What to Watch on Disney+ While at Home

Photo: The Walt Disney Company
What to Watch on Disney+ While at Home
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism and Performing Arts from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Of all the streaming services available now, Disney+ is both the newest and among the most talked about. The service offers movies and television, classics and originals – but most of all, both hidden gems and duds. Here’s what to watch on Disney+ while at home.

Those opposites are what’s going to break down our list of the best things to see on Disney’s blockbuster service. Since launching last November, Disney+ has offered a massive variety of product to see.

Listed here will be undiscovered classic films, original films, the best series and the best of their new, original programming. Finally, we have lists of what to avoid and a highlight of upcoming releases next month.

Original Movies

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

While there’s only been five original films so far, none yet have been spectacularly awful. The best one by a mile, however, is the quirky family comedy Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. Tom McCarthy’s fifth grade love letter to individuality and the city of Portland is a great film in all regards.

The other two worth seeing are both about dogs. First is Togo, an Alaskan adventure on dogsled on a lifesaving medicine run. The other is the 2019 remake of Lady and the Tramp. It’s a quaint picture that, after three less than terrific remakes in cinemas last year, is the best of them.

Classic Movies

If you already subscribe to Disney+, you’re likely already interested in the dense catalogue of classic Disney films. So what are the undiscovered treasures to be found?

My personal favourite is Free Solo, last year’s Oscar winner for Best Documentary. It tells the true story of Alex Honnold as he prepares to free climb El Capitain in Yosemite National Park.

Other recommendations to see would be 1991’s The Rocketeer and 1998’s A Bug’s Life, Pixar’s oft-forgotten masterpiece. You also can’t go wrong with famous titles like 1994’s The Lion King, 2016’s Zootopia and the 2003’s original Pirates of the Caribbean. All four sequels are a mess, but most people forget how great the first one truly was.

Original Series

I’ll admit, I haven’t yet seen all the new, original series that have premiered so far. Three I have enjoyed so far are Sparkshorts, NG’s The World According to Jeff Goldblum and the family series Diary of a Future President.

Photo: Disney Home Entertainment

Photo: Disney Home Entertainment

But the best one by far is the six-part documentary mini-series The Imagineering Story. Directed by Emmy winner Leslie Iwerks, each episode spans a decade in the history of Disney theme parks. The archival footage and interviews they got are jaw-dropping, and even if you aren’t interested in theme parks, the first three episodes especially are outstanding.

Lastly, if you still haven’t seen the Star Wars epic The Mandalorian – yes, it’s worth seeing. It’s an exciting space western that goes back to the feel of what Star Wars was a long time ago.

Classic Television Series

Most of the best shows in the Disney vault are unsurprisingly the vast collection of animated series. The best children’s programming includes 2001’s The Proud Family and, of course, Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015), the longest running series in Disney Channel history.

For adults, having access to 30 seasons of The Simpsons (1989-Present) is a treat – especially the first 12 seasons. But the best show for all ages you likely haven’t seen is 2012’s Gravity Falls. It’s an irreverent mystery comedy about siblings Dipper and Mabel investigating weird things in a small northwoods town.

Things to Skip

Of the original films, only Anna Kendrick’s holiday comedy Noelle is subpar. I also don’t recommend the series Encore!, where Kristen Bell hosts reunions of musical productions done in high schools. Bell is an okay host, but the execution of the show is really tacky.

If you have kids ages 9-13, you may also know about High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. It’s not a bad show, but the premise is so wacky and frantic only kids on sugar-high get into it.

Movies Coming Soon

Onward

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

Last but not least, there are two new movies worth seeing coming to Disney+ next Friday April 3rd. The first is Pixar’s newest feature Onward – coming to homes after two weeks in theatres before cinemas shut down last Tuesday. You can read the Oakville News review here.

The other new offering is the newest nature documentary from the Disneynature banner called Dolphin Reef. Narrated by Natalie Portman, the family-friendly film follows a team of scientists in Florida studying bottlenose dolphins. This was supposed to be released Earth Day 2018, but finally comes to Disney+ after several delays.

These movies and series are the best offerings on Disney+ for you to watch while at home. We’ll have our series conclusion of great things to see across different platforms later this week.

If you’d like to read about a wider range of movies to watch in a variety of places, Tyler Collins (this story’s author) is watching 365 movies this year. You can read about his project at www.2020inCinema.com

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