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Best animated films streaming now: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,' 'How to Train Your Dragon' & more

There are a ton of animated features you can stream right now. Here are some of the best. 

How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), and Shrek (2001)

There’s a lot to meow about this spring when it comes to the abundance of animated features available for your viewing pleasure. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the first Shrek-related film in more than a decade, has landed on Peacock, where it’s streaming exclusively. It’s joined several other classics, including the original Shrek, on streamers, making deciding what to watch no easy task, even when you’ve determined you have a hankering for some non-live action fare.

If you’re looking for some help narrowing down your choices, SYFY WIRE is here for you — we’ve scoured the streamers and come up with a list of the best animated features out there. Take a gander below to help you decide what to fire up on your television tonight.

RELATED: How to stream 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' right now on Peacock

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

This follow-up to 2011's Puss in Boots features the title character (voiced by Antonio Banderas) on a mission in the Black Forest, where he’s trying to find the Wishing Star to get back his lost lives. Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) is along for the ride to help out. But Goldilocks (Florence Pugh), Jack Horner (John Mulaney) and a big, bad wolf (Wagner Moura) are also in pursuit. The DreamWorks Animation movie, the sixth in the Shrek franchise, was the second highest-grossing animated film of 2022, and was nominated for Best Animated Film at this year's Academy Awards. Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, Samson Kayo, Anthony Mendez, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph also make up the voice cast.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is now streaming on Peacock.

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

If you can’t beat them, join them. In this DreamWorks film set during a time when Vikings and dragons are at war, a teenage Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is not strong enough to fight the dragons, so he makes friends with them instead. It starts with Hiccup using one of the devices he creates to shoot down a Night Fury dragon, which he ends up setting free because he doesn’t want to kill it. The teen later comes across the Night Fury in a forest, and discovers he can’t fly due to Hiccup shooting him down. But Hiccup then creates a prosthetic fin, which allows the dragon to fly again. He names the dragon Toothless, and figures out how to train and ride him. The skills he picks up allow Hiccup to subdue the other dragons he faces during the combat training his dad has signed him up for.

How to Train Your Dragon is now streaming on Peacock

Shrek (2001)

Shrek (2001)

Mike Myers’ loveable albeit grumpy ogre still holds up 20 years after the film first graced theaters. When Shrek’s solitary swamp gets invaded by fairy tale creatures after the ruthless Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) banishes them, Shrek makes a deal with the vertically challenged lord to track down Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) so Farquaad can marry her. Things don’t go how Shrek intends them to, of course, but in the end, he finds some new friends like Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and new love with Fiona. It’s a story full of drama, love, and acceptance of who you are. And that’s a tale worth watching again. 

Shrek is now streaming on Peacock.


Wolfwalkers (2020)

Animated in a distinctively crisp style that perfectly captures its Celtic-inspired setting, Wolfwalkers follows the mythical adventures of young hunter Robyn Goodfellowe as she discovers magic and danger in the forests of 17th-Century Ireland. Robyn’s soon drawn deep into the mystery surrounding the film’s titular shapeshifting beasts, determining to save them from the nearby Lord Protector, who views the pack as nothing more than a lupine menace to his town. Wolfwalkers marks the third and final movie in director Tomm Moore’s “Irish Folklore” animated film trilogy, but all three movies — including The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014) — are available at Apple TV+.

Wolfwalkers is streaming at Apple TV+.

Chicken Run (2000)

Chicken Run (2000)

One of the earliest films in DreamWorks’ distribution catalog is still one of the best. A blast for kids and adults alike, Chicken Run spun a charming (yet serious) tale of birds of a feather who rely on each other to escape a farm-raised life cycle where the journey starts in the henhouse…and ends at the dinner table. Coming from the same delightful minds behind the beloved Wallace and Gromit franchise, Chicken Run deployed a spiced-up version of that series' same stop-motion animation style — and in the process became (and still remains) history’s highest-grossing stop-motion movie.

Chicken Run is streaming at Peacock.

Encanto (2021)

Encanto (2021)

You’ve most likely gotten the catchy tune “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” in your head at some point since Encanto came out in 2021. The Lin-Manuel Miranda number is just one of many earworms in this film from Disney Animation. (“Surface Pressure,” for example, is another banger.) The story centers around the Madgrial family in the magical house that Abuela Alma (María Cecilia Botero) created after fleeing the armed men who chased her out of her land and killed her husband. Since then, all of her children and grandchildren receive a magical gift when they come of age, except for Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). When the family’s magic begins to falter, however, it’s Mirabel who ultimately saves them. It’s a heartwarming tale with great songs, and it also has a message we don’t hear too often these days — that someone’s intrinsic value isn’t tied to what skills they have and what they can do. 

Encanto is streaming on Disney+

Despicable Me (2010)

Despicable Me (2010)

Gru (Steve Carell) is a supervillain with big plans. In Despicable Me, those plans involve stealing the Moon with the help of his banana-loving henchthings, the Minions. Gru’s heist plans need to be financed, of course, and so he tries to get a loan from the Bank of Evil (as you do) and ends up butting heads with the up-and-coming supervillain, Vector (Jason Segel). In the course of battling with Vector, however, Gru ends up running into three orphans who thwart his carefully laid plans. Things turn out for the best in the end (especially for the Moon), and the final scene is villainously sweet. 

Despicable Me is now streaming on Peacock

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

Mike Rianda’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a film about a typical family who finds themselves having to save the world from a robot uprising led by a shunned A.I. virtual assistant named PAL (Olivia Coleman). The heart of the story, however, is between the daughter, Katie (Abbi Jacobson), and her dad, Rick (Danny McBride). It’s also a movie about the dangers of technology and includes a giant Furby. What more could you want from a film?

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is currently streaming on Netflix

Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out (2015)

What if human’s five base emotions — Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger — were personified as cute little creatures that lived inside our brains? That’s the premise for Pixar’s Inside Out, where we meet an 11-year-old girl’s emotional avatars voiced by Amy Poehler (“Joy”), Bill Hader (“Fear”), Lewis Black (“Anger”), Mindy Kaling (“Disgust”), and Phyllis Smith (“Sadness”). When the girl faces a move to a new town, her emotions go on a ride with her as she tries to adjust, with Joy and Sadness falling deep into her subconscious along the way. It’s a touching tale and one that will get you in touch with the five base emotions that exist in your own brain. 

Inside Out is now streaming on Disney+.  

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

The Rise of Gru is the origin story for the titular Gru, the villain we first met in Despicable Me (and still voiced by Steve Carell). The story takes place in the 1970s, decades before the events of the first film in this universe, and also reveals how Gru (who we see sporting a head of hair in his earlier years) first teamed up with the Minions. Gru and the Minions try to join the supervillain group called the Vicious 6 after their leader, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin) is ousted. When Gru’s interview goes terribly wrong, however, he finds himself on the wrong side of the gang. Gru, along with his Minions, is on the run just trying to survive. They end up getting help from an unlikely source, and the ending is a touching one, whether you’re an aspiring supervillain or not.  

Minions: The Rise of Gru is now streaming on Netflix.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

We all know the original Disney version of the fairy tale Pinocchio, but Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion rendition (co-directed by del Toro and Mark Gustafson) brings a new spin on the story. The film explores grief, found families, and the dangers of fascism. There’s also a song or two. It’s a movie with vivid imagery and characters and will bring you terrible joy (just like Pinocchio does to his papa, Gepetto).

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is now streaming on Netflix

Frozen (2013)

Frozen (2013)

If you have a child (and even if you don’t), there’s a very, very good chance that you’ve seen Frozen more than once. The 2013 Disney Animation film is popular for a reason. In addition to its iconic song, “Let It Go,” the story features two sisters, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), one of whom has magical ice powers that inadvertently cause an eternal winter. Their journey of reconnecting through their love of each other (with the help of a snowman named Olaf who likes warm hugs) is timeless for a reason.

Frozen is now streaming on Disney+


Wendell & Wild (2022)

This stop-motion animation feature from Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and Jordan Peele (Nope) focuses on young Kat (Lyric Ross), who blames herself for her parents’ deaths. While struggling to deal with this tragedy, Kat summons demons Wendell and Wild (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, respectively), who take her on a wicked ride. The story is a captivating one, and the voice talent, which also includes Angela Bassett, James Hong, and Ving Rhames, is out of this world. 

Wendell & Wild is now streaming on Netflix.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Henry Selick-directed The Nightmare Before Christmas is still a regular watch for many, 30 years after its release. The story, spawned by Tim Burton, follows Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon with singing by Danny Elfman), the King of Halloween who yearns for a life beyond Jack O’Lanterns and ghouls. He finds a way to spice up his life when he and his dog Zero stumble upon a portal to Christmasland, where he sees the joys of the year-end holiday and decides he wants to kidnap Santa and take his place. Things escalate from there, replete with songs from Elfman, to create a creepily joyous story. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas is streaming on Disney+

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