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Compared to the other categories on Hulu, kids movies are clearly not the priority right now. There are definitely some great kids movies in Hulu’s library, but the selection is looking especially sparse at the moment. This is disappointing, because Hulu’s selections have previously been a nice alternative to the best kids movies on Disney+.
Nevertheless, we are going to throw the spotlight on the best kids movies on Hulu right now, because these are the kind of films that are suitable for all ages. Some of us grew up with Paddington Bear and Curious George, which is why it’s nice to see that both are represented in Hulu’s selection of kids movies. Keep reading for the full lineup, including two animated movies and a classic story that has been put to film many times.
Paddington (2014) new
Metacritic: 77 %
Genre Comedy, Adventure, Family
Stars Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins
Directed by Paul King
The reason that fans rave about the two Paddington films to date is that they are among the rare adaptations that don’t lose the charm of their source material. There’s nothing here to give Paddington Bear (Passages star Ben Whishaw) more of an edge, and that’s an acknowledgement that his character doesn’t require anything like that. He’s perfect as he is.
Paddington acts as an origin story for its lead character, who just happens to be an infallibly polite talking bear. Paddington comes to London in the hopes of finding a new home, and he finds what he’s looking for with Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and Mary Brown (Sally Hawkins), as well as the couple’s two children. Unfortunately for Paddington, he’s also inadvertently come to the attention of Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman), a malicious woman who wants to add him to her collection of stuffed animals
Curious George (2006) new
Metacritic: 62 %
Genre Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Stars Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross
Directed by Matthew O'Callaghan
The beloved Curious George stories finally got a movie worthy of the name with this 2006 animated film. Veteran voice actor Frank Welker provides the sounds for George, a monkey whose curiosity gets him in trouble with other animals long before he meets the Man in the Yellow Hat, who is named Ted (Will Ferrell) in the film.
Ted encounters George while he is on an expedition to recover an idol that will keep his museum from being closed by the owner’s son, Junior (David Cross). Ted isn’t as instantly taken by George as the monkey is with him, but their bond only grows as George follows Ted back to New York City — and manages to get into even more trouble there than he did in the jungle.
Astro Boy (2009) new
Metacritic: 53 %
Genre Animation, Action, Family, Science Fiction
Stars Nicolas Cage, Madeline Carroll, Freddie Highmore
Directed by David Bowers
The classic Japanese manga and anime got an update in Astro Boy, a film which has a very dark setup. Toby Tenma (Freddie Highmore) is the beloved son of an inventor named Dr. Bill Tenma (Dream Scenario‘s Nicolas Cage). When Toby is killed by a renegade robot, his distraught father creates Astro Boy, a robot with all of Toby’s memories. Regardless, Dr. Tenma despairs when he realizes that not even Astro Boy can replace his lost son.
Astro Boy’s creation puts him in the crosshairs of Metro City President Stone (Donald Sutherland), which leaves the title character largely on his own with a few exceptions, including his new friend, Cora (Kristen Bell). But if Astro Boy wants to survive, he’ll have to become the hero that Metro City so desperately needs.
The Last Unicorn (1982)
Metacritic: 70 %
Genre Fantasy, Animation, Family, Adventure
Stars Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow
Directed by Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin, Jr.
The Last Unicorn is a kids movie from another era, and you can really tell by the way that this G-rated film deals with heady subjects like death, despair, regret, and even unfulfilled love. Yet it’s the adult aspects of this story that make the film a classic. Mia Farrow stars as the voice of the Unicorn, who’s the last of her kind due to a mystical Red Bull that has relentlessly hounded her kin.
On her quest to discover what happened to her brethren, the Unicorn is transformed into a human woman named Lady Amalthea by her friend, an amateur magician named Schmendrick (Alan Arkin). Although unicorns supposedly can not feel love, Amalthea proves to be an exception when she falls for Prince Lir (Jeff Bridges), the son of the malevolent King Haggard (Christopher Lee). But if the Unicorn remains in her human form as Amalthea, her kind will be lost forever.
The Secret Garden (2020) new
Metacritic: 59 %
Genre Family, Fantasy, Drama
Stars Dixie Egerickx, Tommy Gene Surridge, Colin Firth
Directed by Marc Munden
There have been so many film and TV adaptations of The Secret Garden that it’s easy to lose track of them. The 2020 adaptation is among the most recent, and it stars Dixie Egerickx as Mary Lennox, a young girl who is orphaned during the partition of India in 1947. With no other family to turn to, Mary is sent to live with her emotionally distant uncle, Lord Archibald Craven (Colin Firth).
While exploring Lord Craven’s large English estate, Mary meets and befriends her bedridden cousin, Colin Craven (Edan Hayhurst). Mary also discovers the titular secret garden, which may provide the spark that she, Colin, and even Lord Craven himself need to find the happiness that they desire.