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The 30 best movies you should be watching on Disney+
A solid catalog of family-friendly movies, including Marvel blockbusters, Star Wars epics and Pixar masterpieces.
For years as the streaming services starting rolling out, Disney’s kept its content under wraps. Now that the vault is opened, find out what you’ve been missing. Access to a wide library of content suitable for all ages and tastes.
You’ll find original Disney movies, as well as Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm. It includes some of the biggest and well-loved movies of all time, along with children’s animated classics and more recent original films.
We’ve let the collective wisdom of IMBD guide us to find the best movies streaming on Disney+. If you missed them in theaters, are eager for a rewatch, or want to catch-up on some classics, now’s your chance.
1. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94% Fresh
This epic space-opera film from 1980 is the highest-rating Star Wars entry on IMDB. The Empire Strikes Back 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’re in for a memorable ride.
2. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92% Fresh
The first installment of the original Star Wars trilogy is a must-watch for any movie buff. After Darth Vader holds Princess Leia hostage, 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. Calling this movie iconic is an understatement. Set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”, A New Hope is an integral part of pop culture.
3. Disney’s Newsies the Broadway Musical
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
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 delights adults and kids alike.
The musical is based on the 1992 film Newsies, inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 New York. Viewers can enjoy tunes from the original film, as well as new numbers. The cast includes Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fankhauser and Andrew Keenan-Bolger.
4. The Lion King (1994)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% Fresh
The Lion King is one of Disney’s classic animated films. While the 2019 live-action version isn’t available on Disney+ 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 humor, which makes it a fun watch for the entire family. Largely regarded as the pinnacle of Disney animation, The Lion King makes for an entertaining streaming choice.
5. Avengers: Infinity War
Rotten Tomatoes score: 84% Fresh
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 and is brimming with great performances and tremendous action sequences, it’s a thrilling blockbuster that’s not to be missed.
Find out if Disney+ is for you with its free 7-day trial.
6. Avengers: Endgame
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% Fresh
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 convincing to even the most skeptical viewer.
But more than that, the movie 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, so it may not resonate as well with viewers unfamiliar with the Marvel world.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% Fresh
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.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97% Fresh
Another Pixar production, Coco revolves around Miguel, a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician and pursues his love for singing despite 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, 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.
9. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Rotten Tomatoes score: 82% Fresh
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 drama to keep viewers glued to the screen. An entertaining sci-fi space opera, it’s absorbing and just the right amount of bittersweet.
10. Toy Story
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100% Fresh
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, and centers on Woody, little boy Andy’s favorite 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 in the 1990s, generating praise from critics and fans alike. Even today, it has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. This engaging animation is one you’ll want to watch over and over again.
11. Finding Nemo
A sweet family tale for all ages, Finding Nemo is an underwater adventure that will stay with you long after the end credits roll. The story centers on an overprotective clownfish named Marlin who gets separated from his son, Nemo. To get him back, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek with a little help from forgetful but friendly companion Dory.
The movie is funny and heartfelt, with gorgeous animation and some genuine thrills. It’s also hopeful – things may look bleak, but if you work hard they will turn out okay in the end. Watch it when you need a morale boost.
12. Inside Out
11-year-old Riley moves to San Francisco, leaving behind her life in Minnesota. As a result, she and her five core emotions – fear, anger, joy, disgust and sadness – struggle to cope with her new life.
One of Pixar’s most ambitious and imaginative efforts, Inside Out is moving, clever and impossible to look away from. Keep some tissues handy – tearing up is not completely out of the question with this one.
13. Toy Story 3
Another successful installment in the Toy Story saga, the movie takes place before Andy leaves for college. When his toys are mistakenly delivered to a daycare centre, Woody convinces the others that they were not left behind and leads them on an exciting expedition back home.
Toy Story is one of the few franchises where sequels meet or even exceed expectations, so we can almost guarantee you’ll have a great time with this one. Plus, the movie tackles a universal theme everyone can relate to, dealing with the fear of being cast off and no longer of use.
14. Free Solo
Free Solo is a documentary that takes your breath away. The story follows professional rock climber Alex Honnold, who attempts to conquer the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan’s 900-meter vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. That means he has no rope or additional support system to rely on if something goes wrong.
Honnold’s climb is celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind and we’re happy to report that this documentary does it justice. Awe-inspiring and visually dizzying, it allows viewers to experience an epic adventure from the safety of their couch. Fair warning, prepare to be on the edge of your seat.
15. The Incredibles
Forced to adopt a civilian identity and stuck in a white-collar job, superhero Mr. Incredible itches to get back into action. But when he is lured into a trap, it’s up to his family to save both him and the entire world.
The animation here is sleek as usual, but where The Incredibles really shines is the dialogue. Witty and clever, the banter will make kids and adults giggle and feel all the feels. Plus, there’s enough action to keep everyone glued to the screen.
Meet Remy. He’s a rat who dreams of becoming a renowned French chef one day. However, it’s universally known that people despise rodents and will never enjoy a meal cooked by him. Or will they? Thanks to an unlikely partnership Remy forms with Linguini, the garbage boy at a popular Paris restaurant, we get to find out.
A love letter to the art of cooking and a reminder of how important it is to follow your dreams, Ratatouille is pure joy from start to finish. Prepare to be mesmerized.
17. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ahoy, mateys! Remember when the Pirates of the Caribbean movies used to be very good? Case in point: the first installment in the franchise. The plot revolves around a blacksmith who joins forces with Captain Jack Sparrow, a pirate, in a bid to free the love of his life from Jack’s associates, who just happen to become undead skeletons at night.
The Curse of the Black Pearl has a star-studded cast and a wonderful sense of high-seas adventure. Add some oddball comedy into the mix and you’ve got yourself a highly entertaining pirate flick.
Welcome to Zootopia, a melting pot where animals from every environment live together. Yet, rookie officer Judy Hopps soon discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t easy. As a result, she decides to partner with a scam-artist fox to solve a big case.
Zootopia will win you over from the very first frame thanks to its subversive storytelling style and top-notch animation. The movie has an important and complex message, but it’s adorable enough for young kids to enjoy as well. A win for everyone.
19. Marvel’s The Avengers
When Loki poses a threat to planet Earth, Nick Fury is compelled to launch the Avengers Initiative. His squad of superheroes clashes at first, but they soon understand that they have to work together to defeat the alien forces and keep the world safe.
The first Avengers movie remains a treat for Marvel fans, regardless of how many sequels the franchise gifts us. With a strong script and some wonderful action sequences, it stays true to its comic book origins while delivering a highly entertaining story and some strong character beats. Shawarma, anyone?
20. Monsters, Inc.
In order to power their world, Monstropolis, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. Things get complicated when a little girl wanders into this world and two of the monsters realize that things aren’t always as they seem.
Monsters, Inc is a prime example of a movie that improves not only with age, but with each re-watch. Great gags and perfect casting go hand in hand with exquisite animation, proving once again that Pixar is a force to be reckoned with.
21. Toy Story 2
When Woody is kidnapped by a greedy toy collector, Buzz and his friends set out to rescue him. On the other hand, Woody gets tempted by the idea of becoming immortal in a museum.
What else is there to say about Toy Story by this point? Sit back, relax and enjoy an epic movie marathon that includes all installments in the series. You will have zero regrets.
22. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
A new order threatens to destroy the New Republic. Consequently, Finn, Rey and Poe, backed by the Resistance and the Republic, must find a way to stop them and find Luke, the last surviving Jedi.
The Force Awakens is the first movie in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following the story of Return of the Jedi. Overall, it’s the seventh episode of the nine-part Skywalker saga. Met with enthusiasm from critics and fans alike, this space opera doesn’t disappoint, offering an intriguing mix of familiar characters and new faces. It also breathes fresh energy into the franchise, to everyone’s delight.
Aladdin follows a common thief who falls in love with Princess Jasmine, but cannot marry her given his current circumstances. All that changes when he stumbles upon a magical lamp that has the power to make his deepest wishes come true.
A glorious animated spectacle, Aladdin is dazzling, magical and hilarious. Even with the live-action version now available, the original remains a musical-comedy for the ages thanks to its spectacular cast and stunning animation. We highly recommend you check it out ASAP.
24. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King from Halloween Town, finds Christmas Town and is instantly enchanted. Things take a turn when his new obsession with Christmas leads him to abduct Santa Claus.
Funny, eerie and morbid, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday fairytale like no other. We all have genius creator Tim Burton to thank for that.
25. Beauty and the Beast
Belle, a bookish and beautiful young woman, agrees to live with the Beast in exchange for her father’s safety. Soon, she discovers that her hideous captor is actually an enchanted prince harboring a curse.
Beauty and the Beast has plenty of fabulous musical numbers to offer, but the main appeal of the movie lies in its romantic and memorable plot. Prepare to swoon as you watch these two unlikely partners fall more and more in love.
26. Black Panther
After his father’s death, T’Challa returns home to Wakanda to inherit his throne. But when a powerful enemy threatens to attack his nation, he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.
An absorbing and thrilling superhero blockbuster, Black Panther also introduces some of Marvel’s most compelling characters to date, including a tragic villain we’ll be talking about for years to come.
27. Mary Poppins
Based on P. L. Travers’s book series, Mary Poppins takes place in turn-of-the-century London and revolves around a magical nanny who employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.
Featuring marvelous songs and enthralling special effects, the movie takes viewers on a colorful journey filled with joy. Arguably one of the best family films ever made, it will lift your spirits instantly.
28. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
The premise of this highly entertaining movie is fairly simple: a toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit’s only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder. Far from simple is the ground-breaking mix of live action and animation, which turned Who Framed Roger Rabbit into an instant classic back in the day.
Thankfully, the movie stands the test of time thanks to its moving story and funny dialogue. If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s no time like the present to finally tune in.
While all Disney animated classics have a timeless charm, Pinocchio remains one of the most enchanting films ever made thanks to its mix of comedy and moral wisdom.
The story centers on a living puppet who, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. The movie features beautiful animation, great music and lovable characters. Both kids and adults today will find it absolutely delightful.
Moana follows an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, she meets the mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.
Boasting lavish animation and a complex main character you can’t help but root for, Moana will blow you away despite a fairly predictable, yet inspiring plot. The magic is in the detail and we bet you’ll be humming the movie’s catchy tunes for days.
If you’re more interested in finding a binge worthy TV series instead, check out our list of the best TV shows you can watch on Disney+. If you’re still on the fence if Disney+ is right for you, you can also check out our review of the service.
Image Source: IMDB website
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