You know Disney. You love Disney. You grew up with Disney. But it hasn’t abandoned you now that you’re a full-grown adult. One year and over 60 million subscribers later, the Disney+ streaming app is proving to be steep competition for vets like Netflix and Hulu. There’s lots to watch from classic movies to compelling series. Check out some of our favorites, and scroll through the app yourself. You’ll be amazed.
A Huge Streamable Library
Of course, you can find Disney originals. Disney+ also offers you a collection of nearly 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes from some of the largest film studios, including Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic. They have four of the five highest-grossing films of all time in Avengers: Endgame, Avatar, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Avengers: Infinity War, according to Business Insider. And, the Disney+ platform is home to one of the biggest streaming stories of the year–Hamilton.
The Disney collection offers nearly eight decades of film history, including cartoon classics of old like Fantasia and Cinderella to more recent remakes like Aladdin and The Jungle Book.
Over the last decade or so, Disney has been busy transforming many of its popular animated films into live-action adaptations that typically skew more mature in tone. Here are some noteworthy pairings from the arsenal:
Mulan (1998 and 2020)
This year, the live-action adventure made headlines for skipping U.S. theaters in favor of an exclusive debut on Disney+. We recently broke down the differences between the animated and live-action Mulan, along with details on its $30 Premier Access fee.
Alice in Wonderland (1951 and 2010) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
The original has long been viewed as a bit psychedelic, so translating that into a dark fantasy adventure film seemed a natural fit. Add the cinematic stylings of Tim Burton, quirky acting by Johnny Depp, and some overall “muchness,” and you have a box-office hit so successful they made a sequel.
Sleeping Beauty (1959), Maleficent (2014), and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
Starring Angelina Jolie, Maleficent shifts the point of view from the original Sleeping Beauty over to the plot’s ‘evil fairy.’ This fantasy tale of a forest kingdom at risk of human ruin is darker, edgier, and more mature–and we’re not just talking about Angelina’s wardrobe.
101 Dalmatians (1961 and 1996) and Cruella (2021)
The original animation and live-action remake will soon be accompanied by a third adaptation. Emma Stone is expected to play a younger version of our fur-loving villain in a live-action prequel set for May 2021.
Throughout the years, animated greats like the Toy Story series, Finding Nemo, Coco, and The Incredibles have proven to be as enjoyable for adults as much as kids. Plus, they tend to throw in a few innuendos, leaving more mature viewers smirking.
Skipping the theaters and releasing straight to Disney+ is Soul. This new Pixar film stars Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and is expected to release on Christmas Day. There won’t be any additional fee to check it out.
The entire Star Wars saga is here. This includes the original trilogy, the three subsequent prequels, the current blockbusters, and the standalone spinoffs, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Solo.
The library also encompasses animated spinoffs like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Resistance, and a Lego Star Wars collection. The animated spinoff series is expected to continue with a just-announced Lego recreation of the infamously campy 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
Seems like the streaming app used the Force to conjure up quality content like the Emmy-winning drama The Mandalorian, which is back for a second season. Coming soon to the Star Wars franchise, Ewan McGregor is expected to lead a currently untitled series focusing on the iconic Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Marvel fans, this one is for you. Nearly every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is represented in the Disney+ archives. The app even lays out options on how to binge the Marvel movies and in what order–very helpful guidance to have when attempting to tackle 23 movies and nearly 3,000 minutes of action-packed screenplay.
If you’ve been patiently awaiting your next superhero fix, Disney+ will soon be releasing the following series borne from the Marvel Universe:
- WandaVision: The drama/comedy/sitcom/action-hybrid touches down in December 2020.
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) take the lead in this action/drama hoping for an early 2021 release.
- Loki: An epic tale of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki when the fan-favorite character was still up to no good.
- What-If: An animated anthology of sorts where key events in Marvel history play out differently based on circumstances changing.
- The Rest: Other notable characters getting their own spinoffs: Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.
Exposing the deepest pockets of the ocean to the unchartered corners of space, Nat Geo programming captivates on both an educational and adventurous level. Explore the world from the safety of your couch with over 400 hours of content, including Free Solo, Science Fair, and Mars: Inside SpaceX. The following notable series have more recently been released to Disney+:
- The Right Stuff: A retelling of the early days of the U.S. space race, this eight-hour scripted drama spotlights the men of the Mercury 7 space program.
- The Real Right Stuff: A companion piece to the scripted series, this is a documentary of the same story.
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum: In each episode Goldblum selects a consumer item and explores its science and history, helping us all see life a little differently.
Boasting an expansive library of classic and modern fan favorites, Disney+ proves it’s more than an entertainment hub for kids–it’s a streaming goldmine for adults, too. And the affordable $6.99 monthly cost (plus applicable taxes, fees, and/or surcharges) in comparison to competitors’ $12-$15 is a nice bonus. So, what will you watch first–an original series, cartoon classic, or superhero blockbuster?