Disney has made a huge splash in the hyper-competitive streaming platform space. Their new platform Disney+ has proved a huge hit around the world, being subscribed to by tens of millions. Featuring all of our favourite Disney properties, from Star Wars and Marvel to Pixar and Disney classics, there is a vast array of entertainment to enjoy. Whether you fancy a family film on a rainy afternoon or binging a series, Disney+ can take care of you.
The platform is a true gem for us Disney fanatics, especially those of us who frequently buy tickets to Disneyland Paris. If you haven’t yet got round to signing up or are paralysed by the myriad options available, we’ve put together a list of the movies we are loving right now.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2018)
Star Wars is certainly one of Disney’s most beloved properties and while you can’t really go wrong with anything from the galaxy far, far away, our choice right now is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker soon to be out on home video (and not yet on Disney+), this is the perfect time to watch the film that precedes it in the Skywalker saga. The Last Jedi was hailed by critics upon release and is packed with game-changing moments that all the family can enjoy. From Rey and Kylo Ren teaming up in Snoke’s throne room to Luke’s last stand against the First Order – and even the return of Yoda – there’s so much to enjoy.
Total Film (Games Radar) gave the movie five stars in their review, saying: “An excellent middle chapter bursting with wit, wisdom, emotion, shocks, old-fashioned derring-do, state-of-the-art tech, and stonking set-pieces.”
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
How could we create a list of must-watch Disney+ films without including the biggest and highest-grossing film of all time? Avengers: Endgame delighted fans upon release in 2019, bringing an end to the journeys of Iron Man and Captain America. The film was a rip-roaring success and is the perfect example of what Marvel is all about, featuring our heroes’ final defeat of the evil villain Thanos. You can choose to work your way through the entire MCU first if you prefer or, if you are already up to date, why not just give Endgame another watch and experience this epic blockbuster in the comfort of your home?
In their five star review, Empire Magazine says: “A victory lap that moonwalks through the best part of the MCU back catalogue and emphasises emotion as much as action, this is an intensely satisfying piece of blockbuster filmmaking.”
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
There is a plethora of classic Disney flicks to enjoy on Disney+ but one of our favourites (and we know we are not alone on this) is Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The beloved comedy is particularly apt right now as there is another sequel in the works after many years away. To get you in the mood for the new release and to introduce kids to the franchise, popping on this classic is certainly recommended. Telling the tale of a kooky scientist who accidentally shrinks his children via a strange scientific invention, there are laughs, the odd tear, and thrills galore in this incredibly rewatchable 1989 feature. Young and old, big and small, everyone can get a kick out of this one.
In their review, Variety says the film is “in the best tradition of Disney and even better than that because it is not so juvenile that adults won’t be thoroughly entertained.”
We all have our favourite Disney animated films from when we were growing up but one that is hyper-relevant right now and certainly worth a re-watch is 1998’s Mulan. This loveable adventure has been remade in live-action – following the likes of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast – and is due for release in 2020. So, before watching the updated version, why no revisit the original? Based on a Chinese legend, this delightful musical was part of the famed Disney Renaissance, telling the story of a warrior’s daughter who must impersonate a man during a battle against the real-life invasion of the Huns. With fantastic songs, beautiful animation, and an epic story, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
In their review of the film, The Washington Post said: “Gorgeously animated and stirringly told, Disney's ‘Mulan’ is a timeless story that will delight kids and divert adults with its sweeping scope, emotional intimacy and screwball humour.”
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Pixar is one of Disney’s most beloved teams and there is no shortage of wonderful Pixar films to enjoy on Disney+. The Toy Story franchise is, of course, a fan-favourite and on Disney+ you can enjoy the entire series, joining Woody, Buzz, and the gang right from the outset. Our pick, for right now, however, is the latest in the run, Toy Story 4. Every film in the franchise manages to hit the mark and the fourth entry certainly recaptures the magic. 2019’s box office smash hit brings the beloved characters to our homes once more, with an all-star voice cast, lots of nostalgia, and another fun adventure. You can’t really go wrong!
RogertEbert.com praises the film in their review: “This franchise has demonstrated an impressive ability to beat the odds and reinvent itself, over a span of time long enough for two generations to grow up in. It's a toy store of ideas, with new wonders in every aisle.”
The Lion King (2019)
Disney is currently working their way through their library of classic animated movies and remaking them in live-action. 1994’s The Lion King is without doubt one of Disney’s greatest efforts, holding a dear place in so many of our hearts, and, in 2019, it too received the live-action treatment. If you haven’t yet gotten around to seeing it, Disney+ is your chance. It takes a little getting used to seeing Simba, Nala, and Mufasa outside of their traditional cartoon forms but you are soon swept away by the magic of the storytelling. So, revisit this classic in a new way with a few clicks on Disney+.
Stephanie, from the lifestyle blog Stepherella, is a huge Disney lover and attendee of The Lion King premier. She raved about the film in her review: “The film itself is breathtaking. I felt like I was in Africa for two and a half hours. Each scene is stunning, and my jaw was dropped for most of the film. I also cried at several points just at what I was witnessing on screen.”
Lady and the Tramp (2019)
Our last entry is another Disney endeavour to refresh a beloved classic. In 2019, they gave the heart-warming Lady and the Tramp (1955) the live-action treatment and it has now released exclusively to Disney+. Detailing the adventures of two dogs from very different backgrounds, and featuring the voices of Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, it was the first Disney remake not to receive a theatrical release. It is, therefore, a perfect example of the kind of treats Disney+ subscribers can look forward to in the future.
Stephanie recommends the Lady and the Tramp remake as one her current favourites while also praising the platform as a whole: “Disney+ launched late March and it is the most talked-about streaming service at the moment. There have been lots of exclusive releases just for Disney+, such as Lady and the Tramp. It was a really sweet remake of the classic.”
Films to watch on Disney+ in the UK
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
- Mulan (1998)
- Toy Story 4 (2019)
- The Lion King (2019)
- Lady and the Tramp (2019)
From old favourites and reimagined classics to the latest blockbusters from beloved franchises, Disney+ really has it all. It’s the perfect way to relax or enjoy quality with the family, so why not give one of the above suggestions ago and then see what else you can find!
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