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.
TOP DISNEY PLUS MOVIES OF 2020
Joe Gardner is your average teacher who has dreams of playing jazz on-stage. Those dreams are sidelined when his soul is separated from his body, forcing him to go on the adventure of a lifetime to reunite with his mortal form. Soul is the latest Pixar film to make you cry, which features voice acting from Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, and Daveed Diggs.
BEST MOVIES FROM DISNEY PLUS
This sequel sees Ralph get out of the arcade and onto the internet. While he sets out to find a component for his friend’s game, he soon comes into conflict with a threat that could destroy the internet entirely. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman reprise their roles from the previous film in this timely, relevant adventure.
TOP DISNEY PLUS FILMS
Before superhero movies were all the rage, there was Sky High. The son of two of the most popular superheroes ever worries if he’ll be able to live up to their legacy and finds himself in the middle of a vast conspiracy taking place in his high school. It’s a great romp for kids that stars Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
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In the Christmas classic, Kevin McCallister is left home alone (so that’s why it’s called that) while his family goes on vacation in France. Through a series of humorous mishaps, he learns how much he really loves and needs his family. Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern, this holiday classic is back on Disney+ for all to enjoy.
DISNEY PLUS MOVIE LIST
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.
SCARY DISNEY PLUS MOVIES
The Nightmare Before Christmas originated from Tim Burton’s childhood. He was obsessed with holidays growing up because he felt it gave time more texture. He developed the idea for the story while working at Disney but was later fired. He went on to direct successes like Beetlejuice, and the chance to bring The Nightmare Before Christmas was rejuvenated. In contrast to popular belief, he didn’t direct the film, but it’s forever associated with Burton’s unique sensibilities.
CLASSIC FILMS ON DISNEY PLUS
A young boy makes the wish to become “big,” and the next day, his wish comes true. He turns into an adult, and he soon realizes he had it made pretty well as a kid. Tom Hanks leads this delightful comedy filled with plenty of hilarious bits.
DISNEY PLUS ANIMATED FILMS
Anastasia is finally a Disney princess due to the studio’s acquisition of 20th Century Studios. The film follows an 18-year-old amnesiac who ends up getting used by con men due to her likeness to the Grand Duchess. With brilliant songs and superb voice acting from Meg Ryan and John Cusack, this movie is different from your usual Disney animated fare and worth a watch.
TOP MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS NOW
Bambi was one of Disney’s first features, and even though you likely know the sadness that happens early on, it’s still enough to bring a tear to your eye. After suffering the loss of his mother, Bambi must learn to pick up the pieces, along with a little help from his friends. The film features the voices of John Sutherland and Sam Edwards.
BEST DISNEY PLUS ORIGINALS
Taylor Swift surprised everyone with the release of a surprise album, Folklore, earlier in 2020. It was also a surprise when she released a concert film of the same name on Disney+. The film features the entirety of the album as well as exclusive interviews with Swift discussing the songs and the inspiration behind them.
GREAT CHRISTMAS MOVIES ON DISNEY+
This Christmas film sees the untimely death of Santa Klaus. Therefore, it’s up to his son, Nick, to take up the mantle, but his daughter, Noelle, is far more excited to carry on the Santa tradition. This delightful children’s film stars Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader, and Shirley MacLaine in a romp suitable for the whole family.
WHAT MOVIES ARE ON DISNEY PLUS?
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.
MOVIES FROM DISNEY PLUS
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.
DOCUMENTARIES ON DISNEY+
Anyone wanting to learn the history of Marvel Comics needs to check out this 41-minute documentary. It traces the creation of important characters, like Captain America and features exclusive interviews from the likes of Stan Lee and Neal Kirby.
STAR WARS FILMS ON DISNEY+
After the prequels, Star Wars needed a boost of adrenaline. It received precisely that in the form of The Force Awakens. While the film follows many of the same plot beats as A New Hope, it re-introduces these galactic adventures to a new generation, complete with new characters for audiences to fall in love with. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac led this new chapter in the Star Wars mythos.
DISNEY PLUS SHORT FILMS
This short film depicts a father learning his child is different from all the other kids. This allegory for learning your child has developmental problems is sure to tug at your heartstrings and is exclusive to Disney+.
LIST OF ORIGINAL MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS
Director Tom McCarthy went from the Oscar-winning drama Spotlight to a movie about a boy running a detective agency with a bear as a best friend. While the movies are very different, McCarthy keeps his attention focused on the humanity within these characters. There are plenty of zany moments and deadpan jokes in this movie, but the characters and their emotions remain the focal point.
GOOD MODERN MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS
The merging of Disney and Marvel would inevitably lead to an animated superhero film, and the result was Big Hero 6. It’s an underrated film in Disney’s modern canon. And the creative team behind it wisely decided to not connect the movie with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It stands on its own, telling a heartfelt superhero story without the need to connect it something bigger than what the movie needs to be.
DISNEY PLUS MOVIE LIST FOR KIDS
Movies have the power to shine a light on issues people may be unaware of. Hidden Figures highlights the segregation that was prevalent at NASA in the lead-up to Project Mercury. The film centers on three Black women as they lead their colleagues to new scientific heights. While there are some historical inaccuracies, such as Kevin Costner’s character not even existing, hopefully the film encourages people to research more into this historical moment.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS FLICKS ON DISNEY+
Based on the popular operetta from 1903, this Disney Christmas classic. The plot has changed significantly from the original, following a man who’s kidnapped but has to return to his betrothed. The couple soon meet a bizarre toymaker, who becomes a pawn in the entire scheme. This remake stars Ray Bolger and Tommy Sands.
FUNNY MOVIES ON DISNEY+
In this Christmas film, an ordinary man accidentally causes Santa’s demise. As such, the man becomes Santa Claus where he must learn how to spread joy to all the children of the world while reconciling with his son. The ‘90s had a host of great Christmas films, and you can watch this one, starring Tim Allen and Wendy Crewson, now on Disney+.
DISNEY PLUS SHORT FILMS
Bao is one of the best short films ever made by Pixar. While much of the film follows an anthropomorphized piece of bao, it takes a turn toward the end that will make you want to call your own mother.
RECENT BLOCKBUSTERS ON DISNEY+
Frozen 2 more than lives up to the high standards set by the first film. For the sequel, Anna and Elsa set out to learn more about their past, including what really happened to their parents as well as where Elsa received her powers. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel star in the blockbuster kids and adults alike can enjoy.
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This animated sci-fi adventure was one of the last Disney films to come out in traditional 2D animation. It follows a young man who comes into possession of a book that he believes will lead him and his crew to the lost city of Atlantis. Featuring the voice acting talents of Michael J. Fox, Phil Morris, and James Garner, this is an underrated gem within Disney’s catalog.
ANIMATED DISNEY+ FILMS
The early 2000s were an interesting time for Disney animation. Princess tales took a backseat to movies like Treasure Planet, Atlantic: The Lost Empire, and The Emperor’s New Groove. This also happened to be the time when 2D animation was beginning to get phased out for 3D. It’s hard to imagine Disney greenlighting something like this these days, and that’s what makes it such a special addition to the Disney inventory.
CLASSICS ON DISNEY+
Steamboat Willie is vital viewing to anyone who wants to understand the history of animation. While it seems quaint now, it played a pivotal role in advancing how cartoons utilized sound, making for essential viewing for all aspiring animators out there.
DISNEY CHANNEL ORIGINALS ON DISNEY+
The star of East High’s basketball team and the queen of the drama club start up an unlikely romance when the athlete wants to perform on stage. The singing and dancing just won’t stop in this film starring Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.
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Two surfers end up getting caught in a massive wave, transporting them to an old-school beach-themed musical. They’ll have to figure out how to catch a wave back home or be stuck in this musical realm forever. Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, and Grace Phipps star in this Disney Channel original film.
PIXAR FILMS ON DISNEY PLUS
While a musical of sorts has developed about Ratatouille on TikTok, you can now see the original film in all its glory. The Pixar film about a rat who teachers a timid chef how to cook is one of the studio’s best offerings. With the voice acting talents of Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, and Lou Romano, this is the movie to watch when you’re in search of inspiration. It teaches you how anyone can do anything as long as they put their mind to it.
GOOD MOVIES FOR FAMILIES ON DISNEY PLUS
You’ve seen the memes; now watch the movie. Nic Cage stars in this adventure film about a cryptologist who sets out to steal the Declaration of Independence so that he can find a hidden treasure before a group of nefarious criminals do. Sean Bean, Diane Kruger, and Justin Bartha also star in the hit film.
DISNEY PLUS SPORT MOVIES
Even people who don’t follow sports have heard of the “Miracle on Ice.” This film follows the true story of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team who defied the odds and went on to win the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics. The inspirational film stars Kurt Russell and Patricia Clarkson.
BEST MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY PLUS NOW
The dark fantasy film that haunted numerous millennials’ childhoods is now available to watch on Disney+. The film follows Willow, a farmer who takes on the reluctant role of rescuing a baby from an evil queen, who plans on destroying the child to take over the world. It’s one of director Ron Howard’s most beloved works and stars Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, and Jean Marsh.
ACTION-ADVENTURE FILMS ON DISNEY PLUS
It’s divisive, but for our money, the Star Wars sequels peaked with The Last Jedi. The film sees Rey seeking the tutelage of Luke Skywalker, who has become a hermit on a far-off planet. It’s up to her to learn the ways of the Jedi so that she can bring down the First Order. It’s a brilliant deconstruction of the Star Wars mythos and stars Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver.
MCU IN DISNEY PLUS
Captain America is a hero out of time in The Winter Soldier. He’s still getting used to the 21st century, which involves getting used to the pop culture of the day, but it also means contending with ideologies that go against his own. In addition to fighting a new, mysterious threat, Captain America also goes to war with S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. The superhero flick stars Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson.
BEST ANIMATED MOVIES ON DISNEY+
A Goofy Movie does the impossible by giving emotional weight to Goofy. It shows him as a single dad raising his son who’s embarrassed by him as the two go on a road trip. The reason it’s likely resonated with audiences all these years later is because it invokes feelings everyone has experienced when they were a teen. It’s practically a universal feeling to be embarrassed by your parents, but it’s important to not let those feelings override your entire relationship. It’s still possible to find common ground, and your parents are often cooler than you realize.
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The Fault in Our Stars follows two cancer patients who fall in love in a support group. It’s one of those films that raises the question: what’s the appeal of romantic tragedies? In the same vein as Romeo and Juliet, we know the story isn’t going to end well. We know we’re going to cry and feel bad by the end of it. But that may be why these stories continue to resonate. They teach us to appreciate the moment and cherish the ones we have for the short time we have them.
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Based on the literary classic, this 1993 film follows a young Huck Finn as he joins up with an escaped slave as they travel down the Mississippi River. The film stars Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, and Robbie Coltrane in a must-watch for any fans of the book.
MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
A little girl stumbles upon the world of giants and meets the BFG “Big, Friendly Giant.” Steven Spielberg brings his trademark wonder and whimsy to this children’s film that stars Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill.
CLASSIC MOVIES ON DISNEY+
Live-action and animation come together wonderfully in the classic Disney flick, Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The film follows a witch who gets the assistance of three children fleeing from the London Blitz. The kids will use a magic bed to enter a fantasy land and escape from oncoming German troops. Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson star in this musical/fantasy production.
LIST OF SUPERHERO MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS
There are numerous movies about “found families.” Guardians of the Galaxy follows in these footsteps with a group of criminals joining forces for good. But it goes deeper than that. Many of the central heroes were forced into their respective lives of crime. Peter was abducted by Yondu’s gang. Gamora is Thanos’s daughter. They all make a decision to do better and become better people together. Your real family can influence you to do wrong, but your found family, the friends you make throughout life, can lead you down a better path.
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Diana: In Her Own Words originally aired on Channel 4 in the U.K. The film documents the life of the famous princess and includes video footage of Princess Diana speaking about her own experiences becoming a member of the royal family. If you’re a fan of The Crown on Netflix, then this documentary is must-see viewing.
FUN MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS
Rick Moranis had such a wonderful presence on-screen. He comes across as your dad, provided your father had impeccable comedic timing. With roles in films like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Ghostbusters, he became beloved by a generation. He quit acting to take care of his children after his wife passed away, and while we may never see him in another film, we at least have the memories from such joyous movies as this one.
LIST OF THE BEST DISNEY+ MOVIES
If you just need a good cry, then put on Old Yeller. The ending has become one of those cultural touchstones. In the same way people know that Darth Vader is Luke’s father even if they’ve never seen Star Wars, people know how this tale ends. For kids, it’s a film about the end of innocence and needing to grow up. You can watch it and hug your pup a little closer as you tear up.
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James Cameron brought us Aliens, so it’s not a surprise to see his fascination with extraterrestrial life on full display in Aliens of the Deep. Cameron journeys into the depths of the ocean, showing how life can thrive in such extreme environments. It’s a truly remarkable documentary considering the footage they were able to capture, and it shows how dedicated Cameron is as a filmmaker in the way he pushes the limits of technology.
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Saving Mr. Banks makes some Disney-fied changes to the real story behind Mary Poppins. While the film shows P.L. Travers moved by the final product, she was actually angry upon seeing the finished film. But that doesn’t quite make for a happy ending. In this instance, the true story is far more dramatic than the film based on it.
CLASSIC MOVIES ON DISNEY+
A prominent problem with many streaming services is the severe lack of older films. It’s hard to find anything prior to the 1980s most of the time, which is why you should take advantage of classic films whenever they’re available. The Sound of Music, which was actually the highest-grossing film of all time from 1965 to 1970. It’s the last Rodgers/Hammerstein collaboration of the era, and it’s a lovely film that should be on every filmmaker’s watchlist.
OLDER MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY PLUS
Sometimes you just need to watch a silly buddy cop movie where the cop’s buddy is a dog. The titular officers end up in the midst of a dastardly murder, and they’re the only ones who can solve the case. Tom Hanks leads this wacky comedy.
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Lindsay Lohan’s character was originally written as goth. It would have made for an interesting dynamic as her mother takes on a completely different persona and one she’s entirely unfamiliar with. However, by making the character preppy, the movie avoids feeling too dated. The script was rewritten when Lohan appeared at the audition in preppy attire, and now the movie is a Disney classic.
BEST SUPERHERO MOVIES ON DISNEY PLUS
In the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed first X-Men film, X2 sees the continued persecution of mutants. As such, the X-Men are forced to team up with the villainous Brotherhood of Mutants to save their kind. The superhero flick sees Hugh Jackman return as Wolverine as well as Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Halle Berry.
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.