You know the frustration of sitting down for family movie night, searching Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, but not finding the show you’ve been so excited to watch, right? Well, we thought we’d share some other sites that stream great movies and TV shows — from classics to current content, for kids and adults.
And yes, they’re legal!
So, before you pay to rent a movie, check out these alternate legal streaming services first. You may just find what you’re looking for. And in the meantime, can someone please invent a tool that searches all our streaming apps at one time? Please?
For movies & TV: Crackle
Crackle is a free service from Sony that streams both movies and TV content produced by Sony, including lots of recently cancelled shows. If you missed one of my faves — Happy Endings — or are itching for some old Seinfeld episodes, they’re here. I’m excited to check out their original show Start Up, starring Martin Freeman (from Sherlock) or rewatch an old favorite like Bottle Rocket. There’s no kids or family section here, but you might find some old classics they’ll enjoy.
For great kids content: TubiTV
When you’re looking for something you can’t find on Netflix, try Tubi TV. This free service actually has a whole section called “Not on Netflix.” There are thousands of shows and movies here, from 80s classics like Teen Wolf to great options for kids, from Richard Scarry to scary-ish teen werewolf shows. If you enjoy international shows, there are lots here to choose from too.
For all things geek: Crunchyroll, Funimation Now, and VRV
If you or your kids are big anime fans, check out Crunchyroll ($6.99/month) and Funimation Now ($5.99/month) — which have thousands of shows you can watch, from all over the world. Or, bundle them all with a subscription to VRV ($9.99), which has the content from both apps, for a total of 1700 series and 750 movies every month (including some rated Mature, FYI). It’s a great option for anyone interested in geek culture, anime, gaming, or sci fi.
For cool art house films: Mubi
If your pre-kid lifestyle included catching every cool indie or international film that hit your local cinema, subscribe to Mubi ($5.99/month). It’s not for kids, but it has great curated content for parents who love art films but don’t necessarily have the time, or budget, to see them all at the theater any more.
For the Anglophile: Acorn TV or BritBox
Have you been binging on Downton Abbey, Doctor Who or Sherlock? Acorn TV ($4.99/month) and BritBox ($6.99/month) are great options if your favorite shows aren’t on the BBC app any longer. Neither has categories just for kids, but they do have plenty of shows kids will enjoy like Gadget Man on Acorn or all the classic Doctor Who episodes on BritBox.
For the Bollywood fan: Spuul
Spuul ($4.99/month) has over 10,000 hours of Bollywood movies, many that are fun for the whole family to watch. You can try a free trial to see if these movies are a hit with your kids before you sign up, but the fee is really affordable for the 1,000 mostly recent movies you get access to each month.
For the K-pop fan: DramaFever or Viki
You can find tons of Asian shows — mostly from South Korea — usually the day after they air in their native country on DramaFever. Again, there’s no kids section, but my 10-year-old daughter and I have watched a couple series on here and these teen-centered shows have been totally appropriate for her to watch. (We’re currently binging on Heirs, and she’s totally hooked. As am I.) That said, tons of K-drama fans seem to prefer Viki, thanks to their Rotten Tomatoes style ratings and “trending in the US” category. Both services have options for free access with ads.