Entertainment

18 Musical Movies Streaming On Netflix That’ll Make You Break Out Into Song

From The Prom to Shrek: The Musical.

'The Prom' is one of Netflix's musical movies that will make you break out into song. Photo via Meli...
Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix
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If you ever went through a musical theater phase, or if you're still in it, you probably have spent a good few hours in your life scanning through all of the online streaming sites, searching for any movie in which the characters spontaneously break into song and dance. It turns out that there are plenty of musical movies streaming on Netflix right now — you just have to know which titles to look out for. Whether you're completely Broadway obsessed, or you just recently watched Hamilton on Disney+ and now want to see what else is out there, there's something for everyone on Netflix.

In recent years, the streaming service has even begun putting out its own musical movies, from Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of The Prom starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells to Work It, a jukebox dance musical featuring hits by Dua Lipa and Normani as well as original music by its star, Sabrina Carpenter. After what felt like a lifetime in quarantine, you’re probably in the mood to get off your feet, sing, and dance, so why not watch one of the musicals on Netflix? Any one of these 18 musical movies could be your new favorite.

1

Les Misérables

Released in 2012, this film adaptation of Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), who decides to take care of a factory worker’s daughter while being chased by a police officer named Javert (Russell Crowe) for breaking parole. Also starring Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Helena Bonham Carter, the movie grossed over $441 million and earned three Oscars, three Golden Globes, and a Grammy nomination.

2

The Prom

Netflix’s Ryan Murphy-directed film adaptation of this 2018 musical follows a small-town high school student named Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) who wants to take her girlfriend to prom despite her small town’s homophobic pushback. After hearing about the situation, four Broadway actors in need of good press — played by Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells — arrive in the town in hopes of reversing the citizens’ closed-mindedness.

3

Been So Long

I May Destroy You creator and star Michaela Coel stars as Simone in 2018’s Been So Long, based on a 2009 musical that was inspired by a 1998 play of the same name. The single mother meets a handsome stranger named Raymond (Arinzé Kene) at a club, and the film sees them attempt to enter a relationship despite her complicated romantic past and his dark legal history. Throughout the film, Coel and Kene perform original songs composed by Christopher Nicholas Bangs.

4

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Released in 2020, this musical comedy follows Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir, respectively, two Icelandic singers set to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. Fans of the real-life song contest praised the film, which also stars Pierce Brosnan and Demi Lovato. It also features Oscar-nominated original songs crafted by Savan Kotecha, the musician behind dozens of Ariana Grande songs, Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer,” and Britney Spears’ “If U Seek Amy.”

5

Shrek: The Musical

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Based on the iconic 2001 animated film and its sequels, all inspired by William Steig’s 1990 book of the same name, Shrek: The Musical follows the legendary green ogre as he embarks on a quest with his friend Donkey to rescue Princess Fiona. Featuring Brian d’Arcy James and Sutton Foster in its lead cast, the Tony-winning musical showcases beloved songs from the film like “I’m A Believer” alongside original musical numbers like “Forever” and “Freak Flag.”

6

White Christmas

Released in 1954, this musical holiday film follows singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) as they join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) on a trip to rural Vermont to perform a Christmas show. Along the way, they meet Bob and Phil’s commander in World War II and decide to use the show to fund his failing quaint country inn. The iconic film includes memorable songs like “Sisters,” “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep),” and, of course, Crosby’s Oscar-winning “White Christmas.”

7

A Week Away

Released in 2021, Netflix’s A Week Away is basically like Christian Camp Rock. The film follows teenage Will (Kevin Quinn) as he’s forced to choose between juvie and summer camp following a run from the police. He chooses camp and meets Avery (Bailee Madison), who sticks by his side after the campers find out about his situation. Featuring cameos from Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman, the film’s soundtrack boasts songs by both musicians as well as Christian camp staples like “Awesome God.”

8

Opening Night

This 2016 musical comedy follows a failed Broadway singer named Nick (Topher Grace) who’s managing production on a new show. The film takes place in real time, following the lively cast backstage as Nick attempts to get them in order to perform without wreaking havoc. Anne Heche, Taye Diggs, and JC Chasez also appear in this film, which largely flew under the radar upon its release.

9

My Fair Lady

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Adapted from the 1956 musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, 1964’s My Fair Lady stars Audrey Hepburn as a poor Cockney florist named Eliza Doolittle who learns to speak proper English from an arrogant professor named Henry Higgins. The second highest-grossing film of the year, it received eight Academy Awards and three Golden Globes and features memorable songs like “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live.”

10

Work It

Produced by Alicia Keys, this 2020 jukebox dance musical comedy stars Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy, and Keiynan Lonsdale as hopefuls in a high-profile dance competition. Netflix’s Work It features the hit song of the same name by Missy Elliott as well as “Motivation” by Normani, “WOW” by Zara Larsson, “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa, and an original song titled “Let Me Love You” by Carpenter.

11

What About Dick?

This modern musical comedy written by John Du Prez and Eric Idle features parodies of classic radio plays and period dramas, like Downton Abbey, as it takes a wacky road to tell the story of the British Empire’s decline through the eyes of a piano. Netflix hosts an official recording of a 2012 Los Angeles live production featuring Russell Brand as Dick in a cast that also includes Idle, Sophie Winkleman, Tim Curry, and Emily Mortimer.

12

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square

Nominated for Outstanding Television Movie at the forthcoming 2021 Emmy awards, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square stars Christine Baranski as the wealthy Regina Fuller, who goes back to her hometown for the holiday season to evict residents and sell the land to a developer. Also starring Parton as Angel, the musical film features original songs written solely by the legendary musician and performed alongside Baranski and the rest of its cast.

13

Joseph: King of Dreams

Dreamworks’ 1998 animated biblical musical film The Prince of Egypt appealed to a wide audience despite its religious themes, so the studio decided to produce a prequel in 2000 titled Joseph: King of Dreams. While it wasn’t as highly regarded as its predecessor, the film was still critically acclaimed and received praise for the song “You Know Better Than I.”

14

Over the Moon

Featuring voice acting from Sandra Oh, Ken Jeong, and Margaret Cho, this 2020 animated musical fantasy film follows a young girl who strives to prove the existence of the Moon goddess Chang’e. Released in 2020, the Netflix original movie received nominations at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes, and it was the final film written by Audrey Wells (The Hate U Give) before her 2018 passing.

15

Arlo the Alligator Boy

American Idol alum Michael J. Woodard stars in this 2021 animated musical film. He plays Arlo, a half-alligator, half-human creature who was abandoned as a baby and is adopted and raised by an accepting woman named Edmée (Annie Potts) who sees past his unique qualities. Praised for its clearly queer-coded storyline, Arlo also stars Mary Lambert (known for singing the hook of Macklemore’s “Same Love”) as Arlo’s sweet human giant friend named Bertie. Other voice actors include Jonathan Van Ness, Jennifer Coolidge, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea.

16

Zoot Suit

Based on Luis Valdez’s 1979 play, Zoot Suit follows Henry Reyna and the 38th Street Gang, who were tried for the Sleepy Lagoon murder in Los Angeles amid World War II and discriminated against for their zoot suit-wearing Chicano identities. The film stars much of the original Broadway cast and, like the play, features the music of Daniel Valdez and the “father of Chicano music,” Lalo Guerrero. In 2019, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry based on its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.

17

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

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With a star-studded cast of Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Anika Noni Rose, and Ricky Martin, this 2020 holiday musical follows inventor and toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker) as he invents a unique sentient matador doll named Don Juan Diego (Martin). After learning he’ll be mass-produced and no longer unique, Diego seeks revenge on Jangle with the help of rival inventor Gustafson (Key). Nominated for 10 NAACP Image Awards, Jingle Jangle features original songs co-written by John Legend and performed by Martin, Key, Whitaker, and Rose, as well as Usher and Kiana Ledé.

18

Vivo

Featuring original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this 2021 animated film centers on a cute, music-loving kinkajou (voiced by Miranda) who’s destined to embark on a journey to deliver a love song to an old friend. Vivo also stars Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicole Byer, and Gloria Estefan, all of whom perform the critically acclaimed film’s songs, including “Mambo Cabana,” “Love’s Gonna Pick You Up,” and “My Own Drum,” which features the iconic Missy Elliott.