The Best Movies on Disney+ Right Now

Disney’s own streaming service Disney+ is here, and the volume of content available at your fingertips may feel overwhelming. Indeed, Disney Plus launched with hundreds of movies and thousands of hours of TV shows to watch, all from Disney’s library of titles—and from Disney’s brand new, Disney Plus-exclusive content. The studio dug deep into its archives for this one, making available forgotten live-action films from the 60s, 70s, and 80s alongside a ton of Disney Channel Original movies. And that’s not to mention the catalog titles from Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm and the growing library of new original films you can only find on Disney+.

So with a robust lineup of movies available to stream on Disney Plus, we felt it necessary to help whittle down your choices of what to watch on the new streaming service. We’ve gone through the library and plucked out some of the best movies Disney+ has to offer, from animated classics to Marvel superhero movies to Star Wars films to even surprising live-action titles. There’s a little something for everyone in this list, further proof that Disney+ is not just programming for kids. They’re targeting the entire family. So below, peruse our list of the best movies to watch on Disney Plus.

Turning Red
Director: Domee Shi

Writers: Julia Cho and Domee Shi

Cast: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, and James Hong

Pixar has shown us time and time again that they know exactly how to push the right buttons to move us, to make us cry, to devastate us. But what Turning Red is doing might be even more impressive, a bright story that doesn’t skimp on the moving sentiments, but provides these emotions in a lovely, fun, and largely optimistic story of self-discovery and the first steps into womanhood. Turning Red can do all this in a film packed with panda transformations, ridiculous boy bands, needy Tamagotchis, and absurd first crushes. Turning Red proves that a Pixar film can be cheery, positive, and light, while also leaving a touching and powerful impression. — Ross Bonaime

Logan
Director: James Mangold

Writers: James Mangold, Michael Green and Scott Frank

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, and Stephen Merchant

There’s a case to be made that Logan is the best X-Men movie. While its hard-R rating allows it to get more violent than other films in the franchise, that’s not why it’s good. It’s good because it’s basically a neo-Western where Logan has to see if his life is more than the violence he’s doled out and if he’s able to be a caretaker and protector rather than an enforcer as he, a sundowning Professor X (Patrick Stewart), and a young girl (Dafne Keen) go on the run from nefarious forces. Hugh Jackman is able to send the character out a high note and James Mangold’s soulful direction gives the movie a heft that belies its comic book origins. Logan is a somber affair, but all the stronger for it. – Matt Goldberg

Lightyear
Director: Angus MacLane

Writers: Jason Headley and Angus MacLane

Cast: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin, and Uzo Aduba

To be honest, the world didn’t need the origin story of what inspired Andy’s favorite new toy, Buzz Lightyear, in the Toy Story franchise, and yet once again, Pixar proves that even a questionable concept can turn into magic. Buzz (voiced by Chris Evans) is a cocky space ranger, trying to find his way back home after being stuck on a strange planet. Lightyear has fun with an abundance of references to the Toy Story franchise, and watching Pixar tell a sci-fi story in this way does have its charms. But Lightyear’s strength is in the journey of Buzz learning that he doesn’t always have to be the hero, and that he shouldn’t let his life pass him by. Lightyear might be an unnecessarily convoluted idea, but there’s plenty of Pixar magic that makes Lightyear worthwhile to infinity and beyond. — Ross Bonaime

Free Guy
Director: Shawn Levy

Writers: Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Taika Waititi

As years of attempts have shown, it’s hard to make a video game movie that works. But Free Guy might be one of the few successful video game films simply because Shawn Levy’s film is creating its own world, full of references and homages to games we know, while also telling an effective story about the non-player character Guy (Ryan Reynolds) realizing he’s part of a video game. While Free Guy nails the logic and physics of this type of game, the film is equally effective at showing the real world, as arguably the best relationship in the film takes place between two programmers (Jodie Comer and Joe Keery), who have given up their video game creation to a much larger company, run by Taika Waititi’s Antwan. As always, Reynolds is charming, while Comer and Keery shine in this action film with heart. Free Guy’s blend of video game craziness and real-world relationships certainly makes it one of the best video game movies so far. — Ross Bonaime

Sleeping Beauty
Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Les Clark

Writers: Milt Banta, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears, and Ralph Wright

Cast: Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy, Barbara Jo Allen, Bill Shirley, Taylor Holmes, and Bill Thompson

Sleeping Beauty easily remains one of the best animated movies Disney has ever made. Yes, there are films more important to Disney’s history like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Dumbo and there are films that revitalized Disney like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. But arguably the greatest animated film Walt Disney ever produced was his 1959 fairy tale about Princess Aurora, who was cursed to sleep by the wicked Maleficent and rescued by Prince Phillip. The animation on display is absolutely stunning with Disney taking full advantage of the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process. When you consider that Disney didn’t have the advantage of computers like they would in the 90s, the 2D animation here is even more impressive and helps to sell the romanticism of the story. This would also be the last gasp of this kind of animation as Disney moved into xerography with its features across the 60s and 70s. – Matt Goldberg

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