Sign up to Disney+ to stream hundreds of movies and shows
Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
The best movies available on Disney+ New Zealand
New streaming service Disney+ offers a solid catalogue of family-friendly movies, including Marvel blockbusters, Star Wars epics and Pixar masterpieces.
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 is a highly subjective and challenging task, we decided to let collective wisdom guide us through the process. At the time of update in March 2020, these are some of the highest-rated movies streaming on Disney+ according to IMDb. If you missed them in theatres, are eager for a re-watch, or want to catch up on some classics, now’s your chance.
1. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – IMDb score 8.7
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’re in for a memorable ride.
2. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – IMDb score 8.6
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 is 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.
3. Disney’s Newsies the Broadway Musical – IMDb score 8.5
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 can 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.
4. The Lion King (1994) – IMDb score 8.5
The Lion King is one of the best and most magical animated movies ever made, so 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.
5. Avengers: Endgame – IMDb score 8.4
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.
However, 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 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.
6. WALL-E – IMDb score 8.4
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.
7. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – IMDb score 8.3
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.
8. Toy Story – IMDb score 8.3
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. When Andy receives a new toy for his birthday, Buzz Lightyear, Woody 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
More guides on Finder
11 romantic getaways in Western Australia that will take your breath away
Get ready to be swept off your feet with the best romantic stays Western Australia has on offer.
Disney+ price rise: Save $30 before the subscription hike hits New Zealand
With the addition of a new channel to Disney+, prices are about to rise. This is how you can save money on a subscription.
Disney+ Star New Zealand: Full list of movies and TV shows
Every TV show and movie launching on the new Disney+ Star channel.
How to watch Disney’s Mulan live-action remake live in New Zealand
The live-action blockbuster will be offered on Premium Access.
Where to watch Artemis Fowl online in New Zealand
The highly-anticipated adaptation of the best-selling novel series by Eoin Colfer hits streaming sooner than anticipated.
The 20 best series to stream on Acorn TV in New Zealand
Here are the best titles you might want to check out on Acorn TV.
Where to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story online in New Zealand
Experience the origin story of one scruffy-looking nerf herder on these streaming services.
Where to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story online in New Zealand
This Star Wars prequel explains how the Death Star’s fatal design flaw came to be.
How to watch Acorn TV in New Zealand: A step-by-step guide
Using Acorn TV on your device is easier than you think.
10 things to do in Auckland in 2021
How to spend your trip in Auckland, whether you’re searching for adventure, iconic activities or free things to do to keep expenses down.
Ask an Expert