What’s a sleepover movie? And no, it’s not just any movie you throw on in the background during a sleepover. No siree.
A sleepover movie must be carefully selected, with the selectee keeping some very important considerations in mind.
A sleepover movie can’t be a bummer. It can’t be too long. Under no circumstances should it be boring or even especially slow-paced.
But most of all, a sleepover movie needs to just be plain fun.
So let’s do it, let’s try to find the best sleepover movies on Netflix so that you’ll always have a go-to should the situation arise.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010)
Edgar Wright is a talented filmmaker, but more important to our discussion is just how purely entertaining Scott Pilgrim is to watch.
Based on a series of graphic novels that themselves borrow heavily from manga and nerd culture in a broader sense, Scott Pilgrim knows how to keep its audience engaged.
Scenes move by very quickly, unless of course there’s some kind of awesome action sequence that needs to get finished up first.
It also serves up all kinds of fun visual details and even lively sound effects, including many taken directly from popular video games of the last thirty years or so.
It can be hard to find an unlikeable character in this one. Even the villains are cartoony and distinctive enough to make you happy to see them.
Airplane! Is just one of the best spoof movies that’s ever been made, and that’s especially impressive considering you don’t need to have seen any of the specific movies it’s spoofing to enjoy the comedy.
The tone and visual gags you’ll find in this movie remind us a bit of Monty Python, but it goes further than that, and it’s also a good bit more American than anything you’ll ever have seen on Flying Circus or The Holy Grail.
Also, and this is a big bonus if you ever want to watch this movie during an actual sleepover, you don’t need to follow the story at all.
A plane is in trouble and the people on it need to find a way to land it safely, with the help of some people on the ground. That’s it.
It’s really all about the gags. You could turn around to face the screen again and catch a joke in just a matter of seconds, and there are plenty here to catch.
Paranorman is a movie that sort of slid past a lot of people. It’s getting old but it definitely still feels contemporary, and that’s maybe thanks to its stop-motion animation and sense of style.
It feels new while also being kind of classic in its presentation, especially when you come around to the story.
A kid with a special power has to save people from a bad thing that’s probably about to happen. Pretty standard stuff, overall. But the writing and the characters here are compelling enough to keep you watching and wondering what’s going to happen next.
If you’re an animation nerd, then you might be excited to hear that this movie comes from Laika, a singularly special animation house that also tackled Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link.
These guys and gals work real hard on their feature films and the effort really comes through. But in a sleepover situation, all you’re really going to focus on is how much this movie makes you feel like a kid, or, if you already are a kid, how it makes you feel like a slightly younger kid.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
As we work our way to the end of our little list, we don’t mind saying that we have quite a few issues with Ralph Breaks the Internet, which is unofficially known as Wreck-It Ralph 2, because that’s what it actually is.
The first Wreck-It Ralph was actually kind of an interesting and original idea. A video game villain wants to be something more than what he’s been told he is. Cool, cool.
Sure, the originality factor was not helped by the slew of easily recognizable and world-famous video game characters that dot the movie, the first act especially, but Disney pulled something off with this one by being less bland than they tend to be with their animated features and also with just about every movie they produce.
Ralph Breaks the Internet took that little spark of creativity and buried it somewhere in a mix of bright shiny colors and story tropes that should have been retired back in 1993.
So why is it on the list at all? Because it’s less engaging than the first movie. No, seriously. We put it on the list of some of the best sleepover movies on Netflix because it won’t carry you away with an interesting story.
This is one you can dip out of very easily, and when you’re at a sleepover and it’s getting kind of late, that’s exactly what you’ll want to do when this one gets a bit plain.
The Cat in the Hat (2003)
Well, we had to throw just one truly terrible movie into the list, and this time, it’s The Cat in the Hat, a live-action adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic that is just about coming up on its 20th anniversary.
If you’re new to the idea of watching bad movies on purpose so that you can make fun of them with your friends, this one is a pretty good starting place.
It’s definitely bad, on some ethereal, objective plain. It’s a very bad movie. But it’s also weird and awful enough that it kind of comes back around to being some kind of entertaining.
It’s not good. It’s not even that good as a bad movie. But it makes so many decisions that are just so hard to understand or explain.
With that said, we will not try to explain the places this movie ends up. You need to go there with it for yourself. Try it on for size with your buddies and see if you can make it all the way through without literally tearing out your hair and making it into an unloosenable knot.