If you haven’t already heard, there’s a new streaming service in town – Disney Plus. I know, I know, who needs another streaming service? Right up until Disney Plus launched a week ago I didn’t think I did. Then I saw a free trial was available and figured I would at least watch the first couple of episodes of The Mandalorian for free. That’s when I started looking at the catalogue of movies and series D+ had to offer. It isn’t full of the thousands upon thousands of titles Netflix or Hulu offer but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. So, for anyone still sitting on the fence about whether Disney Plus is worth $6.99 a month ($12.99 bundled with Hulu and ESPN+), here are 10 movies worth the monthly subscription to Disney Plus.
Every time my computer glitches or the blue screen of death comes up, I imagine it is caused by a Light Cycle crash or the Master Control Program locking things down. The updated graphics of Tron: Legacy may look better, but way back in ‘82 I couldn’t get enough of Tron. If only we had a little Bruce Boxlienter protecting the inside of our PCs, hackers would never have a chance.
Right now you are probably thinking I’m not right in the head. A cartoon version of Robin Hood is worth a subscription to Disney Plus? Yes. Yes it is. Say what you will, the choice of each animal for the part they play along with superb voice acting to fill out each character’s persona make this the best Robin Hood rendition you can find on film.
Disney Plus has a wealth of inspirational sports movies to choose from, but most of the good ones revolve around baseball, football, or hockey. Instead of picking a sports movie from one of the normal arenas I am wagering Secretariat will win its way into your heart. We already know the outcome (spoiler, he wins it all), but you’ll still be rooting for this majestic thoroughbred all the way to the finish line three times. The real story here isn’t about just the horse, but also the lives of the people around it. For any of you who feel the need to stand up and scream “Mary Sue!” any time a strong woman comes on screen, sit your ass down, shut your mouth, and learn why women can be badasses too.
X-Men Animated Series
This, like Star Wars, is another example of where all the Marvel films of the last decade seem like the main draw, only to be overshadowed by one of the animated gems. This time I’m talking about the X-Men series that ran from 1992-1996. While the masterminds try to figure out how to fit the X-Men into the MCU after the merger of Disney and Fox you can watch a classic series that fills a void that Fox never could – good X-Men content.
Ultra HD and HDR
OK, so this isn’t actually a movie, but the tech still deserves a spot on this list. Many of us already have 4k TVs and if you don’t you’re probably eyeing all of those great Black Friday deals wondering if it’s time to make the leap. A 4k TV isn’t much good if you don’t have anything to watch on it, so it’s good to know Disney Plus has you covered. Not only can you get many of the newest titles in Ultra HD with HDR, but many of their older gems are available in UHD as well. For those lucky enough to have the top of the top-end equipment, Disney Plus also delivers Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision on many of the titles. If you’re wondering if your favorites are in 4k, you can find a complete list of titles available here.
This list could simply be filled by listing ten Pixar movies, but where’s the fun in that? Nemo, Cars, Toy Story, Incredibles, Wall-E, Monsters Inc, Brave, Ratatouille, A Bugs Life, Up. See, easy peasy, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I will highlight a movie that almost slipped by my household unnoticed – Coco. Featuring an all-Latino cast, Coco used a story centered around the Day of the Dead to introduce my daughter and I to a culture which we had little knowledge of. It was a great experience every dad should have with their daughter.
If you’ve ever been in an automobile accident where one of the drivers says, “I never even saw them,” and couldn’t understand how, then Brain Games is the series for you. Brain Games is full of games and experiments that explore how that muscle between your ears tries to take the information overload that your senses feed it and process it into something useful. If you think your video games are full of bugs, just wait until Brain Games shows just how screwed up your brain is.
I saw the first Star Wars movie at a drive-in when I was 6, so I have been a fan of the franchise right from the start. Of course Disney Plus has almost all of the Star Wars movies, but it goes deeper than that. There are two series that should give you the top bang for your buck. The animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series rises out of the ashes of the prequels and does justice to that era of the Star Wars timeline. And after just two episodes of The Mandalorian, I have already set aside my Friday nights for the next couple of months to watch the rest of the first season.
Long before Hanna Montana and High School Musical, Disney was pumping out awesome musicals. Among them all, Mary Poppins is easily the best. With a load of tender loving care spiked with a little bit of tough love Julie Andrews is able to not only able to get the two children under her care to take their medicine but is able to show their way too uptight father that there’s more to life than making money. If you don’t think Mary Poppins is worthy of this list, just remember that Yondu thinks she’s cool – I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!
Star Wars may have lightsabers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of all kinds of superpowers, but neither can compare to the beauty of Avatar. Only recently dethroned as the highest-grossing movie of all time, Avatar never seems to get the love it deserves. Relegated to an “Oh yeah, that was a great movie” footnote during any sci-fi conversation, it’s time to put away the superheroes and lightsabers, throw a bag of popcorn into the microwave, and enjoy a psychedelic light show only Avatar can deliver.