Disney Plus debuted with hundreds of movies and thousands of hours of TV shows to watch, all from Disney’s library of titles—as well as new, Disney Plus-exclusive content. For this one, the studio dug deep into its vaults, making overlooked live-action films from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s available alongside a slew of Disney Channel original movies.
So, with a plethora of movies available to stream on Disney Plus, we felt it was necessary to assist you in narrowing down your options for what to watch on the new streaming service. Check out our list of the best Disney Plus movies below.
1. Ralph Breaks the Internet
The sequel to the successful Wreck it Ralph sees Ralph and Vanellope possibly cutting ties when they join the vast world of the internet, and the film addresses issues of toxic masculinity and online culture—though never preachily. There’s still plenty of time for fun, and while the Star Wars and Disney Princess references may be seen as blatant cross-promotion, that doesn’t mean they’re not delightful.
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director Gareth Edwards introduces a degree of tactile realism to the Star Wars films that haven’t been seen since the original trilogy, which is perhaps appropriate given that this film takes place immediately before the events of the first film. Rogue One clearly showed that there was inherent merit in some of these side stories and paved the way for the success of the equally in-between-y Disney+ original series The Mandalorian, which featured dazzling visual effects (the final fight on and above beach planet Scarif is one of the best in franchise history) and a cast full of wonderfully diverse talent.
Disney+ had a wonderful 2020 and Soul was handily our favorite Disney+ movie of the year. Originally intended for a theatrical release, Pixar’s new masterpiece instead premiered quietly on the streaming site on Christmas Day. That made a lot of sense since the film deals with universal themes such as life, death, and what it really means to find your light.
4. Mary Poppins Returns
Emily Blunt takes on Julie Andrews’ iconic role as the prim-and-proper nanny who can do practically anything with prim-and-proper playfulness, effortlessly alternating between tough love and whimsical singing on the fly. Rob Marshall’s widescreen designs harken back to the glory days of Disney’s live-action extravaganzas, and the script delivers musical set piece after musical set piece that also happens to map over the original script and intent of each set piece in the original.
5. The Lion King (1994)
The original Lion King addresses some of the most adult material in Disney’s filmography, alongside featuring laughing hyenas and talking lions. The death of Mufasa ranks alongside the death of Bambi’s mother as one of the most tragic scenes in film history, and the rest of The Lion King deals with themes such as mortality, legacy, and duty. It’s a film about accepting that life will be difficult at times, but that the reward will hopefully be worth it in the end.