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5 Children’s Movies to Stream Now

5 Children’s Movies to Stream Now

Cuddly Daniel Tiger would definitely not feel at ease in the real-world forests of India, which are home to about 70 percent of the planet’s tigers. In this Disneynature documentary, filmed over the course of 1,500 days and narrated by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, we get to know one of these creatures: a tigress named Ambar, who protects her cubs from pythons, prowls the forest for food and survives brutal monsoon seasons to roam another day.

The hunting scenes are not nearly as gory as nature shows aimed at adults tend to be, and the filmmakers do a good job of editing around any real carnage. Still, the sight of a tiger chasing and killing a deer or a sloth bear might be too much for younger children; the film is probably more suited to older kids who are mesmerized by nature and understand that these magnificent creatures need meat to survive. Directed by Mark Linfield (“Planet Earth,” “Frozen Planet”) and co-directed by Vanessa Berlowitz and Rob Sullivan, this documentary boasts gorgeous visuals (expect to repeatedly ask, “How the heck did they capture that moment?”) and could spark important conversations about conservation and the protection of endangered species.

Watch it on Prime Video.

The first thing that my Ninja Turtle-loving son blurted out during this movie was, “They sound like kids!” He meant it as a compliment. This latest version of the superhero juggernaut has the writing talents of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, as well as a stellar voice cast that includes Rogen, Maya Rudolph, Hannibal Buress, John Cena, Paul Rudd, Post Malone and Rose Byrne.

In this origin story, a scientist named Baxter Stockman (Giancarlo Esposito) creates a gooey neon-green substance that turns people and animals into mutants. When the slime oozes into New York City’s sewers, four little turtles — Donatello (Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), Raphael (Brady Noon) and Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu) — and their “dad,” a rat named Splinter (Jackie Chan), are transformed. For years, Splinter and his sons hide out, but when they meet fellow mutants Superfly (Ice Cube) and his posse, things start to change. Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”) voices April, an aspiring journalist.

Directed by Jeff Rowe (Kyler Spears has a co-directing credit), this iteration should entertain kids who love ninja moves, tons of action and cool music (the score is by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the Nine Inch Nails bandmates turned composing partners). The dark, street-art vibe of the animation is reminiscent of the “Spider-Verse” films, and there’s a hidden scene after the end credits that hints at a sequel.

Watch it on Peacock.

Mike White ventured far from “The White Lotus” territory to pen this story about the Mallards, a family of ducks who embark on a haphazard trip to the wilds of New York City and away from their safe New England pond. Pam Mallard (Elizabeth Banks) is the mother duck who wants to go on adventures and see the world. The father, Mack (Kumail Nanjiani), is overprotective and fearful. He thinks anywhere beyond the pond will be treacherous for their kids: a teenage son, Dax (Caspar Jennings), and a little duckling, Gwen (Tresi Gazal). When another family of migrating ducks visits the pond on their way to Jamaica, Pam convinces Mack to get out of his comfort zone. They take off, with grumpy Uncle Dan (Danny DeVito) in tow.

The animation is bright and cheerful, and the ducks are cute (especially Gwen). It’s not the most original movie to come out of Illumination, the studio behind the “Despicable Me” and “Sing” franchises, but there are some funny lines, and Benjamin Renner, who directed the Oscar nominee “Ernest & Celestine,” keeps the action moving. Awkwafina voices a street pigeon named Chump, Keegan-Michael Key is a Jamaican parrot named Delroy and Carol Kane is a heron named Erin.

Watch it on Netflix.

What’s a summer camp movie without food fights, scary stories around the fire and a root-for-the-underdog message? Mary-Louise Parker stars as Angie, head of Camp Woo Hoo, an arts, math and sciences camp that’s also about fun and kindness. Zane (Josh Lawson), her cousin and rival, runs the military-style Camp Hoo Rah. An animated Woody Woodpecker (voiced by Eric Bauza) enters this live-action world of familial strife when his annoying antics get him kicked out of the forest by a park ranger (played by Patrick Williams). “Everything you do brings chaos,” says the exasperated ranger. Woody can’t return until he learns the value of teamwork. After crashing into Camp Woo Hoo, he befriends Maggie (Chloe De Los Santos from “La Brea”) and her band of misfit cabin-mates.

There’s the devilish Buzz Buzzard (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), who hatches a blackmail plot that eventually forces Woody to engage in a selfless act to save Maggie. The director Jon Rosenbaum, along with the screenwriters Cory Edwards, Jim Martin and Stephen Mazur, seems to have catered this live action-animation hybrid to younger children who won’t critique the silly plot and the over-the-top antics.

If you’re looking for a Disney movie but your child needs a break from blockbusters like “Frozen” and “Encanto,” give “Wish” a try. It was created to promote the brand’s 100th anniversary, and its mix of computer-generated and hand-drawn animation should entertain toddlers and youngsters who’ll be charmed by musical numbers featuring rabbits and turtles that sing and dance.

In the kingdom of Rosas, King Magnifico (Chris Pine) takes the wishes of his people and basically holds them hostage, granting a single citizen’s wish on occasion. When the teenager Asha (Ariana DeBose) asks the king to grant her 100-year-old grandfather’s wish, she’s enraged to learn that Magnifico believes that controlling the wishes of his people is good for humanity. She meets an anthropomorphic star called, well, Star, who grants Asha the powers to rebel against the king.

Just leave all logic behind when diving into this fairy tale, and it’ll be more enjoyable. Alan Tudyk lends some humor as the voice of a goat named Valentino. Chris Buck, the director of “Frozen,” directed this film with Fawn Veerasunthorn; and Jennifer Lee, who wrote “Frozen,” penned the script with Allison Moore.


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