Steering clear of household chores? Procrastinating that essay that’s due for uni? If so, we found 15 ways for you to avoid your pesky to-do list, and they all involve Disney+.
Disney has been around for nearly a century, churning out both animated and live-action films, and television shows. Throughout the years, Disney has made itself a household name with its enrapturing story lines, beautiful animation, and diverse arsenal of actors.
From cinema to television and VHS to DVD, Disney has kept up with the advance of technology. As more people turn to the modern conveniences of streaming services, Disney hopped on board to reveal their own branch: Disney+.
Chock-full of all the classics we all grew up with and heaps of new favourites, Disney+ has hours and hours of endless entertainment ready for watching, all at the touch of a button.
Even though many people favour some of the oldies like Cinderella, Snow White, and Bambi, we take you through an opinionated list of the 15 best movies and shows that Disney+ has on offer.
15. Recess (1997-2001):
Watched mainly by ’90s kids during Saturday morning cartoons, Recess portrays a group of six misfits as they live their life in elementary school. Between battling the popular kids or to trying to evade the feared Miss Finster, TJ Detweiler and his friends always know how to stir trouble.
Even though the series is set at Third Street Elementary School, the overarching theme of the show deals with a micro-society inside the school, including its own king of the playground (and his brood of enforcers), a ‘government’, and sets of unwritten laws to impose ‘social norms’.
Check out Recess‘ theme song:
14. Anastasia (1997):
Loosely based around the fall of Imperial Russia, Anastasia grasps at the rumours of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna surviving despite her family’s demise. The plot centres around an orphan, Anya, who claims that she doesn’t remember what her past holds.
As she runs into conmen Dimitri and Vlad, she decides that she will learn how to be the Grand Duchess in order to fool the Dowager Empress into believing that her granddaughter is still alive, which would reward the men with a hefty amount of money.
Check out the trailer for Anastasia:
13. The Parent Trap (1961):
Although Lindsay Lohan was famously featured in the 1998 version of The Parent Trap, many fans don’t realise that the film was indeed a remake. The original story first debuted in 1961, adapted from a book by German author Erich Kästner.
Starring Hayley Mills in the iconic dual role of identical twin characters, the plot thickens as the twins realise they were separated at birth due to divorce. They then become determined to hitch their parents back together so they can live like the family they always dreamed of.
Check out the opening title sequence for The Parent Trap:
12. Hannah Montana (2006-2011):
While Miley Cyrus certainly has grown up since her Disney days, theres no denying that her road to stardom began with her role as Hannah Montana. Portraying herself as a pop star, the series follows her trying to balance her craving for a typical teen life as well as being famous.
Over four seasons, the show follows Hannah Montana as she navigates through life as a teenager, juggles friendships, and battles with telling the world who she really is. Accompanied by numerous tracks, not only is the show quality entertainment, but it’s also rocking.
Check out the theme song for Hannah Montana:
11. Sleeping Beauty (1959):
Known as one of their more classic films, Sleeping Beauty is based from a folktale appearing as early in history as 1314. The plot follows the life of Briar Rose – a girl who is unknowingly a princess and being raised by fairies to keep her away from the evil curse cast by Maleficent.
Jam-packed with good fairies, woodland creatures, a prince and princess, an evil fairy and her trusty side-kick, a dragon, castles, and many songs, this movie embodies everything that is usually thought about when you want to put on a good ol’ classic Disney film.
Check out ‘An Unusual Prince/Once Upon A Dream’ from Sleeping Beauty:
10. James and the Giant Peach (1996):
Although many know Tim Burton’s famed The Nightmare Before Christmas, not as many have heard of his film James and the Giant Peach. Adapted from the 1961 novel by Roald Dahl, the movie is brimming with that Burton style that he’s famous for.
From a kooky story line of indescribable happenings including an orphan named James, abusive aunts, crocodile tongues, a colossal peach, rhinos, New York City, and a slew of characters that are mainly bugs, this movie really is one that you must see to believe.
Check out the trailer for James and the Giant Peach:
9. That’s So Raven (2003-2007):
This mid ’00s sitcom follows a teenage girl who is trying to live a normal life, but always runs into trouble because she can see the future. While many would consider that to be a cool super power, Raven’s ability typically causes more trouble than anything.
As she only can catch glimpses through her visions (mainly depicting when things will go wrong), Raven tries to change details of events ahead of time to avoid trouble. Unfortunately for her, and comedically for the viewer, her attempts nearly always take a turn for the worse.
Check out the theme song from That’s So Raven:
8. WALL-E (2008):
Predicting what the future will hold for our world if we continue to live wastefully, WALL-E shows what life may be like in the year 2805. The film shows humans having to leave the planet in a spaceship, leaving robots to clean up an Earth that is completely overrun by rubbish.
As we are currently facing climate emergency, and a plastic waste crisis, this film shows what our Earth could look like if we don’t try to improve situations. The movie exhibits one robot’s hope for a world where plants can grow and people can live.
Check out the trailer for WALL-E:
7. Holes (2003):
Adapted from Louis Sachar’s book Holes, Disney brings this book to life by casting Shia LeBeouf as leading character Stanley ‘Caveman’ Yelnats IV. The story follows the unfortunate events that land Caveman into a juvenile detention camp called Green Lake.
The campers are forced each day to dig holes, because as Mr. Sir states if, “you take a bad boy and make him dig holes all day long in the hot sun, it makes him a good boy.” Later, the true reason behind digging transpires and determines why Caveman’s destiny was camp Green Lake.
Check out the trailer for Holes:
6. Inside Out (2015):
One of Disney’s most thought-provoking animated films is Inside Out. Showing the life inside of our brain, the film relates our thought process to five direct feelings, or characters: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.
This film follows the musings of 11-year-old Riley as she moves from the town where she was raised, to an entirely new city. Her emotions get the best of her as she faces fitting into a new school, making new friends, and growing up.
Check out the trailer for Inside Out:
5. Smart House (1999):
The Disney Channel has had some killer original movies over the years, including Smart House. The television movie follows the life of teen Ben Cooper as he tirelessly enters contest after contest only to come up empty handed… until he wins his family a computer-controlled house.
The new home has all sorts of futuristic conveniences including ‘floor absorbers’, walls that can change into any view, and PAT – the artificial intelligence that controls the house. All seems blissful in their new abode until the technology begins to have a mind of its own.
Check out the trailer for Smart House:
4. The Aristocats (1970):
Arguably the cutest of all Disney films, The Aristocats shows the life of three mischievous kittens, their patient mama, and the friends they meet along the way. While the story begins with the cats living the life of luxury with their mistress in Paris, the plot is bursting with danger.
When the butler becomes jealous that the cats will be inheriting a fortune when their mistress passes away, he concocts a dastardly plan to be rid of the kittens so he can instead become wealthy. Luckily, the cats receive help from an alley cat, geese, and a small mouse.
Check out ‘Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat’ from The Aristocats:
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988):
Being both a live action and animated film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit follows the account of what it is like to be a cartoon. From not being good enough, not knowing your lines, or being plain washed up, the film shows the life of Roger Rabbit as he tries to find his place in life.
The plot rapidly becomes intense with a shocking murder, the framing of the main cartoon character, an in-depth investigation, sexually-driven affairs, weasel henchmen, and a vile villain voiced by Christopher Lloyd who wants to rid the world of all the cartoons in Toontown.
Check out the trailer for Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
2. Wreck-It Ralph (2012):
Teeming with nostalgia, Wreck-It Ralph invites viewers to see what it’s like behind the screen to be a pawn in a video game. By day, the characters go through the mundane rituals in each of their games, but by night all the personas gather in the power strip.
Between glitches in games, video game villains who are done being the bad guy, and underdogs that just want one win, the film follows ‘bad guy’ Ralph’s journey in wanting to win just one time. Although he tries in multiple other games to score a trophy, his true win throughout is friendship.
Check out the trailer for Wreck-It Ralph:
1. The Color of Friendship (2000):
Based on a story of real-life friends, The Color of Friendship is one of the most underrated Disney movies to date. The television film follows the lives of two girls – one from Washington D.C. and one from South Africa – and their friendship that unfolds in the midst of apartheid.
Following many historically accurate themes, including the death of Stephen Biko, and the battle that congressman Ron Dellums, this depiction from Disney displays the true depth of what it’s like to overcome racism, especially if you are the one with the racist mindset.
Watch the television commercial for The Color of Friendship:
You can catch all of these great movies and series, plus many more, through the streaming services of Disney+.