange and stressful enough, she also has to contend with a supernatural battle for the ages happening beneath her feet ... as well as in the basement, the garden, and everywhere else around the house. Tiny, vicious, globular monsters called Troggs are pouring into her home after a passageway to another realm opens up. Chloe doesn't have to fight them alone, however: She's helped by a veritable army of capable and well-armed garden gnomes who come to life to wage war against the awful Troggs.

Hilda and the Mountain King

An adventure too grand to be produced as an episode of "Hilda" (Netflix's ongoing animated series based on Luke Pearson's fantastical graphic novel saga), "Hilda and the Mountain King" finds its titular questing kid facing the biggest challenge of her life. Hilda, a human girl, awakens and finds herself transformed into a troll. Somehow, despite her limitations — such as the how the sun can turn her into a statue, as well as the remoteness and ambiguity of her temporary home in the Stone Forest — she'll have to find her way back to where she belongs, turn back into her original form, meet up with her friends who are in hot pursuit, and save the threatened realm of Trolberg.

Home

Based on Adam Rex's quirky and darkly funny kids novel "The True Meaning of Smekday," "Home" is the rare sci-fi extraterrestrial invasion movie in which the aliens are sympathetic characters and the action takes place well after the takeover of Earth. A hive-minded race of squat purple creatures called the Boov try to rustle up and move all of humanity, but a little kid named Tip escapes and hides out, only to encounter Oh, a rogue Boov. They understandably don't get along at first, but they become friends when they realize neither has any interest in the Boov's new world order. They then venture out to find Tip's mother and evade yet another invasion, this time from the hostile, Boov-hating Gorg.

  • Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin
  • Director: Tim Johnson
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

I Lost My Body

An Academy Award-nominated piece of gorgeous and electrifying animation, "I Lost My Body" is the surreal story of young Naoufel and his severed hand (it's a long story). The film charmingly tracks these two in tandem — Naoufel and his life leading up to the moment he lost his hand and the present-day hand journeying across France to reunite with his body. As surreal as it is painfully down-to-earth, "I Lost My Body" is a perfect piece of adult animation that's both visually and emotionally compelling.

  • Starring: Hakim Faris, Victoire Du Bois, Patrick d'Assumcao
  • Director: Jeremy Clapin
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 81 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

Invader Zim can sometimes feel like the neglected stepchild of the Nicktoons family. Embraced by many long after its cancelation, this idiosyncratic piece of outsider animation finally got turned into a Netflix-exclusive, feature-length adventure, with the chaotic, invasion-craving alien Zim and his trusty manic robot sidekick, GIR, on the verge of finally taking over the planet Earth, despite the best intentions of skeptical Earth-child Dib. Featuring the gorgeously jarring humor and art style of series creator Jhonen Vasquez, "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus" is a welcome return to the screen for one of Nickelodeon's most mind-bending animated creations.

  • Starring: Richard Horvitz, Rosearik Rikki Simons, Kevin McDonald
  • Directors: Hae Young Jung, Young Kyun Park, Jhonen Vasquez
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 71 minutes
  • Rating: TV-Y7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Klaus

Barely two years old and already an instant holiday classic, "Klaus" puts a new spin on the origin story of old Saint Nick himself, taking us along on the journey of a selfish postman named Jesper, whose blooming friendship with a reclusive toymaker — the titular Klaus — becomes the basis for Christmas traditions across the globe. With gorgeous hand-drawn animation, fun character design, and a heart of gold, "Klaus" is that perfect film to give you the Christmas spirit at any time of the year.

  • Starring: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
  • Director: Sergio Pablos
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

The Loud House Movie

For those looking for a newer Nickelodeon TV show-to-film adaptation, you're in luck with "The Loud House Movie," the feature film extension of the wildly popular cartoon show about Lincoln Loud, a young boy growing up in a family with 10 sisters. As if that premise wasn't wild enough, the film takes the Loud family to Scotland, where they discover that young Lincoln is the new duke of Loch Loud. With a zany and irreverent animation style and a new adventure that throws castles, dragons, and ghosts into the mix, "The Loud House Movie" is a surefire delight for kids of all ages.

Mirai

For good reason, it can often feel like the most mature expressions of filmmaking in the medium of animation are coming outside of the United States, and Mamoru Hosada's "Mirai" is a perfect example of how non-American animators are using the world of animation to explore characters and themes in far richer terms than just churning out plot machines. With "Mirai," Hosoda's simple story of a young boy learning to accept his newborn baby sister is told through mystical and surreal means, but the plot plays second fiddle to the brilliant atmosphere and lush visual storytelling of Hosoda's altogether breathtaking piece of animation.

Missing Link

Myths run into each other in "Missing Link," a charming stop-motion tale of grand adventure that explores the cultural tropes of the 19th century. Sir Lionel Frost is a globetrotting explorer and seeker of cryptids desperate to belong to the Society of Great Men. On a trip to the Pacific Northwest, he encounters Mr. Link, a real-life Sasquatch. Sir Lionel and Mr. Link agree to help each other out: The creature will certainly earn Sir Lionel entry into the explorers' club, while Mr. Link can rely on his partner's skills to help him find the legendary land of Shangri-La, where his long-lost kin live. But pulling this off turns out to be a lot  more complicated than they anticipate.

  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldana
  • Director: Chris Butler
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

One of 2021's most genuinely surprising comedy hits, "The Mitchells vs. the Machines" is a jam-packed, utterly hysterical film from Sony Pictures Animation that's not only one of the best animated movies of the year but one of the best movies, period. In a last ditch effort to bond with his college-bound daughter, Rick Mitchell tosses his family's plane tickets and trades them in for a cross-country road trip, which just so happens to coincide with a robot apocalypse uprising. Together, it's up to the Mitchell family to save the planet while also learning to be a great family. 

  • Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
  • Director: Michael Rianda
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Next Gen

Like a combination of "E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial," "Big Hero 6," and various movies about charismatic but evil tech geniuses, "Next Gen" is an exciting, eye-popping, futuristic bit of CGI animation with something to say. Mai and her mother live in the city of Grainland, in a near-futuristic world where robots perform a number of everyday tasks. After getting agitated at a product presentation at IQ Robotics (for a line of designed-to-explode products), Mai finds a robotics lab, where Dr. Tanner Rice has created a war droid named 7723. Mai inadvertently brings the bot to life, which instantly imprints on her and follows her home, despite the police giving chase and the machine damaging his core. Things quickly escalate, and soon Mai and 7723 — who forge a powerful and touching bond — are fighting the very people who brought the robot into existence.

  • Starring: John Krasinski, David Cross, Charlene Yi
  • Director: Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Over the Moon

From legendary animator Glen Keane, this film — initially inspired by the Chinese myth of Chang'e — tells the story of young Fei Fei and her quest to prove her worth to her family by traveling to the moon. While the film finds itself in wonderfully fantastical settings, it's all based in an overwhelming emotional core, and it never forgets that. From the moment Fei Fei launches her rocket into orbit, you know you're in for the adventure of a lifetime.

  • Starring: Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong
  • Director: Glen Keane
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie

This spinoff of the "Madagascar" movies — a franchise about talking animals with big personalities — focuses entirely on the silliest talking animals with the biggest personalities: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private, four penguins who fancy themselves as secret agents straight out of a mid-century war movie. In the wacky anthropomorphic spy spoof "Penguins of Madagascar," these cliche-defying penguins join up with the secretive North Wind agency, led by the bewildering Agent Classified, in order to take down the Doctor Octopus-riffing supervillain Dr. Octavius Brine and stop his nefarious plan for worldwide devastation.

  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath
  • Director: Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Robin Robin

Gentle, sweet, and engrossing, "Robin Robin" is a half-hour tale from Aardman Animations, the studio that gave the world "Shaun the Sheep" and "Wallace and Gromit." It's a short piece about how families can be chosen and developed, not necessarily created by biology, as well as finding one's place in the world despite the odds being stacked against them. An abandoned, big-eyed baby robin is raised by an adoptive family of mice, which only becomes an issue when she gets a little older and can't do the other things that mice do. In order to prove her mousey mettle, she stages a heist, breaking into a home of "Who-Mans," evading a cat, and stealing a coveted shiny object.

  • Starring: Bronte Carmichael, Richard E. Grant, Gillian Anderson
  • Director: Daniel Ojari and Michael Please
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 32 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Sahara

There aren't a lot of animated movies set in the Sahara Desert, but "Sahara," which dares to make heroic characters out of venomous serpents, makes an excellent case for this forbidding environment. Way out in the desert sands, a clan of green snakes live a life of luxury and abundance within a comfortable oasis. Contrast this with the venomous snakes, who survive amidst intense heat and the constant threat of death at the hands of nomads. Princess Eva is part of the former camp. While fleeing an arranged marriage, she meets and falls in love with Ajar, an overlooked serpent from the latter group who is shunned by his community because he hasn't molted yet. But he'll prove his mettle when he has to save Eva.

The Sea Beast

Animation director Chris Williams, known for his work on "Moana," "Big Hero 6," and "Bolt," returns to the world of legends and folk tales with "The Sea Beast." It's a beautifully rendered story of long ago, when fearsome beasts stalked the sea, threatening wayfarers and attracting the attention of monster hunters looking to vanquish them. Or at least, that's the story everyone believes — including the greatest monster hunter of all, Jacob Holland. But this swashbuckler is thrown for a loop when a child named Maisie stows away on his ship for a transformative journey and a memorable encounter with an actual sea beast.

  • Starring: Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris
  • Director: Chris Williams
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Shaun the Sheep — the lovable wooly critter introduced in Wallace and Gromit's "A Close Shave" – is back on the big screen after his wildly popular first cinematic outing "The Shaun the Sheep Movie." Naturally, things have taken a turn for the extraterrestrial here in "A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon" as Shaun and his animal pals must help their new alien friend, Lu-La, return home and avoid getting in the hands of nefarious forces. As is typical with the "Shaun the Sheep" franchise, this is a film filled with hilarious slapstick humor, charming stop-motion animation, and all the heart you can expect from a lovable sheep named Shaun.

  • Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Kate Harbour
  • Directors: Richard Phelan & Will Becher
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Sing 2

Like the first "Sing" movie, "Sing 2" features plenty of adorable and sassy CGI animals singing well-known pop songs with the familiar voices of various celebrities. Following the success of his musical competition — the focus of the first film — theater owner and koala Buster Moon wants to break into the mainstream. Sadly, he's rejected by entertainment gatekeepers. The solution: Con his way into an audition in the big city and impress media mogul Jimmy Crystal, while also enlisting the help of rock star Clay Calloway. But Calloway isn't keen on assisting, as he hasn't shown his face in public in more than a decade. Watching Buster and his troop of talented performers wrestle with this as they attempt to put on a great show is bubbly, toe-tapping fun.

  • Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson
  • Director: Garth Jennings
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans

From the staggering imagination of Guillermo del Toro, "Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans" hit Netflix in 2021, bringing the epic "Tales of Arcadia" saga to a satisfying conclusion. Granted, you'll have to be familiar with the TV series "Trollhunters," "3Below," and "Wizards" to truly appreciate this gem, but once you're up to speed, you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat as all your favorite heroes take on the Arcane Order and try to save the world from the — you guessed it — rise of the titans. With voice work from beloved figures like Steven Yeun, Nick Offerman, Tatiana Maslany, Kelsey Grammer, and Diego Luna, this is a truly magical adventure for the whole family.

  • Starring: Emile Hirsch, Lexi Medrano, Charlie Saxton
  • Directors: Johane Matte, Andrew L. Schmidt, Francisco Ruiz Velaco
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: TV-Y7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Vivo

Lin-Manuel Miranda is having one heck of a 2021. Between the marvelous film adaptation of his stage musical "In the Heights," his latest song contributions to the upcoming Disney feature "Encanto," and his feature directorial debut "Tick, Tick... Boom!," the multi-award-winning composer/performer is inescapable in his artistic pursuits. Now, you can add "Vivo" to that list — a charming new animated feature from Sony Pictures Animation about the titular kinkajou (voiced by Miranda), a musical mammal prodigy who must travel from the streets of Havana to the heart of Miami, Florida. With songs penned by Miranda himself and featuring a supporting cast including Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry, and Gloria Estefan, "Vivo" is another delightful entry in the remarkable year of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

  • Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry
  • Director: Kirk DeMicco
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

White Fang

One of the most widely read and enduring books published by early 20th-century novelist Jack London, "White Fang" is told from the point of view of a young wolf pup, and this all-animated adaptation (that looks like a living painting) faithfully adheres to the source material. After finding himself separated from his mother in the wild, the little wolfdog sets off on a journey of discovery and adventure, adopted into an Indigenous community as a sled dog, stolen and forced into a fighting ring, then freed and rescued by a the human who will become his closest ally.

  • Starring: Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Paul Giamatti
  • Director: Alexandre Espigares
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

The Willoughbys

A charmingly bizarre Netflix film that may have gone under the radar for some, "The Willoughbys," based on the book of the same name by Lois Lowry, follows four wayward children and the parents who would give anything to have a life without them. In an effort to rid themselves of their vicious parents, the Willoughby children arrange to send them on a "dream vacation" to the most dangerous destinations on the planet where nothing but hilarity ensues. Crafted with a gorgeous and fun animation style, and filled to the brim with memorable voice performances, "The Willoughbys" is a delightful and deadly journey worth taking.

  • Starring: Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara
  • Director: Kris Pearn
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Wish Dragon

Sony Pictures Animation is having a rather busy 2021, with "The Mitchells vs. the Machines" already wowing audiences earlier this year and another "Hotel Transylvania" film ready to delight audiences in theaters in just a few months. Not to be forgotten, though, is "Wish Dragon," a charming new film about a young man who finds a dragon in a teapot and has three wishes all to himself. Even if you think the whole three wishes story device isn't so fresh anymore, the film's take on the "genie" legend — mixed with a lush, rich color palette — provides some much needed new perspectives in this not-to-be-missed animated adventure.

  • Starring: Jimmy Wong, John Cho, Constance Wu
  • Director: Chris Appelhans
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%