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Watch them while you still can.
While everyone waits for Disney’s own streaming service to launch sometime in 2019, you can still find the company’s movies spread across the various streaming platforms. Splintering the Disney library can be a nuisance for casual viewers. Not to be left out, Hulu has its own piece of the pie, albeit a relatively small one.
Hulu’s main library has precious few Disney movies to choose from, but through the various add-ons available through Hulu (most notably Hulu with Live TV, HBO, and Starz), the library opens up a bit. To hold you over until Disney further consolidates its power, we’ve dug high and low through Hulu’s digital stacks to find the Disney movies on Hulu you can stream right now.
Disney movies on Hulu
1) Up (* requires a Hulu with Live TV subscription)
Anytime Up comes up it feels like there’s a race to see who will be the first person to mention how the opening sequence, showing the relationship of Carl and Ellie from childhood through old age, left them a weeping mess. But reducing the movie to just that sequence does the film a disservice. That opening functions as an incredibly moving short film, something that feels like a full meal in less than 10 minutes. Instead, it sets the emotional stakes, and the sense of adventure, impossibly high, then proceeds to meet and surpass that standard repeatedly for the rest of the runtime.
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2) The Princess Diaries (* requires a Hulu with Live TV subscription)
The movie that put Anne Hathaway on the map is still one of her most endearing performances. For someone whose resume includes an Oscar and countless other acclaimed roles, it speaks to the quality of the movie that The Princess Diaries is synonymous with Hathaway and her performance as teenager-turned-princess Mia. Mia’s transformation makes for the kind of light, fish-out-of-water story that will enchant viewers for a long time. And many of the people who enjoyed The Princess Diaries as a kid now have kids of their own and can start passing the movie down to the next generation.
3) Lilo & Stitch
It’s safe to say Stitch is the second most beloved alien in family films, after E.T. Movies about kids and their pets are as timeless as a concept can get, and Lilo & Stitch delivers the goods. Lilo, a young Hawaiian girl, and Stitch, an alien whose core directive is to wreak havoc and destruction, are a lovely pair. As the two unlikely friends grow closer and question what really constitutes family, Lilo & Stitch cements its place as a modern Disney classic. Given that Disney’s hand-drawn output is nearly nonexistent these days, Lilo & Stitch is worth revisiting for its aesthetic pleasures, on top of the charming story and adorable lead duo.
4) The Emperor’s New Groove
I’m not being facetious when I say this is my favorite David Spade performance. His brand of bone-dry sarcasm normally grates (for me at least), but this time he makes Emperor Kuzco believably entitled but doesn’t take it so far that you just hate the character. Spade is a worthy yin to John Goodman’s yang as a gentle giant Pacha. The story follows a familiar arc: Kuzco has to learn to be kind and let go of his selfishness, and Pacha is the poor man who has to teach Kuzco how to deal with people. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s hilarious.
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5) Hannah Montana: The Movie
A decade removed from the height of Hannah Montana’s popularity, Hannah Montana: The Movie should please new viewers as well as its longtime fans. The movie, wherein Hannah has to go back to her roots and get a breather from the spotlight, compliments the show and is just cinematic enough to justify the feature treatment. Hannah Montana: The Movie is a good reminder of what made MIley Cyrus a star in the first place. While her career has gone to more interesting places artistically, few things have left the mark that Hannah Montana did.
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Eddie Strait is a member of the Austin Film Critic Association. His reviews focus primarily on streaming entertainment, with an emphasis on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other on-demand services.