The Best Movies on Disney+ Right Now (September 2021)


Disney+ has everything you need for movie night, with a long list of family-friendly films that will appeal to viewers of all ages. The streaming service has a long list of new and classic films available to subscribers, as well as features you’ll only find there. It’s also the official home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars saga, and occasionally offers new releases you can stream while they’re still in theaters. Figuring out exactly which movie to watch in a library that large can be tough, so we’ve searched through the entire collection to bring you this list of the best movies currently available on Disney+.

If you want to expand your search, we’ve also rounded up the best shows on Disney+ as well as the best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Hulu.

An image of two blue-skinned aliens from the film Avatar.

Avatar (2009)

James Cameron’s Avatar didn’t quite turn into the genre-defining franchise many expected it would — and those three Avatar sequels he promised have been perpetually delayed — but it does still hold up as a visually fascinating, action-packed, solid sci-fi flick. On Pandora, a lush alien world far from Earth, the Na’vi live peacefully in tune with their planet, free from conflict or famine. They permit human scientists to explore and study their world,  but when the corporate interest that funds the scientists’ mission discover the Na’vi capital lays on the mother lode of a valuable element, it’s up to marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) to help save the Na’vi from the human threat before it’s too late.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Genre: Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang
Director: James Cameron
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 162 minutes

Watch on Disney+

An image of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow from the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

The first film in what would become the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Curse of the Black Pearl offered audiences their first introduction to Johnny Depp as the pirate Jack Sparrow — an iconic performance that not only led to multiple sequels but also brought the entire pirate movie genre back into the spotlight. Given that the film was based on a classic Disney theme park ride, that’s no small feat. The massive success of the franchise following this initial film turned it into a Hollywood staple for nearly a decade. Depp is joined by Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush in the dark fantasy film, which also holds the status of being the first PG-13 movie released by Walt Disney Pictures.

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Director: Gore Verbinski
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 143 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Behind the scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean

Yifei Liu battles an army in a scene from Mulan.

Mulan (2020)

You no longer need premiere access to watch this live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated film of the same name. Based on the Chinese folklore The Ballad of Mulan, the story follows the adventures of the title character, a young girl with much more ambitious aspirations for herself than to simply get married and become a good wife. But when her frail father is recruited to help fight off an enemy attack, his fierce daughter Hua Mulan takes matters into her own hands. She grabs his gear and joins the training camp, hiding her identity — and gender — as she trains alongside the men.

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Ron Yuan, Gong Li, Jet Li
Director: Niki Caro
Rating: PG
Runtime: 115 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Jack Skellington ponders a snowflake in a scene from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Some consider The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie, while others classify it as a Christmas film, but one thing all of its fans agree on is that Tim Burton’s weird, wonderful 1993 stop-motion film is a masterpiece of music, animation, and storytelling. The movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, the king of a colorful village where every day is Halloween, and his discovery of a Christmas-themed village that fascinates him and offers him an escape from his daily, scary routine. His efforts to understand the holiday take a disastrous turn when he’s forced to fill in for Santa Claus when his actions endanger both holidays. The film capped off its critical and commercial success by becoming the first animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Visual Effects category.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Genre: Fantasy, Musical
Stars: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Director: Henry Selick, Tim Burton
Rating: PG
Runtime: 76 minutes

Watch on Disney+

More Oscar Visual Effects Nominees

The gorilla Ivan from Disney's movie The One and Only Ivan.

The One and Only Ivan (2020)

A gorilla named Ivan (voiced by Sam Rockwell) who lives in a circus exhibit at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade and has learned to enjoy life in captivity is convinced to help one of the circus’ new arrivals find freedom in the wild. Working alongside a host of fellow animal performers, he hatches a plan to return to the wild, only to discover that exploring his creative side might be the key to a brighter future for everyone in the circus.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito
Director: Thea Sharrock
Rating: PG
Runtime: 95 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Jennifer Connelly and Bill Campbell in a scene from The Rocketeer.

The Rocketeer (1991)

Before Iron Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney struck superhero gold with The Rocketeer, director Joe Johnston’s film based on the comic book character of the same name. Set in pre-war Los Angeles in 1938, the film follows a stunt pilot who acquires a strange jet pack, only to suddenly find himself on the run from both aggressive FBI agents and a group of deadly Nazi operatives in pursuit of this new technology. Considered by many to be one of the best superhero movies of the pre-MCU era, The Rocketeer stars Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton.

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton
Director: Joe Johnston
Rating: PG
Runtime: 109 minutes

Watch on Disney+

A scene featuring the cast of Descendants walking into a mansion.

Descendants (2015)

You might not have heard of this 2015 Disney Channel movie, but if you know anyone between the ages of 5 and 15 right now, you can bet that they know all about it. This musical fantasy from Newsies and Hocus Pocus director (and Dirty Dancing choreographer) Kenny Ortega is set in a world where the villains of classic Disney films have been exiled to a remote island while the rest of the world lives in peace and prosperity under the benevolent rule of Belle and Beast. When four children of the villains are given the chance to attend school on the mainland, they must decide whether to follow their parents’ legacy or prove there really is good in everyone. Along with some amazingly catchy songs and impressive dance choreography, Descendants also features some familiar faces among its adult actors, including Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent. The film went on to spawn two sequels, countless tie-in projects, and a seemingly endless torrent of merchandise on its rise to become one of Disney’s hottest properties for the tween audience.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Musical, Fantasy
Stars: Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart, Cameron Boyce
Director: Kenny Ortega
Rating: NR
Runtime: 120 minutes

Watch on Disney+

The animated characters of Inside Out looking surprised.

Inside Out (2015)

What if your emotions were little beings that lived inside you? That’s the question Pixar answers in Inside Out, a hilarious and beautiful story about 11-year-old Riley’s move to a new city and her Emotions’ desperate — and occasionally misguided — attempts to help her cope. Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness aren’t exactly accustomed to working together, but they’ll have to if they’re going to help Riley get through this pivotal time in her life. However, when Joy and Sadness get lost, it’s up to the rest of the team to get them back so Riley doesn’t experience a complete emotional breakdown. Featuring the voice talent of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Richard King, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith, Inside Out is an emotional roller coaster with all of the feels to be expected from a Pixar film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Genre: Family, Comedy
Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Rating: PG
Runtime: 94 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Robin Williams in a scene from Mrs. Doubtfire.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

The films of Home Alone director Chris Columbus were a staple of ’90s cinema, including this film that cast Robin Williams as a divorced actor who poses as a female housekeeper in order to spend time with his children. As he gets sucked deeper into his ruse, he ends up learning more about himself and his relationship with both his kids and his ex-wife, all while dealing with a constant stream of hilarious scenarios and complications that unfold. The film went on to win an Academy Award for its makeup, which turned the acclaimed actor into “Euphegenia Doubtfire,” the British nanny who changes everyone’s lives for the better.

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Robin Williams
Director: Chris Columbus
Rating: PG
Runtime: 125 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Eva Green pointing a crossbow in a scene from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

This dark fantasy film based on Ransom Riggs’ novel of the same name follows a young boy whose decision to investigate his grandfather’s tales of a youth spent among children with amazing abilities leads to a meeting with Miss Peregrine, the headmistress of a strange school off the coast of Wales. Pursued by terrifying creatures only he can see, he embarks on an international adventure through time to protect his “peculiar” new friends from a sinister cabal.

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Stars: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Tim Burton
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in a scene from Disney's Jungle Cruise movie.

Jungle Cruise (2021)

Disney has a spotty record with its films based on theme-park attractions, but Jungle Cruise has more in common with the studio’s Pirates of the Caribbean films than any of the underperforming adaptations in years past. The film casts Emily Blunt as a scientist on an expedition into the jungle in search of a tree with magical healing properties. Her dapper brother, played by Jack Whitehall, is along for the ride, and the pair recruit a scruffy riverboat captain played by Dwayne Johnson to get them to their destination. Full of exciting action sequences, family-friendly humor, impressive visual effects, and moments that will appeal to both younger and older audiences alike, Jungle Cruise is the kind of all-ages fare that Disney does so well. The film is currently available to Disney+ subscribers for an additional fee via Premier Access.

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 127 minutes

Watch on Disney+

A scene featuring two brother elves from the animated film Onward on Disney+.

Onward (2020)

With a star-studded voice cast, this animated adventure film is set in a suburban fantasy world where two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, respectively), embark on a journey to find an ancient artifact that they believe will bring back their father who passed away shortly after the youngest son Ian was born. While magic has all but disappeared from society, this artifact can presumably invoke a “visitation spell” that would bring dad back for a single day. That would be helpful, since they botched the spell and managed to bring back just the bottom half of dear dad and need the artifact to complete him! While the film isn’t considered one of the best within the extensive Pixar library, it has been praised for being a heartwarming and funny story, released in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when viewers needed such uplifting content the most.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Stars: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer
Director: Dan Scanlon
Rating: G
Runtime: 102 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Fin Argus plays guitar with Sabrina Carpenter in a scene from the movie Clouds.

Clouds (2020)

Based on the memoir Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way by Laura Sobiech, this musical drama is about the life of Zach Sobiech, who wrote a song called Clouds as a way to say goodbye to his friends and family following his cancer diagnosis. The song gained international recognition thanks to plays on YouTube, charting on the Billboard Hot 100, and even ranking No. 1 on iTunes in 2013, the year of Sobiech’s death. It’s a sweet story but break out the tissues for this one — you’re going to need them.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Drama, Music
Stars: Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Iseman, Neve Campbell, Tom Everett Scott, Lil Rel Howery
Director: Justin Baldoni
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Luca and Alberto give a thumbs-up sign to their homemade Vespa scooter in a scene from Pixar's Luca.

Luca (2021)

A shy, young sea monster living off the coast of Italy meets a free-spirited fellow sea monster. Their friendship brings them out of the water and into the world of humans in this delightful film from director Enrico Casarosa, whose own childhood in Genoa, Italy, inspired this tale of friendship and its power to help us overcome fear. Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer voice sea monsters Luca and Alberto, respectively, whose fascination with the surface world sets off a journey that teaches them both a valuable lesson about silencing the doubts and fears that hold us back. Fun, funny, and beautifully brought to the screen, Luca is a love letter to childhood friendships and the sights, sounds, and delicious food of the Italian coast.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Genre: Family, Fantasy
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer
Director: Enrico Casarosa
Rating: PG
Runtime: 95 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Scarlett Johansson in Marvel's Black Widow movie.

Black Widow (2021)

After more than a year without a Marvel movie, Black Widow brings the Marvel Cinematic Universe back to the big screen and — thanks to the uncertainty of theatrical releases during the pandemic — also to streaming audiences on Disney+. The prequel film features Scarlett Johansson as superhero secret agent Black Widow, and is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. On the run after the events of Civil War, Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) is forced to confront her mysterious past and the relationships she left behind when she fled the organization that trained her. Johansson is joined in the cast by Florence Pugh, David Harbour, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz, with the film available to Disney+ subscribers for an additional fee via Premier Access.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Genre: Action
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz
Director: Cate Shortland
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 133 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Ewan McGregor in a scene from the film Christopher Robin.
Laurie Sparham / Walt Disney Studios

Christopher Robin (2018)

A live-action interpretation of the popular Winnie the Pooh story, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is now a grown man who, while encountering hard times at work and strife with his family, is visited once again by his childhood friends, including Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger. As they embark on adventures that bring back Robin’s vivid imagination and childhood innocence, the crew of friends helps him get through a rough patch and grow closer to his family, namely his daughter Madeline. It’s a sugary sweet story that’s great for family viewing, with a talented cast and a magical feel-good theme behind it.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett
Director: Marc Foster
Rating: G
Runtime: 104 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, and the droid K-2SO in a scene from Rogue One.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Filmmaker Gareth Edwards gave audiences a Dirty Dozen-style war story set in the Star Wars universe in this film, which was also the first major spinoff film from Disney’s Star Wars Story anthology series. Set in the time period between Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and the franchise-spawning Episode IV – A New HopeRogue One follows a ragtag group of rebels tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star, the Galactic Empire’s powerful, planet-killing weapon. One of the highest-grossing films in the Star Wars franchise to date, Rogue One earned critical acclaim and a pair of Oscar nominations for its impressive blend of old-school aesthetics and modern visual effects. The film’s closing scene is arguably one of the greatest scenes in the sci-fi saga, leading directly into the events of A New Hope.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Adventure
Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen
Director: Gareth Edwards
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 133 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Parminder Nagra in the film Bend It Like Beckham.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

At the height of David Beckham’s career as a world-famous football player for Manchester United, the star athlete inspired this romantic comedy sports film about a teenage British Indian Sikh girl living in London who is obsessed with football. But her traditional parents won’t let her play, simply because she’s a girl. When she joins a local women’s team despite their wishes, she proves that, well, she can indeed bend it like Beckham, referencing the player’s talent at curving the ball past defending players, ultimately scoring. The film wasn’t expected to be such a commercial success but viewers loved the combination of sports, a strong young female lead, and the inspiring story.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Archie Panjabi, Shaznay Lewis
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Rating: PG
Runtime: 112 minutes

Watch on Disney+

The cast of the film Sandlot.

The Sandlot (1993)

It didn’t generate a lot of buzz when it was first released, but David Mickey Evans’ coming-of-age film about a group of childhood friends who form a tight bond while playing baseball together in an abandoned lot became an under-the-radar hit when it arrived on the home video market. Evans directed, co-wrote, and narrated the film, which follows a shy fifth-grade boy who moves to a Los Angeles suburb in 1962 and initially struggles to make friends, only to fall in with a motley crew of local kids who bring him out of his shell. Dripping with nostalgia and filled with memorable — and quotable — scenes, The Sandlot is a powerful reminder of the rollercoaster of emotions and simple joys found in the years between childhood and adulthood.

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family
Stars: Thomas Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna
Director: David Mickey Evans
Rating: PG
Runtime: 101 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Angelina Jolie in the film Maleficent.

Maleficent (2014)

Angelina Jolie’s shift to fantasy in this film was polarizing. Though many critics applauded her performance and the story itself, they weren’t thrilled with the overuse of CGI and 3D effects. Nonetheless, this fairy tale flick, loosely inspired by Charles Perrault’s original and Disney’s 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, put Jolie on the map among younger audiences and across new genres. Rather than tell the familiar story of the beautiful young girl stuck in a deep sleep, waiting for her Prince Charming, this story is told from the perspective of the powerful fairy Maleficent. It provides context as to why she cast the spell that put the 16-year-old Aurora into a permanent sleep in the first place and the reasoning behind only a true love’s kiss being able to break it.

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville
Director: Robert Stromberg
Rating: PG
Runtime: 97 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Disney+

Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Widely considered the best installment of the entire sci-fi saga, The Empire Strikes Back is the chapter that featured the most dramatic character arcs of the original trilogy and established both their legacies and the tragic events that intertwined their destinies. Not only that, but it also introduced some of the franchise’s most popular supporting characters, Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett, and featured one of the trilogy’s most memorable battles, set on the frozen planet of Hoth. After the heroic events of A New HopeThe Empire Strikes Back offered a far more somber exploration of the gritty realities of war against an oppressive, formidable force led by a seemingly indestructible foe: Darth Vader.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Science-Fiction
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Director: Irvin Kershner
Rating: PG
Runtime: 124 minutes

Watch on Disney+

What’s next for the Star Wars universe

Remember the Titans on Disney+

Remember the Titans (2000)

Denzel Washington plays the new Black head coach of a recently integrated Virginia high school football team in this film based on true events. The series follows the head coach’s efforts to inspire and unite his players and navigate the racial prejudice that exists both within the school’s walls and outside of them. Will Patton portrays the white school’s former head coach, who must set aside his own prejudice and animosity while working under the team’s new coach.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Genre: Drama, Sports
Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst
Director: Boaz Yakin
Rating: PG
Runtime: 114 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

A lone warrior sets out to reunite the fractured land of Kumandra by reassembling a powerful magical artifact in this feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Part martial arts adventure, part heist film, and soaked in visually stunning images and wonderful fantasy elements, Raya and the Last Dragon is a story about the families we create for ourselves and the strength it takes to build trust after a tragedy. Kelly Marie Tran voices Raya, a capable, independent warrior who must journey to the far corners of her world to bring it together. She’s joined by the dragon Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina, as well as a host of other colorful characters portrayed by Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, and Alan Tudyk, among others.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina
Director: Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada
Rating: PG
Runtime: 108 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Stargirl on Disney+

Stargirl (2020)

Musician Grace VanderWaal portrays the titular new student whose arrival at a New Mexico high school creates a ripple effect throughout the student body and the surrounding community as she challenges the status quo and pushes them to embrace the boundaries of their own self-expression. Graham Verchere portrays the teenage boy whose relationship with Stargirl prompts him to open up and come to terms with what he wants from life. One of the first original films to premiere on Disney+, this high school romantic comedy is a touching coming-of-age story that was praised for its emotional depth and nostalgic spin on teenage relationships.

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Genre: Musical, Drama
Stars: Grace VanderWaal, Graham Verchere
Director: Julia Hart
Rating: PG
Runtime: 107 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Cruella (2021)

Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone portrays Disney’s infamous, dog-hating villain Cruella de Vil in this surprisingly dark, PG-13 prequel film that explores the sinister 101 Dalmatians icon’s early years. Set in 1970s London, the film follows the young grifter Estella (Stone) as she befriends a group of thieves and catches the eye of a fashion designer played by fellow Oscar winner Emma Thompson. Their encounter eventually propels Estella toward the life of high crime, high fashion, and animal torment that made her one of Disney’s most notorious antagonists.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Genre: Comedy, Adventure
Stars: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson
Director: Craig Gillespie
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 134 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Eddie the Eagle (2016)

Taron Egerton portrays British ski-jumper Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards in this biographical film, which follows Edwards’ unlikely journey from an awkward athlete to a global phenomenon. In 1988, Edwards became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski-jumping in more than 50 years, defying the sport’s pundits and conventional logic while winning over crowds around the world with his unrelenting optimism and determination. The film casts Hugh Jackman as Bronson Peary, a washed-up former ski-jumper for the American team who eventually agrees to train Edwards for the event. As heartwarming as it is hilarious, Eddie the Eagle belongs up there among the best inspirational sports films of the modern era.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Biography
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 105 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Toy Story on Disney+

Toy Story (1995)

The film that made Pixar a household name and one of the giants of the animated movie world, Toy Story is set in a world where toys come to life the moment humans aren’t paying attention to them. The ridiculously high-profile cast for the film includes Tom Hanks as Woody, a cowboy doll who begins to feel his status as Andy Davis’ favorite toy threatened when the boy gets a new, flashy action figure named Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen). Silly hijinks ensue, of course, but the film truly succeeds in its thoughtful exploration of adolescence, friendship, acceptance, and everything we leave behind as we grow older. More than just one of the best Pixar movies, Toy Story is considered one of the greatest animated movies ever made, and was nominated for three Academy Awards, spawned three sequels, and was inducted into the National Film Registry in its first year of eligibility.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Comedy
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
Director: John Lasseter
Rating: G
Runtime: 80 minutes

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Queen of Katwe on Disney+

Queen of Katwe (2016)

This feel-good tale chronicles the true story of 10-year-old Ugandan chess phenom, Phiona Mutesi, who became a Woman Candidate Master recognized on the global chess stage. Born in Katwe, the largest slum in Kampala, Uganda, every day is a constant struggle for Phiona and her family. However, when she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary who teaches children how to play chess, her life is completely changed. Phiona falls in love with the game and develops incredible skill, soon dominating local competitions and tournaments. With Katende’s guidance and fierce support from her mother, Nakku Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), Phiona soon discovers chess is a golden ticket out of a life of poverty for herself and her family.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Drama
Stars: David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o
Director: Mira Nair
Rating: PG
Runtime: 124 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Robert Downey Jr. using a hammer in Iron Man

Iron Man (2008)

The Marvel movie that started it all, Jon Favreau’s film took a C-list superhero and turned him into a global icon, thanks to a brilliant performance by star Robert Downey Jr. and inspired casting and writing that firmly established the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a franchise to be reckoned with. The story of a brilliant industrialist playboy who develops a powerful suit of armor that lets him become a superhero, Iron Man is the foundation that the MCU is built on, and the film’s legacy reverberates throughout the MCU to this day.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges
Director: Jon Favreau
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 126 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Cool Runnings on Disney+

Cool Runnings (1993)

This sports comedy was loosely inspired by the true story of the Jamaican national bobsled team, which made its debut during the 1988 Winter Olympics and offered up one of the event’s most popular and enduring underdog stories. In one of his last roles before his death, actor John Candy plays a disgraced former bobsled champion who’s recruited to coach the aspiring team — a team composed of sprinters who missed their shot at qualifying for the Summer Olympics due to an accident that occurred in a qualifying race. Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, and Malik Yoba play the teammates who need to overcome their own differences and the prejudices of the sport’s governing body to realize their Olympic dreams.

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Genre: Comedy, Sports
Stars: Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, John Candy
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Rating: PG
Runtime: 98 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Black Panther on Disney+

Black Panther (2018)

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler and the late Chadwick Boseman brought the tale of Marvel’s most famous African superhero to the screen in 2018, and the film went on to break a long list of records at the box office and become one of the most critically praised installments of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman plays T’Challa, the newly crowned king of the secretive African nation of Wakanda, who serves as both his country’s leader and primary defender as the hero Black Panther. When his rule is challenged by the brutal Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), T’Challa must reconnect with the origins of his power and his legacy to save his kingdom. Following its impressive theatrical run, Black Panther became the first superhero movie to be nominated for an Academy Award in the “Best Picture” category, and the first Marvel movie to win an Academy Award. Black Panther 2 is currently scheduled to hit theaters in 2022, though who will be able to fill Boseman’s tremendous shoes in the title role remains to be seen.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
Director: Ryan Coogler
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 135 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Why we’re hyped for Black Panther 2

TRON on Disney+

TRON (1982)

Its visual effects don’t exactly hold compared to sci-fi movies today, but when TRON hit theaters in 1982, there was nothing that looked even remotely like it. The story of a software programmer who’s transported inside the mainframe of a massive computer and must find his way out of the digital world he inhabits, TRON prompted writer and director Steven Lisberger to create an entirely new type of studio dedicated to blending computer animation and live-action acting in a single feature — something that was so unusual at the time that even the Motion Picture Academy of America wasn’t sure how to classify the film initially. Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner starred in the film, which went on to become a cult hit and inspire a sprawling franchise of video games, comic books, and animated spinoffs, as well as a 2010 live-action sequel.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Genre: Science-Fiction
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner
Director: Steven Lisberger
Rating: PG
Runtime: 96 minutes

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The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

Attack the Block filmmaker Joe Cornish wrote and directed this family-friendly fantasy adventure that has a 12-year-old boy find King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur, in his London suburb. Becoming the sword’s new owner comes with a heavy price, however, and he must rally his friends and schoolmates to stop the evil enchantress Morgana from invading the realm. The film stars Louis Ashbourne Serkis (the son of actor and filmmaker Andy Serkis) as well as Tom Taylor, Dean Chaumoo, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, Rebecca Ferguson, and Patrick Stewart. One of the final films released by studio 20th Century Fox, The Kid Who Would Be King flew under the radar when it was initially released despite receiving positive reviews from critics and audiences.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Stars:  Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Rebecca Ferguson, Patrick Stewart
Director: Joe Cornish
Rating: PG
Runtime: 120 minutes

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Who Frames Roger Rabbit on Disney+

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Robert Zemeckis directed this film, set in a version of 1947 Hollywood in which humans coexist with animated characters. Bob Hoskins plays a private detective investigating the murder of a prominent businessman, only to find himself teamed up with Roger Rabbit, the zany cartoon star who has also become the chief suspect in the businessman’s death. Credited with renewing interest in the golden age of animation and sparking Disney’s renaissance as a movie studio, Who Framed Roger Rabbit ended up winning three Academy Awards for its unique blend of classic cartoons and crime noir.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner, Charles Fleischer
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Rating: PG
Runtime: 104 minutes

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The Muppet Movie on Disney+

The Muppet Movie (1979)

The very first theatrical film featuring Jim Henson’s beloved creations, The Muppets, this 1979 musical adventure has Kermit the Frog leaving his home in the swamp on a cross-country journey to Hollywood. Along the way, he encounters Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, and the rest of his Muppets pals, who share his show business aspirations and join him on his wild road trip. Packed with hilarious cameos and featuring Henson’s brilliant knack for blending elements for children and adults, The Muppet Movie stands as one of the greatest Muppets projects ever made, and inspired multiple sequels, spinoffs, and countless other projects over the years.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Genre: Family, Comedy, Musical
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson
Director: James Frawley
Rating: G
Runtime: 98 minutes

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Coco on Disney+

Coco (2017)

Yet another entry in Pixar’s rich library of diverse cultures, viewpoints, and worlds, Coco is one of the most visually stunning and musically enriching films of the entire Pixar collection. Centering on Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), this fantasy follows a little boy, Miguel, on a magical, accidental journey into the afterlife. The more he learns about his family and heritage through his colorful journey, the deeper his connection grows to his history and his future. With an uplifting, energetic soundtrack, you’ll want to sing, dance, and revel in the excitement, right until it goes full Pixar and starts to play your heartstrings.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Family, Fantasy
Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal
Director: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Rating: PG
Runtime: 109 minutes

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The Princess Bride on Disney+

The Princess Bride (1987)

Often cited among the funniest movies of all time, director Rob Reiner’s fantasy adventure told the story of a poor farmhand who must rescue his true love from a group of mercenaries and the evil nobleman who is forcing her to become his bride. As the farmhand Westley and the beautiful Buttercup, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright lead a cast that also includes Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, and Christopher Guest. Peter Falk and Fred Savage also play supporting roles, presenting the story as a novel that a sick boy’s grandfather reads to him. A cult hit, The Princess Bride was added to the National Film Registry in 2016 for its significance in cinematic history.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy
Stars: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright
Director: Rob Reiner
Rating: PG
Runtime: 98 minutes

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Hamilton on Disney+

Hamilton (2020)

The cultural phenomenon that is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s celebrated musical Hamilton finally became accessible to everyone who can’t get a ticket when a cinematic recording of the show arrived on Disney+ in July — just in time for Independence Day. The film is pretty much the only remaining way to see the production — which chronicles the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton — performed by its original cast, with Miranda himself in the title role. He’s joined by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. as Hamilton’s longtime rival, Aaron Burr, in a performance that earned him industry-wide recognition and one of theater’s most prestigious honors. Disney’s feature-length film offers a front-row seat to the musical that took Broadway by storm and became one of the most critically praised and hotly debated productions in recent memory. There’s no word on how long the musical will be available on Disney+, so don’t throw away your shot to watch it.

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Genre: Musical, Drama, Comedy
Stars: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Phillipa Soo, Christopher Jackson
Director: Thomas Kail
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 167 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Willow on Disney+

Willow (1988)

Ron Howard directed this fantasy film based on a story penned by George Lucas, and the result was a movie unlike anything else in the genre. Willow follows a reluctant farmer played by Warwick Davis who finds himself thrust into a magical adventure when he finds an orphaned human baby. His efforts to return the baby put him in the center of a battle for the fate of the world, with a group of colorful characters — including a charismatic mercenary played by Val Kilmer — accompanying him on his quest. The recipient of two Academy Award nominations, Willow featured impressive visual effects produced by Industrial Light and Magic and a memorable story that reignited interest in the high fantasy genre. A sequel to Willow is currently in the works for Disney+.

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Stars: Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley
Director: Ron Howard
Rating: PG
Runtime: 118 minutes

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Star Wars: A New Hope on Disney+

Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977)

You may have your own order to watch the Star Wars movies but you can’t go wrong starting with the original. Although it falls in at No. 4 chronologically in the Skywalker saga, 1977’s A New Hope was the first Star Wars film, and it forever altered filmmaking as we know it. It’s also one of the most innovative movies ever made, ingeniously repurposing the Hero’s Journey of Greek mythology into an epic, infinitely imaginative tale of a faraway, technologically advanced galaxy embroiled in an interplanetary war. A New Hope is our first introduction to some of cinema’s most beloved characters, from Luke Skywalker and Han Solo to Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids C3P-O and R2D2. We can debate all day about which Star Wars movie is best but the importance and impact of A New Hope are inarguable.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Science-Fiction
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Director: George Lucas
Rating: PG
Runtime: 125 minutes

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The future of Star Wars

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids on Disney+

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Jumanji and Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston made his directorial debut with this sci-fi comedy about a group of kids who get shrunk to a quarter of an inch tall and must find their way home through the dangerous jungle of their family’s yard. Rick Moranis famously plays the inventor whose latest project accidentally shrinks his own children and his neighbor’s kids. An unexpected hit, the film became Disney’s highest-grossing live-action movie when it was released in theaters — a title it held for five years.

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Genre: Family, Comedy
Stars: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Kristine Sutherland, Thomas Wilson Brown, Jared Rushton
Director: Joe Johnston
Rating: PG
Runtime: 101 minutes

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Moana on Disney+

Moana (2016)

The 56th animated feature from Disney’s animation studio, Moana tells the story of a young girl raised to be the next chief of her Polynesian village. Not content to stay on her small island, she embarks on an ocean-spanning journey to find the legendary demigod Maui, return a magical artifact to its island home, and save her village from the mysterious blight that threatens it. Along with breathtaking animation and a phenomenal voice cast led by Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement, and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho (as Moana), the film also features originals songs from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and a beautiful score inspired by the film’s Polynesian setting and culture. Despite its recent arrival, Moana is often ranked among the best Disney movies ever made.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Stars: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall
Rating: PG
Runtime: 103 minutes

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Soul on Disney+

Soul (2020)

A middle-school music teacher dreaming of his big break finally gets it, only to suffer an accident that sends him on a journey through the afterlife in this Pixar feature from Up director Pete Docter and Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami). Jamie Foxx voices Joe Gardner, the aspiring New York City jazz musician who embarks on a quest across various planes of existence to return to his body. Along the way, he’s tasked with teaching a free-spirited soul (voiced by Tina Fey) why life on Earth is worth living. The film has been praised for both its music and its life-affirming message, and features an impressive cast of voice actors and spectacular visual effects used to bring the afterlife to the screen.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Family, Comedy
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey
Director: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
Rating: PG
Runtime: 100 minutes

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Thor: Ragnarok on Disney+

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Director Taika Waititi completely reenergized the Thor franchise with Thor: Ragnarok, easily the best entry in the series. Taking a completely different tone than the prior two films, Ragnarok finds the God of Thunder imprisoned on the strange garbage planet of Sakaar, where he is forced to earn his freedom by fighting as a gladiator. In the meantime, Thor’s estranged, enormously powerful sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett), has returned to Asgard to fulfill her destiny: Bringing about Ragnarok, the destruction of the Asgardian realm. Thor must get off Sakaar and return to save his people before they are completely wiped from existence. It sounds dark, but Ragnarok is the lightest of the Thor movies, leaning into star Chris Hemsworth’s charm and putting the spotlight on hilarious characters like Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster and Waititi’s rock monster gladiator Korg. The sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, is scheduled to hit theaters in 2022.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science-Fiction
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett
Director: Taika Waititi
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 130 minutes

Watch on Disney+

More on Thor and Marvel movies

Togo on Disney+

Togo (2019)

This Disney original film follows two of the key figures who transported serum to Nome, Alaska, via dogsled in 1925 to save the town from an epidemic. Released directly to Disney+ in December 2019, the film casts Willem Dafoe as Leonhard Seppala, whose decision to allow undersized pup Togo to lead his sled team is rewarded when the dog becomes a champion sled dog. When Seppala is asked to bring diphtheria antitoxin serum across 700 miles of harsh Alaskan wilderness, both he and aging sled leader Togo are pushed to their limits.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Willem Dafoe
Director: Ericson Core
Rating: PG
Runtime: 113 minutes

Watch on Disney+

Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, and Kelly Preston in Disney's Sky High

Sky High (2005)

As the child of the world’s two greatest superheroes, Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) has a lot to live up to, even if he’s not sure exactly what his superpowers might be. This action-packed film follows Will as he enrolls at a special school for superpowered kids and experiences the trials and tribulations of teenage life while making friends and enemies, falling in love, and attempting to chart his own destiny — all while his classmates (and teachers) fly, transform, and do all sorts of other amazing things around him. But when the time comes for him to save the day, he has to decide whether he’s up to the task.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Danielle Panabaker, Steven Strait, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Director: Mike Mitchell
Rating: PG
Runtime: 100 minutes

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Black is King on Disney+

Black Is King (2020)

As a visual companion to the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift and inspired by Beyonce’s involvement in Jon Favreau’s 2019 retelling of The Lion King, where she voices the character of Simba’s childhood best friend Nala, this musical film and visual album tells a modified version of the story. Centered around human rather than feline characters, a young African prince is exiled from his kingdom following the death of his father. He grows up and receives inspiration from several guides in his life, convincing him to reclaim the throne that is rightfully his. The path of the prince’s life is much like that of the African journey to reclaim their culture and heritage, and that’s by design. Receiving praise for everything from its visuals to music and cultural relevance, some even consider the film Beyonce’s greatest achievement to date, which is saying a lot considering her massive music career.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Stars: Beyonce, Folajomi Akinmurele, Connie Chiume, Nyaniso Ntsikelelo Dzedze, Nandy Madida, Warren Masemola, Sibusiso Mbeje, Fumi Odede, Stephen Ojo, Mary Twala
Directors: Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Kwasi Fordjour, Emmanuel Adjei, Blitz Bazawule, Ibra Ake, Jenn Nkiru, Jake Nava, Pierre Debusschere, Dikayl Rimmasch
Rating: PG
Runtime: 85 minutes

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Free Solo on Disney+

Free Solo (2018)

From National Geographic, Free Solo follows climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to summit El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, one of the toughest climbs in the world … without a harness or rope. Honnold is one of the most accomplished free solo climbers in the world, and his death-defying feats are thrilling and, frankly, horrifying to behold. This visually stunning documentary takes you into the mind of one of the world’s most fearless adrenaline junkies and on a trip up some of the most beautiful and difficult climbs on the planet.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Documentary
Stars: Alex Honnold
Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 97 minutes

Watch on Disney+

More great documentaries

Frozen on Disney+

Frozen (2013)

Disney’s 2013 blockbuster, Frozen, was the highest-grossing animated feature of all time until it was surpassed by its 2019 sequel, and it remains the highest-grossing original — as in, not a sequel or spinoff — animated feature of all time by a wide margin. More than a movie, the story of a fearless princess who sets off in search of her estranged sister to save their kingdom from her icy powers became a global phenomenon upon its release. Along with offering a compelling adventure and plenty of clever comedy, Frozen gave the world one of Disney’s most catchy songs, the empowering Let It Go. The film’s success earned it not one, but two Academy Awards, as well as a wildly successful franchise led by musically gifted voice actors Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Musical, Fantasy
Stars: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Rating: PG
Runtime: 102 minutes

Watch on Disney+

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