Disney Plus has come a long way since its launch three years ago. In addition to serving as home to the company’s large back catalog of classic movies, the service has become a de facto streaming destination for the company’s biggest franchises and studios. Between Disney animation, DCOMs, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and 20th Century Studios, there’s something for everyone—and if there isn’t, there will be soon enough.
We’ve plumbed the depths of Disney Plus’ library like Scrooge McDuck leaping from a diving board into a pool of questionably-earned riches, and we’ve pulled together a list of the best movies you can watch on the service. Here are the best movies to watch on Disney Plus this month.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Atlantis: The Lost Empire Disney was supposed to change the face of animation, but it quietly disappeared. Following Milo Thatch, a plucky academic who dedicates his life to finding the lost city of Atlantis, Atlantis: The Lost Empire A riveting adventure with a fun and colorful cast. It’s action-packed with plenty of humor and heart that operates by the Law of Cool with its lumbering steampunk/dieselpunk aesthetic and gorgeously rendered ancient civilization. This hidden gem mesmerized generations of kids who grew up watching home videos, and now it’s on Disney Plus. -Petrana Radulovic
Polygon has gone on record as saying how this Cinderella (colloquially known as Brandy’s Cinderella) is the most Cinderella of all the Cinderella movies out there. It’s a lot of fun — the set design is gorgeous and colorful, the perfect mix of stage sensibilities for the TV screen. The costumes are equally amazing. Cinderella and the prince share a special and truly romantic relationship. Jason Alexander plays a brilliantly hilarious wallet. And the songs are infectious, especially with Brandy, Whitney Houston, and Bernadette Peters commanding the cast. – PR
Fantasy movies are notorious for taking big, grand creative risks that never really pay off financially for Disney. But financial legacy be damned, Fantasy 2000 A spectacular celebration of animation and music. Each of the shorts follows a different piece of classical music, telling a unique story in a variation of animation styles — sometimes deviating from what one might expect. For example, Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” has become the story of a flying whale, and the bachelor classic “Pomp and Circumstance” now has Donald Duck as Noah herding animals on a ship. But even stories that subvert expectations, like a beautiful take on George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” are evocative and memorable. – PR
Free Singles, winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary, is definitely a movie about scaling El Capitan without a rope in Yosemite National Park. But it is also a movie about love and passion. Scenes of Alex Honnold’s main subject, climbing a mountain to stop him from falling, are both sinister and beautiful. And the movie cares a lot about the quieter parts of climbing. We see that Honnold carefully plans every step and handhold he uses on his climb—a move is not a guess. But the documentary’s real brilliance comes in the way it handles Honnold as a person, and questions what drives someone to pursue a passion that can kill someone. –Austin Goslin
the holes One of the best book-to-film adaptations out there. This off-kilter movie follows a young teenager named Stanley who is falsely accused of a crime and serves his sentence in a work camp, where he and the rest of the criminals dig holes in the Texas desert. At first it’s just silly, but soon Stanley realizes that there’s a reason the domineering warden is making them dig all these holes. Like the book, the movie weaves in several stories, following a few different time periods, and when they all come together in the end, it’s just satisfying. A young Shia LaBeouf leads the cast, which also includes Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette, Eartha Kitt, and Duley Hill. – PR
Lilo and Stitch
One of the weirdest little movies ever made by Disney Animation, Lilo and Stitch There is a miracle. It’s about an alien who befriends a little girl in Hawaii, but it’s also about two sisters grieving when their parents and outsiders come together. It’s gorgeously animated and just the right amount of weird and heartwarming. And the music is phenomenal! With Stitch being as popular a character as he is, it’s easy to forget how offbeat and awesome this movie is. Lilo and Stitch Still a gem. – PR
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Well, look, we’ve had Captain Jack Sparrow grab audiences’ attention since the Pirates of the Caribbean movies first came out, but the real gem here is Elizabeth Swann. Jack’s swagger is funny, but Elizabeth drives the heart of the movies and at the end of the day, they serve as a future story for one, big, pirate-zombie, seafaring, governor’s daughter. The main trilogy, which focuses on Elizabeth and the fictional Will Turner, is stronger than the Jack-centric spinoffs for this reason. And the first movie, which hooks us into this idyllic world and its grand myths, is the strongest of them all. – PR
The princess bride
The princess bride It has it all — swashbucklers, epic adventure, incredibly quotable humor, Cary Elwes, and a beautiful romance that ties it all together. It’s a fairy-tale fantasy that plays with familiar tropes and breathes new life into them. The amount of pop culture references and quotes spawned from this movie is frankly unfathomable. witty, funny, and deeply romantic, The princess bride is a fun fantasy romp featuring a grandfather reading a bedtime story to his granddaughter with a very sweet framing device, which preserves the story of the William Goldman book a little better than a straight adaptation. – PR
Andrew Stanton’s science fiction Odyssey, set in the year 2185, is a triptych of disparate narratives strung together with realizations. There’s the dystopian story of a worker bot managing a veiled, desolate world that could easily stand alone briefly; There is a love story of two robots, a pure mix of Asimov and Disney; And there’s the rescue mission, a galactic journey that helps WALL-E rendezvous with a HAL 9000-like AI on the Axiom mothership. Our li’l robot friend, brought to life through the beeps and boops of Star Wars sound designer Ben Burt, leaps into each story with a bespectacled eye. So do we.
beautiful and strange, WALL-E Stanton is a love letter to everything he misses about Earth (Hello, Dolly! chief among them) and an impassioned plea to us Slovenian earthlings to do what we can to save it before it’s too late. We’ll see if humanity can get its act together, but even if we’re intent on destroying the planet and floating the rest of our days in rocket-powered shopping malls in hover chairs, we’ll always have WALL-. E and EVE dancing among the stars, an ode to the beauty of a time. Like Pixar’s ongoing mission, WALL-E Conjures romantic truth. –Matte patches