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The Best Kids' Entertainment of 2022

From games to movies to podcasts: Our editors pick their favorite releases of the year

Topics: Recommendations

There were some amazing releases this year in family entertainment, and our editors have gathered to pick the best of the best. Each of these titles, and the rest of our Best of 2022 roundup, are chock-full of stories and characters that entertain kids, delight families of all kinds, and spark meaningful conversations. We hope you discover a new family favorite!

Movies

Lightyear (6+)

With its fabulous animation, honorable hero, and lovable sidekicks, this tribute to a host of space adventures is a story of perseverance, teamwork, and friendship.

The Sea Beast (8+)

This film not only boasts striking animation and an epic journey, but also features an engaging plot and diverse cast.

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical

Matilda's story comes to life in this thoughtfully crafted musical about courage and justice. Make sure to check back on December 19th for our full, rave review of this outstanding movie.

Turning Red (10+)

Turning Red is a delightful, funny, unapologetically girl-centered standout addition to animated movies that capture the overwhelming feelings of coming of age.

The Woman King (15+)

This powerful, poignant film with an excellent cast led by Viola Davis, who is flat-out phenomenal in her role, tells a memorable, historic, violent tale of African women warriors.

See the full list


Television

Spirit Rangers (3+)

Spirit Rangers is a vibrant preschool show that celebrates community, nature, and Native American culture.

Rosie's Rules (5+)

In addition to language skills in Spanish and exposure to Mexican traditions, this colorful preschool program teaches children about cultural diversity, basic civic concepts, and soft skills in a fun way.

El Deafo (8+)

This beautiful three-part miniseries feels like an animated diary as the show uses audio effects to help viewers understand what the world sounds like with hearing loss. The combination of these effects and the narration helps kid viewers really feel Cece's joys and struggles.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (10+)

This charming Korean drama about a lawyer with autism brings to life an inner world we don't see very often on-screen.

Heartstopper (13+)

A sweet LGBTQ+ romance with characters who are easy to love—so gentle and relatable you could watch with your grandma.

See the full list


Books

All Are Neighbors (4+)

All Are Neighbors is a beautifully illustrated book full of reminders that communities are made up of many different kinds of people, families, jobs, needs, and gifts, and it's just right for new readers to dive into.

Kick Push (5+)

This spirited picture book is a reminder of the importance of being yourself and celebrates urban culture by showcasing various businesses, architecture, and diverse characters.

The Lucky Ones (8+)

This outstanding book promotes empathy for people who are marginalized and encourages readers to know that change and progress can happen.

Miss Quinces (10+)

Miss Quinces is a lively celebration of family life and compromise, centered around the story of a 15-year-old's party angst.

Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice (13+)

This heartfelt, emotional autobiography is a masterful example of storytelling, and everyone can enjoy and learn from this tragic hero's memoir about his brave and costly gesture that inspired the world and reverberates to this day.

See the full list


Games

Disney Dreamlight Valley (5+)

This game can easily be enjoyed by any age group and is a perfect intro to open-world adventure for younger players.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus (7+)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus succeeds in delivering twists and refreshed gameplay to keep long-time fans invested in a new kind of Pokémon adventure.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (8+)

This accessible adventure will make you smile, but the additional gameplay, challenges, and hidden extras will keep you coming back for more.

Gran Turismo 7 (10+)

Gran Turismo 7 brings an experience that's a clear love letter to cars and car culture, with visually stunning, incredibly addictive, and constantly challenging gameplay.

Horizon Forbidden West (13+)

Horizon Forbidden West is large-scale storytelling and world building at its best, anchored by one of the most likable and fully developed characters in modern games.

See the full list


Podcasts

Good Morning, Good Night (3+)

If you want your kids to be led through brief mindfulness and affirmation activities by a loving voice, this podcast is just what you're looking for.

Adventures of Cairo (6+)

This well-written podcast shows a noteworthy level of representation that we haven't yet seen in children's podcasts, in addition to the right amount of humor and heart.

Cuentos de Buenas Noches para Niñas Rebeldes (7+)

Cuentos de Buenas Noches para Niñas Rebeldes presents an insider's perspective into the lives of trailblazing women in a way that's both informative and empowering.

{Podcast Title Pending} (9+)

{Podcast Title Pending} is great for kid, tween, teen and adult listeners and gives listeners an inside look at what it takes to put together a podcast from the perspective of a well established production company.

Archetypes (13+)

Meghan Markle's thoughtful and insightful podcast gathers guests to investigate common stereotypes and explore how women have defied or subverted labels.

See the full list


UK

Fireheart (7+)

A celebration of courage, teamwork, family, and empathy, this splendid animated adventure is a roaring success.

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical

Matilda's story comes to life in this thoughtfully crafted musical about courage and justice. Make sure to check back on December 19th for our full, rave review of this outstanding movie.

Catherine Called Birdy (12+)

This medieval coming-of-age comedy skillfully remains sweet and funny, despite dealing with heavy subject matter at times.

The Phantom of the Open (13+)

With its stranger-than-fiction plot, this British comedy oozes a feel-good factor that will leave audiences feeling warm in its glow.

The Swimmers (14+)

This biographical drama based on a true story about two refugee sisters is full of hope amid devastation.

See the full list

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media offers the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based ratings and reviews. Our timely parenting advice supports families as they navigate the challenges and possibilities of raising kids in the digital age.