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Best Disney Plus movies: great Disney movie treats

The best Disney Plus movies revealed: great Marvel, Fox, Disney and Star Wars films.

Best Disney Plus movies: great Disney movie treats

There are so many movies on Disney Plus, which means choosing a film is something of a hard task. But don't panic: we've done the hard work for you and found the 50 best Disney Plus movies on the service right now.

UPDATE: With Star on Disney Plus now offering up a whole load of new movies, we've upped our best Disney Plus movies list to a whopping 50. There are all sorts on offer here, from Marvel-ous epics to low-key dramas.

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.

Additional reporting: Chris Smith

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Best Disney Plus movies

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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

3. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

4. The Lion King (1994)

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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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

5. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

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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?

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Best Disney Plus movies

6. Finding Nemo (2003)

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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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

7. 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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

8. 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.

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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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

10. Avengers: Endgame

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It's hard to choose just one of the Avengers movies but the final one has so much going for it, given it manages successfully to tie up some 22 movies before it. Even though it's not an ending as such - the movies will continue - it wraps up beautifully the first three phases of the MCU.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

14. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1992)

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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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

15. The Muppets

Watch 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

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Best Disney Plus movies

16. Edward Scissorhands

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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.

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Office Space is a fantastic look at what happens when the bastards wear you down. It also features the best fight with a printer we have ever seen. Its creator Beavis and Butthead’s Mike Judge headed into similar territory with his superb show Silicon Valley.

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Best Disney Plus movies

18. Starship Troopers

Stream now on Star on Disney Plus

On the face of it, Starship Troopers is about gung-ho soldiers fighting big bugs but this is a Paul Verhoeven movie so there’s some great subtext involving totalitarianism, far right behaviour and the draw this has over soap opera friendly faces who want to save America. And this was made 20 years before Trump’s ill-fated Presidential reign.

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Soul was originally meant for cinemas but with Covid-19 scuppering the world's plans, Disney did the right thing and made it available on Disney Plus on Christmas Day. And what a treat it is, focusing on a jazz teacher who has aspirations for playing on the stage. When he gets his big chance he falls down a manhole and his whole life - and the movie - changes.

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One of the newer Pixar movies to hit Disney Plus, Luca is a ‘fish out of water’ tale about the friendship between two boys in the Italian Riviera, Luca and Alberto. They have a monstrous secret, though, which threatens to spoil all the fun.

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Best Disney Plus movies

21. Turner & Hooch (1989)

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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.

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22. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Stream now on Star on Disney Plus

While some may have tired of Wes Anderson’s style, he still makes stunning movies and The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of his best. Ralph Fiennes is superb as the concierge who is framed for murder. What ensues is a riot of a movie, bathed in the bright colours Anderson is famed for.

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Jeff Goldblum might be all suave and sexy now, but watch him in The Fly snap a man’s bone while arm wrestling and puking acid vomit and, well, he’s still damn suave and sexy! That aside, this is a fantastic body horror film by David Cronenberg and Goldblum is brilliant as the man turning into the fly.

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24. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

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One of the best ‘buddy’ films ever made, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid is a Western that was born out of the counter culture of the 60s, a boys’ own adventure that tells the true tale of two famous outlaws. Paul Newman and Robert Redford star.

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25. Little Miss Sunshine

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A fantastic indie movie about a family who goes cross country to take their little girl to a beauty pageant. It’s a strange, likeable road movie that’s packed with characters and features a superb performance from Alan Arkin, as well as Abigail Breslin as the seven year old. Toni Collete, Paul Dano and Steve Carell all star.

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With Die Hard not yet on Disney Plus, this is the next big thing. This time John MccLane is stuck in an airport waiting for his wife to land when terrorists take over and, well, you can guess the rest. It’s a taut thriller that’s completely over the top but Bruce Willis shines throughout.

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27. Frozen (2013)

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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.

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28. 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.

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Best Disney Plus movies

29. Mulan

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Watch Mulan on Disney Plus

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

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30. The French Connection

Stream now on Star on Disney Plus

Popeye Doyle is the sort of detective who’s ten-a-penny on TV right now (angry, doesn’t play by the rules) but in The French Connection Gene Hackman’s weather-beaten cop was a breath of stale air at the time. It’s a bleak movie, packed with violence and one of the best car chases of all time.

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31. White Men Can't Jump

Stream now on Star on Disney Plus

It’s the chemistry between Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson that makes this movie. The plot is slight: a white man pretends he can’t play basketball to hustle people out of money. But the quips between the two leads make this a film that’s so much fun to watch - and endlessly quotable, too. "It's hard work makin' you look so bad."

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32. Raya And The Last Dragon

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Originally a Premium Access title, Raya And The Last Dragon is a brilliant, beautiful tale of a land where dragons and people coexist, until an evil force saw the dragons sacrifice themselves. A warrior heads to find the one dragon left who she needs help from when the evil returns.

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Best Disney Plus movies

33. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Stream now on Star on Disney Plus

Both of Matt Reeves’ takes on the Planet of the Apes mythos are breath-taking. Dawn is our favourite, though, proving that the fight between ape and man is a story that fizzes with politics as much as it does violence. We really can’t wait to see his take on Batman as he managed to take this well-worn franchise to new heights.

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Yes, it’s an absolutely guilty pleasure but we have to admit that we jumped for joy seeing Commando on the Star list. Colonel John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is pissed - the former Marine’s unit have all been killed by terrorists and now his daughter is kidnapped. This means he has to don the camouflage once more to defeat the bad guys. Let off some steam, Bennett!

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Nobody does screwball comedy better than the Coen Brothers, and this one is hilarious from the first to the last minute. Nic Cage plays H.I. "Hi" McDunnough, an ex-con who hatches a plot to steal a baby from local rich man Nathan Arizona, who just happens to be one of five recently born quintuplets.

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While it’s the most divisive Wes Anderson movie, we have a massive soft spot for The Life Aquatic. Maybe it’s the Bowie soundtrack, the elaborate water-based backdrop or just the actors having the time of their life charting the story of oceanographer Steve Zissou. It’s Anderson aiming high and slightly missing but we still love the scope of this film.

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Crimson tide has one of the tightest scripts around, thanks to a young Quentin Tarantino doing a rewrite on the thing. It adds to the menace of the atmosphere of a movie that’s about a possible nuclear attack and those on a sub that might have to fire the missiles.

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There are more famous actors cut out of The Thin Red Line than there is in the movie, but that’s what makes this big-screen war epic so great. Terence Malik may be making a movie a year at the moment, but this was his big comeback and it came out in a similar time as Saving Private Ryan. The Thin Red Line is a very different movie, more an elegy about the futility of war with some of the most beautiful cinematography you will see.

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Best Disney Plus movies

39. Night Watch (2006)

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One of Russia’s most successful movies is a confusing mess at times but, boy, does it have some fantastic set pieces and a story that’s extremely high concept. The Night Watch are vampire-like people who guard the night and they are all ready to do battle with their day counterparts. A Day Watch sequel was made and we’re still waiting for the final film in the trilogy which has been hugely delayed, thanks to Timur Bekmambetov heading to Hollywood to create the likes of Wanted and more.

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Best Disney Plus movies

40. Miller's Crossing

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Injected with the dark comedy that only the Coen Brothers can pull off, Miller’s Crossing is about gangsters. Not successful ones but those bumbling along. It’s filled with film noir callbacks and ‘30s gangster movie schtick. But at its heart are two directors who know all-too well how to upend convention and created a movie that’s essentially about a man chasing a hat.

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Ridiculously overlooked on original release (and massively mismarketed), Jennifer´s Body has finally found itself as the feminist classic it has every right to be. Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Megan Fox as a teenage cheerleader who just so happens to also be a succubus.

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42. Adventures in Babysitting

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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.

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A sombre, angry movie that is set in a New York that’s still wounded after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. The movie was made not long after the attacks and wasn’t meant to be about the events but the spectre remains throughout a movie about a convict who has one last day of freedom before serving a long jail sentence.

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One of the best movies on Disney Plus is an Oscar winner. Although a movie, Nomadland blends real actors with real-life Nomads who decided to live on the road once the 2008 financial crash hit the US. It’s a beautifully shot movie with a powerful performance from Frances McDormand and fantastic direction from Chloé Zhao.

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The Favourite is the movie that won Olivia Coleman the Oscar (it got 10 nominations in total), and for good reason. It’s a brilliant, strange film about the relationships of Queen Anne. Yorgos Lanthimos directs and if you have seen any of his previous movies, then you know you are in for an original ride.

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Best Disney Plus movies

46. Free Solo (2018)

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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.

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While it was super expensive when first launched on Disney Plus as a PVOD title (the P stands for Premium), you can watch this one for free through the service and it's an epic watch, while staying true to the original cartoon and the folklore it's based on.

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48. The Princess And The Frog

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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.

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49. The Rocketeer

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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.

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50. Return To Oz

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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.

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