Classic Movies on Hulu to Stream for Kids While Stuck at Home

Spring is usually a great time of year for entertainment. Many of the best children’s films come out in the spring and summer. But the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closing theaters and delaying productions has made this an even tougher time for parents who stuck at home with their kids.

Hulu logo on a smart phone in front of coronavirus
Hulu logo on a smartphone in front of coronavirus | Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fortunately, streaming services can help. If you’ve exhausted all of the more recent releases, from Frozen 2 to Trolls World Tour, and you’re tired of what Netflix has to offer, take a look at some of these older, kid-friendly hits that are currently streaming on Hulu.

‘Free Willy’ (1993)

The first Free Willy film was released in 1993. It depicts a boy, Jesse, who finds himself working at a Sea World-esque amusement park. He befriends Willy, an orca whale. The two have a special connection, as both have lost their families. But when the owner of the park hatches a plan to cash in on Willy, Jesse must figure out a way to set his friend free.

The Warner Bros. pic was a box-office smash. Its theme song, Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There,” is considered one of the greatest movie hits of all-time. Both the film and its two consecutive sequels, Free Will 2: The Adventure Home and Free Will 3: The Rescue, are available to stream on Hulu.

‘Billboard Dad’ (1998)

For many children, the ’90s could be called the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen decade. The young stars of Full House simultaneously brought the sitcom attention while creating their own empire of direct-to-video films and shorts. Among those is Billboard Dad.

The 1998 film features the twins as Tess and Emily Tyler, a pair of Venice Beach tweens who decide their single dad needs a significant other. They take matters into their own hands by painting an ad on a prominent billboard, and thus, their adventure begins. Along with this film, subsequent releases such as Passport to Paris and Switching Goals are also available on Hulu.

‘The Prince of Egypt’ (1998)

Though Disney has long held the top spot when it comes to animation, several studios have given it a run for its money over the years. Among them is DreamWorks, which released its first traditionally animated feature film, The Prince of Egypt, in the late ’90s.

The movie’s plot is adapted from the Old Testament and is known to many as the story of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Several of the studio’s other well-known films, such as The Road to El Dorado and Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron, are also available on Hulu. (Which is a bit ironic, given that Disney is the majority stakeholder in the streaming service as of May 2019.)

‘My Dog Skip’ (2000)

What could be more quintessentially early ’00s than a young Frankie Muniz? How about a young Frankie Muniz in a family film co-starring Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, and Kevin Bacon? Enter Warner Bros.’ My Dog Skip.

The drama, based on the memoir of the same name, sees the main character, Willie Morris, reflecting on his childhood with his best friend — his dog, of course. Skip loyally supports his owner as he grows, but there are challenges along the way, so beware. The heartwarming tale is on Hulu.

‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’ (1969)

If the aforementioned titles aren’t “classic” enough, here’s one that should take you way back: The 1969 animated classic A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the first feature-length film starring the Peanuts gang. At this time, a number of shorter TV specials had been released, but this was the first of its kind.

In the flick, the title character goes through a series of challenges, discovering that winning isn’t everything. It was successful enough that additional Peanuts films, such as Snoopy, Come Home (also available on Hulu), were made.