5 Top Kids' Cartoons on Netflix

These titles feature adventure, friendship, and science education

A young boy and girl watching television
aphrodite74 / Getty Images

If you have a computer, tablet, or gaming system connected to the Internet—or even a smartphone—you can have thousands of hours of children's animated entertainment at your fingertips. Especially with the advent of such streaming services as Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGo, the world of watchable children's shows no longer revolves around TV schedules or a TiVo as long as you are a subscriber.

Here are five favorites playing on Netflix as of October 2018. Netflix updates contracts and adds or subtracts hundreds of programs from their service each month, so if one of these disappears from Netflix, chances are it is on another streaming service:

01
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Trollhunters

A young boy and girl watching television
aphrodite74 / Getty Images

If you like the idea of fantasy action and adventure set in a real-world high school, the Netflix Original Series "Trollhunters" is perfect for compelling entertainment for your children (and for you).

Created by "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro, this series follows James "Jim" Lake Jr., who discovers a strange amulet on the way to school and becomes the Trollhunter. With best friend Toby and love interest Claire, Jim battles demons and assassins to protect the people of Troll Market, the sworn duty of the sole Trollhunter who possesses the stone. 

This fun, imaginative show has 52 episodes on Netflix and continues to be a favorite. 

02
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My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Young boys and girls—and even adults—will find fun and friendship in these six pony pals. Since 2010, these toys have come to life in an animated show about discovering the value of friendship in a small town called Ponyville. 

Although names such as Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie might make you think this show is too juvenile to enjoy with your children, the story lines and adventures are anything but shallow. A million Bronies can't be wrong. ("Brony" is a portmanteau of "bro" and "pony," for the show's adult male fans.)

03
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Transformers: Prime

The best of the Transformers series, "Transformers: Prime" is available in its entirety on Netflix, with new episodes added as they air.

Those familiar with the Transformers lore will enjoy this incarnation in stunning CGI graphics with Optimus Prime back to defend the world. 

04
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The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!

Young video-game aficionados might enjoy this goofy cartoon from the 1980s, featuring the antics of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and their friends and foes in silly situations.

This hybrid of live action and animated shorts is strange, but it still holds up to the standards of today's youth, though it might not be as good as you remember. 

05
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The Magic School Bus

A hit with adults who went through elementary and junior high science classes in the '90s and early 2000s, this educational program was another Scholastic Entertainment creation that premiered in 1994 on PBS. 

In each episode (except one when she is sick), eccentric elementary school teacher Ms. Frizzle takes her students and iguana Liz on a science-based field trip. In one episode, they go inside one of their classmates after the titular Magic School Bus shrinks them down.