Skip to main content

Disney Plus movies: The 20 best films on Disney+ right now

Star Wars logo next to a planet emerging from the darkness
(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Seeking a Disney Plus movie? Then you've come to the right place. Disney's streaming service offers an astonishing range of content to households worldwide, including cartoons, shorts, comedies, documentaries and more, from the archives of Disney, Fox, Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic. Which means you'll never be short of high-quality, family friendly fare to watch. 

Obviously that includes all the classic Disney and Pixar animations, from Snow White, Dumbo and Cinderella to Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, plus newer hits such as Coco and Soul. But hey, you probably knew that already: the clue's in the title after all. So for this article, we'll put those to one side and highlight some of the fantastic live action movies you might not have realised were on Disney Plus too. 

These truly are the best of the best. If there are some you've never seen, we'd urge you to correct that straight away. And if there are others you haven't seen for years, why not remake your acquaintance with these timeless classics... which never get old but only seem to improve with age?

If you've not signed up yet or want to know more, head over to our in-depth Disney Plus article, which has everything you need to know about the subscription service. 

Disney Plus: Get 15% off a 12-month subscription
Disney Plus is great value for only $6.99 / £5.99 a month. And there's an even better deal to be had – if you sign up for a 12-month subscription, you get a 15% discount, taking the cost down to less than $6 /£5 per month.
View Deal

The best Disney Plus movies available now

01. Holes

Two boys digging holes in the desert

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Holes is that rare thing: a fun adventure for kids that also works as a grown-up drama adults can enjoy. At turns darkly comic, fantastical and grittily realistic, it's the tale of a young boy who gets charged with a crime he didn't commit, and is shipped off to a prison camp where he spends all day digging seemingly pointless holes. This storyline interacts with historic and personal backstories in delightfully unexpected ways, which keep you guessing all the way to the thrilling, climatic end. 

02. Cool Runnings

Illustration of four men in a bobsled

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Sometimes life simply is stranger than fiction. And yes, it really is the case that a bobsled team entered the 1998 Winter Olympics from Jamaica, a country with scant experience of snow. Beyond that, this 'based on a true story' comedy movie may be largely fictional, but it's all highly entertaining, surprisingly moving in places, and you won't be able to get to the end with a beaming smile forming on your face.

03. Star Wars: A New Hope

Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Never watched Star Wars? You're not alone: in survey after survey, a surprising number of people confess to not having seen this game-changing cinematic epic. But if the reason is you 'don't like sci-fi', then we'd urge you to take the plunge. 

Because (whisper it) this is more an action movie than 'proper sci-fi'. The trick director George Lucas pulled off in 1977 was to put together all the classic set-pieces of mid-century cinema (Wild West shoot outs, swashbuckling sword fights, World War Two aerial battles) into one movie, and transport them to outer space. Throw in added fist fights, romance, and some spooky mysticism, and the result is two hours of solid, heart-racing entertainment everyone in the family can enjoy. 

04. Sister Act

Whoopi Goldberg dressed as a nun

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Sister Act is a musical about a casino singer who gets threatened with murder and hides out in a convent, disguised as a nun. And it's one of the greatest 'fish out of water' comedies of all time. 

Why? Partly because of the infectious and irrepressible energy of its lead actor, Whoopi Goldberg, in what's probably the best performance of her career. Partly because of a cracking supporting cast, who never overplay their roles and balance each other beautifully. Partly because of the fantastic songs. But mainly because its moral message dovetails wonderfully with its upbeat positivity: something we can all do with a bit of right now. 

05. Edward Scissorhands

Winona Ryder and Jonny Depp as Kim and Edward Scissorhands

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Both the critical and commercial success of Tim Burton films have been hit and miss over the years. But if you ever wondered why film fans revere him so much, the answer can be found in this breathtakingly original, epic and sweeping fairytale. Telling the story of a boylike man with scissors for hands, it's an unusual film about love, lost innocence, and topiary that will tug on your heartstrings right to the bittersweet end.

06. Mulan (2020)

Mulan in warrior pose with horse

(Image credit: Disney)

If you’ve seen the 1998 Disney animation Mulan, you don’t need to watch the new one, right? Wrong! By far the best of the live action Disney reboots, this is far from the frame-by-frame cover version you might be expecting. In fact, this epic, sweeping and glorious adventure was one of the best movies of 2020, period. 

The story is set in China’s imperial past and follows the trials and tribulations of Hua Mulan, a young woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in the place of her father in the army, against the rebel warriors set on overthrowing the emperor. Cue visceral action, elaborate choreography and stunning special effects, all set against spectacular scenery.

But this is no empty CGI fest. By focusing on the inner journey and turmoil of Mulan, torn between family and tradition on the one hand, and duty and destiny on the other, this is very much a human tale that everyone can relate to on a (surprisingly) emotional level. With endless twist and turns, you’ll be rooting for our hero all the way to the end, and you won’t miss the cute animal sidekicks or musical numbers of the original one bit.

07. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Child opening wardrobe

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Imagine you could walk through a wardrobe door and find yourself in another, magical world. That's exactly what happens to four children in this brilliant adaptation of CS Lewis' literary classic, and what follows is at turns thrilling, horrifying, terrifying and enchanting. With a wicked witch, talking animals and an epic battle of good and evil, this is all familiar fantasy territory. But the brilliant story, superior acting and convincing VFX bring them together in a way that feels strikingly fresh and original.

08. The Avengers

The Avengers in hero stance as city burns around them

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Many people are intimidated by modern Marvel movies, having been told by hardcore fans they need to watch all 23 in order, not to mention various TV series, in order to understand them properly. To that, we respectfully say: nonsense. 

You can easily enjoy, for instance, this 2012 classic (originally titled Avengers Assemble in the UK) as a movie in its own right. And there's a ton of enjoyment to be had, as Nick Fury and the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor to form a team capable of stopping Thor's brother Loki from taking over the Earth. 

Expect knockabout comedy, fast-paced action and explosive thrills throughout. And don't worry about the continuity: just enjoy the ride.

09. Guardians of the Galaxy

Peter Quill and Gamaro fire laser guns

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Is Guardians of the Galaxy a sci-fi movie or a superhero movie? A gripping drama or a bizarre comedy? Silly fun for kids, or kitsch satire for grown-ups? Quite simply, it's all these things, and more. 

The story focuses on the battle between a ragtag team of space pirates, including a gun-toting raccoon and a talking tree, and a super villain out to destroy the universe. But the plot hardly matters: it's the snappy banter between the characters, the breakneck pace of action, and the infectious sense of energy that will make you fall in love with this crazy, imaginative world. 

10. Never Been Kissed

Couple smiling at each other on prom dancefloor

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Disney Plus is packed with some great teen movies, but for our money, this one's the best by a country mile. Drew Barrymore plays a 25-year-old reporter who goes undercover as a teenage school girl, and in doing so confronts her own personal demons, having been an unpopular child the first time around. This is by not a serious film (believe us, journalists do not get to do stuff like this in reality), but uncomplicated fun in all the best ways. So park your brain for the evening, sit back and relax, and just let it take you.

11. Splash

Mermaid lying on beach

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

In this romantic comedy, Tom Hanks plays Allen, a young fruit-and-veg seller who falls in love with a mysterious woman, Madison, who's secretly a mermaid. It's essentially a film of two halves. In the first, much fun is to be had at Madison's lack of understanding of the human world, and the Allen's naive attempts to woo her. In the second, the comedy turns to drama as her secret is rumbled and a desperate chase ensues. Hanks has never been more charming, and if you're looking for a light, feelgood movie, you'll struggle to find better.

12. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Couple looking into magnifying glass

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

With a title that explains the whole plot nicely, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids gets endless comic mileage out of a simple premise. Rick Moranis plays a scientist father who accidentally shrinks his children to a quarter inch tall, sending them on a chaotic and danger-filled journey through a microscopic world filled with giant insects, colossal raindrops and more. Along the way, they learn valuable lessons about bravery and sticking together. That might sound cheesy, but the realistic family dynamics keep everything grounded, allowing you to believe the unbelievable, from start to finish.

13. Turner and Hooch

Tom Hanks and dog

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

The mismatched cop duo may be a staple of detective movies. But only Tom Hanks could make you believe a man could team up with a dog to solve crime. With a predictable plot, and an incessant focus on the antagonism between Hanks and his huge, slobbery French Mastiff, this is undeniably a film aimed at children. Yet it's all so beautifully written and acted, adults will be happy to come along for the ride, particularly if they're pet lovers.

14. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Muppets in Victorian costume

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Yes, we know Christmas has come and and gone. But trust us: you can watch The Muppet Christmas Carol at any time of year, and you'll be very glad you did. This adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale of Scrooge, a Victorian miser being shown the error of his ways, works well as both comedy and drama. The laughs come from the usual Muppet antics, interwoven with some sharp and knowing gags based around the source material. And these comic moments are balanced out beautifully by Michael Caine, who cleverly plays it straight throughout as Scrooge. That clash of tones sounds like it shouldn't work, but somehow it does... quite brilliantly so.

15. Adventures in Babysitting

Three teenagers and young girl looking worried

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Adventures in Babysitting might be one of the least well known films on Disney Plus. But if you like your heartwarming family comedies, you'll find this an undiscovered gem. Elisabeth Shue plays a suburban babysitter who gets a call from her friend saying she's run away from home and is in trouble. So she packs the kids she's supposed to be looking after into the car and heads into the inner city, where a series of risky situations await. Like a kids' version of Scorsese's After Hours, this may be lightweight fun, but there's an undercurrent of real-life danger here that adds heft and keeps you hooked.

16. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

All the Star Wars films are on Disney Plus, and if you liked the first, we'd encourage you to investigate every single one, including the unfairly maligned Solo, which is a whole heap of fun. However, if you want something with more of an edgy and sombre feel, check out Rogue One. An immediate prequel to A New Hope, it follows a group of rebel spies trying to steal the secret plans to the Death Star. And there's a gritty and defiant tone to the dialogue and action that's light years away from the cartoony hijinks of The Phantom Menace. 

17. Home Alone

Macauley Culkin

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Home Alone is another classic Christmas movie that can be enjoyed all year round. It centres around an eight-year-old boy, played by Macaulay Culkin, who tries to protect his house from two burglars after being accidentally left home alone by his family. To say it's far-fetched would be an understatement, but as knockabout comedy, not to mention childhood wish fulfilment, it's spectacularly successful. Plus anyone who was scared witless by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas ("Funny how? How exactly am I funny?") will find seeing him here as a bungling fool, chastened by a child with a blowtorch, strangely therapeutic.

18. Black Panther

African warriors in futuristic superhero costumes

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Don't like superhero movies? Black Panther is far more than that. It's all based around an hidden African nation, which keeps itself and its advanced technologies a secret and uses the West's low opinion of the continent to its advantage. Incorporating elements of action, spy and thriller movies, there's a serious and thoughtful tone to this story that makes some important social and political points along the way... without ever letting up on the high drama and pulse-racing action.

19. The Parent Trap

Two identical twins facing each other

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

The Parent Trap revolves around two identical twins, both played by an 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan, who've been raised separately but meet unexpectedly at summer camp. They hatch a scheme to get their divorced parents back together, and chaos ensues. While there's nothing new about the plot (such tales have been around since the time of Shakespeare), the tight script, outstanding acting by Lohan and overall bubbly sense of excitement make this another kids movie that only the most hard-hearted adult won't enjoy.

20. Three Men and a Baby

Three men gathered around a baby's cot

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Based on the French farce Trois Hommes et un Couffin, this 1980s comedy focuses on three bachelors (Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson) who find themselves landed with a child to look after. The biggest box office hit of 1987, the story is improbable but the film succeeds because the characters are so likeable. However, if anyone repeats the urban myth about the film capturing a "real-life ghost" on celluloid, give them a slap: it's actually a cardboard cut-out of Ted Danson.

Read more:

Topics
Topics