Each month Netflix expands their video library with new TV shows and movies. Here is everything from original series, to classic TV shows, to family flicks you and the kids should be watching this month.
While the country is mostly in a polar plunge (or, if you’re in California, underwater), Netflix is here to save your exceedingly short winter days and endless nights. This month NPH goes full Snicket, Voltron forms the head, and you can give your kid a deep dive in the filmography of Superman.
Best Of The Month
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Based on the successful children’s novels by Lemony Snicket (nee Daniel Handler), the new series stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, the masterminds behind the unfortunate events in the title that follow the Baudelaire children.
Forget the 2004 version starring Jim Carrey (if you haven’t already). Netflix did something the movie did not —it kept Handler at the helm, and he chased the brilliant, oddball director Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family) to direct a few episodes.
Common Sense’s Take: Common Sense Media is the leading nonprofit source helping parents make movie and TV choices for their children. They think this is fine for your tween, but the unfortunateness of the events each ep may be too much for younger kids. And Olaf doesn’t even once yell, “Legen … wait for it … dary!”
Voltron (Season 2)
Oh Zarkon, you son of bot! If you and the older kids are caught up on season one, you’re now aware the big bad of Voltron is back and getting a rich backstory. What’s his mysterious involvement with his archrival lion mechs? What new adventures will the fearless 5 pilots face in the farthest reaches of space? What’s the point if Voltron just pulls out his sword and ends it in 2 seconds?
Common Sense’s Take: They love the DreamWork’s reboot so much, they put their “Great For Families” stamp on it, saying there’s plenty to love about the messages of teamwork, compromise, and metal lions becoming badass robots.
Tarzan & Jane (season 1)
Sanctioned by the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ estate, the creator of Tarzan, the new animated Netflix series has full access to every Burroughs story (although maybe not the one where Tarzan is a naked Alexander Skarsgard). In this adaptation, T leaves the jungle for a London boarding school after he’s rescued by his grandfather during a jungle expedition. From there, the series follows the beginning stages of Tarzan and Jane’s relationship. You can still expect the typical “You: Jane. Me: Tarzan” bit, but the added twist this time: they’re both teenagers. So things are emo-er.
Common Sense’s Take: Tarzan never signed up to be a role model, but CSM says that there enough moments to show kids how to be brave and deal with adverse situations they can relate to — like being “civilized.”
The Superman Anthology
Long before Zack Synder made Superman a dark and gritty murderer, Richard Donner directed what old nerds consider to be the greatest Superman film. Christopher Reeve dons the big red cape and delivers an inspiring, and iconic, superhero performance through 4 movies. Actually, skip part III and the ultra campy part IV. Also, Superman gets drunk in the third installment and fights himself, so that may need some explanation. As will Bryan Singer’s forgotten Superman Returns (2006). But it may be fun to play the game: Reeve or Routh (Cavill doesn’t exist in your house).
Everything Else That’s New On Netflix
For Older Kids
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alpha & Omega 7
Around the World in 80 Days
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
The Parent Trap (1961)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Superman: The Movie
Tarzan & Jane
Angry Birds Toons: Season 1
Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Seasons 1 – 3
Saved by the Bell: Seasons 1 – 6
Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein
Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman
Miracle on 34th Street