Netflix (NFLX) is famous for its large library of movies and TV shows, and also for its ability to induce long sessions of binge-watching.
And while Netflix has plenty of its own complex, mature TV content, sometimes you just need something a little on the lighter side. Something with less betrayal.
Something with more ponies.
For parents, Netflix is a great way to keep the kids entertained, and younger adults can find many of their favorite kids shows from their own childhood.
So, whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids during spring break or just looking for lighter fare between marathon sessions of Breaking Bad, Netflix has you covered.
Here are the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Kids Shows to Watch on Netflix: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
There are lots of reasons to like this show, which ran for five seasons on Cartoon Network before being picked up by Netflix for a final season, but let’s be honest: You’re here for the lightsabers and spaceships.
You’ll get plenty of those, but you’ll also find one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
The Clone Wars pulls viewers into one of the most exciting periods of Star Wars history, the titular Clone Wars. The story takes place between the films Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. It focuses on Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s heroics during the war, in the last few years before Anakin begins his transformation into the villainous Darth Vader.
Whereas the most recent Star Wars films have struggled with crafting complex, interesting characters, the show succeeds in taking the familiar faces and adding more depth than Lucas ever managed. It’s interesting, well-written, beautifully animated and just plain exciting. The Clone Wars is a treat for old fans as much as new ones, making it one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Kids Shows to Watch on Netflix: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
If intergalactic war is a heavier subject matter than you were looking for, consider taking a trip to the land of Equestria and spend some time with the magical cast of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
If that sounds cute and kinda cheesy, well … that’s because the show is. But it embraces those elements beautifully, which is what makes My Little Pony one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
All the magic and whimsy of the ponies’ adventures in Equestria is balanced by a remarkably honest approach to relationships. Friendship might be magic, but it’s not easy, and the show does a fantastic job of exploring the difficulties of friendships as well as the ultimate benefits of working through those challenges. That emotional depth, along with the show’s stellar animation, makes My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Kids Shows to Watch on Netflix: Justice League
Superheroes are soaring higher than ever in pop culture, thanks to the success of movies like The Dark Knight and The Avengers. But before Iron Man joined up with a bunch of other heroes on the big screen, there was another superhero team saving the day on the small screen. And now, Justice League is back as one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
The show features Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter as they work together to save the world from supersized threats. And sometimes, the conflicting personalities become bigger obstacles than the villains. (Case in point: when Batman tells Wonder Woman, “The next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.”) And all the stories are two or three episodes long, which gives the show a grander feel than most other kids shows.
Justice League offers a wonderful blend of action, emotion and heroics, which makes it a fun time for superhero fans of all ages. And if you make it through both seasons, check out Justice League Unlimited, which expands the roster and also deserves a place on the list of best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Kids Shows to Watch on Netflix: Powerpuff Girls
Sugar, spice, everything nice and a double dose of action combine to make Powerpuff Girls one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Powerpuff Girls is a genius show because it mixes the smaller details of the girls’ kindergarten life with the high-octane action of fighting monsters and bad guys. It’s a strange combination that shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does, making this one of the most unique kids shows out there.
Whether you’re an animal-lover like Bubbles, a level-headed leader like Blossom or a hardcore butt-kicker like Buttercup, you’ll find something to enjoy about this show. More than a decade after its premiere, Powerpuff Girls remains an entertaining show and one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Kids Shows to Watch on Netflix: Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Incorporated
Scooby-Doo has stayed on TV for decades thanks to its ability to take the procedural style of TV dramas — single-episode mysteries that need to be solved — and boils them down into a format that’s fun for kids to watch. And the latest version ranks up there with some of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix.
Mystery Incorporated updates Scooby-Doo and the gang for a world where gadgets and technology play as big a role in mysteries as that shady set of footprints behind the garage. The show also manages to add a little more depth to the characters than their original incarnations, helped by a group of very good voice actors.
Kids and parents will all have fun trying to solve the mysteries before Scooby and the gang in this series. Mystery Incorporated is one of the best kids shows to watch on Netflix because it promises viewers familiar characters, engaging mysteries, and a whole lot of fun.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.