TV & Movies

20 Movies On Disney+ You Need To Watch This Year

By Jessica Best
5th Feb 2021

animated dogs in warehouse

Disney+ is finally here which means hundreds (literally) of Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars content right at your fingertips. 

While this might sound like a daunting world to navigate and it’s definitely hard to narrow the best movies on the mega streaming platform down to well, less than all of them – we’ve gone and done that just for you. 

Here are all the best movies to watch on Disney+ right now.

Isle Of Dogs

Anything Wes Anderson is always a good idea so draw your attention to Isle Of The Dogs. The iconic stop-motion animation carries on with a canine odyssey set in a dystopian future in Japan. A deadly virus outbreak causes the dog population to be sent to Trash Island, forcing a young boy to go in search of his missing dog. 

SOUL

SOUL is the Disney+ animation which has resonated in a big way to adults near and far. The movie follows a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to “The Great Before”, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (which is the legendary voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the humans. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, this animated movie turns into a deeply existential crisis and we love it for exactly that reason.

Ford V Ferrari

Say hello again to Christian Bale and Matt Damon. The two star in Ford V Ferrari, a movie based on the insane true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British-born driver Ken Miles. In real life, these guys battled a whole heap of corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal fights to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. Can confirm, even if you’re not a “car” person, you’ll still stan this movie.

The Wolverine

It’s a classic for so many reasons so no guesses as to why this cracks it as one of the best movies to watch on Disney+. As the sixth instalment of the X-Men series, The Wolverine kicks off with a killer story (no pun intended). Wolverine (obviously—Hugh Jackman) basically finds himself in a pretty dark Japan and finds himself in a life-or-death battle which leaves him changed forever. 

Mary Poppins Returns

We don’t need to tell you that any film starring Emily Blunt is a clear winner. While most movie spin-offs fail to live up to their OG predecessors, Mary Poppins Returns is one of the few that oozes just as much charm, if not more than Julie Andrews version. This time around, Mary Poppins comes back to help the next generation of the Banks family with all the more passion for life, rhyme and sing-song. Keep your eyes peeled because the enduring Dick Van Dyke makes a heart-warming cameo towards the end (and it’s perfect).

Safety

Safety is the penultimate Disney movie. The biographical sports drama is based on the very true story of Ray McElrathbey. The college football player had to raise and care for his 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr. While he had to face a whole heap of adversity at times (bring the tissues), the good news is that his teammates and other members of the community are all about watching him succeed and rally around him to help him balance all the responsibilities of his family, school, friends and his athletics.

Black Is King

It’s the visual album inspired by The Lion King: The Gift. Black Is King, a film by Beyoncé is one of the biggest movies to have hit Disney+ this year. It tales a young African king who gets cast out into the world as a baby (sound familiar?) and who grows up, only to come home and reclaim his rightful spot on his throne.

Mulan

The $200 million live-action remake of Mulan was meant to be one of the biggest cinema releases of 2020. But when COVID forced the film industry to come to a standstill, shutting cinemas across the globe and postponing release dates, we’d pretty much given up hope that we’d see the badass warrior princess on the big screen any time soon. That was until Disney+ announced it would be the new home for the Disney film.

Mulan is the tale of a fearless young woman who risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has known. And in true Disney form, Mulan features a mammoth international cast including Yifei Liu (who was named one of the New Four Dan Actresses in China) as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. 

Hamilton

Hamilton is the broadway story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, this famous musical has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, this movie will take you straight back to some serious theatre good-loving times.

Frozen 2

Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll face another dangerous journey and hey, we’re also here for the unashamed sing-along-fest.

Edward Scissorhands

If there’s one thing we absolutely love about Disney+, it’s all the mass 90s throwbacks this movie vault has to offer. Enter Tim Burton’s gothic romantic-fantasy film, Edward Scissorhands. This fantastical movie won’t only make you cry but you’ll also absolutely fall for the teenage love between Edward (Johnny Depp) and Kim (Wynona Ryder).

Aladdin

Disney’s live-action take on Aladdin is god’s gift to the movie world.  Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith (as the big, blue genie), Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, you’ll want to strike out all your weekend plans so you can watch this bad boy a number of times. Watch it here.

10 Things I Hate About You

There’s one word that absolutely defines 10 Things I Hate About You – iconic. Throw it back to 1999 with Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Larisa Oleynik in the ultimate romantic comedy which calls for all the hilarious teenage angst. This one is also modernisation of William Shakespeare’s A Taming Of The Shrew, you’ll also get your dose of literary culture too. 

The Lion King (1994)

We know, we know. There’s a live-action remake of this one fresh in the tank but if you were born in the 90s, not much beats the original The Lion King. Take a trip down memory lane and re-live Pride Rock and all the  “hakuna matata” vibes in animation. Watch The Lion King on Disney+ here.

Avengers: Endgame

She’s the epic conclusion to the Infinity Saga which is still riding the wave of being a worldwide phenomenon. This dramatic showdown pits the Avengers against Thanos after devastating events wipe out half the world’s population and fracture their ranks. The remaining heroes struggle to come together and have to come together to restore harmony in the universe to bring their loved ones back. And yes, it’s an unofficial tear-jerker. Watch Avengers: Endgame on Disney+ here.

Free Solo

True, Free Solo is a documentary, not a movie but it’s a must-watch regardless. Unless you’re interests and hobbies include scaling the world’s biggest cliffs, you probably haven’t heard of Alex Honnold. This doco basically follows Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream of free-climbing (yes, that means without a rope) the world’s most famous rock – the 3200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Watch Free Solo on Disney+ here.

The Sandlot

During a summer of friendship and all the adventure, one boy becomes part of the gang, nine boys become a baseball team and their leader becomes a legend by confronting a terrifying mystery beyond the right-field wall. You can watch this stellar coming-of-age film on Disney+ right here.

101 Dalmatians 

Another blast from the past includes the 1996 version of 101 Dalmatians (because Glenn Close and puppies are always a winning combo). In case you forgot, Dalmations Pongo and Perdita make cute baby dogs together (you can skip to the timestamp of 42.43 to see all 15 of them in their puppy prime) which eventually get stolen by the spotted-fur-loving Ms. De Vil along with every other Dalmatian pup in London. Watch 101 Dalmatians on Disney+ right here.

Flubber

Because it would be rude not to have a classic Robin Williams movie on this list. In this gem, the brilliant but endearingly befuddled Professor Phillip Brainard is on the brink of inventing a revolutionary energy source (while also missing his third wedding) but discovers “Flubber” – a miraculous green goop ball with ultra-bouncy properties. Watch Flubber on Disney+ here.

Remember The Titans

Based on real events, Remember The Titans tells the story of how beloved football coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) gets demoted and replaced by the tough and opinionated Herman Boone (Denzel Washington). These guys eventually overcome their differences and turn a group of hostile young men into champions. Watch Remember The Titans on Disney+ right here.

Haven't jumped on the Disney+ bandwagon yet? Here's why you should.

Image credit: Isle Of Dogs

We’re dedicated to keeping our recommendations and content free. SUPPORT URBAN LIST

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

You May Also Like