Best Disney Plus Movies (Sept 2020) - Featured

Ever since Disney Plus launched, fans of all ages have been able to relive classic films from their childhoods. But since it’s Disney, people can now watch Star Wars and Marvel movies with the click of a button. Disney Plus has films from decades ago, so it may feel a bit overwhelming to decide what you should watch next to become an even more informed Disney fan. But for our money, these are the best Disney Plus movies you can watch tonight.

NEW MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS (2020)

1. Black is King

Making The Gift  •  Black is King

Beyoncé’s visual album Black is King has its origins when the singer researched her role in the live-action The Lion King. It was during this she discovered how Solomon Linda, a composer for the song “Mbubu,” which served as the basis for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” He didn’t receive any credit or royalties. Beyoncé wanted to make an entire film that told the stories of such forgotten Africans that didn’t rely on animation. The result is a spectacle for the eyes as native Africans are celebrated. From production design to costuming, Black is King is just as in-depth as any motion picture you’ll find out there.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Black is King uses native African visuals as the backdrop for some incredible music. It entrances both your eyes and ears.

MOVIES FROM DISNEY PLUS

2. Hamilton

Meet the Rising Stars of Broadway  •  Hamilton

Hamilton brings a 2016 performance with the original Broadway cast to the masses. The show won 11 Tonys and reignited people’s interest in musical theater. And you get a similarly thrilling experience watching a filmed version.

The way they filmed the show was to record two live performances and one where the camera crew could actually be onstage. Seeing the emotion on the actors’ faces makes you feel like you have a front row seat to the best show in town.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy Hamilton. Even if you don’t normally like Broadway musicals, you’ll find something to latch onto with this one.

BEST MOVIES ON DISNEY+ RIGHT NOW

3. Black Panther

Creating an Empathetic Villain  •  Black Panther

T’Challa is the new king of Wakanda who must decide what kind of leader he will be. But the character who steals the show in Black Panther is the villain, Killmonger. Much has been said about how he’s arguably the best antagonist in an MCU film. And the reason for this is that in some scenes… you actually find yourself agreeing with him. He makes a lot of sense, and you could make an entirely new film with him as a protagonist. And it would probably work. It’s a more sophisticated kind of superhero film. Even if it does have some Marvel trademarks, it remains a distinctly Ryan Coogler film.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Black Panther showed how the MCU was growing up. Hopefully, more movies in that universe follow its lead.

DOCUMENTARIES ON DISNEY PLUS

4. Howard

Howard Ashman’s Lost Aladdin  •  Dreamsounds

Howard Ashman was an openly gay songwriter, who wrote the lyrics for beloved films like The Little MermaidBeauty and the Beastand Aladdin. He passed away in 1991 due to complications from AIDS. And if you look at the subtext, you can see his struggle with this disease in lyrics to his songs. Most notably, the song “Kill the Beast” could be seen as a metaphor for the general public lashing out at something they didn’t fully understand. Now, Ashman gets the tribute he so rightfully deserves in the documentary, Howard.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

The Disney renaissance in the ‘90s wouldn’t be possible without Howard Ashman. You grew up belting out his songs. Now learn about the man behind the lyrics. 

WHAT MOVIES ARE ON DISNEY PLUS?

5. The Little Mermaid

The Making Of  •  The Little Mermaid

It’s no surprise Disney has made some of the best animated movies of all time. So, why should you watch The Little Mermaid over other classics? For starters, the film will be one of the next from the Disney vault to receive a live-action adaptation, so it’s a good time to relive what made the original story so beloved.

Additionally, when the movie came out in 1989, it restored Disney’s status as a place for high-quality, prestigious animated films. All these years later, it will entrance kids and adults alike.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

If you remember The Little Mermaid from your own childhood, then it’s a great time to relive in its animated magic. Your own kids can fall in love with the story, songs, and characters.

DISNEY PLUS MOVIE LIST

6. Toy Story

Toy Story is About Our Fear of Abandonment  •  The Take

Toy Story went through numerous iterations. At one point, Woody was described as plainly “a jerk.” But the team at Pixar stuck with it and kept reinventing the story. All the while, they pretty much came up with a bold new animation style that no one had used for a feature-length film before. But of course, movie history was made instead.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Woody becomes jealous of Buzz Lightyear as the popular new toy in the house. Not only was a franchise launched with that premise but an entire animation studio.

MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

7. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Making Of  •  Who Framed Roger Rabbit

One of the most famous scenes in Who Framed Roger Rabbit almost didn’t happen. For the scene where Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny appear together, the studios would only license the characters if they had the same amount of screen time and same amount of dialogue.

It’s just one incredible scene in a movie that’s filled with them, and even all these years later, the animation is unmatched for the insane level of detail you’ll find. If you don’t believe us, just research the idea of “bumping the lamp.”

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Who Framed Roger Rabbit doesn’t just rely on a bunch of references to other cartoons. It forges its own path, carving out a niche in the world of animated films.

CLASSIC MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

8. Fantasia 

Making Of  •  Fantasia

Fantasia may seem quaint by today’s standards. But it was revolutionary at the time of its release in 1940. Over 500 animated characters had to be created, which resulted in over 1,000 artists and technicians coming onboard to work on the massive project. The combination of animation with classical music is still incredible to watch to this day. It’s essential viewing for any budding animator.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Fantasia is one of Disney’s earliest feature-length efforts. See where the iconic studio got its start by watching it any time you like on the streaming platform.

THE COMPLETE DISNEY PLUS MOVIE LIST

9. Togo

The Togo True Story Had a Sadder Ending  •  History vs. Hollywood

Most people have heard of Balto, the brave dog that helped in the transportation of medicine to help with an outbreak of diphtheria in a remote Alaskan town. But what got glossed over in history is the fact that the dog, Togo, took the medicine a majority of the way. A reporter simply got the story mixed up. Togo is a prime example of how movies can do more than entertain. They can educate and reveal insights into history we may not have known before.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Togo is bound to make you cry if you’re a dog lover. It also shines a new light on a story that that’s become more myth than reality.

TOP MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS FOR FAMILIES

10. Avatar

The Art of Performance Capture  •  Avatar

Avatar deserves praise for what it did for motion picture technology. New motion capture filming techniques were utilized, and the film served as a breakthrough for stereoscopic filmmaking. It created the illusion of depth so incredibly well. Other films in the following years tried to hop aboard the 3D train, but none of them had the same care and precision as Avatar. We can’t wait to see how good the sequels look compared to the first one.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Take a journey to Pandora to witness the majesty of James Cameron’s expert directing prowess. With four sequels (hopefully) coming out soon, now’s the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the Avatar mythos.

DISNEY PLUS MOVIE LIST

11. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Behind the Scenes  •  Star Wars

Thanks to Disney Plus, every Star Wars movie can now be found in one place. You can go back to where it all began in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. The original film is a perfect encapsulation of Joseph Campbell’s Hero's Journey.

Of course, watching the movie is a lot more entertaining than reading Campbell’s book. You’ve likely seen this film plenty of times already, but another rewatch may be precisely what you need when you’re trying to figure out how to crack your own Hero’s Journey.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

A perfect way to spend the weekend is to rewatch the Star Wars films. While you could go in chronological order, we recommend starting back in 1977 with the movie that sparked a worldwide phenomenon.

NEW MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

12. Onward

Behind the Scenes  •  Onward

While Onward was initially released in theaters, it quickly fell off people’s radars due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting everything down, Disney knew precisely what to do. You may not have gotten the chance to see it on the big screen, but Onward remains a worthy addition to Pixar’s canon. And just as you would expect, it will make you tear up by the very end.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

You don’t want to sleep on Onward. Pixar shows they still have what it takes to tell entertaining, original stories with an amazing voice cast.

GOOD MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

13. Free Solo

The Making of Free Solo  •  ESPN

To make sure the documentary crew didn’t get in Alex Honnold’s way, they had to develop a special recording device. Honnold kept this item in his chalk bag, so they could still capture every single sound. It’s an innovative solution and shows how even the most difficult to capture documentary subjects can still end up in gripping detail on camera.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Few documentaries will have you on the edge of your seat quite like Free Solo. You need to see for yourself why this film won Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.

HEARTWARMING MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY PLUS

14. The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts Movie Animation and Character Design  •  Variety

So many adaptations of older properties try to mold them into modern reimaginings. But you don’t need to fix what isn’t broken. The Peanuts Movie sees Charlie Brown trying to win favor with the Little Red-Haired Girl, and Snoopy imagines himself as a legendary pilot. It takes what worked so well all those years ago and simply reintroduces these beloved characters to a new audience.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

The Peanuts Movie remains faithful to the source material. Everything you come to expect out of a Peanuts strip, from Lucy’s psychiatrist booth to the famous Wall, are right here.

EXCELLENT MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

15. Mary Poppins

How Mary Poppins Changed Movies Forever  •  Insider

Combining live-action with animation is no easy feat. But even back in 1964, Disney was up for the challenge. To accomplish this, the film relied heavily on rotoscoping. Mattes were created via Sodium Vapor screens. Extensive wire work required the film’s VFX team to take them out of the final frame. It was a marvel at the time, and one in which such care and precision is tough to replicate today.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Mary Poppins still stands up as a perfect family film. The songs are just as timeless now as they were in the ‘60s.

WHAT MOVIES ARE ON DISNEY PLUS THIS MONTH?

16. The Incredibles 2

Deleted Scenes  •  The Incredibles 2

It’s not every day you see an animated children’s movie where two characters have a lengthy discussion about public perception. But The Incredibles has always been something unique with Pixar’s canon. The sequel excels because it doesn’t merely take what works in the original. It pushes the characters in new, interesting directions. Plus, you can’t go wrong by having a baby beat up a raccoon.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

The Incredibles 2 is about more than just set pieces and fight scenes. It’s the kind of movie that challenges you to question what you value in heroes, even if you’re an adult. 

BEST MOVIES ON DISNEY+

17. Avengers: Endgame 

Avengers: Endgame is One of the Best Marvel Films Ever  •  Captain Midnight

You won’t find every MCU film on Disney Plus. But you can watch the granddaddy of them all with Avengers: Endgame. There’s never been any other film like this in terms of scope and how it wraps up over 20 films all at once. It’s also the highest grossing movie of all time. If you want a rush of adrenaline, then just skip to the portals scene to feel invincible.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to relive the MCU on Disney Plus. Just don’t overlook the massive finale.

GOOD MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS FOR KIDS

18. Tangled

Imagining Disney’s Tangled  •  Full Documentary

The story of Rapunzel has never seemed quite so… magical. Tangled utilized a mix of traditional animation and computer-generated imagery to create a unique artistic style at the time of release. When all was said and done, the movie took six years and an estimated $260 million to bring to life, making it one of the most expensive films of all time. Frozen may have gotten a lot of the glory out of the new Disney animated renaissance we’re currently in, but Tangled deserves some special attention.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Tangled ushered in a new form of 3D animated films from Disney. And the score from Alan Menken is impeccable as always.

THE COMPLETE LIST OF MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

19. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Making Of  •  Pirates of the Caribbean

In hindsight, it may seem like Pirates of the Caribbean was always destined for success. However, pirate movies were always a big gamble. None were really big moneymakers, and they’re notoriously expensive to make. Pirates of the Caribbean changed the game thanks to its performances, visuals, and score.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

A blacksmith and a pirate team up to rescue Elizabeth Swann from the undead crew of the Black Pearl. Future installments may have gone off the rails a bit, but the original holds up as an excellent fantasy adventure.

BEST MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

20. Moana 

Behind the Scenes With the Voice Cast  •  Moana

Directors John Musker and Ron Clements did research on the Polynesian demigod Māui and traveled to Tahiti, Samoa, and Fiji to brush up on Pacific Islander culture. The result is numerous accurate details to make Moana feel like it exists in a lived-in world, such as the scene where one islander receives a tattoo in the traditional manner in that part of the world. With songs from Hamilton scribe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, there’s something for everyone.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Moana is a great next step in Disney’s animated evolution. It’s a princess story, but one that breaks away from common tropes.

LIST OF MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

21. Queen of Katwe

Lupita Nyong’o Interview  •  Queen of Katwe

You’ll find plenty of underdog sport stories on Disney Plus. But for one that’s a bit off the beaten path, you need to watch Queen of Katwe. The film tells the story of a young Ugandan girl who has a whole new world opened up to her when she’s introduced to chess.

The idea of redefining what an underdog sports movie could be guided the film throughout its production. Screenwriter William Wheeler stated as much saying, “Disney was very open to wanting to tell an aspirational story about someone from someplace that is not at all familiar to Western audiences.”

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

The Mighty Ducks and Remember the Titans are other great sports movies. But don’t overlook Queen of Katwe, which should have received a lot more attention when it was released in 2016.

TOP DISNEY PLUS MOVIES EVER

22. The Mighty Ducks

Cast Reunion Q&A  •  The Mighty Ducks

The Mighty Ducks is must-watch viewing for any ‘90s kid. The film about an attorney who has to do community service by coaching a kids’ hockey team falls into many tropes of the genre. But if you want to relive your nostalgia with this classic sports movie that inspired two sequels and a very bizarre animated series.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Every so often, you need to watch a feel-good sports movie. The Mighty Ducks definitely falls into that category, and it’s the perfect film to watch alongside your own children now.

MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY+ TONIGHT

23. Tron

Making Of  •  Tron

A computer programmer gets trapped inside his own video game. The premise may be straightforward, but Tron was a landmark in visual effects when it came out in 1982. In fact, the reason why so many of the backgrounds in Tron are pure black is due to the fact it was easier to have instead of filling the entire frame with computer-generated effects. It may seem quaint today, but Tron helped push VFX forward.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Tron: Legacy may have the soundtrack. But the original Tron has the heart.

GREAT ANIMATED FILMS ON DISNEY+

23. Coco

A Thousand Pictures a Day  •  Coco

Lee Unkrich felt an enormous responsibility when creating Coco to get Mexican culture as accurate as possible. This required a great deal of research as well as several trips to Mexico. That research eventually made its way into the Coco screenplay with Unkrich stating that making the script was the hardest part of the process. At one point, the film was much more musical with the central family being cursed to sing. But the story the movie ended up telling was far more powerful and a good reminder to remember those who came before you.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Coco is top tier Pixar. The animation draws inspiration from the films of Hayao Miyazaki as well as, surprisingly enough, John Wick.

YOUR GUIDE TO DISNEY PLUS

25. The Greatest Showman

“From Now On”  •  The Greatest Showman

What should a good song in a musical do? In addition to being catchy and well-sung, it should also advance the plot. “The Other Side” in The Greatest Showman captures that perfectly with one verse being a sales pitch while the second is the rebuttal. P.T. Barnum and Phillip Carlyle show so much chemistry within the span of a few minutes, and anyone who wants to write a song for a musical just needs to watch that part to know how to structure lyrics memorably and in service of the plot.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

With catchy songs and an entertaining cast, The Greatest Showman puts on one heck of a show. If you liked Hamilton, then you owe it to yourself to see what other musicals exist on this streaming service.

BEST MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY PLUS

26. X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past - What’s the Difference?  •  CineFix

It’s probably going to be a while until we see the X-Men in the MCU proper. But due to Disney’s acquisition of Fox Studios, Disney Plus is able to showcase the old X-Men films on the streaming service, most notably X-Men: Days of Future Past.

There may not be a lot of continuity across the X-Men franchise, but this film does an admirable job of joining the casts from the original trilogy and new characters who were introduced in X-Men: First Class.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

One of the most interesting things the newest X-Men films have tried to do is incorporate the mutants into real-world events like the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy assassination. Days of Future Past takes some big leaps, but they land.

MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY+

27. The Simpsons Movie

Behind the Scenes  •  The Simpsons Movie

One of the biggest selling points for Disney Plus was how all 30+ seasons of The Simpsons would be on it. For our money, you really just need to watch seasons three through nine and cap it off with The Simpsons Movie. Plans for a movie for the eponymous sitcom family have been around since the '90s, and the script went through over 100 revisions before it finally went into production. Revising your own script five or six times seems a lot more manageable by comparison.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

The Simpsons Movie provides a stellar template for how TV shows should go about with cinematic adaptations. Plus, there’s a great Disney joke in there the Mouse House probably wasn’t too happy about acquiring.

TOP DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

28. James and the Giant Peach

Making of the Film  •  James and the Giant Peach

Stop motion animation is one of the most difficult cinematic art forms to master. And yet, James and the Giant Peach makes it look easy. It’s one of the most unique, imaginative animated films to come out of the '90s. All these years later, the puppets still hold up and may just inspire your youngster to pursue stop motion in greater earnest.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

The sheer artistry that went into crafting all of the puppets and models is astounding. Your jaw will be on the floor.

GOOD MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY PLUS

29. The Princess Bride

Behind the Scenes Casting  •  The Princess Bride

Even with the success of This is Spinal Tap and Stand by Me, Rob Reiner still had a hard time getting The Princess Bride made. The result is one of the most wonderful fantasy films ever made. It’s arguably one of the most perfectly cast films ever with instantly quotable dialogue. There’s a reason you still see memes made from The Princess Bride.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

When you want a cinematic throwback, you can’t do much better than The Princess Bride. Watch the film again and again until you can repeat it word for word.

TOP MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS

30. Treasure Planet

Disney’s Animation Magic  •  Treasure Planet

There are plenty of animated classics to watch on Disney Plus. You’ve likely already seen a lot of them, but one that may have flown under your radar is Treasure PlanetThe film puts a science-fiction twist on the classic novel Treasure Island.

The movie flopped at the box office, but over the years, the film has found a new audience. It’s a prime example of how you should never write off a movie just because it didn’t initially do well.

BEST DISNEY PLUS MOVIES

Conclusion

Treasure Planet is everything you could possibly want out of a Disney animated film. Now that it’s on a streaming platform, a new audience can indulge in all its 2D animated glory.

UP NEXT

Best Movies on Netflix 

All you need is a few streaming services, and you can pretty much watch anything from the history of cinema. Once you’ve had your fill of superhero movies and animated films, check out what’s new on Netflix. From old classics to new icons, Netflix should be an integral tool in any filmmakers’ arsenal.

Up Next: Best Movies on Netflix →
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