Best Disney Plus movies: great Disney Plus film treats
All the best picks from Disney Plus - its version of Netflix
Disney Plus is up and running in the United States, but sadly Brits have to wait until March 31 2020 to dive head first into all of that lovely Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Fox and National Geographic content.
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, our US-based team has wilfully spent countless hours watching and re-watching the vast library of new and original content to bring you the best movies the new Netflix rival has to offer.
Note: Given Disney currently has an array of expiring licensing deals with some of the major content providers, it’s possible not all of these films will be available as part of the UK launch.
- 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. The Lion King (1994)View now at 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.
2. Home Alone (1990)View at 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.
3. Black Panther (2018)View now at 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, in the title role, Michael B. Jordan’s turn as Killmonger gives us the Universe’s most nuanced villain.
4. Star Wars Episode VI: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)View at 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.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)View now at Disney Plus
The funniest, coolest and overall, the most enjoyable and accessible movie from the MCU canon flies the flag in our list. Chris Pine 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.
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1992)View now at 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.
7. Frozen (2013)View now at 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.
8. The Sandlot (1993)View at Disney Plus
Plaaaaaaaayball! The Sandlot sits right alongside Stand By Me and The Goonies as a coming-of-age movie that truly captures the essence of childhood friendship. Smalls, Squints, Ham, Benny “The Jet” and pals are the baseball-obsessed small town kids who, away from the dusty ballpark, encounter beauty via lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn, before an epic adventure to rescue their prized ball from “The Beast.”
9. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)View now at 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?
10. Turner & Hooch (1989)View now at 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. Toy Story (1995)View at 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.
12. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)View at Disney Plus
Tissues at the ready? You’re going to need them if you’ll join missing pets Shadow, Chance and Sassy on their perilous journey back to their owners. The trio (voiced by Don Amiche, Michael J. Fox and Sally Field) traverses the Sierra Nevada mountains, encountering bears, a mountain lion, a porcupine, a deadly waterfall, and an animal shelter they mistake for the dog pound. Will they all make it home safely?
13. Free Solo (2018)View now at 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.
14. Finding Nemo (2003)View now at 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.