If you have access to Hulu, you have access to a number of family movies. Please note that the availability of titles changes frequently.
Monsters Vs. Aliens: This 2009 computer-animated DreamWorks release is an homage to ‘50s science fiction flicks that parents will enjoy and has goofy, gross-out humor that is fun for kids. The monsters are particularly memorable: the gelatinous B.O.B. (voiced by Seth Rogan), the ginormous Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon), the oversized Insectosaurus (Conrad Vernon), the fish man/monster The Missing Link (Will Arnett) and the cockroach-headed mad scientist Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie). Ages 7 and older.
Chicken Run: The awesome Aardman Animation studio, the funny folks behind Wallace & Gromit, put out Chicken Run in 2000 as its first full-length film. It is the highest-grossing stop-motion animated movie to date. As the title suggests, the story is about chickens on the run, trying to escape from a chicken farm and save their lives. While full of hilarious high jinx, the plot also involves life-or-death peril that could be too much for some little ones. Ages 7 and older.
Curious George: Fans of this cute little monkey’s antics will feel at home on Hulu, which offers a quartet of George movies: “Curious George” (2006), “Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!” (2009), “Curious George 3: Back To The Jungle” (2015) and “Curious George: Royal Monkey” (2019). The first, in most opinions, is the best, but the other others add up to an additional 4½ hours of amusement. Ages 3 and older.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: The third film in the Dragon series came out last year, and it proved to be yet another popular and critical success. Continuing to follow the friendship and adventures of Hiccup and his dragon pal, Toothless, the story has plenty of heart and action, although the battle scenes aren’t really bloody. This seems to be the only Dragon film on streaming platforms at the moment, and is supposedly the final one. Ages 7 and older.
Free Willy: Those seeking a vicarious outdoor adventure can dive into the entire Free Willy trilogy – the 1993 original along with “Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home” from 1995 and “Free Willy 3: The Rescue” from 1997. Actors Jason James Richter and August Schellenberg star in all three of the films. The feel-good live-action tales carry strong environmental and animal rights messages throughout. Ages 6 and older.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: There is an old-fashioned quality to this 2002 animated film, and that is meant as a compliment. This Oscar-nominated movie boasts lovely hand-drawn animation and a history-minded plot. This is not one of those comical tales with talking animals. It’s a more serious-minded adventure story. Some young viewers will be caught up with action and events; however, others could find it too intense. Ages 7 and older.
Peanuts: This perennially popular cartoon gang can be caught on Hulu in a pair of full-length films: “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” from 1969 (the first feature film based on Charles Schulz’s comic strip characters) and its 1972 follow-up, “Snoopy, Come Home.” Both animated movies were created by director Bill Melendez and producer Lee Mendelson, who also did the iconic Peanuts TV specials. Most of the specials aren’t on streaming services, although you can find some on IMDB TV and Amazon Prime Video. Ages 4-6 and up.
Daphne & Velma: Daphne and Velma, as all Scooby-Doo fans know, are the female half of the Mystery, Inc. crew. This 2018 live-action film tells the story of how these two teamed up as crime-solvers. While not the best of the Scooby-Doo movies (the animated ones typically are better than the live-action ones in general), it does have nice female friendship and empowerment themes going for it. Any Scooby-Doo fans should note that the 2002 live-action film and its 2004 sequel can be found now on IMDB TV. Ages 8 and older.
Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation: In the early ‘90s, the TV program “Tiny Toon Adventures” featured a “new generation” of Looney Tunes characters including Buster Bunny, Babs Bunny, Plucky Duck, and Hamton J. Pig. In 1992, the Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment collaboration also created this feature-length animated film, a cartoony-affair packed with pop culture parodies, slapstick gags and zany (what some might call low-brow) humor. The ‘90s references might, or might not, hit the mark with young kids today. Ages 7 and up.
Sherlock Gnomes: There are puns aplenty in this 2018 computer-animated film, featuring Johnny Depp as the voice of the title character. The film is something of a sequel to 2011 “Gnomeo and Juliet,” and those two lead characters are part of this story, too. Although this Holmesian mystery tale doesn’t measure up to the first film’s Shakespeare-inspired comic frolic, it does offer some laughs (and more action sequences). Ages 6 and older.