It's never been a better time to be a family that loves new kids' movies. The proliferation of streaming services like Netflix, Peacock, Disney+, Paramount+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max means there are plenty of studios out clamoring for new and interesting films to entertain families — and streaming them at home means they're even easier to watch. Or, if you're a family that values the cinematic experience, 2022 looks like it'll be even better than 2021 when it comes to the number of movies hitting theaters. The best kids' movies of 2022 are set to stun you with their animation, thrill you with their grand adventures, make you dance to their original songs and, of course, laugh at all their silly jokes. And we can't wait!
One note: Because the situation around the pandemic is still in flux, movie studios are still apt to change things at the last minute, putting more movies in theaters when COVID numbers are good, and sending them straight to streaming services when they're bad. It's worth it to check your local listings, because release dates and platforms are likely to change up until the last minute. But one thing's for sure: No matter where or how you watch, movie fans are in for a big treat this year. (And don't forget to catch up on the best kids' movies of 2021!)
Release Date: January 14, 2022
Pushed back from last Halloween, the newest Hotel Transylvania film really flips things around: Dr. Van Helsig invents a machine that turns the monsters into people, and turns Johnny into a monster! They have to figure out a way to switch back before they get stuck that way. It'll stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Release Date: January 14, 2022
This anime follows a shy girl named Suzu who lives in a rural village. Online, however, she becomes a different person: Belle, a globally beloved singer. Maybe you have some too-into-social-media kids who can relate? Ironically, you can't watch this online — you have to head to theaters.
Release Date: January 21, 2022
This family adventure movie has everything: secret princesses, mermaids and ... King Louis XIV? The King wants the mermaid's life force to achieve immortality, but a young woman, who has familial ties to the king, wants to save the creature. This will be in theaters in January.
Release Date: January 28, 2022
It's been half a decade since we checked in on the Ice Age universe, so we're due for another Paleolithic adventure. This one centers on the weasel Buck Wild, who teams up with possums Crash and Eddie to stave off dinosaur domination. You can find it on Disney+.
Release Date: January 28, 2022
Kevin James returns! In this movie, he plays an NFL coach who gets suspeded from the sport, so he goes back to his hometown and winds up coaching the local Pop Warner team. Taylor Lautner co-stars.
Release Date: February 8, 2022
Kanna is a tween who loves to run, but never expected where her hobby would take her. After the death of her mother, Kanna must run to the annual gathering of gods in the sacred land of Izumo, hoping she could reunite with her mom there. Along the way, she meets fantastical creatures and learns more about her family.
Release Date: March 11, 2022
The first Disney movie of the year comes courtesy of Pixar. It follows a 13-year-old, Mei Lee, who has a rare affliction: Whenever she gets too excited or emotional, she turns into a giant red panda. (So. Awkward.)
Release Date: March 18, 2022
Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff in a remake of the classic comedy. When a blended family equals 10 kids, two parents and no extra help, chaos (but the heartwarming kind) ensues. This one's going straight to Disney+.
Release Date: April 1, 2022
This Netflix movie tells the story of the moon landing through two points of view: an astronaut's, and a 10-year-old boy watching from Earth. Director Richard Linklater uses his own childhood as inspiration.
Release Date: April 1, 2022
Nate is just your average seventh grader — except with a burning dream to be a Broadway star. He goes on an adventure to achieve his dream when he finds information about an open audition in New York City.
Release Date: April 15, 2022
The third Fantastic Beasts movie sees some changes — Mads Mikkelson replaces Johnny Depp as the villain Gellert Grindelwald — but Newt Scamandar is still the same Newt. In this film, Dumbledore sends him and his friends on a mission that leads them into the path of Grindelwald's army.
Release Date: April 22 , 2022
This Dreamworks movie follows some classic storybook bad guys Mr. Wolf, Ms. Tarantula, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake and Mr. Piranha. Only they're tired of being bad, so they try to live life on the up-and-up for a change. The voice cast includes Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina Anthony Ramos, Marc Maron and Craig Robinson, so there's lots of comedic talent in there.
Release Date: April 28 , 2022
For anime fans, this Netflix film is sure to be a visual delight. It takes place in an alternate version of Tokyo, where bubbles have appeared that bend the laws of gravity. As a result, the city is a battlefield for young players of parkour-like competitions. When one player falls, he's saved by a girl with mysterious powers
Release Date: May 20, 2022
Those two famed chipmunks are back — but not like you've ever seen them before. In this Disney+ film, Chip and Dale live among humans and other cartoons in Los Angeles. Chip has retired from acting, but Dale has gotten "the CGI surgery" and continues to be a Hollywood presence. When one of their former castmates goes missing, they have to learn how to work together again. Oh, and did we mention their voices are done by John Mulaney and Andy Samberg?
Release Date: May 27, 2022
The Belchers are headed for the big screen! And while not much is known about the plot of this movie, there's one big draw: It's a musical! During the San Diego Comic-Con, creator Loren Bouchard described it as "a musical, comedy, mystery, adventure and a kind of coming-of-age story," and assured fans it would be in movie theaters.
Release Date: June 17, 2022
No, not that Buzz Lightyear — except kind of. This movie follows the adventures of the real Space Ranger character who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy in Toy Story. “In the Toy Story universe, it would be like a movie that maybe Andy would have seen, that would have made him want a Buzz Lightyear figure,” director Angus MacLane explains to Deadline. It comes out in theaters Father's Day weekend, for all the Toy Story dads out there.
Release Date: July 1 , 2022
Poor Minions fans: This movie was scheduled to be released in July, 2020 and has been pushed back two years so far. And while things are never a guarantee, it looks like this will finally be heading into theaters in summer 2022, followed by a run on Peacock just a few months later. When it does come out, it'll follow Gru in the '70s, when he's starting on his rise to villainy, and how he crosses paths with the Minions.
Release Date: August 12 , 2022
Owen Wilson and Michael Peña star in this film, about a superhero who has a hidden lair beneath a kid's house. When it gets attacked, the kid and his friends must go on the defense themselves. It's based on an original script by The Mandalorian's Christopher Yost — it's not from a comic, or a YA novel or TV show, so the plot should be a surprise.
Release Date: July 29, 2022
Uh-oh — the Justice League is in trouble! It's up to Krypto, Superman's dog, to convince other super-charged pets to help. He reaches out to Ace the hound, PB the potbellied pig, Merton the turtle and Chip the squirrel to form their own heroic squad. Dwayne Johnson stars as the voice of Krypto.
Release Date: September 23 , 2022
It's been more than a decade since we checked in on Puss in Boots, but he's still up for adventure. In this, the well-shod feline has torn through most of his nine lives, so he goes on a mission to find a wish that can replenish them.
Release Date: September TBD
This year brings us not one, but two new takes on the Pinocchio story. The first, coming to Disney+, features Tom Hanks as Geppetto, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy and Keegan-Michael Key as Honest John.
Release Date: October 7, 2022
Forget Spider-Man: No Way Home: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was doing multiverses before it was cool. In this movie, Miles Morales will continue having adventures with Spideys from other dimensions, including Peter B. Parker and Spider Gwen.
Release Date: October 14, 2022
White Bird, on the other hand, is based on a blockbuster novel by R.J. Palacio, author of the runaway hit Wonder. White Bird takes place in the same universe as Wonder, following the grandmother of Auggie's classroom bully, Julian, through her experiences as a Jewish girl in occupied France during World War II. Helen Mirren stars as Grandmère.
Release Date: Fall 2022
Okay, fess up: Who lit the black flame candle? The Sanderson Sisters are returning — as are stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy — for a sequel to their 1993 classic. It'll go straight to Disney+.
Release Date: November 11, 2022
Feeling some discord in your house? Your kids might relate to Elian, who is caught in the middle of her kingdom's opposing powers of light and dark. In this animated musical, which is in talks to go straight to Apple TV+, Elian must use her magical powers to unite the kingdom again.
Release Date: November 18, 2022
Everyone remembers the charming kids' book by Bernard Waber. Now, Lyle is on his way to theaaters — and it'll be a musical. Constance Wu, Javier Bardem and Winslow Fegley are set to star.
Release Date: November 23, 2022
Disney's newest animated offering promises to be full of adventure. "Strange World centers on the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threatened to topple their latest and most crucial mission," Variety reports. In addition, the Disney Instagram says "the movie journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await."
Release Date: December TBD
And here's our second Pinocchio: Guillermo del Toro, director of Nightmare Alley and the Best Picture Winning The Shape of Water, directs a stop-motion animated version of the classic tale of the puppet who wants to be a real boy. Ewan McGregor is the voice of the cricket.
Release Date: December 21, 2022
This animated Super Mario adaptation comes with a big cast: Chris Pratt is Mario, Charlie Day is Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy is Princess Peach, and they'll be acting alongside comedians Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen and Fred Armisen, among others. It also comes from directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic of Teen Titans Go!, so expect plenty of huge laughs.