Disney+ 1st Anniversary: The Best Movies Streaming on the Service Right Now

Disney+ turned one on Thursday, November 12, 2020, and over the last 365 days Disney has been adding most of its own extensive catalog and the catalogs of franchises it owns like Star Wars, Marvel and The Muppets.

This has made Disney+ one of the best streaming services for viewers looking for familiar family favorites. Here are some of the absolute best that the service has to offer.

The best movies streaming now on Disney+

Avengers: Endgame

It was a tricky proposition for Marvel to bring the story of 20 films to a satisfying conclusion, but the superhero studio managed it in this epic movie and its horde of epic women charging in to save the day.

Fantasia

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Mickey Mouse in 'Fantasia,' streaming now on Disney+. Disney+

The high-point of Disney's golden age, Fantasia is exactly that: Pure animation for animation's sake, a symphony of beauty that also contains probably the best of the Mickey Mouse shorts.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

With Wes Anderson known for his precise and exact set design, stop motion was a logical next step for him, and the result was this delightful all-star Roald Dahl adaptation in which every frame feels like a painting.

Free Solo

If you find yourself bored by the thrills of Star Wars and Marvel, Free Solo might just be the thing to put you back on the edge of your seat as it tells the story of a climber known for his jaw-dropping climbs without ropes.

Hamilton

The most high-profile of Disney+'s first-year releases, Hamilton is also one of its best, a chance to see the best musical of the last 25 years from the best seat in the house without paying a fortune to do it.

Hidden Figures

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Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in 'Hidden Figures,' streaming now on Disney+. 20th Century Studios

The story of three black NASA mathematicians, Hidden Figures is an inspirational demonstration of just how much not only Black lives but also Black minds matter.

Inside Out

Pixar's most recent masterpiece, Inside Out is the latest of their films to use a high concept to reveal emotional truth about life as a young girl deals with growing up via a hilarious range of personified emotions.

The Jungle Book

Though the 2016 version is probably the best of the live-action remakes (though that's not saying much), it is 1967 original that is a (bare) necessity for you to watch, with some of Disney's best songs and characters.

Miracle on 34th Street

For many, Disney is inextricably linked to Christmas, but one of its best festive movies comes from the Fox catalog the streamer recently acquired. Miracle on 34th Street not only tells the heartwarming tale of a department store Santa who might be the real thing, but has such a good Santa in Edmund Gwenn that he won an Oscar for playing the role.

Moana

Frozen got the big box office bucks and plaudits, but Moana is the much better modern Disney film—and in its jeweled crab scene, has the most psychedelic moment Disney has had since Alice in Wonderland.

The Muppet Movie

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The cast of 'The Muppet Movie,' available to stream now on Disney+. Disney

Marvel and Star Wars are not the only franchises that Disney now owns the rights to. The studio also owns the rights to The Muppets, meaning that viewers can watch the original (and still the best) of the Jim Henson creations' movies.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Disney+'s ethos of only providing family friendly fare means the service is lacking in genuinely scary fare. What it does have, however, is the festive frights of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Peanuts Movie

Though this CGI reboot of the classic Charlie Brown and Snoopy comics from a few years ago went mostly under the radar, it is a charming delight, bringing Peanuts into the modern age without losing the charm (and gentle melancholy) of the original comics and movies.

The Princess Bride

An enduring classic, The Princess Bridge received two different COVID-era remakes this year. What these proved is just how well this endlessly quotable twist of fairy tales still works in 2020.

Queen of Katwe

With The Queen's Gambit one of the most-watched Netflix limited series of the year, it is a great time to watch an underrated movie about another queen of chess, played by Lupita Nyong'o.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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The cast of 'Rogue One,' one of the many 'Star Wars' movies available now on Disney+. Lucasfilm

The modern Star Wars sequels are a mixed bag, but Rogue One is one of the good ones, thanks to its willingness to finish on a downbeat ending. Plus, Star Wars fans should rewatch the prequel in the lead-up to their Rogue One spin-off series with Diego Luna returning as Cassian Andor.

The Sound of Music

The perfect Sunday afternoon movie, The Sound of Music may be long, but it remains charming, with Julie Andrews at the peak of her powers as the singing ex-nun running from Nazis and turning curtains into lederhosen.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars fans are split over whether A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back is the better film. However, The Empire Strikes Back has the slight advantage thanks to a certain famous father fight.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

The haters are wrong: The Last Jedi is a masterpiece, and one of the few modern Star Wars films that is willing to let the franchise grow and evolve rather than rehash the same old themes.

Steamboat Willie

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Mickey Mouse in "Steamboat Willie" Disney

Where it all began. Though Steamboat Willie doesn't bear much relation to Disney as we know it today, it introduced Mickey Mouse to the world and standating everything that Disney fans have fallen in love with over nearly a century.

The Straight Story

David Lynch is probably the last person whose work you might expect to find on Disney+, but then The Straight Story is not your typical David Lynch movie, in that it is sweet, touching, and doesn't contain a single possibly Satanic psychopath.

Toy Story

The first ever Pixar movie, Toy Story might still be their true masterpiece. Though it doesn't cause the emotional devastation of their later work, its animation still looks fantastic 25 years later and the story is perfect in its simplicity.

Tron

Nearly 40 years later, there is still nothing that looks like Tron. Not even Tron Legacy, whose reliance of flashy modern CGI is cold compared to the almost cyberpunk look of the original. Sure, the story makes almost no sense, but there are few more interesting visual spectacles on Disney+.

Wall-E

Perhaps Pixar's visual highpoint, the wordless first half of Wall-E is the closest the animation house got to the pure animation of Fantasia—and in our era of COVID lockdowns, it is easy to sympathise with a human race getting ever fatter while watching endless TV.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Years before Disney's purchase of Fox meant that all sorts of crossovers became possible, it was genuinely groundbreaking that Disney allowed some of their characters to appear in this breathtaking live action/animated hybrid, which proved that cartoons could be scary and, in Jessica Rabbit, sexy.