Editors' Picks: Streaming on Disney Plus

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 1 month ago

Revisit a classic, or find a new favorite with our editors' picks for streaming on Disney+

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Shia LaBeouf and Khleo Thomas in Holes (2003)


We'd kinda love it if Shia LaBeouf would orchestrate a performance art piece where he reinserted himself in this adventure story that tests the limits of its PG rating in admirable ways. Better said, if there were ever a sequel to Holes, we'd hope that LaBeouf would return to mentor a fresh batch of misunderstood kids.

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

The Emperor's New Groove

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+.

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

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

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 will reprise his role as scientist Wayne Szalinski in Shrunk alongside Josh Gad, so it's 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.

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

Inside Out

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 | Premieres Friday, April 3

If you didn't get a chance to catch Onward in theaters, the latest Pixar film is getting an early streaming release, premiering on Friday, April 3, on Disney+. Definitely one for the entire family to enjoy, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt star as two elven brothers who embark on a quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father.

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

Toy Story 4

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.

Grace VanderWaal in Stargirl (2020)


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 and Justin Case in Return to Oz (1985)

Return to Oz

The Mouse House isn't just streaming fairy tales and superheroes, and this follow-up of The Wizard of Oz may be more 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.

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

Beauty and The Beast

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, winner of two Academy Awards, will have you laugh at Lumiere and Cogsworth's banter and dancing in your living room to a "Tale as Old as Time."

Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000)

Remember the Titans

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.

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


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"

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

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

National Treasure

With a third installment in the National Treasure franchise on its way to Disney+ in April, 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.

Recess (1997)


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.

Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal in Gravity Falls (2012)

"Gravity Falls"

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.

Maximilian Schell in The Black Hole (1979)

The Black Hole

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.

Idina Menzel in Frozen II (2019)

Frozen II

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.

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

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars"

Some of us used to be pretty hardcore Star Wars fans, until adulthood sapped our ability to stay on top of the ever-expanding universe of animated series, comics, video games, and other media. But with the films and shows now being consolidated in the Disney+ streaming offering, it's the perfect time for lapsed superfans to catch up. Obvious first stop: "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," which will be exciting to watch given the news that Ahsoka Tano will be played by Rosario Dawson in Season 2 of "The Mandalorian."

Alex Honnold in Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo

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

The mid-2000s Disney Channel show turned movie, The Lizzie McGuire Movie took 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." Now let's just hope we still get that revival.

The Mandalorian (2019)

"The Mandalorian"

If you have Disney+, the odds are you've already watched "The Mandalorian." If not, now is the perfect time for a binge. The show delivers on the scrappy western-style sci-fi of the original Star Wars while embracing the technology of modern filmmaking. Plus, it created a creature so cute that even the most jaded fans couldn't help but fall in love. And when you're done with the series, you've got the original films to keep you company.

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

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After more than a decade, there's plenty of room for debate over what's 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. Now's the perfect time to watch as you prepare for the spin-off series coming this summer. We can't be blamed if this viewing kicks off a Disney+ MCU marathon.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum (2019)

"The World According to Jeff Goldblum"

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 ice cream to tattoos. 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.

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