The best Disney Plus movies available in Australia
Disney Plus is gathering all your favourite franchises in one place. Here are the best movies you can stream in 2020.
Disney owns everything, from Star Wars to Marvel to The Simpsons to pretty much your entire childhood. On November 19, when Disney Plus launches in Australia, the House of the Mouse will own your streaming dollars as well. Here are 15 great movies to continue your journey with Disney Plus. And if you missed it, check out what was new to Disney Plus in December.
15. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
In the surprisingly crowded based-on-a-Disneyland attraction genre, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie leaves the competition in its wake. Sorry Tomorrowland and The Haunted Mansion, it’s true.
Johnny Depp plays a wobbly, drunken buffoon of a pirate that largely carries the film, while Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley provide the forbidden love angle. It’s a gorgeous but shallow, simple but rollicking adventure, that goes down easily when you want to switch your brain off.
14. 10 Things I Hate About You
If anything screams 2000s sleepover cult classic, it’s 10 Things I Hate About You. Who can resist another glimpse of a young Heath Ledger in this classic coming-of-age drama? Yes technically it was released in 1999, but if you’re anything like me, we had this on replay throughout the noughties — and we’re not about to stop now.
The beloved flick was sorely missed from the Disney Plus launch library, but finally got rolled out on 19 December 2019. So bring out the popcorn already, and maybe a glass of wine (or two).
For those who still shudder just thinking about the flop that was Dark Phoenix (sorry Sansa, we recognised you), you can now relive your favourite X-Men moments with 8 X-Men titles spanning X-Men (2000) all the way to X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) on Disney Plus since 20 December.
Before Jennifer Lawrence and Mystique became synonymous for fans of X-Men’s soft franchise reboot that began with X-Men: First Class, true X-Men fans grew up with Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen’s Magneto.
If you miss the old Professor Xavier like I do, you can now binge-watch all the old X-Men movies in all their glory on Disney Plus. Plus, you can even indulge in some extra Hugh Jackman time with two solo Wolverine flicks also available (you won’t find the R-rated Logan though).
12. Beauty and the Beast
Best Disney Princess movie
You can watch both the 1991 Beauty and the Beast animated movie and the recent live-action remake on Disney Plus. For all the gorgeous lushness and grandeur of the Emma Watson remake, nothing beats the beauty of the timeless original.
The combined musical genius of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken make the 1991 Beauty and the Beast a golden classic that never gets old. While down-to-earth Belle may not be everyone’s favourite Disney Princess (I’m still somewhat torn between Ariel, Belle and Mulan), just listen to the opening number and you’ll be watching impatiently for the on-screen appearances of Lumiere, Chip and Mrs Pott in no time.
11. Avengers: Endgame
Best Marvel Movie on Disney Plus
The most anticipated movie of 2019 and allegedly the highest grossing box office film of all time, Avengers: Endgame concludes the Infinity War series with this epic finale in just over 3 hours.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or have some serious resistance to FOMO, you’ve probably already watched Endgame at least once since its release. But who can get enough of the MCU right?
Along with Endgame, you wouldn’t be the only one splurging on an Avengers movie marathon with the 4 preceding Avengers movies (as well as the 3 Captain America movies) also available on Disney Plus. So go ahead, we’re sure that Endgame will surely be worth another round of your screen time.
10. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
The best Star Wars movie on Disney Plus
You’ve no doubt seen Empire countless times before. Hoth. Yoda. “I am your father”. An extremely questionable kiss between siblings. But you’ve never seen it like this. One of the unexpected perks of Disney Plus is having the entire original Star Wars trilogy in 4K resolution with vibrant HDR colour for the first time ever. Lightsabers glow with new brilliance, perfect for lore nerds that want to pore over every tiny detail in newly-lit background sets. I’d pay $9 a month just for these.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy
Under the questionable leadership of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), the adopted daughter of a tyrant, a raccoon, a tree, and a green wrestler that doesn’t understand metaphors need to band together to recover one of those pesky Infinity Stones. It’s colourful, exciting, and genuinely funny.
8. Home Alone
The best Christmas flick on Disney Plus
Nothing says “family-friendly entertainment” like the violent disfigurement of two home invaders, abandoned children, gross parental negligence, and the creepiest Christmas music (courtesy of John Williams) ever composed. And yet, despite the horror on paper, Home Alone remains a Christmas classic, thanks in no small part to Macaulay Culkin’s charming portrayal of Kevin McCallister and John Hughes’ ability to capture the world as it appears to the young of heart. Joe Pesci’s rare comedic turn as one of the bungling burglars is the icing on the cake.
7. Free Solo
The best documentary on Disney Plus
This Oscar-winning documentary takes a vertigo-inducing look at Alex Honnold, one of the world’s greatest free solo climbers (for the uninitiated that’s climbing sans rope), as he attempts to scale Yosemite’s infamous El Capitan, a sheer granite face nearly a kilometre straight up. “Everyone who has made free soloing a big part of their life is dead now,” says Tommy Caldwell, one of Honnold’s climbing buddies. This is a tale about the remarkable humans amongst us, and what drives them to reach these, er, heights.
Before Avengers: Endgame took the box office crown, James Cameron’s Avatar was in top spot for over a decade. It’s been awhile since Avatar’s 2009 release, yet we’re still all waiting on tender hooks for Avatar 2 (its December 2021 release is finally confirmed, thank god) — plus another 3, yes you read that right, planned sequels.
If you want a refresher to get the hype starting a little early before the long-awaited Avatar 2 rolls out, you know what to watch.
5. The Lion King
Best Disney classic
With Disney’s strange, comedically flat 2019 “live-action” reboot still fresh, there’s no better time to go back to one of the best animated movies from Disney’s Renaissance period. Take all the realistic fur you want – nothing compares to the charm of the original hand-drawn animation and the catchiness of the original soundtrack.
The 2019 version may have the star power of Beyoncé and Donald Glover, but our 90s hearts will forever belong to JTT, Rowan Atkinson and Jeremy Irons.
4. Mary Poppins
Best timeless classic
Julie Andrew’s quintessential nanny never loses her heartwarming charm. Before you can finish saying supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Mary Poppins will have you singing along with her to “A Spoonful of Sugar”.
Even better, you can watch another generation of children (and parents) fall under the perfect nanny’s spell with the follow-up Mary Poppins Returns. And if the sequel leaves you wishing there had been a Julie Andrews cameo, you can catch her starring in The Sound of Music. If that’s not enough, check out Saving Mr Banks, the story behind the many challenges Walt Disney faced before Mary Poppins made it to the big screen.
3. Toy Story 3
Best Pixar movie on Disney Plus
In case you’d somehow forgotten, Disney owns Pixar as well. Unfortunately, a bunch of the studio’s best work – the tearjerkers Up and Coco, and the superheroics of The Incredibles 2 – are missing from the launch-day line-up. Until they return home, Toy Story 3 is hard to beat.
As Andy heads off to college, Buzz, Woody and co. attempt to make a new life for themselves at the Sunnyside Day Care Centre. But under the tyrannical rule of Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear, their seemingly idyllic second lease on life turns into a nightmare. Few films about talking toys touch on the tragedy of the human condition and the inevitable passage of time with this much poignancy.
2. The Muppets
Rebooting The Muppets for modern audiences that have little attachment to the source material was always going to be a tough task, but Disney nailed it. The secret to the success of the 2011 spin on Jim Henson’s wackiest menagerie lies in a few key hires.
Amy Adams is charming as always and Jason Segel is hilarious in the lead human role, but it’s Flight of the Conchords’ Bret Mckenzie’s work as musical supervisor that elevates this to classic status. His tune, “Man or Muppet”, the film’s emotional core, won him an Oscar for best Original Song. It’s not quite the Rainbow Connection for a new generation, but it’s close.
Like The Lion King, Aladdin recently suffered the indignity of a modern retelling; an unnecessary coat of paint given just how well the original still holds up. A classic tale of forbidden love across class bounds and, you know, flying carpets, Aladdin features arguably the best overall soundtrack of the classic Disney musicals. Taking place in Agrabah, a “mystical land of magic and sand”, the romance between “street rat” Aladdin and Princess Jasmine drives the plot forward. But it’s the all-time legendary performance by the late, great Robin Williams as the Genie that propels it to its giddy heights.
If you just can’t get enough of Disney Plus.
Disney Plus finally dropped the first four films in the Ice Age movie series on January 1, so it’s time to get cosy on the couch with some hot cocoa. The latest installment in the Ice Age series, Ice Age: Collision Course, will be released in mid January, so it really isn’t long now before you can binge-watch the entire Ice Age series on Disney Plus.
If you simply don’t have any better reason to watch Ice Age, hit play so you can at least check out the baby in Ice Age (you decide yourself whether he’ll grow up to be Adam Driver).
High School Musical
The entire season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is already all on Disney Plus, but if you just want to see a 19-year old Zac Efron again, you can watch the original three-part movie series too. You’ll be singing along with Troy and Gabriella in no time.
Better yet, Jonas Brother and Demi Lovato fans will surely get a laugh out of Camp Rock, another good old 2000s Disney Channel Original movie series that stars these ex-Disney stars.
Got the speed to stream?
If your internet connection is struggling to keep up with Disney Plus, these NBN 50 plans should get you by.