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Disney has opened its vault of timeless flicks and is letting users willing to subscribe to yet another streaming service enjoy the riches. If you take the plunge and give Disney+ a chance you’ll gain access to a wide library of content suitable for all ages and tastes, including some excellent movies.
The content catalogue doesn’t only feature titles from Disney itself, but also from subsidiaries like Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm. As a result, it includes some of the highest-grossing and widely beloved movies of all time, along with children’s animated classics and more recent original films like Lady and the Tramp.
Since picking the best titles available on the platform would be a highly subjective and challenging task, we decided to let collective wisdom guide us through the process. At the time of writing in November 2019, these are the highest-rated movies streaming on Disney+ according to IMDb. If you missed them in theaters, are eager for a re-watch, or want to catch-up on some classics, now’s your chance.
Disney+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll need to sign up to watch.
This epic space-opera film from 1980 is the highest-rating Star Wars entry on IMDb. The Empire Strikes Back is the middle instalment of the original trilogy and the fifth episode in the nine-part Skywalker saga. It stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels, among others.
The story takes place three years after the destruction of the Death Star, as the Rebel Alliance led by Princess Leia has set up a new base. Darth Vader is adamant about turning Luke Skywalker to the dark side, but Luke trains with Yoda to become a Jedi Knight. Meanwhile, his friends try to fend off the Imperial fleet. Intense and breathtaking, The Empire Strikes Back still holds up. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll be in for a memorable ride.
The first instalment of the original Star Wars trilogy is a must-watch for any movie buff out there. After Princess Leia is held hostage by Darth Vader, Luke and Han Solo must free her and destroy the powerful weapon created by the Galactic Empire. The cast includes Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Alec Guinness. To call this movie iconic would be an understatement, so you definitely need to give it a stream if you haven’t watched the original trilogy yet. Set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”, A New Hope is one of those films that has become an integral part of pop culture. Luckily, this enduring classic is part of the Disney+ line-up, so you’re only a few clicks away from having your mind blown.
Lover of musicals? Then you should add this one to your watchlist immediately. Disney’s Newsies the Broadway Musical is filmed live on stage at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and it’s an explosion of energy that will delight adults and kids alike.
The musical is based on the 1992 film Newsies, which was in turn inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 New York. Viewers will be able to enjoy tunes from the original film, as well as new numbers. The cast includes Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fankhauser, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and more.
The Lion King is one of the best and most magical animated movies ever made. And while the 2019 live-action version isn’t available on Disney+ Australia just yet, fans of the original film are in luck. The story follows lion Simba, who is forced to leave the Pride Lands after his father’s death. Years later, he returns to face his evil uncle and reclaim his throne.
This beautifully animated classic features plenty of catchy songs, a moving story and tons of humour, which makes it a fun watch for the entire family. Largely regarded as the pinnacle of Disney animation, The Lion King makes for a highly entertaining streaming choice.
The highest rated Marvel movie on IMDb, Avengers: Infinity War follows The Avengers in their fight to stop Thanos, a mad Titan, from getting his hands on the coveted Infinity Stones and wiping out half of the universe’s population. As you might expect, that’s no easy feat.
A critical and commercial hit, Avengers: Infinity War has a star-studded cast featuring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen and more. Brimming with great performances and tremendous action sequences, it’s a thrilling blockbuster that’s not to be missed.
UPDATE: Please note that Avengers Endgame is not yet available on Disney+ in Switzerland.
The second part of the Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame takes place after the events of Infinity War and revolves around the heroes trying to grapple with the consequences of Thanos’ master plan. It’s the highest-grossing film of all time, which should be reason enough to convince even the most sceptical viewer to check it out.
But more than that, the movie actually exceeds expectations, delivering an action-packed and emotionally satisfying conclusion to the story of the MCU up to that point. It’s an ending of 22 movies in the making, so it may not resonate as well with viewers unfamiliar with the universe. For Marvel fans though, it’s a spectacular treat.
The story of Wall-E revolves around a machine responsible for cleaning a waste-covered Earth, who one day meets another robot and falls in love. The two set out on a fantastic journey.
One of Pixar’s most creative movies, Wall-E will enchant you from the first scene thanks to gorgeous animation and wonderful storytelling. Filled with heart and wonder, the movie is more targeted towards adults, but kids should have fun as well following the robot’s adventures.
Another Pixar production, Coco revolves around Miguel, a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician and pursues his love for singing in spite of his family’s objections. However, everything changes when he stumbles into the land of the dead. Here, Miguel gets to learn more about his great-great-grandfather, who was a legendary singer.
Coco is not only visually stunning, but it also delivers a charming story that touches on family, culture and death. By the end, even cynical viewers might find themselves shedding a tear. The cast includes Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt.
Did you have any doubts about the final entry in the original Star Wars trilogy making it on this list? Return of the Jedi is set after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, as the Galactic Empire is building another Death Star to crush the Rebel Alliance. In response, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-on attack aiming to kill the ruthless Emperor.
Return of the Jedi has all the ingredients of a triumphant finale, including tons of action and enough dramatics to keep viewers glued to the screen. An entertaining sci-fi space opera, it’s absorbing and just the right amount of bittersweet.
Toy Story may be Pixar’s first feature-length film, but it’s still visually glorious, even when compared with the company’s more recent releases. The movie takes place in a world where toys come to life when humans are not around and centres on Woody, little boy Andy’s favourite toy. But when Andy receives a new toy for his birthday, Buzz Lightyear, Andy is worried that he may fall in the shadows, so he hatches a plan to come out on top.
Inventive and highly enjoyable, Toy Story was an instant classic upon release, generating praise from critics and fans alike. Even today, it has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. With a cast featuring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, this engaging animation is one you’ll want to watch over and over again.
Image source: IMDb website
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