The best movies and TV shows streaming on Disney+

On Nov. 12 Disney+ launches for audiences everywhere, bringing with it a massive library of shows and movies featuring some of the biggest properties in cinema and TV history.

There are thousands to choose from, meaning you might spend your first night with the service just looking through lists. Save yourself some time: We’ve scanned the Disney+ library to compile a truly staggering list of the best movies and TV shows available at launch.

Join us in the wonderful world of Disney with these Disney+ shows and movies.


13 Disney+ Hidden Gem Movies You’ll Love:

 


Disney+ movies

1) Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-2019)

disney plus shows - Captain Marvel Marvel/Disney

One of the biggest selling points of Disney+ is getting immediate access to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kicking off with Iron Man and encompassing the entire MCU up through Captain Marvel, you can catch up on 11 years of superhero action from the comfort of your home. Disney+ will also be the first place you can stream Avengers: Endgame later in 2019.

2) Free Solo (2018)

disney plus shows - free solo National Geographic/Disney

This Academy Award-winning documentary follows professional rock climber Alex Honnold’s attempt to perform the first free solo climb of the 900-meter El Capitan vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. Full of drama and heart-stopping photography, Free Solo is a thrill ride, even if you aren’t interested in climbing. It deserves a spot on your Disney+ shows and movies watchlist. 

3) Moana (2016)

disney plus shows - moana Disney

Moana is so good it belongs in the canon of all-time Disney greats. You need to add it to your watchlist immediately if you missed it when it was in theaters. Then you need to cancel your plans and watch Moana instead. The film brilliantly reinvents the Disney princess formula while also honoring the Disney classics you grew up loving. The representation, The Rock, the music from Lin-Manuel Miranda: I could go on, but really, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, just watch it first. —Chris Osterndorf

4) Big Hero 6 (2014)

disney plus shows - big hero 6 Disney

Big Hero 6 introduces us to Hiro, a 14-year-old robotics genius who longs for adventure but is held back by his age. His brother helps him join a world-class research lab. However, tragedy strikes and Hiro must use his skills to create a team to stop an unimaginable evil. Packed with exhilarating action, Big Hero 6’s real star is the truly believable relationships at the center of its story. You might even find yourself shedding a tear. Other superhero movies might be darker, but Big Hero 6 has more heart than all of them combined.

TRY DISNEY+

5) Frozen (2013)

disney plus shows - frozen Disney

Disney’s mega-hit adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen is one of the most beloved modern animated films. Princess Elsa was born with a wonderful, yet terrifying power: to create ice and snow. On the day she is meant to be crowned queen, a horrible mistake plunges the kingdom into permanent winter, causing Elsa to flee. It’s up to her sister and a merry band of adventurers to bring Elsa back and unfreeze the kingdom. With wonderful music and beautiful animation, Frozen is among the Disney+ shows and movies that are a treat for the whole family.

6) The Muppets (2011)

disney plus shows - the muppets Disney

Walter and Gary grew up loving the Muppets. They finally travel to Los Angeles to see The Muppets Studio, but they’re heartbroken to discover it abandoned. When they learn Statler and Waldorf are planning on selling the studio to an oil company, they band together to reunion Kermit, Piggy, and the entire crew to save the Muppet legacy. Written by star Jason Segel, The Muppets is an uproarious reboot of the beloved classic characters, with brilliant musical numbers and hilarious jokes.

7) Invincible (2006)

disney plus shows - invincible Disney

Invincible is based on the true story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old South Philadelphia bartender who won a spot playing for the Eagles during an open tryout. Papale became the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL, serving as an inspiration for working-class Joes everywhere. With explosive action andMark Wahlberg’s heartfelt performance, Invincible is a classic feel-good sports film hidden among the numerous shows and movies Disney+ offers.

8) Millions (2005)

disney plus shows - millions Fox Searchlight/Disney

There aren’t too many whimsical crime comedies for families, which makes Millions a wonderful exception. Days before Britain converts to euros, a 7-year-old sees a bag of millions of pounds fall from the sky. The only catch is the criminals who originally stole the money desperately want it back. Danny Boyle’s heartwarming tale of childhood innocence and crime is a crowd-pleasing comedy.  

TRY DISNEY+

9) The Incredibles (2004)

disney plus shows - the incredibles Disney

Pixar’s The Incredibles is truly a wonder. It’s not only one of the best Pixar films, but it’s also unofficially the best Fantastic Four movie ever made. When the forced retirement of all superheroes leaves Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl in a career slump, the duo tackles its biggest challenge of all: raising three kids. But Mr. Incredible still longs for adventure, sneaking out of the house to perform heroic acts in spite of the law. Hilarious and thrilling, The Incredibles lives up to its name and more.

10) Miracle (2004)

disney plus shows - miracle Disney

The Cold War was fought on many fronts, sometimes even by underdogs on ice. Miracle adapts the true story of the 1980 U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team’s battle with Russia for the gold medal. College coach Herb Brooks brings together a scrappy team of brilliant college players to face the elite Russian squad. The action is intense and the story is inspiring, even if you don’t buy into nationalistic tales of sports supremacy. Count it among the classic Disney+ shows and movies.

11) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

disney plus shows - pirates of the caribbean Disney

Travel back, if you will, to the distant past of 2003. Johnny Depp was not only semi-tolerable, but his Captain Jack Sparrow was a revelation, yet to become a grating parody of itself. Orlando Bloom was a movie star, Keira Knightley was an up-and-comer, and no one knew whether a film based on a theme park ride would work. Moreover, said film had not yet spawned a parade of annoying sequels. Today, it’s hard to say what’s most impressive about the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie—that it still holds up so well or that it even worked in the first place. —Chris Osterndorf

12) Finding Nemo (2003)

disney plus shows - finding nemo Disney

Marlin is a clownfish and wonderful father to Nemo, a brave little boy with one abnormally short fin. They live a happy, yet simple life. But one day, Nemo swims too close to the surface and gets caught by a diver. Marlin must break free of his fear of venturing into the world to find his lost boy. A forgetful reef fish named Dory helps him along the way. Packed to the gills with laughs and heart, Finding Nemo is a true classic. Add it to your Disney+ shows and movies queue for when your heart needs warming.

TRY DISNEY+

READ MORE:

13) Lilo and Stitch (2002)

disney plus shows - lilo and stitch Disney

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 and Stitch delivers the goods. Lilo, a young Hawaiian girl, and Stitch, an alien whose core directive is wreaking havoc and destruction, are a lovely pair. As the two unlikely friends grow closer and question what really constitutes family, Lilo and Stitch cements its place as a modern Disney classic. Given that Disney’s hand-drawn output is nearly nonexistent these days, Lilo and Stitch is worth revisiting for its aesthetic pleasures, on top of the charming story and adorable lead duo. —Eddie Strait

14) Toy Story 2 (1999)

disney plus shows - toy story 2 Disney

You’ll be able to enjoy every chapter of the Toy Story saga among the Disney+ shows and movies, but the second entry deserves special mention. Originally planned as a direct-to-video movie, then rebooted from scratch for a theatrical release, Toy Story 2 probably shouldn’t exist. Instead, it became a jewel of the Pixar library, telling an adult story about fear of abandonment in a hilarious, family-friendly package. It also signals one of the biggest leaps in animation technology between films in the Pixar catalog. 

15) James and the Giant Peach (1996)

disney plus shows - james and the giant peach Disney

Get ready to discover one of the lost Disney gems thanks to the expansive Disney+ shows and movies library. 1996’s stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach is a treat. Blending live-action segments with lovingly crafted puppet work, James builds a magical world unlike anything in the Disney catalog. Add to it a batch of original Randy Newman songs, and you’ve got a classic waiting to be found.

16) Frank and Ollie (1995)

disney plus shows - frank and ollie Disney

Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston are two of the most important figures in animation history, but you probably don’t know their names. They were the chief animators for Walt Disney Animation Studios from its early development through the ’70s, when they retired. This heartwarming documentary tells their story, drawing anecdotes from across their careers as they trace the birth of modern cinematic animation. 

17) A Goofy Movie (1995)

disney plus shows - a goofy movie Disney

Despite becoming a beloved constant for the Tumblr generation, A Goofy Movie has never really gotten its due. That’s a shame because it’s one of the funniest, most heartwarming modern additions of the Disney animation library. Goofy—fearing loss of connection with his teenage son, Max—takes the family on a hijinks-filled fishing trip. Along the way, audiences learn about the power of family and the wildness of teen angst—and get a few incredible musical numbers from Tevin Campbell.

TRY DISNEY+

18) Heavyweights (1995)

disney plus shows - heavyweights Disney

Behold Heavyweights, the darkest children’s comedy about body positivity ever to hit cinemas. Summer is supposed to be a time for fun, so when Gerry finds out his parents are sending him to Camp Hope to lose weight, he’s heartbroken. Upon arrival, he discovers a place where overweight kids are accepted and loved—at least until the new owners arrive, instituting a mutiny among the campers. Written by a young Judd Apatow and director Steven Brill and starring Ben Stiller, Kenan Thompson, Paul Feig, and David Bowie, this bizarre comedy has earned a devoted cult following over the years. It’s more than earned its spot in the Disney+ shows and movies catalog.

19) The Lion King (1994)

disney plus shows - the lion king Disney

The crown jewel of the Disney library is 1994’s beloved animated classic The Lion King. From the still-stunning animation to the Oscar-winning musical numbers, The Lion King has been a part of children’s lives for almost three decades. Now you can relive the magic time and time again on Disney+. 

20) Newsies (1992)

disney plus shows - newsies Disney

Newsies isn’t an easy sell on paper: It’s a full-production movie musical based on the actual newsboys strike of 1899. But this cult hit, which spawned a smash Broadway musical, has all the heart, magic, and infectiously unforgettable music you’ve come to love about Disney classics. Starring Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Ann-Margret, and Robert Duvall, Newsies is a feel-good musical adventure with incredible dance numbers.

21) Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

disney plus shows - who framed roger rabbit Disney

Beyond being one of the finest film noirs ever made, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a landmark in animation history. Its groundbreaking blending of live actors with animated characters is still jaw-dropping to see. Beyond that, it marked the first and last time audiences would ever see Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny on-screen together. Thankfully, we’ll always have this perfect film about a detective and a cartoon rabbit teaming up to save Toontown.

22) Mr. Boogedy (1986)

disney plus shows - mr boogedy Disney

Disney+ will give audiences access to every Disney Channel Original Movie, but none is more exciting than Mr. Boogedy. This rare horror film from the House of Mouse tells the story of a family that discovers an evil Colonial ghost is haunting its new home. While its special effects haven’t aged perfectly, Mr. Boogedy’s wonderful cast of characters, including a dad who sells gags for a living, raise it above the occasionally low production values.

TRY DISNEY+

23) Return to Oz (1985)

best shows disney plus return to oz J Dime/YouTube

While The Wizard of Oz is a beloved family classic, this pitch-black 1985 sequel might be better saved for kids over 12 or very spooky 10-year-olds. Picking up years after the original, Return finds Dorothy receiving electrotherapy for telling stories about Oz. When lightning strikes, she escapes back to Oz, where she must fight a new evil that has overtaken the land. It may be too scary for young children, but Return to Oz is a bonafide classic of dark children’s fantasy.

24) Star Wars Original Trilogy (1977-1983)

disney plus shows - return of the jedi Lucasfilm/Disney

In 1977, cinema was changed for all time with the release of Star Wars: A New Hope. It ushered in decades of big-budget summer blockbusters and redefined sci-fi for an entire generation. Now fans can stream these classic films in one place: the massive list of Disney+ shows and movies. Hopefully in the future Disney will add the original cuts to the library, but getting to stream these films at all is a major win. 

25) Mary Poppins (1964)

disney plus shows - mary poppins Disney

Even after all these years, Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way, both movie and character. When the Banks family needs a nanny, they put out a notice only to be surprised by the sudden arrival of the magical Mary Poppins. Through a series of adventures, musical numbers, and one stunning animated sequence, Poppins teaches the family about the importance of positivity. Julie Andrews gives the performance of a lifetime in what is arguably the best children’s film ever. 

26) Sleeping Beauty (1959)

disney plus shows - sleeping beauty Disney

Disney’s animation department has redefined the art form multiple times, but Sleeping Beauty is in a class of its own. Taking the beloved children’s story and turning it into a hand-painted work of art, Sleeping Beauty is both children’s film and fine art. You get romance, terrifying action, and comedy at every turn, but the design of this movie alone is worth your time.

TRY DISNEY+

27) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

disney plus shows - 20,000 leagues under the sea Disney

Winner of two Academy Awards, for best art direction and best special effects, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remains a thrilling science-fiction classic. After a sea monster attacks his ship, Professor Aronnax is rescued by the enigmatic Captain Nemo and his experimental submarine. The giant squid attack is still one of the best action sequences in sci-fi, but the entire film is overflowing with incredible adventure.  

28) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

disney plus shows - snow white and the seven dwarfs Disney

It’s hard to appreciate just how groundbreaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was when it came out. From the advanced animation that stunned audiences to the still-thrilling performances, Snow White changed the future of animation. But what really matters is that even after 80-plus years it’s still as enthralling as the day it was released. Now it’s just easier than ever for kids all over to learn the words to “Hi Ho!”


The Best Classic TV Shows on Disney+:

 


Disney+ shows

1) The Muppets (2015)

disney plus shows - the muppets ABC/Disney

We may have only gotten 16 episodes of ABC’s The Muppets reboot, but those 16 episodes rank among the finest modern entertainment satire in history. Mixing The Office with the Muppets, this hilarious love letter to show business focused on the behind-the-scenes antics at Up Late With Miss Piggy. Choosing to keep the avalanche of celeb cameos and goofy jokes from the classic show but spinning it into a modern media satire was bold. While it didn’t pay off at the time, on Disney+ shows library it can live on forever. 

2) Gravity Falls (2012)

disney plus shows - gravity falls Disney

Cartoon Network gets most of the credit for the modern boom of whip-smart children’s cartoons like Regular Show and Adventure Time, but Disney earned a place in the conversation with Gravity Falls. The show follows twins Dipper and Mabel, who are sent to spend the summer with their great uncle, Grunkle Stan. After finding a bizarre journal, the twins set out to uncover a host of mysteries, often encountering evil along the way. If you’ve ever longed for a kid-friendly Twin Peaks, Gravity Falls deserves your time and attention.

3) Phineas and Ferb (2007)

disney plus shows - phineas and ferb Disney

Phineas and Ferb is one of the great absurdist children’s cartoons, a boundlessly imaginative world where kids live out their wildest dreams under their parents’ noses. Also, sometimes their pet platypus fights an evil spy organization. This joyous cartoon sees Phineas Flynn and his stepbrother Ferb Fletcher build time machines and amusement parks while trying to keep their adventures secret. Brilliantly funny, yet endlessly creative, Phineas and Ferb is a true joy.

TRY DISNEY+

4) Spider-Man (1994)

disney plus shows - spider-man Marvel/Disney

Fox TV’s ’90s Saturday morning cartoon block was a hotbed of incredible Marvel Comics adaptations. But its take on Spider-Man, in particular, stands out, cleverly adapting some of the comic’s most adult moments for an all-ages show. You’ll see almost every villain and friend Spider-Man has ever made, from the Kingpin to the Punisher to Venom and even the murderous Carnage. While the MCU Spider-Man movies are incredible, this show might just be the best portrayal of the character anywhere outside of comic books—and now it’s one of the Disney+ shows you can enjoy from your couch.

5) Gargoyles (1994)

disney plus shows - gargoyles Disney

Original children’s cartoons often seem to exist only to sell action figures. Gargoyles is an extremely odd outlier. Sure they made action figures, but the show also developed a deep, surprisingly dark mythology of its own along the way. Viewers join a crew of ancient gargoyles as they fight an evil billionaire with the help of a New York Police Department detective. Dealing with themes of family, time displacement, and corporate greed, the show has surprisingly heavy content for Disney. However, the thrilling fights and deep storylines will keep even the most cynical viewer engaged.

6) X-Men (1992)

disney plus shows - x-men Marvel/Disney

Fox understandably gets a lot of criticism for how it butchered the X-Men franchise in theaters, but it deserves as much credit for nailing this cartoon. Drawing heavily from the comic books, often in multi-episode story arcs, and never shying away from the horrific violence mutants face, X-Men is a work of art. The show gives its villains room to have motives and its heroes true moments of tragedy, and it keeps the action intense throughout. Plus, that heavy-metal theme song still rips. If you want to catch up on X-Men lore but don’t want to read a million issues, this show is a great start. Add it to your Disney+ shows queue.

7) The Simpsons (1989)

disney plus shows - the simpsons 20th Century Fox/Disney

For over 30 years The Simpsons has been part of the American lexicon. The family has taught us lessons, made us laugh, and sold us Butterfingers. Now we can catch up with all their adventures on Disney+. With hundreds of episodes spanning three decades, it will take months of binge-watching before you start saying “the early seasons are better.” However, thanks to streaming, you can find that the other seasons are just as worth your time. We just hope Disney+ keeps the commentary tracks like FXNow did.

TRY DISNEY+


What’s on Disney+? Here’s everything we know:

 


READ MORE:

The Daily Dot may receive a payment in connection with purchases of products or services featured in this article. Click here to learn more.

John-Michael Bond

John-Michael Bond

John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adopter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.