Disney Plus: the best films, TV shows and documentaries to stream now

Posted by for Life

Because it’s not all princesses, lightsabers and superheroes on Disney Plus, you know…

Updated on 31 July 2020: A lot of people have signed up to Disney Plus in the UK, with many keen to get their mitts on the Disney vault, which includes animated classics like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and The Jungle Book.

These sit alongside more recent hits like Frozen, Moana and Tangled, as well as the remakes of Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty & the Beast.

There’s also a whole host of Star Wars movies on there, taking fans from the original trilogy right up to The Rise of Skywalker, and let’s not forget about all the new Marvel offerings, too. That’s right, sitting alongside the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (think Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and co), we have lots of new originals, including Loki, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

But if you thought it was all princesses, lightsabers, and superheroes, you’re dead wrong. Because, as it turns out, Disney+ has a whole host of documentaries, TV shows, retro films and rom-coms to stream, too – and today marks the day that Beyoncé’s Black Is King is coming to the streaming platform, too.

The visual album, promises Beyoncé, will reimagine “the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.”

Black Is King is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture,” a statement read in the press release.

“The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.”

Black Is King stars the likes of Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, Aweng Ade-Chuol, Adut Akech, Jay-Z, and Tina Knowle-Lawson, to name just a few.

And Beyoncé has also confirmed (via Disney) that artists featured on The Lion King: The Gift album will also make appearances throughout the film.

Check out the trailer for Black Is King below:

As reported on 1 July: Disney Plus is not throwing away their shot at being the first to screen Hamilton, as they’ve announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit show will be available to stream from 3 July 2020.

“No other artistic work in the last decade has had the cultural impact of Hamilton,” said Robert A. Iger, Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company. “In light of the extraordinary challenges facing our world, this story about leadership, tenacity, hope, love, and the power of people to unite against the forces of adversity is both relevant and impactful.”

Iger added: “We are thrilled to bring this phenomenon to Disney+ on the eve of Independence Day, and we have the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda and the team behind ‘Hamilton’ to thank for allowing us to do so more than a year before planned.”

Miranda, meanwhile, has said: “I’m so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. He’s given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house. 

“I’m so grateful to Disney and Disney+ for reimagining and moving up our release to 4 July weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I’m so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I’m so glad that we’re able to make it happen. I’m so proud of this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

Watch the official trailer for the Hamilton movie below:

Of course, that’s not all.

That’s right, in addition to the filmed production of Hamilton, we’re also getting a special behind-the-scenes documentary, too.

 Hamilton In-Depth With Kelley Carter, the virtual roundtable reunites the original Broadway cast and crew as they discuss both the show’s legacy and origins.

This means that Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., Christopher Jackson, Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and more, will be talking about everything Hamilton. Think the earliest stages of the show’s development, the audition process, the phenomenal critical response, and their thoughts on what Hamilton means in the context of systemic racism and social injustice. 

The documentary will exclusively be on Disney+ and TheUndefeated.com starting 3 July.

Hamilton on Disney Plus
Phillipa Soo as Eliza Schuyler and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton in the Hamilton musical.

As reported in April 2020: on top of Hamilton The Musical, here’s our Disney+ viewing guide for grown ups everywhere. Enjoy!

The best original movies to stream on Disney Plus

Dolphin Reef

Dolphin Reef, narrated by Natalie Portman, is a documentary about a playful young dolphin named Echo. As he grows older, the bottlenose must master his vital role in the coral reef community.

Elephant

Meghan Markle narrates this documentary about African elephant Shani and her spirited son Jomo, as they make the epic journey of their ancestors.

One Day

Discover what it’s like to report to work every day for The Walt Disney Company in this eye-opening documentary.

The best original TV shows to stream on Disney Plus

Fairy Tale Weddings

If you’ve already watched every single available episode of Don’t Tell The Bride, Disney Fairytale Weddings sees couples take their fairy tale romance to the next level by having their dream weddings at some of the happiest places on Earth.

The Mandalorian

It’s the Disney Plus show everyone’s talking about, but don’t dismiss this one as “just another Star Wars thing”. Because, in The Mandalorian, a lone gunfighter makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

In The World According to Jeff Goldblum, each episode is centered around something people all love (think trainers or ice cream) as Goldblum pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels a wonderful world of astonishing connections that are both surprising and exciting.

Pick of the Litter

This heart-warming docuseries follows five spirited puppies from the moment they’re born through their quest to become guide dogs for the blind.

The best documentaries to stream on Disney Plus

Diana: In Her Own Words

This documentary film includes footage of the late Diana, Princess of Wales discussing aspects of her personal life, including her marriage to Prince Charles which was recorded during conversations she had with a voice coach in 1992 and 1993.

Free Solo

Professional rock climber Alex Honnold attempts to conquer the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan’s 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.

Jane

Using a trove of never-before-seen footage, the film tells the story of Jane Goodall’s early explorations and research in Tanzania, focusing on her groundbreaking field work, her relationship with her cameraman and husband Hugo van Lawick, and the chimpanzees that were the subject of her study.

Stonehenge Decoded: Secrets Revealed

In this fascinating documentary, Professor Mike Parker Pearson and his team unearthed evidence that reveals Stonehenge may not have stood in isolation but was part of one of the largest prehistoric religious complexes in the world.

Titanic: 20 Years Later With James Cameron

Titanic: 20 Years Later With James Cameron takes the director back to the crash site to dive deeper into the infamous sinking. Despite some two decades having passed, it soon transpires that the ill-fated ship still has stories to tell, and Cameron feels a responsibility to both the living and dead to tell them.

The best rom-coms to stream on Disney Plus

10 Things I Hate About You

A high-school boy cannot date his crush until her anti-social older sister, Kat (Julia Stiles), has a boyfriend. So he pays a mysterious boy, Patrick (Health Ledger), to charm Kat… and sparks soon fly.

Never Been Kissed

Drew Barrymore’s Josie, an editor, must go undercover at a high school to prepare a report on the lives of the students. However, she finds it difficult to fit in and school life brings back some unpleasant memories. Until, that is, she claps eyes on a certain someone…

Splash

Tom Hanks’ Allen falls into the sea, and is rescued by Daryl Hannah’s mermaid. Heart-warming humour and romance ensues.

While You Were Sleeping

Lonely transit worker Lucy Eleanor Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) pulls her longtime crush, Peter (Peter Gallagher), from the path of an oncoming train. At the hospital, doctors report that he’s in a coma, and a misplaced comment from Lucy causes Peter’s family to assume that she is his fiancée. When Lucy doesn’t correct them, they take her into their home and confidence. Things get even more complicated when she finds herself falling for Peter’s sheepish brother, Jack (Bill Pullman).

The best throwback films to stream on Disney Plus

Mrs Doubtfire

Everyone knows this Robin Williams classic like the back of their hand, but that doesn’t mean it’ll ever stop being funny.

Sister Act

The ultimate feel-good movie, Sister Act sees nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier (Goldberg) forced to hide out in a San Francisco convent after witnessing a mobster murder. She finds it difficult to adjust to life in the habit, until Mother Superior (Maggie Smith) tasks her with whipping the nunnery’s choir into shape. Cue some serious show-belting tunes (think Hail Holy Queen, My God (My Guy) and I Will Follow Him, to name just three) and all sorts of hijinks with Sister Mary Patrick (Kathy Najimy) and Sister Mary Roberts (Wendy Makkena), culminating in a Las Vegas showdown and an extra-special appearance from the pope himself.

Sister Act 2

After an earnest request from her old pals at the nunnery, Delores once again becomes Mary Clarence to teach music at the school. On top of that, she must also save the school from closing down, launch a brand-new choir and fend off a few adamant monks while she’s at it, too.

Sound Of Music

The hills are alive with the sound of Julie Andrews’ novice nun throwing caution to the wind and becoming a nanny for Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and his seven children.

The Last Song

Too soon to see Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth together again? Not if you’re a die-hard Nicholas Sparks fan. In this slushy romance, a troubled father-daughter relationship gets a new lease of life when the two begin to explore a common thread, their passion for music.

Three Men And A Baby

Jack Holden (Ted Danson) and his friends, Peter (Tom Selleck) and Michael (Steve Guttenberg) spend most of their time having flings with several women in their apartment. Their life changes, though, when a mysterious baby named Mary appears on their doorstep.

Three Men And A Little Lady

The three bachelors are living a very happy life with a now six-year-old Mary. When the little girl’s mother, however, decides to marry and move to England, the heartbroken ‘dads’ must scramble to prevent the marriage from taking place. Keep an eye out for Killing Eve’s Fiona Shaw, folks!

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Image: Disney Plus

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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