Best Disney Plus movies: 25 great Disney movie treats
The best Disney Plus movies revealed: great Marvel, Disney and Star Wars films.
There are over 500 movies on Disney Plus, making choosing a film something of a hard task. But don't panic: we've done the hard work for you and found the 20 best Disney Plus movies on the service right now.
UPDATE: The Mandalorian: Season 2 is now streaming on Disney Plus and it carries on the adventures of Mando and The Child as they navigate their way through the Star Wars universe. The second season is streaming weekly and delves into the history of Star Wars even more, with some very familiar characters popping up.
While Baby Yoda and The Mandalorian steal the headlines as the first live action Star Wars series, there’s a vast array of archive movies from some of the most prized studios and franchises now under the vast Disney umbrella.
There’s the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Disney animated classics multiple generations grew up on, and a host of live action classics. It houses all of your favourite Pixar flicks, from Toy Story to Up, and provides the single repository for everything Star Wars you’ve always dreamt of. Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, there’s an ever-growing library of classic movies joining the service too.
To whet your appetite, we have been delving into the vast library of new and original content to bring you the best movies the new Netflix rival has to offer.
- Want something to watch today? Head to our best Netflix movies shortlist
- Best Disney Plus shows - brilliant shows that you can watch right now.
Best Disney Plus movies
1. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)View now on Disney Plus
The consensus pick as the best Star Wars film, and arguably the most consequential from a storyline perspective, is our pick here. Disney Plus has seven of the nine Skywalker Saga movies to choose from (only The Last Jedi and Rise Of Skywalker are missing for now), as well as the Rogue One, Solo standalones and The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. Pick your viewing order wisely.
2. Toy Story (1995)View now on Disney Plus
Pixar’s first film took the fledgling studio to infinity and beyond and remains, arguably, its best. Toy Story introduced us to Pixar’s unrivaled ability to forge complex and compelling characters in a world where humanity only exists on the periphery, and it hasn’t aged a day. An entire generation grew up with Toy Story, and Buzz, Woody and the gang’s next two adventures are also available on Disney+. Toy Story 4 will make it to the streaming platform in 2020.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)View now on Disney Plus
The funniest, coolest and overall, the most enjoyable and accessible movie from the MCU canon flies the flag in our list. Chris Prat excels as Star Lord, in the role he was born to play, while former WWE star Dave Bautista is a revelation as the tactless Drax. And that soundtrack? It’s as sharp as Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) Godslayer.
4. The Lion King (1994)View now on Disney Plus
Of the classic 80s/early 90s animated Disney flicks we’re feeling the love (tonight) for The Lion King – narrowly edging out Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid and Lady & The Tramp. Simba’s epic journey from exiled prince to fun-loving abdicator, to vengeful heir is an all-time great character arc. The Elton John/Hans Zimmer soundtrack is so good it went on to fuel one of the most successful musicals ever.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)View now on Disney Plus
He’s portrayed Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka, Hunter S. Thompson, Sweeney Todd and The Lone Ranger, but drunken sailor Captain Jack Sparrow will likely be the role that defines Johnny Depp’s career. The first Pirates movie was everything a swashbuckling blockbuster should be and more. With a fantastic hammed-up turn from Jeffrey Rush and a healthy dose of sex appeal from Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom, it’s an incredibly fun, funny and action-packed rollercoaster ride (literally, the film was based on a Disney theme park attraction). Now, where’s the rum?
6. Finding Nemo (2003)View now on Disney Plus
Perhaps Pixar’s finest achievement, Finding Nemo eclipsed The Little Mermaid as Disney’s best "under the sea" movie. En route to relocating, errant clown fish Nemo gets lost.
The studio created an incredibly vibrant underwater world here, and perhaps its richest, funniest cast of characters yet. From clown fish who don’t tell jokes to vegetarian sharks, Finding Nemo was a splash hit for the ages.
7. Home Alone (1990)View now on Disney Plus
You guys give up, or ya thirsty for more? Thanks to Disney’s purchase of 21th Century Fox, one of the best Christmas movies ever can be enjoyed year-round on Disney+. John Hughes’s festive treat made child neglect hilarious and, in eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, introduced us to the most violent screen pre-teen since Damien. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.
8. Black Panther (2018)View now on Disney Plus
A groundbreaking picture on so many levels, many fans rank Black Panther top of all 23 MCU movies so far. Indeed, it was the first movie of its ilk to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. While our trip to the wondrous world of Wakanda brought a sensational performance from Chadwick Brosnan (whose recent death to cancer shocked the entire world), in the title role, Michael B. Jordan’s turn as Killmonger gives us the Universe’s most nuanced villain.
9. X-men: X2View now on Disney Plus
This was the movie that truly proved you could have an adult superhero film that delved into very big themes, while also kicking ass. The beauty of this movie is the way all of the actors are perfect for the characters they are playing - which is going to make recasting the X-Men for a new Disney world pretty damn hard to do.
10. Turner & Hooch (1989)View now on Disney Plus
Big? The Burbs? Turner & Hooch? 80s Hanks = best Hanks, and the last of that golden trio is the best buddy cop movie ever (sorry Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys and especially K-9). Here Detective Hanks attempts to solve his partner’s murder with the help of the only witness; this slobbering doggo deluxe.
11. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1992)View now on Disney Plus
How many films do you know that could top the best Christmas and Halloween movie lists? Tim Burton’s stop-motion musical masterpiece continues to enchant kids and adults alike. Jack Skellington and Sally’s iconic love story, amid the dastardly plot to kidnap Sandy Claws and hijack Christmas, remains one for the ages, and there’s not a single frame of CGI to be found.
12. Hamilton: The Movie
Hamilton: The Movie is a fantastic way to watch the stage show. Taken from a 2016 performance, the movie melds the theatre production with state-of-the-art camera work to create a filmic feel to the show. This was meant to be out on the big screen in October, 2021, so it's a real treat that it's available on the service from 3 July.
13. TronView now on Disney Plus
Both the original Tron and the impressive sequel Tron Legacy are on Disney Plus UK and we recommend that you watch them both in one sitting. The effects of the original are a little bit dated but they hold up well - the less said about CGI Jeff Bridges, though, the better.
14. The MuppetsWatch The Muppets now
The Muppets Movie that was released back in 2011 helped to reinvigorate a franchise that was on the wane. IT's superb fun, full of knowing nods to the original movies and series while retaining its own charm. A bit part of this was the songs, written by Flight of the Conchords alumni Bret McKenzie. They are so good that he won an Oscar
15. Frozen II
Available from 3 July, Frozen II is currently the biggest animated movie of all time. It's a great watch, too - following on from the first movie we find Elsa trying to understand her past. While it doesn't have the knockout charm of the first film this is an assured sequel that expands on the characters we have gotten to love
16. OnwardWatch on Disney Plus now
Pixar proves that it still has it with Onward, an animated classic that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. While it didn't quite do what Disney wanted it to do in the cinemas, Onward deserves to be seen - the way it tackles grief and sorrow is spellbinding, while also making you laugh a lot in the process thanks to the voice work of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland. Lovely stuff
17. MoanaWatch on Disney Plus
There was time when Disney Animation Studios movies were lagging behind Pixar but with the likes of Frozen, its sequel, and the fantastic Moana in some ways it the Mouse House is once again king. Filled with catchy tunes, an amazing choice of voice actor in the The Rock and a powerful tale about Moana, the daughter of a chief, summoned by the ocean to find a relic. It's brilliant stuff that you will want to rewatch again and again.
18. Edward ScissorhandsWatch now on Disney Plus
An absolute joy of a movie that is Tim Burton at his greatest. It's the macabre tale of a Frankenstein's monster type character who grows up with scissors as hands, thanks to his maker not making him complete. Johnny Depp puts in a career best as Edward, while Winona Ryder and Dianne Wiest are sensational as the pair that befriend him.
Mulan is Disney's first premier access movie on Disney Plus but the way things are going we doubt it will be its last. The movies costs £19.99 to buy but if you are a family, then that's not a bad price to pay. Mulan is a lavish retelling of the Chinese tale, with some stunning set pieces and packed with action. While some of the magic of the cartoon is lost - Yifei Liu is fantastic as Mulan and director Niki Caro does well to make the whole thing stick
20. Frozen (2013)View now on Disney Plus
Unquestionably the most-beloved Disney movie of the 21st century and the source of that song sits pride of place within its new streaming service. If you have a small human in your home, good luck getting to watch anything Elsa (sorry) during waking hours. We’d imaging the 2019 sequel will hit Disney+ in 2020.
21. Adventures in BabysittingView now on Disney Plus
This is a great 80s movie that epitomises everything about the 80s. Directed by Chris Columbus, this is a brilliant romp that sees three kids go on an adventure with their babysitter after the babysitter's friend phones up wanting to be rescued. Elizabeth Shoe is fantastic as the babysitter and this is the sort of adventure you only dream of going on when you are young.
22. The Princess And The FrogView now on Disney Plus
This is a lovely little movie. It brings the Princess and the Frog bang up to date with the modern era, repositioning the story to New Orleans where waitress Tiana kisses a frog that's rather princely. It didn't do the box office it should have, but if you are harking for 2D animated fun from Disney then this is one of its better options.
23. Free Solo (2018)View now on Disney Plus
Disney Plus includes a raft of content from National Geographic inlucing Free Solo. The Oscar-nominated story of free-climber Alex Honnald’s death-defying efforts to scale El Capitan without safety equipment (or any equipment) is truly compulsive viewing that’ll leave stomachs in knots and hearts in mouths.
24. The RocketeerView now on Disney Plus
The Rocketeer is a proper old-school actioner that plays like it has been made in the golden era of Hollywood. It wasn't. It was made in 1991 by Joe Johnston, a director who earned his stripes with George Lucas and also helmed the rather brilliant Captain America: The First Avenger. It's about a superhero of sorts that uses a prototype jetpack to beat the bad guys.
25. Return To OzView now on Disney Plus
Return to Oz is a strange movie, and all the better for it. Disney was never going to win with a straight laced sequel to one of the most-loved movies of all time. Instead it offer a mind-melting mix of strange new characters and scenes that will put the fear of god into most - those... bloody... wheelers. We wouldn't say it's an amazing movie but it is an absolute must watch, maybe with the lights on.