If you’re into animals, The Secret Life of Pets’ glimpse into their zany world no doubt touched your heart. If you enjoyed the antics of Max, Duke, Gidget, and Snowball, there are many other movie animals out there that are also worth spending time with. And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to watch them.
There are a number of cute animal movies available on Netflix. From documentaries to animated comedies, from dogs to rabbits, Netflix has something for every animal lover. Here, we’re showcasing the cutest animal movies currently available to stream for your viewing pleasure.
10 WHITE FANG
White Fang is a Netflix original adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jack London. Like the book, it follows the tale of a half-wolf-half dog named White Fang. The movie starts when he's an adorable puppy and shows the challenges he and his mother encounter as they try to survive in the wild. Eventually White Fang enters the world of humans and bounces from master to master, experiencing very different situations in the process. The movie also features the vocal talents of Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, and Paul Giamatti.
Despite White Fang’s often harsh circumstances, he’s incredibly endearing and his story is touching. Plus, the animation is done in a lovely painterly style that captures the beauty of the landscape and elevates the movie further. Both kids and adults will enjoy this one.
9 MADAGASCAR 2
The Madagascar series features Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith voicing wayward New York zoo animals. Unfortunately, Netflix only offers the second flick. However, if you’re looking for a movie with cute talking animal characters, this is a good choice — especially if you’re watching with children.
Madagascar 2 is the zany and amusing story of Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo’s adventures in Africa, where they end up after attempting to get back to their home at the Central Park Zoo. It also includes some touching moments like Alex’s reunion with his long-lost family and the animal friends bonding.
Balto is based on the true story of a sled dog who led a team through hazardous conditions to get much-needed medicine to Nome, Alaska in the frigid winter. Of course, the real Balto didn’t talk, and definitely not in the voice of Kevin Bacon. In the movie, Balto is a stray wolf-dog who’s shunned by the people and huskies in the town where he lives.
Balto dreams of being accepted and becoming a great sled dog. So, when local children are stricken with diphtheria and the doctor runs out of medicine, Balto sees his chance to prove himself. This is a kids’ movie that includes exhilarating action and heartwarming moments. It’s a simple, touching story even adults can relate to.
7 BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA
Beverly Hills Chihuahua is like The Secret Life of Pets if it focused on spoiled dogs from the ritziest part of Los Angeles. Luckily, after a brief set-up, the movie doesn’t stay in Beverly Hills for long. Instead, lead dog Chloe gets lost in Mexico and spends most of the movie's runtime trying to find her way home and gaining some perspective.
Most importantly, Beverly Hills Chihuahua features a whole bunch of ridiculously cute dogs. That alone makes it hard not to get invested in the plot. And when some of the stray dogs who help Chloe get adopted, dog lovers will be moved.
If you were a child in the 1970s or 1980s, lovable stray Benji may have been a big part of your childhood. While he hasn’t had the same presence in pop culture since then, in 2018 Netflix remade the pup’s first movie. Written and directed by Brandon Camp, the son of Benji creator Joe Camp, it’s a touching tribute to the original movie that also updates the story for today. Plus, the movie begins when Benji is still a puppy — as if adult Benji weren’t already adorable enough!
If Benji’s your jam and one movie just won’t do, Netflix has plenty to choose from. In addition to the 2018 remake, the streaming service offers the 1974 original, 1977’s For the Love of Benji, and 2004’s Benji: Off the Leash! There’s even a 1978 Benji Christmas special available.
5 LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE
If you’re looking for something cute but a little more realistic, the documentary Life in the Doghouse is a good bet. The inspiring story of a couple who operate a busy dog rescue out of their own house, your jaw will drop at the lengths the pair go to and the amazing work they do.
The doc provides an inside look at the couple’s daily life with dozens of dogs and how they find and take in the neediest individuals. The movie doesn’t shy away from some of the difficulties of running a rescue and also includes some gentle education on the plight of strays in America. Mostly, though, you’ll be in awe of this couple and moved by what they do to help dogs.
4 PETER RABBIT
This big screen adaptation of Peter Rabbit has more of a cheeky, impish vibe than you might expect from a movie based on Beatrix Potter’s beloved characters. The story revolves around a turf war between a new (human) arrival and Peter and his family. The bunnies want access to the man’s garden, the man wants to keep the animals out. While their conflict goes completely over the top, the movie includes some funny moments and moves along at such a quick clip you don’t get too wrapped up in any of it.
Plus, the animated bunnies and their country chums, including birds, deer, and a pig are undeniably cute. And the game human actors, Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne, give likeable performances that help ground the movie.
3 HOTEL FOR DOGS
Hotel for Dogs centers on two orphaned teens who inadvertently open a dog rescue in an abandoned hotel. The conceit may sound silly but the movie is surprisingly poignant. Starring Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin as the orphaned children, their sympathy for the stray dogs they take in is palpable. Also, the movie is full to bursting with adorable dogs of all shapes and sizes. It’s hard not to melt at the sight of them.
There’s also some impressive talent involved. In addition to the kids, the movie’s cast includes a post-Friends Lisa Kudrow as a mean foster mom and a pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe Don Cheadle as a social worker.
2 GROWING UP WILD
If you’re looking for cute, you can’t go wrong with baby animals. Growing Up Wild features five different species from around the globe. This nature documentary tells the stories of young lions, cheetahs, bears, macaques, and chimps as they learn how to survive in their unique environments. While the footage is culled from other feature-length Disneynature docs, the result focuses on the specific tales of these youngsters.
The nature footage is gorgeous and it’s Disney so, of course, the movie tells a good story. It also doesn’t shy away from some of the tougher parts of life as a wild animal. As a result, it’s probably not ideal for the youngest kids. Older kids and adults will be enchanted though.
Bolt almost plays as a sequel to the Jim Carrey vehicle The Truman Show — if Truman were an adorable pup. Bolt is the star of a fictional action series. Yet, everything around him has been engineered to make him believe he really is the super-powered dog in the show. When he’s accidentally shipped across country, he learns the truth. He has to learn to cope with his new reality as he makes his way back home. Fortunately, he has the help of a stray cat named Mittens and an excitable hamster named Rhino along the way.
Bolt is a sweet movie and the great voice work by actors like John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, and Susie Essman helps bring the story to life. By the end you’ll be rooting for Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino to get their happy endings.