Editors' Picks: Streaming on Disney Plus

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 14 Jan 2022

Revisit a classic, or find a new favorite with our editors' picks of the best movies and TV shows streaming on Disney Plus.

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Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Ma Dong-seok, Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, and Lia McHugh in Eternals (2021)

Eternals | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Director Chloé Zhao segued from Nomadland to Eternals, adding new dimensions to her character-driven storytelling with stunning visual effects and large-scale action sequences. If you haven't had a chance to see Eternals on the big screen, head over to Disney Plus this month to see how Zhao introduces this immortal alien race (including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Gemma Chan) by shaking up the conventions of what a comic-book movie is supposed to be.

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Destin Daniel Cretton comes from the world of indie filmmakers who were called on to help usher in the next generation of Marvel superheroes, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the second film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Black Widow. "Kim's Convenience" star Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi, a peerless martial artist who has to confront his past when he is drawn into the Ten Rings, a terrorist organization run by the Mandarin. Fun fact: Shang-Chi and The Mandarin almost made their respective debuts in a post-credits scene from The Avengers.

Pedro Pascal, Temuera Morrison, and Brendan Wayne in The Mandalorian (2019)

"The Mandalorian" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

If you have Disney Plus, odds are you've already watched both seasons of "The Mandalorian." But if waiting for Season 3 is unbearable, the second season deserves a repeat viewing, especially after closing with three unforgettable episodes that had fans jumping on their couches with excitement.

Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, and Marie Mouroum in Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

If you didn't manage to catch Marvel's box office record-breaking Infinity War in theaters, you certainly heard about it from your friends who did. This one turned the "good guys prevail" predictability of the superhero genre on it's head with a truly shocking twist that you need to see for yourself. Even those with a tepid interest in MCU might find themselves shedding a tear.

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)

"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are back! This time around they're looking to fill the gap that Captain America left behind while navigating a complicated post-snap world. The duo leans hard into their snarky banter as they take on new threats, old foes, and debate the differences between wizards and sorcerers in six episodes that will leave you wanting more.

Jamie Foxx, Joe Gardner, and Atticus Ross in Soul (2020)

Soul | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

The very best Pixar films hold the mirror up to moviegoers and help them realize that what they're looking for in life has been right in front of them all along. And in that regard, this sweet and smart jazz riff of a movie, creatively coaxed by Pete Docter (Up and Inside Out) and Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami), is vintage stuff. Soul reminds us all that, in the effort to become who we are meant to be, the joy and the inspiration are in the struggle! Everyone, but especially artists, will appreciate Joe Gardner's (Jamie Foxx) journey, and Tina Fey fans will love her intelligent, precocious, and lovably bratty sidekick character named 22.

Dee Bradley Baker and Ashley Eckstein in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" presents the untold story of Anakin Skywalker's apprentice, Ahsoka Tano. The series revisits fan-favorite characters including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Mace Windu, and Darth Maul while revealing new perspectives on the Jedi order.

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Widespread production delays over the last two years made the wait for Black Widow's solo film particularly torturous, but at last our favorite super-spy got her due. Jumping back on the MCU timeline pre-Infinity War, fans got to witness ScarJo's Natasha Romanoff reunite with her adoptive parents, Alexei and Melina (David Harbour and Rachel Weisz), and sister Yelena (Florence Pugh) for some family-style superhero action, which raked in over $183 million at the domestic box office. We never really know if a Marvel character has met their true end, but we're satisfied with Black Widow's peak at #1 on MOVIEmeter as a proper sendoff.


"The Muppet Show" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Jim Henson's classic prime-time puppet variety show offers grownups a chance to relive some weird times of TV and offers some teachable moments for younger viewers, as Disney has smartly flagged certain episodes with offensive content warnings. If you're unsure, start by diving into the episodes featuring guest hosts Steve Martin, Rita Moreno, or Carol Burnett.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. in Hamilton (2020)

Hamilton | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

You could argue that watching Hamilton on the small screen is not exactly being in the room where it happened, but don’t throw away your shot to see Lin-Manuel, Leslie, Daveed, Renée, and the rest of the spectacular founding cast in the original Broadway production. The show provides a taste of the theater that we've desperately missed during the pandemic. Raise a glass!

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Surely every Disney Plus subscriber has seen Black Panther, but it's one of those MCU films that stands up to repeat viewings. Chadwick Boseman's iconic performance will endure for generations, but equally impressive is how director Ryan Coogler brings the real-world complexities of social justice to the superhero genre.

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman (2017)

The Greatest Showman | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Look, you're either the kind of person who is down to watch superstars turn their "circus" dials up to 11 or you're not (Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, and Zac Efron really give it their all). The Greatest Showman is so unrelentingly exuberant that even Michelle Williams is having a good time (well, mostly). Watching her smile this much in a film might be worth the cost of having the soundtrack permanently lodged in your brain.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision (2021)

"WandaVision" | | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

"WandaVision" sparked a heated debate over the binge vs. weekly release model, but now every episode is available for your viewing pleasure. If you watched the series each week, it’s a perfect time to go back and find Easter eggs in the earlier installments. If you haven’t seen a single episode, you’re in for a wickedly good binge. Fans of mysteries, superheroes, or just good-old-fashion love stories, this one’s for you.

While we don’t know yet if there will be a second season, fans can sleep easy knowing that producer Kevin Feige has teased that the series will connect directly into 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The story will continue!

Sebastian Stan in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

After more than a decade, there's plenty of room for debate over naming the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but you'd be hard-pressed to do much better than Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The movie planted a flag in the ground saying that "comic book movie" is not a genre; it's a starting point. The cool '70s spy-movie undercurrents in Winter Soldier make for a compelling and unique watch in a world of superhero films. We can't be blamed if this viewing kicks off a Disney Plus MCU marathon.

Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington in Avatar (2009)

Avatar | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Though it lost out to The Hurt Locker for Best Motion Picture at the 2010 Oscars, Avatar's innovative visual effects make it a memorable masterpiece. The motion-capture CGI may not look quite as cool without the theater experience, but today's at-home technology should do the blue beings of Pandora justice.

Kevin Kline and Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Many of Disney's live-action endeavors have done little more than remind us how untouchable the animated originals are, but this remake benefits from an all-star cast that makes it worthwhile. It's tough to imagine a more perfect Belle than Emma Watson, and the genius pairing of Luke Evans and Josh Gad as Gaston and LeFou is undeniably entertaining. Forgive the attempt to add new songs to the mix, and just savor the award-winning score.

Tom Hiddleston in Loki: Journey Into Mystery (2021)

"Loki" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

While Season 1 left us on a cliffhanger and unleashed the multiverse on the MCU, fans will have to wait to find out what implications this has for "Loki." While Marvel Studios is hard at work, the show is without a director (Season 1's Kate Herron is moving on to other projects) and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said recently that production on Season 2 may not begin until 2023.

Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

This uplifting movie sheds light on NASA mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson who calculated flight trajectories for historical NASA missions during the US-Russia space race. Set in the 60s, Hidden Figures pays tribute to the trailblazing black women who pursued their passion in Science and Math, while challenging societal narratives around racism, sexism and privilege.

Brian Herring, Dave Chapman, and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Whether you're a longtime Star Wars devotee or a newbie sampling the tales of a galaxy far, far away, The Force Awakens offers something new for everyone. Young Hollywood heavyweights Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver drive a stellar cast, and BB-8, the cutest droid that ever was, is sure to steal your heart.

Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Mindy Kaling in Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

If you’re in the mood for something that makes you feel all the feelings, this Pixar masterpiece is a solid bet, considering that the main characters are emotions themselves. Stars Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and more lend their voices to Joy, Fear, Disgust, and other niggling sensitivities residing within a young girl, Riley, as she navigates life in a new city and school. Adults don’t have to worry about boredom setting in thanks to the film’s hilarious, whip-smart commentary on the inner-workings of the human mind, including our casual tendency to confuse facts and opinions.

Chris Pratt and Tom Holland in Onward (2020)

Onward | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Apparently Pixar has spoiled everyone with the high bar they set for every film they release. So much so that when a movie comes out and it's only beautifully rendered and emotionally moving and heartfelt, it's not hailed as anything more than a "good Pixar film." Onward may not reach the same peaks that we've come to expect from the animation studio, but it should feel at home on this list where it belongs.

On Pointe (2020)

"On Pointe" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

You'll probably feel a combination of inspiration and underachievement as you watch these talented young artists dedicate every waking moment to perfect the dance that they love. But by the second episode you'll be on the edge of your seat rooting for everyone as you wait to find out who will make it into "The Nutcracker" cast at Lincoln Center.

Hayley Atwell in What If...? (2021)

"What If...?" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

What if Peggy Carter took the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, or if T'Challa left Earth as a child and became Star Lord instead of the Black Panther? Based on the comic of the same name, the Disney Plus animated series "What If...?" explores alternate takes on pivotal moments in the MCU. Jeffrey Wright stars as The Watcher, an extraterrestrial being who ties the anthology series together as he observes the multiverse in which these stories take place.

Idina Menzel in Frozen II (2019)

Frozen II | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Fear not, parents: Frozen II's soundtrack doesn't have any earworms with the staying power of "Let It Go" (a legitimate concern, for sure). And while the sequel doesn't quite match the magic of the original, it makes up for it with humor, dazzling animation, and a power ballad ("Lost in the Woods") that could have been a legit 1980s Peter Cetera banger.

Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal in Gravity Falls (2012)

"Gravity Falls" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

We took the advice of our 11-year-old neighbor and finally started watching "Gravity Falls," which is also one of the highest rated animated shows on the IMDb Top 250 for TV. As we near the end of season one and hoping the show gets even more supernatural over the next four seasons, we're dodging an archive of spoilers and fan theories, and realizing that Mabel Pines and her twin brother Dipper might rival "Rick and Morty" as our go-to adventure-seeking duo.

Tom Hanks and Tony Hale in Toy Story 4 (2019)

Toy Story 4 | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

With comedy veteran Tony Hale as Forky in the mix, the gang of toys has expanded! A newer addition to the streaming platform, Toy Story 4 sets the toys on a road trip where they meet old and new friends, with Tim Allen and Tom Hanks voices pulling us back in time.

Hugh Jackman in X2: X-Men United (2003)

X2: X-Men United | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

While we don't love everything that happened in the mutant timeline since X2, the superhero sequel remains one of our favorite comic-book movies, and a reminder that the X-Men established the genre as a big-screen commercial and critical success five years before the Avengers began to assemble.

Eva Gabor, Jim Jordan, and Bob Newhart in The Rescuers (1977)

The Rescuers | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

If your kids haven't seen this treasured late '70s animated adventure, pitch them on the idea of watching two mice climb into a sardine can strapped to the back of an albatross in order to save a young orphan girl, and I bet you spend approximately zero minutes deciding on your next family movie.

Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000)

Remember the Titans | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Years before "Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose" became the go-to sideline mantra, we had "Left side, strong side." This feel-good football flick stars Denzel Washington as Herman Boone, the legendary coach of Virginia's T.C. Williams High School football team, who guided his players through a high-tension period of racial integration on and off the field. Keep an eye out for appearances from then up-and-coming stars Ryan Gosling, Kate Bosworth and, an adorably feisty Hayden Panettiere.

Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Justin Bartha, and Diane Kruger in National Treasure (2004)

National Treasure | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

With a third installment in the National Treasure franchise on its way, plus a TV series in development at Disney Plus, it’s a great time to revisit the successful 2004 original, which chronicles the adventures of treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates. Played by Nicolas Cage, Gates sets out in pursuit of an ages-old artifact, but the map he needs just so happens to be located on the back of the Declaration of Independence, providing a fun, albeit far-fetched, jumping-off point for this action flick. It gives us modern-day Indiana Jones vibes and is sure to renew curiosity about what exactly Gates saw in the Book of Secrets at the end of the second movie.

Brandon Quintin Adams, J.D. Daniels, Matt Doherty, M.C. Gainey, Marguerite Moreau, Jane Plank, and Jussie Smollett in The Mighty Ducks (1992)

The Mighty Ducks | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Revisit Minnesota's scrappiest youth hockey league as Coach Bombay preps for a return to the ice in the revival series "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" with Lauren Graham and, to be sure, some OG Duck cameos — we're looking at you, Pacey.

John Goodman and David Spade in The Emperor's New Groove (2000)

The Emperor's New Groove | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

David Spade, Eartha Kitt, and John Goodman walked into a recording studio ... Disney assembled their most out-there voice cast for this story of a self-centered Incan emperor who is turned into a llama by his jealous advisor. For us, Mother Eartha's performance as Yzma, the advisor to Spade's Emperor Kuzco, is the main reason to rewatch this emperor get his groove back. Plus, the story's screwball comedy is rather underrated. And if you didn't catch the direct-to-DVD (remember those?) sequels, Yzma turns herself into a rabbit and almost pecked to bits by baby birds ... before transforming herself ... into a snake. Someone please tell us that an Yzma revival series is being pitched at Disney+.

Robby Benson and Paige O'Hara in Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Almost 30 years later, this Disney classic tells the story of unlikely friendships formed between strangers while trapped inside of a castle. Beauty and the Beast, which won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Song, will have you laughing at Lumiere and Cogsworth's banter and dancing in your living room to a "Tale as Old as Time."

Drew Barrymore in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

Ever After: A Cinderella Story | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

The classic Cinderella story gets the historical fiction treatment in this family-friendly romance, set in Renaissance-era France. The tale kicks off when the Brothers Grimm themselves arrive at the home of a wealthy Grande Dame who speaks of the many legends surrounding the fable of the cinder girl (Drew Barrymore). The enchanting “true” story unfolds, complete with a handsome prince, evil stepmother (Anjelica Huston), masquerade ball, and a few cameos by Leonardo da Vinci.

Rick Moranis and Marcia Strassman in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Let's usher in the return of Rick Moranis by going back to the beginning of this whole kids-shrinking incident. After a 20-year break from acting, Moranis is set to reprise his role as scientist Wayne Szalinski in Shrunk alongside Josh Gad. No word yet on when to expect that release, but it's still a fine time to jump back into that big bowl of Cheerios and watch Szalinski try to find a cure for his late '80s epic fail.

Grace VanderWaal in Stargirl (2020)

Stargirl | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Based on the New York Times bestseller by Jerry Spinelli and not to be mistaken with the DC Universe superhero series, if you (or your tween) are looking for an upbeat YA high school drama that celebrates self-expression, has plenty of musical numbers, and stars a quirky main character whose not afraid to bust out a song or two on the ukulele, then you should definitely give this charming film a try.

Fairuza Balk, Brian Henson, John Alexander, Justin Case, Lyle Conway, Stewart Harvey-Wilson, Stephen Norrington, and Deep Roy in Return to Oz (1985)

Return to Oz | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

The Mouse House isn't just streaming fairy tales and superheroes, and this follow-up to The Wizard of Oz may be best suited for the older kids or nostalgic adults of the family. Loosely based on the original books by L. Frank Baum and starring a young Fairuza Balk as Dorothy, Return to Oz is notably dark. It may not satisfy all tastes, but it's a remarkably bizarre (even horrifying) curiosity piece of the '80s.

Ben Stiller, Cody Burger, Allen Covert, David Goldman, Patrick LaBrecque, Joseph Wayne Miller, Aaron Schwartz, Kenan Thompson, and Shaun Weiss in Heavyweights (1995)

Heavyweights | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

This movie is one of comedy king Judd Apatow's early works, and it’s an oft-forgotten gem. The scene is set at Camp Hope, a camp for overweight boys, which has been newly overtaken by Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller), the fanatical face of a merciless weight-loss program. Prepare for some seriously rude jokes, but if you thought Stiller was hilariously unhinged in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Life Below Zero (2013)

"Life Below Zero" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

As part of the National Geographic collection on Disney Plus, "Life Below Zero" provides a dose of harsh reality as it follows the lives of Alaska residents braving the elements, wildlife, and fellow humans in a daily struggle for survival. Elsa never had it this rough.

Rickey D'Shon Collins, Jason Davis, Ashley Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Courtland Mead, and Pamela Adlon in Recess (1997)

"Recess" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Recently, while professing our love for all things "Better Things" and Pamela Adlon, we were caught unaware that she voiced Spinelli in "Recess," a lesser-known Disney series where the playground at Third Street Elementary operates as its own student-government-run society. How do we describe the show? Well, it is just so tender (you'll understand that if you start to watch). With all the animated revivals happening — and the fact that four TV follow-up movies were made after "Recess" was over — we wouldn't be surprised if we catch up with T.J. and his pals as they enter sixth grade.

Maximilian Schell in The Black Hole (1979)

The Black Hole | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

Disney’s campy take on 2001: A Space Odyssey comes complete with Robert Forster and Anthony Perkins as two of its crew members, some nefarious AI (one with a southern accent?), and a surreal space-trip third act. Some of the action set pieces hold up well, while some will have everyone in the family laughing along.

Alex Honnold in Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

This Oscar-winning documentary will bring you right up to the edge of El Capitan and your seat with its sweeping views of Yosemite National Park. Directed by husband and wife duo, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, Free Solo provides a nuanced view on professional athlete Alex Hannold's grit, passion, and love for climbing the impossible.

Alex Borstein, Hilary Duff, and Adam Lamberg in The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)

The Lizzie McGuire Movie | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

The popularity of mid-2000s Disney Channel show "Lizzie McGuire" led to this feature-length film, which takes Lizzie, Gordo, Ethan, and Kate on an adventure through the streets of Rome. A nostalgic favorite for us, we're still here for the movie's soundtrack with classics like "The Tide is High," "What Dreams Are Made of" and "Why Not."

Jeff Goldblum in The World According to Jeff Goldblum (2019)

"The World According to Jeff Goldblum" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

There is so much joy in this show. And Goldblum. There's a lot of Jeff Goldblum in this show. If you're a fan of his off-kilter comedic presence, this is a series worth watching. Each episode has Goldblum learning about a unique part of our everyday lives from, tattoos to the joy of ice cream. What makes it even better is the earnest enthusiasm with which Goldblum meets all his experts. You get a sense that he loves learning about everything as much as we do as viewers.

Marvel 616 (2020)

"Marvel 616" | Available to Stream on Disney Plus

"Marvel 616" is an eight-episode look into aspects of the Marvel Universe that you might not be familiar with, but should definitely check out if you are looking for a deep dive. The series explores everything from cosplayers and the trailblazing women of Marvel Comics to the origins of the Japanese Spider-Man and the artists who create the action figures we love. You're guaranteed to learn something new.

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