Pop the popcorn, find the remote and get in the movie-watching mood. Because we have the best movies on Disney Plus below, as recommended by movie buffs. So, when you’re not sure what deserves to be played, read on for a list of the experts’ flick picks!
In a separate study, we gathered expert reviews on the greatest Disney plus movies of all-time to find the most loved films by the iconic brand. “The Lion King” came in first on the list, followed by “Beauty and the Beast” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” You’ll have to read that post to see the rest of the list, but here we checked out recommendations by Disney pros to come away with the best movies on Disney+.
Here’s some more reason to cozy up on the couch for a classic flick, especially if you’re battling some stress. A recent poll of 2,000 adults revealed that 55 percent watch TV as a self-soothing technique for relieving anxiety or stress. Natalie King, PhD, a brain health expert and neuroscientist attributes this to the reward center in your brain, which release dopamines when you’re enjoying what you’re watching.
A similar study concludes that nostalgia can also sooth aches and pains — and we know that Disney is a great throwback to days of yore for viewers. According to researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, yearning for a “simpler time” reduces brain activity and could help people overcome low levels of pain like headaches. Engaging in nostalgic activities can also improve mental well-being, according to another study. “The research shows that nostalgia can buffer against depression, boost social connectedness, so doing things/activities from childhood can be important in maintaining health, specifically with regard to social connectedness as isolation is so damaging to health, e.g. as bad as smoking,” explains psychologist Dr. Meg Arroll.
But really, who needs a reason to watch and rewatch our Disney favorites? We’ve found the five best movies on Disney Plus for you to watch tonight, after scanning lists on popular entreatment websites. Let us know in the comments what you think of these 12 experts’ picks for stream-worthy entertainment! After all, Americans are twice as likely to listen to social recommendations than pro reviewers.
The List: Best Movies On Disney Plus, As Recommended By Critics
1. Toy Story Collection
I’m rewatching all THREE Toy Story movies right now. This TRILOGY is very great. I’m so glad this series ended in a high note with Toy Story 3 and didn’t get an unnecessary and terrible 4th and 5th movie, that would suck so much. pic.twitter.com/uaf3uZa1zQ
— Jace Vinson 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@JaceAVinson) March 19, 2023
Rotten Tomatoes ranks Toy Story 2 and Toy Story at the top of the Disney+ must-watch list: “Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with. The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages.”
And GamesRadar recommends the trilogy (but not Toy Story 4) as the best of the best, writing, “Toy Story, puts forward the idea back that all your toys are alive and run around your room when you’re not looking. Instead of giving kids nightmares, it was somehow endearing. So the studio kept pushing and pushing until we got to Toy Story 3, which has Woody and Buzz Lightyear come to terms with their own mortality after they are thrown into a garbage incinerator. There are some twisted geniuses at work here. Toy Story 4 acts as a nice epilogue to the trilogy but doesn’t quite compare to the first three movies.”
Paste Magazine describes the collection as a revelation, “Toy Story was a revelation of technology. Its sequel was simply a revelation. Improving on the original in almost every way, Toy Story 2 took the characters we grew to love in the first film and separated them — usually a recipe for disaster. But in this case, with Woody discovering the rest of the round-up gang, the new characters are integrated impeccably, and the larger scale of the story allows the sequel to have more gravity.”
2. Turning Red
— Jennifer Whatcha got for me 2023? (@Jennpaulkelly) March 16, 2023
Another imaginary film from Pixar tops the Disney Plus movie list, with this coming-of-age story landing in the No. 2 spot.
Here’s why Collider recommends Turning Red: “Pixar has shown us time and time again that they know exactly how to push the right buttons to move us, to make us cry, to devastate us. But what Turning Red is doing might be even more impressive, a bright story that doesn’t skimp on the moving sentiments, but provides these emotions in a lovely, fun, and largely optimistic story of self-discovery and the first steps into womanhood. Turning Red can do all this in a film packed with panda transformations, ridiculous boy bands, needy Tamagotchis, and absurd first crushes.”
According to Men’s Health, “Millennial parents (or anyone alive in the early 2000s) will love the nostalgia of Turning Red. Set in Toronto in 2001, the film focuses on Mei, who one day wakes up and discovers she can turn into a giant red panda whenever she feels strong emotion. The entire film is a love letter to boy bands, teenage obsessions, and friendship.”
“With the story of a girl who turns into a giant red panda whenever she’s angry, Pixar once again touches greatness. Make sure you stick around for the third act, which is really something. If you know, you know,” Esquire writes.
3. Inside Out
— DisneyTap (@DisneyTap) June 19, 2022
This movie will give you the “feels” if you ask Decider: “Inside Out is more than just a movie. It’s a guide for people to understand their emotions and innermost self, giving them a language to express feelings. It’s a recognition that life is more than maniacally striving for consistent happiness — it’s about finding a healthy balance between competing sentiments. At every turn, Pete Docter uses the full imaginative might of filmmaking to show us the beautiful world that exists inside all of our heads. What a gift he’s given us.”
According to Tech Radar, “Inside Out is [a] true masterpiece, a trip inside a girl’s mind that turns her emotions into fully rounded characters. This being Pixar – a studio so reliable it could easily fill a a lot more slots on this list of the best Disney Plus movies – the characterization and storytelling are second-to-none, but even more impressive is the way the film translates a kid’s subconscious into a fully functioning society. Movies – animated or otherwise – don’t get much smarter than this.”
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
First look at ‘DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES’.
The film releases on December 2 on Disney+ pic.twitter.com/q6ZPfiDt1h
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) October 18, 2022
This movie is brand-new to Disney+ in December 2022, and movie buffs recommend you stream it.
Digital Trends writes, “The big addition to Disney+ this month is a new animated adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s hit graphic novel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Unlike the previous live-action adaptation, the new film keeps Kinney’s signature art style, and he even wrote the screenplay! This is the second story in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, as young Greg Heffley finds himself under the thumb of his older brother, Rodrick. Greg has a secret that he desperately wants to keep, and Rodrick is willing to use it against his brother. Rodrick also has ambitious plans to launch his music career and drop out of school. But misfortune runs in this family, and not even Rodrick can escape that.”
It’s perfect for making kids laugh, and possibly parents, too. Buzzfeed says, “While this movie may not have much appeal to you if you don’t have kids, it’s the perfect movie for parents to entertain their children for over an hour. Plus, you might find yourself laughing at a few of the jokes.”
5. Thor: Love and Thunder
Movie Review: #3 Thor: Love and Thunder
– Gorr had some high-quality scenes for the little screen time he got.
– The Gorr and Jane plots were interesting.
– The movie just makes it seem like it does not care about the plot and constantly jokes around.
Rating: D pic.twitter.com/BIBG6nld7e
— Boozled (@BoozledGamer) March 21, 2023
If you can’t decide what to watch on Disney+, Lifewire recommends Love and Thunder: “Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) reunite to combat the god-killing Gorr (Christian Bale), who has his eye on New Asgard. This time around, however, it’s Jane holding the hammer. Love and Thunder maintains the same balance of action and humor found in previous Thor films. On top of that, it has a rockin’ soundtrack.”
TV Guide writes, “Chris Hemsworth continues to be Thor, Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster after almost a decade away, the Guardians of the Galaxy are there, and Christian Bale is the bad guy, Gorr the God Butcher. It made a lot of money in theaters, and now it’s on Disney+. If you like Marvel movies, this a big slab of juicy, marbled Marvel for you.”
What’s your favorite movie on Disney+? With so many to choose from, we can’t wait to hear what you’d pull out of the vault as the best movie to watch! Leave us a comment and let us know.
You might also be interested in:
- Best Disney Movies
- Best Christmas Movies
- Best Scary Movies
- Best Movies On Amazon Prime Video
- Best Netflix Shows of All-Time
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. Study Finds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.