The 16 best kids cartoons to stream right now

Palmer Haasch
·11 min read
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Netflix animated series
This new series follows a human girl as she encounters new mutants and friends. Netflix
  • With a glut of streaming service programming to choose from, it can be difficult to find programs that you like.

  • Cartoons are available on all major streaming platforms, with a variety of selections that range from all-ages adventure series to lighthearted stories for younger audiences.

  • From series like Disney's "Phineas and Ferb" to Dreamworks and Netflix's "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts," here are the best kids cartoons to stream right now.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

When it comes to cartoons, major streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max all have options for fans to watch, from original series to classics.

And these cartoons aren't just for kids. From 2010s hits like Disney's "Phineas and Ferb" to Dreamworks and Netflix collaborations like "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts," there are plenty of options that cater to audiences of all ages. Whether you're looking for an adventure that's fun for the entire family or a lighthearted coming-of-age story, there's sure to be a selection for you.

Insider has compiled the best kids' cartoons to stream right now, including selections from Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. 

"Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts"

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Netflix
This new series follows a human girl as she encounters new mutants and friends. Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; those who enjoy music and adventure

Dreamworks and Netflix's "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts" is a heartfelt, post-apocalyptic triumph.

Created by Radford Sechrist, the series follows 13-year-old Kipo Oak as she navigates a world in which anthropomorphic animals called "mutes" (short for mutants) rule the surface. After being forced to leave the underground bunker in which she grew up, Kipo makes friends with Wolf, a tough-as-nails veteran surface dweller, and Benson and Dave, a human and mute pair of friends who travel together.

While trying to survive, Kipo learns that her connection to the surface is stronger than she initially thought.

With a stellar soundtrack from Daniel Rojas and animation from South Korean Studio Mir ("Voltron: Legendary Defender," "The Legend of Korra"), "Kipo" packs a tight, three-season emotional punch. 

"She-Ra and the Princesses of Power"

she ra and the princesses of power netflix
Catra and Adora of 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.' Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; those who like fantasy and adventure

From Dreamworks and Netflix, this series reboots the 1980s series "She-Ra: Princess of Power" for a modern audience.

Helmed by creator Noelle Stevenson, "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" is centered around the relationship between Catra and Adora, two childhood friends and soldiers for the Horde, an alien force invading the planet Etheria. When Adora learns that she has the power to transform into She-Ra, she defects from the Horde, throwing her relationship with Catra into conflict.

 

"Tales of Arcadia" trilogy

wizards tales of arcadia
"Wizards" was the third installment of the "Tales of Arcadia" trilogy. Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix ("Trollhunters," "3Below," "Wizards")

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, adults, and Guillermo del Toro fans

A cartoon trilogy (with a movie on the way) from "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro, "Tales of Arcadia" actually encapsulates three separate animated series: "Trollhunters," "3Below," and "Wizards," all available on Netflix.

The trilogy takes place in and around the town of Arcadia Oaks, California, where trolls live beneath the crust, aliens crash land while fleeing a coup d'etat on their home planet, and wizards hide amongst men.

Featuring plenty of action, goofs, and the voice talents of Kelsey Grammer, Steven Yeun, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, and Colin O'Donoghue (among others), "Tales of Arcadia" is plenty of all-ages friendly action that still bears the fantastical mark of its creator. 

"Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir"

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Cat Noir and Ladybug in "Miraculous." Zagtoon

Where to watch: Netflix

Who should watch: Younger kids and up; those who enjoy slow-burn romance

This series focuses on two Parisian superheroes, Ladybug and Cat Noir, who protect the city against people who have been "akumatized," or given evil powers by supervillain Hawkmoth.

However, Ladybug and Cat Noir are actually Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, two middle school classmates who don't know each other's secret identities. To make matters more complicated, Marinette has a debilitating crush on Adrien, while he's infatuated with Ladybug, who couldn't be less interested. 

Created by Thomas Astruc ("Code Lyoko"), "Miraculous" is a fandom hit, regularly appearing in the top 10 of Tumblr's Fandometrics lists, which track engagement with tags on the platform.

"My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic"

my little pony friendship is magic
"My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" Hasbro

Where to watch: Netflix (seasons one through eight); Hulu (season nine)

Who should watch: Younger kids and up; those who enjoy musical cartoons

"My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" got a lot of attention because of its massive male fanbase that exploded during the 2010s. Underneath the fandom reputation, however, is a genuinely good cartoon series that's both entertaining and heartwarming, featuring a fun ensemble cast and catchy original soundtrack.

Princess Celestia, the ruler of fantasy world Equestria, sends her protégée Twilight Sparkle to the town of Ponyville to learn more about the magic of friendship as part of her training. Across nine seasons, Twilight and her friends — Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie — grow together and defeat various foes with the power of friendship in a way that's less corny than it sounds.

"Hilda"

hilda netflix
"Hilda." Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix

Who should watch: Young kids and up; heartwarming for all ages

This whimsical series, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Luke Pearson, follows Hilda, an adventurous child whose world is upended when she and her mother move from their woodland cabin into the city.

After making friends with classmates and Frida and David, Hilda continues to explore the city of Trolberg and the creatures that inhabit the surrounding lands. 

"Avatar: The Last Airbender"

avatar the last airbender
Aang from "Avatar: The Last Airbender." Nickelodeon

Where to watch: Netflix

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; lovers of fantasy and adventure

A Nickelodeon classic, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" takes place in a world divided into four elemental nations, where certain people are born with the ability to "bend" (i.e. manipulate) either earth, air, water, or fire. One individual, called the Avatar, is given the ability to bend all four, and in return is tasked with maintaining the balance between humans and spirits. 

Twelve-year-old Avatar Aang is stuck in an iceberg for 100 years, and the world into which he emerges is much different than the one he left. Along with Water Tribe siblings Sokka and Katara, Aang travels around the world to master all four elements and restore balance to the world.

"The Legend of Korra"

the legend of korra
"The Legend of Korra" follows a new Avatar and is set 70 years after the original series. Nickelodeon

Where to watch: Netflix

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; fans of "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

The sequel to "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "The Legend of Korra" picks up 70 years after the end of the first series.

Korra, a 17-year-old from the Southern Water Tribe, is the new Avatar. A master of water, earth, and fire, she travels to the bustling metropolis of Republic City to learn airbending from Aang's son, Tenzin. As she grows into a fully realized Avatar, Korra confronts political forces and villains that seemingly target her worst flaws.

With a more mature tone than its predecessor, "Korra" is a thrill for all ages.

 

"Phineas and Ferb"

candace phineas and ferb movie
Phineas, Candace, and Ferb in "Candace Against the Universe," a "Phineas and Ferb" movie that was released on Disney+ in 2020. Disney

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Who should watch: Younger kids and up; those who grew up with the series

Phineas and Ferb are a pair of innovation-inclined brothers who spend their full summer vacation inventing new creations while their older sister, Candace, fruitlessly attempts to bust them by exposing their activities to their mother.

A Gen Z classic with a killer soundtrack and a sense of imagination, "Phineas and Ferb" is timeless and resoundingly funny and endearing for every age group. 

"Tangled: The Series"

tangled the series rapunzel eugene cassandra disney
Eugene, Rapunzel, and newcomer Cassandra in "Tangled: The Series." Disney

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Who should watch: Older kids and up; "Tangled" fans and Alan Menken enthusiasts

Also referred to as "Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure," this series picks up in the aftermath of the animated film "Tangled" and a short follow-up called "Tangled: Ever After."

Rapunzel, now the princess of Corona, sets out on a quest to discover the origins of the mysterious black rocks that restored her magical blonde hair (remember, it was cut at the end of "Tangled.")

The show's greatest strengths lie in its Alan Menken and Glenn Slater-penned soundtrack (sung by a slew of Broadway veterans that include Jeremy Jordan, Eden Espinoza, and James Monroe Igleheart) and new additions to the cast who weren't included in the original movie.

"The Proud Family"

the proud family title sequence
"The Proud Family." Disney

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Who should watch: Older kids and up; those who grew up with the series

A Disney Channel classic, "The Proud Family" was created by Bruce W. Smith and ran from 2001 to 2005. The show follows the titular family, which includes teenage daughter Penny, her infant twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, mother Trudy, father Oscar, and grandmother Suga Mama.

"The Proud Family" was one of the first animated series to focus on a Black family, with a thriving ensemble cast voiced by predominately non-white voice actors.

And if you blow through the original series, have no fear — Disney is rebooting the series with "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder," a sequel series that will premiere on Disney Plus.

"Gravity Falls"

dipper mabel grunkle stan gravity falls
Dipper, Mabel, and Grunkle stan in "Gravity Falls." Disney

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; those who enjoy supernatural, off-the-wall shows 

"Gravity Falls," helmed by creator Alex Hirsch, is one of Disney's weirdest cartoon series in the best way possible.

Siblings Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to spend the summer with their "Grunkle" — great uncle — Stan, who runs the "Mystery Shack," a tourist trap located in Gravity Fall, Oregon. Over the course of the summer, they work to unravel Gravity Falls' various mysteries.

"Steven Universe"

steven universe title
Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven in "Steven Universe." Cartoon Network

Where to watch: Hulu (seasons one through four); HBO Max (full series)

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; those who enjoy musical series and crying over cartoons

"Steven Universe," created by Rebecca Sugar, follows the adventures of the titular Steven Universe, a half-human, half-gem child being raised by three humanoid aliens — Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl — called the Crystal Gems.

Steven and the Crystal Gems work to protect the Earth from other, hostile gems, and along the way, Steven learns more about his mother, the universe, and his own destiny.

Radically empathetic, "Steven Universe" is a must-watch for all ages.

"Adventure Time"

adventure time
Finn and Jake in "Adventure Time." Cartoon Network

Where to watch: Hulu; HBO Max

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; those who enjoy goofy humor and one-off episodes

This Cartoon Network series, created by Pembleton Ward, follows best friends Jake the Dog and Finn the Human on their adventures throughout the Land of Ooo.

Delightfully weird, "Adventure Time" takes place in a post-apocalyptic society that's colorful, random, and empathetic. Despite the series' breakneck pace, it still has plenty of room for thoughtful character development and lore, making it a worthwhile watch for all ages.

"Infinity Train"

infinity train cartoon network tulip
Tulip in "Infinity Train." Cartoon Network

Where to watch: HBO Max

Who should watch: Older kids, teens, and adults; those who enjoy introspection and adventure

A Cartoon Network anthology series created by Owen Dennis, "Infinity Train" takes place on a mysterious, seemingly endless train that picks up passengers with unresolved emotional trauma.

On the train, they must complete various challenges in order to resolve their problems; their progress is measured by a number on their hand. Once that number reaches zero, they're able to depart the train. 

"Danger and Eggs"

danger and eggs amazon prime
D.D. and Phillip in "Danger and Eggs." Amazon Prime Video

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

Who should watch: Young kids; those who enjoy goofy, wholesome shows

This series, from creator Shadi Petosky, follows D.D. Danger and her best friend Philip, a giant egg, as they create their own adventures in Chickenpaw Park.

Delightfully goofy, the show also garnered praise for its casual LGBTQ representation, touching on concepts of chosen family, gender identity, and queer friendship.

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