Disney+ has been a delightfully warm welcome to the ever-growing world of streaming. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been spending your holidays swept up in The Mandalorian Baby Yoda phenomenon and unironically getting too invested into High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (I’ve been practising Gabriella’s high part in Breaking Free since 2006). In all the commotion of Original television, it’s easy to overlook the extensive movie library that’s on Disney+. But with a new decade comes time to get properly acquainted. Hit the links below to go straight to the movies that should pique your interest.
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- High School Musical 2
- The Parent Trap
- Avengers: Endgame
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Soul is the latest Pixar animation movie to land on Disney+ – and it’s an incredibly touching and mature film that will have viewers of all ages on the brink of tears. Soul tells the story of Joe, a talented musician (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who dreams of a career playing jazz but is instead stuck in his job as a middle-school band teacher. After finally catching a break and scoring a gig at the Half Note Club, he suffers a near-death incident and his soul and body are accidentally separated, with his soul sent to ‘The Great Before’. Joe must work with other souls-in-training in order to get back to Earth as a newborn before he ends up in ‘The Land of the Dead’ forever. It’s a whacky plot, but we’re here for it.
Funny lady Jillian Bell stars in Godmothered, the Christmas comedy about a young and inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training named Eleanor who, after discovering that her profession is facing extinction, decides to show the whole world the importance of fairy godmothers. After finding an old and misplaced letter from 10-year-old Mackenzie requesting help from a fairy godmother, Eleanor decides to take on the challenge. The only problem is that Mackenzie (Isla Fisher) is now a 40-year-old single mum. But who ever said that fairy godmothers were just for children?
Warning: Clouds will have you sobbing uncontrollably. The biopic, directed by Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin) tells the true story of 17-year-old Zach Sobiech. Diagnosed with the aggressive bone cancer osteosarcoma, Zach (played by Fin Argus) finds out that he has only months left to live. With the limited time that he has left, Zach and his best friend and writing partner Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter) decide to write and record the album they always wanted to. Unbeknown to them, the album and they themselves become a viral sensation and music becomes a way for Zach to say everything he needs to say — with the song ‘Clouds’.
10 Things I Hate About You
“I know you can be underwhelmed, and you can be overwhelmed, but can you ever just be, like, whelmed?” “I think you can be in Europe.” Who knew an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew would turn into one of the biggest hits of the 90s and remain iconic to this day? It’s hard to put into words just how impactful this movie is to basically every female in the world – introduction to Heath Ledger, the rise of the feminist heroine Kat who perfectly engulfed the riot grrrl era we so desperately needed, as well as a baby-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
10 Things I Hate About You is a teenage romance comedy, but it also so much more. The movie follows Gordon-Levitt as Cameron, the new student at Padua High School who quickly becomes infatuated with Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). However, Bianca’s overprotected father won’t allow her to date, at least until her shrewish older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) dates, who has no interest in the matter. Cameron teams up with another one of Bianca’s potential suitors to set up Kat with Patrick Verona (Ledger), the school’s bad boy who may be the only kid in the school to win Kat’s heart. Add in a soundtrack full of 90s tunes, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a movie night.
There is nothing you can say to me that will convince me that the Cars franchise isn’t the greatest animated series ever created. I’m sorry, it just is. (Cars 3 as an adult was one of the most emotional experiences of my life). If you’re unfamiliar or a bit fuzzy with the details, start at the first Cars, and work your way through (all three are available for streaming on Disney +). The first movie follows hotshot rookie car Lighting McQueen who is “faster than fast, quicker than quick” (nothing wrong with a bit of confidence) and determined to win the Piston Cup Championship in California to prove himself against the seasoned pros.
On his way to the race, McQueen’s big rig, Mack, falls asleep and as a result McQueen falls out, damaging a road in the sleepy town of Radiator Springs. As punishment, he is forced to fix the road before he can leave for the Cup – but his unwanted pit stop turns into a life lesson about the true meaning of family, love and friendship.
High School Musical: 2
All three HSM’s are available on Disney+, but there’s just something special about the second of the three films. It’s summer! School is out! They’re at the country club! Everyone is singing and dancing with pots and pans! Troy and his little basketball buddies are all carefree and loving life, working on their jump shot, finding love, and making burgers for $12 an hour. What more could you want (or expect) from a high school summer break? But as the summer progresses, relations are strained as Sharpay takes advantage of her parents’ wealth to manipulate Troy and tear him away from Chad and his one true love Gabriella. Troy must decide between his college future or remaining loyal to his Wildcats, and we can assure you it’s a bumpy ride. But at the end of the day, it’s Troy and Gabriella’s Hot Girl Summer, and I’m loving every crazed golf-course-prancing moment.
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There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at $8.99 per month, or prepay for a year at $89.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time.
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Back to Disney+ movies
The Parent Trap
#Justice4Meredith has been a popular trend as fans of iconic The Parent Trap re-watch the movie and begin to realise that the ‘villain’ was really just a 26-year-old boss business woman setting herself up for a fantastic life. That aside, it’s also one of the most watchable movies of all time. The Parent Trap stars Lindsay Lohan as Hallie and Annie, identical twins who were separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents – laidback Hallie lives in California with her Dad Nick (Dennis Quaid) and uptight and posh Annie lives in London with her mother Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson).
When the parents accidentally send both the girls to the same summer camp, they eventually uncover the truth and decide to swap lives in order to meet the parent they’ve never known. The twins hatch a plan to bring their parents back together so they can be a family, but they didn’t account for Meredith, the young and beautiful woman who is head of PR for Nick’s vineyard – who he also just happens to be engaged to.
Lee Unkrich (Toy Story, Monsters Inc., A Bug’s Life) created history with his Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ inspired animation movie Coco. Not only did it win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2017 and become the 15th highest-grossing animated film of all time, it was the first film with a nine-figure budget to feature an all-Latino principal cast and received roaring praise for its respect for Mexican culture.
The story follows 12-year-old Miguel who, despite his family’s mysterious ancestral ban of music, dreams of becoming a musician just like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. A mistake on the sacred ‘Day of the Dead’ by Miguel sees him teleported to the Land of the Dead, where he meets the deceased Hector, who promises to help him find Ernesto and discover the real reason behind his family’s secret ban on music. I simply cannot reveal any more if you want to be shocked and surprised alongside Miguel as he uncovers secret after secret.
No matter how many times you’ve seen the spectacular finale to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, tell me that your eyes didn’t well up at least a little bit when (in arguably the greatest scene in history) Steve Rogers successfully wielded Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, in the final battle scene (the time for being offended by spoilers is long gone). I saw this movie three times in the cinema, and yet, every time I gasped in surprise and then burst into tears. That alone should be reason enough for a re-watch (or, dare I say it, a first time viewing?).
If it’s not, how about this; Robert Downey Jr., the Chris’s and all the others are all in fine form as the Avengers battle out their greatest enemy Thanos, who successfully wiped out exactly half of the entire population five years prior. Basically, they’re back for revenge. There’s a lot of time travel, a lot of Chris Evans looking hot, and a lot of fighting. Oh, it’s also officially the highest grossing movie of all time.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Disney + is home to every Star Wars movie. So, when I say The Force Awakens is the best, I actually mean literally every film ever made in the franchise which, quite frankly, is far too long to list in this article — but never too long to binge. The Force Awakens (2015) is one of the more recent full length feature films available for streaming. (The Rise of Skywalker is expected to arrive after its current theatrical run.)
Set three decades after the defeat of Darth Vader and the ‘Empire’, a scavenger (Daisy Ridley) and ex-stormtrooper for the First Order, Finn (John Boyega), are forced to work together and with the Resistance to search for the long-lost Luke Skywalker. Considering there was 10 years between The Force Awakens and the last Star Wars release (Revenge of the Sith back in 2005), it’s always good to be back in a universe far, far away.
What movie should I watch on Disney+?
While there are plenty of movies to binge on Disney+, these 10 are some of the best (in my opinion) films currently available. But with a mix of Disney animated originals, live action remakes, as well as juggernaut franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, your next movie night is sorted no matter what you fancy.
Photo credit: Disney Australia