More than another competitor to Netflix, Disney Plus is one of the best streaming services worth considering today. With its extensive library of both Disney classics and new shows alike, you might want to consider making the move to Disney Plus right away. Some of the best Disney movies are available on this streaming service, so what more could you ask for? Its list of films is sure to get you hooked right off the bat.
First off, though: what exactly is Disney Plus?
What is Disney Plus?
For the uninitiated, Disney Plus is simply a streaming platform. The official Disney Plus release date is November 12, 2019, when it first became available in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. The now popular Disney streaming service became available to Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico a week later. It continued its expansion in 2020, when it became available in other parts of the world. These include select countries in Europe, as well as in India through Disney’s Hotstar streaming service.
Within its first day of operation alone, Disney Plus garnered ten million subscribers. As of August 2020, it boasts of a whopping 60.5 million subscribed users. It is thus quite the formidable competitor to other streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon.
Other Disney Streaming Services
Notably, Disney Plus isn’t Disney’s first foray into the the world of streaming. Included in Disney’s streaming services are Hulu and ESPN+. The former caters to more general programs and Hulu movies. Meanwhile, the latter provides more sports-oriented programs. That said, Disney Plus specifically offers family-oriented programs. These include everyone’s favorite Disney movies and several upcoming Disney Plus shows. There’s also the Disney Plus bundle, which allows subscribers to avail of all three aforementioned streaming services.
A number of Walt Disney classics are available on Disney Plus. Moreover, this Disney streaming service will grant subscribers access to a number of Marvel animated movies, as well as some of the top Disney movies that many have come to know and love. You might even find some of the best medieval movies if that’s more your pace.
How To Watch On Disney Plus
Disney Plus is available on a number of platforms. Besides being available on desktop browsers, the streaming service is also accessible through several smart devices. These include:
- Smart TVs
- Mobile devices and tablets (both Apple and Android, via Disney Plus app)
- Game consoles, such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4
- Streaming devices (Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, etc.)
How Many Devices Can Use Disney Plus At The Same Time?
The accessibility of Disney Plus makes it a convenient entertainment platform for many to enjoy. Similar to other stream services, one Disney Plus account can be accessed by four different devices simultaneously. This makes it a great investment that your whole family can enjoy without having to worry about taking turns. You can also opt for a Disney Plus free trial if you want to test out whether or not the streaming service is for you.
What Is On Disney Plus?
A number of movies coming out in 2020 — as well as anticipated television shows — are set to be available on Disney Plus. That said, the current movies and shows that are currently on the streaming service are already worth checking out. Here are some of the top recommendations on what to try out on Disney Plus in 2020.
Best Disney Plus Movies
The Greatest Showman (2017)
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The Greatest Showman is an excellent demonstration of Hugh Jackman’s skill as an entertainer. The musical drama film follows Jackman’s character, P.T. Barnum, as he works to build his own circus in an effort to give his family a more extravagant lifestyle. Besides Jackman, the film also stars the likes of Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya. With beautiful visuals and catchy tunes, The Greatest Showman is a no-brainer when you’re looking to be entertained from start to finish.
Black Is King (2020)
A masterpiece by none other than Beyonce herself, Black Is King is more than just another film to stream on Disney Plus. Both a musical film and visual album in one, Black Is King celebrates black identity and the beauty of African culture. The film received critical praise upon its release, giving black pride a whole new meaning.
Furthermore, Black Is King acts as a visual companion to the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift. For those who might be unaware, The Lion King: The Gift was a tie-in album that Beyonce curated for 2019’s The Lion King. Beyonce herself starred in The Lion King, lending her voice to Nala, opposite Donald Glover (or Childish Gambino, to some) as Simba.
Another 2020 release, Disney’s Mulan saw new life in its live-action iteration. Currently available on Disney Plus for a premium fee, the film is based on the Chinese folklore, “The Ballad of Mulan.” It stars Yifei Liu in the titular role. The film also boasts of having Donnie Yen (who gained international recognition in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Jet Li as part of its cast.
Although Mulan received generally positive feedback from critics, the film was not without its controversies. For starters, its lead star Liu gained a lot of backlash for expressing support towards the Hong Kong police in light of the nation’s ongoing protests. Other criticisms surrounding the film include the lack of diversity on the production team and the removal of Li Shang, who was a beloved character from the original 1998 animated adaptation.
Black Panther (2018)
A grand entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Black Panther follows T’Challa (portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman) after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Several other Marvel favorites are available on Disney Plus, but Black Panther stands out due to the recent passing of Boseman. As is the case with other MCU films, Black Panther has quite a number of big names under its cast. These include Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. Andy Serkis reprises his role as Ulysses Klaue, who previously made an appearance in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Beloved by many, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a great film to enjoy with your loved ones. With the story’s strong themes of family and loyalty, this magical adventure can be an excellent gateway into the whole Narnia series. Besides William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley as the Pevensie siblings, the film also has Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan. Additionally, Tilda Swinton stars as the movie’s antagonist, the White Witch. James McAvoy also makes an appearance as Mr. Tumnus, a former follower of the White Witch who later becomes an ally to Aslan and co.
Based on the untold true story of Leonard Seppala and his sled dog Togo, this Disney original stars Willem Dafoe as he fights through the treacherous terrain of Alaska in order to transport an antitoxin serum during a diphtheria epidemic. The film remains fairly accurate to the 1925 serum run to Nome, with just a few minor discrepancies here and there. Regardless, Togo is an exhilarating adventure that shows the selflessness and courage between Seppala and his canine companion. Interestingly, the dog actor who plays Togo in the film is actually a direct descendant of the real-life Togo, dating back to 14 generations.
Though the original Broadway musical was released in 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is now available for easy viewing on Disney Plus. The Hamilton Disney Plus live recording allows old and new fans alike to experience and enjoy this entertaining musical in the comfort of their own homes. It’s a superb example of how Broadway can translate just as well on the small screen.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Whether you’re on the hunt for some of the best Halloween movies or just want a good dose of nostalgia, Disney Plus has you covered with The Nightmare Before Christmas. This one’s a great film to enjoy all year-round, and its charm still holds up to this day. Following Jack Skellington as he attempts to bring something new to Halloween Town in the form of his own take on Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas remains a true classic on everyone’s list of Disney movies.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Love it or hate it, there’s no doubting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in a new generation of Star Wars fans. It breathed in new life and highlighted fresh faces for the franchise, creating an interesting dynamic between old and new favorites alike. The entire Skywalker Saga is available on Disney Plus too, so you can enjoy all the Star Wars movies to your heart’s content.
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James Cameron’s epic science fiction film wowed audiences with its technical breakthroughs at the time of its release. It stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. For those who might not know, Avatar is an epic adventure set in the mid-22nd century and follows our band of characters as they discover the habitable moon Pandora and its local inhabitants, the Na’vi. It explores themes of deep ecology and self-discovery set against a lush visual landscape.
With its groundbreaking visual effects, Avatar remained the highest-grossing film worldwide for almost a decade. It was later surpassed by the MCU’s Avengers: Endgame in 2019.
Best Disney Plus Shows
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
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Fans of renowned actor Jeff Goldblum are no stranger to his quirky antics and lively personality. Thanks to this docuseries, they get to see an even more candid side to Goldblum. The World According to Jeff Goldblum follows the actor as he “explores the world,” delving into a myriad of topics ranging from video games to sneakers. Goldblum is accompanied by influencers and experts of their respective fields who provide more insights into the subjects that the show covers.
Currently, The World According to Jeff Goldblum has 12 episodes under its first season. It was renewed for a second season, which will consist of 10 episodes.
Probably one of the most popular Disney Plus originals, The Mandalorian captured the hearts of many when it first became available alongside the launch of Disney Plus. Created by Jon Favreau, the series is part of the Star Wars franchise and is canonically set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. It stars Pedro Pascal as the titular character, a lone bounty hunter in the galaxy.
Though Pascal is the main protagonist of the series, the main star of the show is arguably “The Child” — otherwise known as “Baby Yoda” among fans. The entire first season is available on Disney Plus, with the second season set to be released sometime in 2020.
Another docuseries — this time executive produced by basketball superstar LeBron James — that is definitely worth watching, Becoming explores the life stories of renowned actors, musicians, and athletes, to name a few. Every episode follows a different celebrity’s profile and provides viewers with insights on their lives — from their early beginnings to their celebrity status today. Among the chronicled stars include Pitch Perfect‘s Adam Devine, Disney alum Ashley Tisdale, and Stranger Things cast member Caleb McLaughlin.
The Imagineering Story
Want a closer, behind-the-scenes look at the history and creation of Disney theme parks all over the world? Then The Imagineering Story will be right up your alley. The documentary miniseries provides in-depth insights into how several of the beloved Disney attractions came to be. It’s a great show for those diehard fans who simply can’t get enough of all things Disney.
That’s So Raven
That’s So Raven originally aired on the Disney Channel from 2003 to 2007. It followed Raven Baxter (played by Raven-Symoné), a teenage girl with psychic abilities who could look into the future. The show also starred Orlando Brown and Anneliese van der Pol, who portrayed Raven’s best friends Eddie and Chelsea, respectively.
While That’s So Raven already had a spin-off show through Corey in the House — which followed Raven’s younger brother — the series also saw a new lease on life with Raven’s Home. In Raven’s Home, Raven and Chelsea are now adults raising their children together under the same roof. The show first aired in 2017, with Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol reprising their respective roles.
What Will Be On Disney Plus?
The current roster of what’s available on Disney Plus is already impressive as it is. However, there are still several other projects that are set to come in the future. Some of these projects are spin-offs or sequels to well-loved Disney originals, while others will provide further content and lore to their respective franchises.
Upcoming Disney Plus Shows
- Lizzie McGuire (a sequel series starring Hillary Duff)
- The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder (a revival of the Disney Channel animated series, The Proud Family)
- Monsters At Work (a new show based on Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. and Monsters University)
- Beauty and the Beast prequel (a live-action show with Luke Evans and Josh God reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou, respectively)
Upcoming Star Wars Shows
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch (an animated spin-off of The Clone Wars)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi series (a series set to follow Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan from the prequel trilogy)
- Star Wars: Rogue One prequel series (set before the events of Rogue One and follows Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor)
Upcoming Marvel Shows
- Falcon and The Winter Soldier (stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as Falcon and the Winter Soldier, respectively)
- WandaVision (focuses on Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and Vision, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, respectively)
- Loki (a six-episode series based on Loki from the Thor/MCU films, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the titular character)
Without a doubt, Disney Plus is a formidable entry in the arena of subscription streaming services. Though it’s still a bit new compared to Netflix, its current lineup easily has some of the best movies and shows that can give Netflix a run for its money. Whether you’re a longtime Disney lover, Star Wars junkie, Marvel fanatic, or even just a casual viewer, there’s no doubt that Disney Plus certainly has something for everyone to watch and enjoy.