Netflix releases far fewer Netflix Family movies and shows than it does other Netflix Originals. Since March, the streaming service has added about four dozen projects in the Netflix Family category. In contrast, Netflix released more than that across the other Netflix Original categories during August alone.
On top of this, many of the Netflix Family additions have been reboots or spinoffs from previous projects. In August, Netflix Family titles included “Super Monsters: The New Class,” “Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave,” “The New Legends of Monkey” and “The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Kids in Space.” (Bolding done by me.)
Already recognizable properties make it easier for parents to know what they’re getting into. But it also means quite a few lackluster movies and shows to sift through in search of something worth watching.
With the pandemic not going anywhere soon and many children hanging at home through the fall, I figured I’d round up a few recommendations in the Netflix Family category. All of these joined the service in the last few months. The list starts with suggestions for the youngest demo and works up to stories for older kids.
Check out the movies and shows below.
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Premise: Host Emily Calandrelli leads children through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) experiments. These projects include making a lava lamp and learning about solar power.
Runtime: 10 episodes of roughly 13 minutes over one season
Premise: A team of anthropomorphic animal engineers fixes problems around their colorful town. The team creates scientific solutions that are almost magical, while still acting silly along the way.
Runtime: 20 episodes of roughly 14 minutes over two seasons
Premise: Kate McKinnon voices Ms. Fiona Frizzle in a reboot of the 1990s animated show about an adventuring classroom. In this one-off movie, the class goes to the International Space Station.
Runtime: The movie special is 46 minutes. The show runs 26 episodes of roughly 25 minutes over two seasons.
Premise: In this adaptation of the 1980s and 1990s book series, middle-school girls bond over a joint babysitting business. While the babysitting and school days act as a glue for the group, each character also goes through some personal discovery about what they want from life.
Runtime: 10 episodes of roughly 25 minutes over one season
Premise: In this animated reboot of the 1980s series, a teenage girl living on a mysterious planet discovers a magical sword. She uses the sword to join a resistance group fighting against an evil empire that seeks to acquire more and more power.
Runtime: 52 episodes of roughly 24 minutes over five seasons
Bonus: “The Sleepover”
Premise: This new Netflix Film isn’t technically in the Netflix Family category, but it straddles the line. A former successful art thief left the life to raise a family, whom she doesn’t tell about her past. But when she goes missing, her children and their school friends discover her hidden gadgets and use them to try to save her.
Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes