Thor: Ragnarok.


Marvel

Disney Plus is absolutely stacked. It’s gotten most of its attention recently for new bingeable shows like The Mandalorian and Loki, but its library of movies is arguably more impressive. It’s got every Star Wars and Marvel movie, but that’s just the beginning. 

If you’re new to the service, you’re probably going to rush straight to your old favorites. But once you’re done binge-watching through childhood memories, you’ll realize just how much there is to sift through on Disney Plus. This list is here to help. Here are some of our favourite movies currently available to watch on Disney Plus. 

We’ve divided it conveniently into categories — because otherwise it’d just be anarchy. 

Best Disney movies on Disney Plus

It’s only right to start with the best Disney movies on Disney Plus! Warning, we didn’t add any of the live-action remakes because they are almost all terrible. Please don’t get upset — but also, you know it to be true.  

Raya and the Last Dragon  


Disney

There’s a bit of recency bias here, but Raya and the Last Dragon will be available (outside of the paywall) for the first time in June 2021, and it’s a real feast for the eyes (and the imagination).

Raya and the Last Dragon feels very… familiar. It wears its influences on its sleeves, borrowing liberally from Studio Ghibli, Avatar, even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But it creates a living, breathing universe that’s joyful to exist in. Definitely give it a go.

Aladdin


Disney

You can agree or you can disagree, but I believe that Aladdin has the best song lineup of any animated movie Disney has ever produced. A Whole New World, Prince Ali, Friend Like Me, Arabian Nights — banger after banger. 

Combine this with a pitch-perfect, utterly golden performance from Robin Williams and you have — for me — possibly the best Disney animated movie ever.

Beauty and the Beast  


Disney

Many of its themes have aged poorly — Belle is captured and low-key forced to fall in love with the Beast? But, problematic issues aside, Beauty and the Beast is a true work of art. The opening number, Belle, remains one of the best opening numbers ever written.

Frozen   


Walt Disney Pictures

There’s been a slight backlash against Frozen in recent years — mainly, I suspect, from parents forced to watch on repeat by demanding little Elsas — but the cultural impact of this movie and its songs is undeniable. Much like Aladdin, it’s a setlist of bangers tied together with a nicely drawn story about the power of sisterly love. Majestic.

Hercules

Imagen de Hércules (1997)


Walt Disney Pictures

Hercules isn’t as fondly remembered as some of the movies from Disney’s golden age in the 1990s, but we’re adding it because it rules, OK?

In Meg, Hercules has one of Disney’s best drawn female characters. It also features the Fates and Go The Distance, an absolutely all-time Disney song. Hercules rules, accept this.

The Lion King  

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Disney

The Lion King, although slightly overrated, was probably the cultural high point of Disney’s influence in the 1990s. It still resonates today. Unlike some Disney movies, it’s a movie that feels truly epic in scale. Treat yourself to a rewatch.

Moana 


Disney

You could make an argument that Moana is the best animated Disney movie ever and I’d be inclined to hear that argument. Certainly it’s my favourite of Disney’s CGI movies and certainly its best since The Lion King. Brilliant songs, a perfect character arc for its titular heroine. Everything about Moana hits perfectly. If, for some reason, you skipped Moana, it’s now time to rectify that mistake.  

Mulan

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Disney

Forget the hollow, god-awful live-action remake. The original Mulan is the best Mulan, by miles and miles. It’s got more heart, and more Eddie Murphy.

The best Pixar movies on Disney Plus

It feels like the lines between Pixar and Disney movies are getting blurrier by the day. Either way, here are our favorite Pixar movies on Disney Plus.

Luca  


Pixar

Pixar’s latest, Luca, is a new kind of movie for the animation giant. It feels like a smaller movie, with slightly lower production values, but none of that matters because Luca absolutely rules. 

Telling the story of two child sea monsters who turn into humans when on land, it’s a smart tale of tolerance, friendship and expecting the best of yourself. Must watch for adults and kids alike.

The Incredibles


Pixar Animation Studios

Has Pixar ever made a better movie than The Incredibles?

No. It hasn’t.

Inside Out

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Just when you thought Pixar was on the decline, it releases Inside Out, one of its most thoughtful, powerful movies. 

I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie that dealt with the issue of mental health in children quite so delicately. If you have children, and even if you don’t, you need to watch this movie.

Onward

Onward


Disney/Pixar

Onward is Frozen for brothers. You can’t change my mind.

Sadly overlooked, having been released in early March 2020, just before the pandemic struck, Onward is low-key one of Pixar’s best. Starring Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, it’s heartwarming, smart… weird. You need to watch this one.

Toy Story 2


Pixar Animation Studios

Look, we can’t put all the Toy Story movies in this list, but we can’t not put Toy Story 2 in.

Arguably it’s the best one. For me, it’s between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3… which is next on this list!

Toy Story 3


Disney

Has any Pixar movie before or since packed an emotional gut punch like Toy Story 3? This isn’t just a movie about saying goodbye to your toys, it’s a movie about saying goodbye period. It’s as touching as any movie Pixar has ever produced. 

Just a perfect ending to the franchise. No, we will not be talking about Toy Story 4.

Up

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Disney

It’s not perfect, and its final act stutters, but Up is one of the most interesting and ambitious animated movies ever made. Watch it for that montage alone (if you’ve seen it, you know which one — and if you haven’t seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

Also watch it for Doug the dog.   

Best Marvel Movies

There are a lot of Marvel movies on Disney Plus, and a completionist would watch through all of them. Not everyone has that amount of time though, so these are the ones we like the best.

The Guardians of the Galaxy


Marvel

It’s weird, it’s funny and it pushes the MCU in directions you don’t expect — but Guardians of the Galaxy is just a well made, smart throwback of sorts. It’s got big Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone vibes and you have to respect that. It’s also a fantastic watch for people who haven’t seen every other MCU flick, since it has a mostly self-contained story. 

Black Widow 


Disney

Black Widow had been delayed into oblivion thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s now available to watch on Disney Plus. You’ll have to pay extra to view it, but it’s worth it. “Director Cate Shortland takes the spy-on-spy action to the eye-popping next level,” says Throneofgadget’s Rich Trenholm, “even with no superpowers at play, each relatively grounded fistfight or foot chase quickly dials up to entertainingly ridiculous proportions.”

 Or you could wait till Oct. 6, when it comes to the service for free ala Raya and the Last Dragon.  

Avengers: Endgame  


Disney

Considering the narrative weight it had to bear, and the knots it had to untie, Avengers: Endgame is something of a minor miracle. I doubt we’ll see something of this scale tied up so neatly ever again.

Not only that, Endgame is a fun movie in its own right. An incredible achievement — and spectacle — all considered.

Black Panther  


Dsiney

The best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date? It’s up there. But beyond its quality, Black Panther felt important. It remains a cultural touchstone and its impact still resonates, especially with the untimely passing of lead actor Chadwick Boseman. Killmonger is also one of the all-time best villains of the franchise.

Iron Man


Disney

Without Iron Man, there is no Marvel Cinematic Universe, so show some goddamn respect!

But Iron Man is more than a proof of concept, it’s just a fantastic, ground-breaking superhero movie. It’s loose, interesting and literally vibrates with energy. It’s aged fantastically well.

Thor: Ragnarok


Marvel

Let’s be honest, it’s the best one. It’s the funniest and most charming film in the whole MCU, thanks to leading man Chris Hemsworth and especially to director Taika Watiti.Thor: Ragnarok came in and completely rewrote the book on what a superhero movie could be. More like this please.

The best Star Wars movies on Disney Plus

Arguably you could put every Star Wars movie on this list. I’ve settled on picking the best from each trilogy and one other.

Rogue One  

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Disney

Rogue One is a well produced case study in plugging the gaps. Set between Episode 3 and the very first Star Wars movie A New Hope, Rogue One is a very different kind of Star Wars movie. It’s mostly absent of Jedis and space magic, focusing on very human characters doing very human things. It drags, and could certainly be about 20 minutes shorter, but it’s a great example of what Star Wars movies outside of the trilogy format could have become.

The Empire Strikes Back  

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Disney

The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered the best Star Wars movie for a reason. It features Yoda, the Darth Vader reveal and practically invented the idea of the “gritty” sequel. Above and beyond that, The Empire Strikes Back features real drama, punctuated with some of the most memorable moments in Star Wars history.

Revenge of the Sith  

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Disney

If you’re gonna watch one movie from this trilogy, might as well be Revenge of the Sith. Loaded with fan service, and more than a few magical moments, Revenge of the Sith might surprise you with how not bad it is.  

The Last Jedi   


Disney

Yes! It’s the best Star Wars movie The Last Jedi!

This one is controversial but, for me, this is as good as Star Wars has ever been. The final act of this movie is very special. There’s just a lot going on here: Luke Skywalker’s anti-hero swerve, the meta-commentary on Star Wars as a franchise. Just a brave, interesting movie from start to finish.

Documentaries

This section exists to direct your attention to the fact Free Solo is available to watch on Disney Plus.

Free Solo  


Disney

Free Solo is one of the best documentaries ever made. Telling the story of Alex Honnold, the first man to “free solo” El Capitan, it’s a delicate character study of a man who makes the impossible look almost banal; an Oscar-winning story that culminates — quite literally — in a close-up view of one of humanity’s wildest human achievements.  

Howard


Disney

After you’re done with Free Solo, definitely check out Howard, which focuses on the heartbreaking story of Howard Ashman. A pivotal part of Disney’s resurgence with movies like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Ashman’s story is absolutely the best of Disney’s documentaries about itself. A must-watch for any Disney fan.  

The best Star movies on Disney Plus

No, this is not a typo. I don’t mean Star Wars, I mean Star. Sadly, these are only available for Disney Plus subscribers outside the US. 

Star is a back catalogue of more mature movies and shows on Disney Plus and it’s absolutely loaded with incredible movies. It’s hard to know where to even begin. I’ll just pick a few of my personal favourites, but it’s absolutely worth diving in and seeing what classics you feel like rewatching.

Alien

alien-main

20th Century Fox

Why not start with what is probably the best sci-fi horror movie ever made.

When I rewatch Alien (which I do regularly) I’m in awe of its opening act. How patient it is, how committed it is to its own world building, the offhand dialogue, the performances. A perfect, ageless movie.

Note: Aliens is also on Disney Plus. I prefer the original, but Aliens is also phenomenal and you should watch it.

Conan the Barbarian  

conanbarbarian-1280x720

Universal Pictures

A bizarre, dated but somehow insanely compelling movie that’s unlike anything committed to screen before or since. Conan the Barbarian takes itself seriously and is almost good enough to get away with it. It’s also blessed with a Basil Poledouris score that’s as good as any soundtrack you could name.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe…

Die Hard  


20th Century Fox

Die Hard has gone to that weird Galaxy Brain place where it’s almost cool to not

 like it anymore on account of the endlessly boring “is Die Hard a Christmas movie” debate.

Die Hard may or may not be a Christmas movie, but it is a truly awesome movie. That’s hard to deny. A movie so powerful that it literally became its own genre. (Speed = Die Hard on a bus, Airforce One = Die Hard on a plane, etc.) Die Hard is without doubt one of the greatest action movies committed to film.

Predator  

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20th Century Fox

It’s hard to believe, but John McTiernan directed Predator and Die Hard back-to-back.

In my eyes the No. 1 and No. 2 best action movies ever made… back-to-back. Absolutely incredible. For me, Predator is the better of the two. It’s incredibly lean, has an incredible high concept and executes perfectly. Every scene drives the action, every character is memorable. It also features some low-key subtle performances.

And the greatest handshake cinema has ever seen.

Taken  


Disney Plus

Taken has sort of dissolved into a meme, a parody of itself almost, but the original movie? Absolute barn-burner. This is the movie that took acclaimed actor Liam Neeson and turned him into an unlikely action hero. It also wrote the blueprint for what action movies have looked like for the last decade. There is no John Wick without Taken.  



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