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55 Best Movies On Disney Plus [May 2022]

Disney+ offers cinephiles a vast array of movies, from vivid nature documentaries to searing romances. Given Disney's long history of cinematic excellence — not to mention the many media properties its acquired over the years — a significant proportion of these films aren't just great but legendary. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" changed cinema forever. "Toy Story" heralded a new era of animation. "Iron Man" kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which in turn has reshaped the modern media landscape. There are plenty of streaming services with great flicks to their name, but very few boast such a sparkling trove of wonders.

Even within this crowded field of excellence, however, stand-out productions emerge. Some are spirited musicals full of magic and adventure, some explore real-world conflict, and many are beloved all over the globe. What unites these 55 movies is that they're the very best Disney+ has to offer.

Updated on May 22, 2022: Like most streaming services, Disney+ is constantly changing its catalog. We'll be keeping this list updated so that you never miss out on an old favorite or a new classic. Be sure to check back often to keep up on the latest and greatest movies available on Disney+.

Aladdin

Aladdin might live in Agrabah, an Arabian fantasyland crowned with a shining palace, but he isn't some glittering sultan — he is, as so many characters sneer, a "street rat." But when he comes into possession of a magical lamp that's home to a wish-granting genie, his fortunes change. Transformed into the impressive Prince Ali, he might be able to win Princess Jasmine's heart ... but he might also lose sight of his own goodness. "Aladdin" offers an embarrassment of riches: stunning animation, winning performances, and some of the greatest music in the Disney songbook.

  • Starring: Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Scott Weinger

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

  • Year: 1992

  • Runtime: 94 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Avengers

In this first "Avengers" movie, trickster god Loki threatens New York City with a mind-controlling scepter and an army of alien warriors. Things look bad for Earth  until the titular superheroes band together — but they don't exactly get along easily. Iron Man and Captain America snipe at each other, Black Widow keeps secrets from everyone, and Bruce Banner has a complicated relationship with the Hulk, his angry alter ego. This action-packed bonanza is still the MCU at its best: witty, exciting, and absolutely packed with colorful characters. Though being familiar with the larger Marvel mythos is helpful, "The Avengers" can be enjoyed unto itself as an all-ages superhero-palooza of the highest order.

  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson

  • Director: Joss Whedon

  • Year: 2012

  • Runtime: 145 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Avengers: Endgame

Five years after the interstellar warlord Thanos disintegrated half of all life in the universe, the remaining Avengers are scattered, sorrowful, and scared. Some, like Tony Stark, have found a scrap of happiness in the aftermath — but when time travel makes undoing Thanos' cosmic crime a possibility, even he jumps on board. Earth's mightiest heroes embark upon a "time heist" to recover the Infinity Stones, bring back the slaughtered trillions, and get rid of Thanos, once and for all. Nothing of this magnitude comes easily, however. By the end of this adventure, the Avengers are forever changed — and so is the MCU as a whole.

  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo

  • Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

  • Year: 2019

  • Runtime: 184 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Beauty and the Beast

Belle longs to leave her "poor, provincial town" behind in favor of grand adventure. She gets her wish when she becomes the mysterious Beast's prisoner. Though her captor is intimidating, Belle soon discovers he's more complex than she assumed. Love blooms between them, but many forces seek to thwart it — especially Gaston, a vindictive bully who wants Belle for himself. There's a reason "Beauty and the Beast" became the first animated movie to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture: The animation is luxurious and inventive, the music runs the gamut from jaunty toe-tappers to tender love songs, and the romance at the center of the story is among cinema's best.

  • Starring: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White

  • Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

  • Year: 1991

  • Runtime: 91 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Black Panther

Wakanda's rich veins of vibranium, an astonishingly useful metal, have made it a techno-wonderland of hovercrafts and holograms. As king of this isolated African nation and the Black Panther, its superheroic protector, T'Challa has the most advanced technology on the planet available at his fingertips. But such blessings have a way of making things complicated. When a revolutionary cousin T'Challa's never met comes knocking, the young king learns he's inherited a complex legacy that combat alone cannot solve. He must forge a new path into the future — but doing so might change Wakanda's fortunes forever. A thoughtful, thrilling, and deeply felt action epic, "Black Panther" brings questions of global significance into the Marvel universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, has led a pretty bizarre life as a scientifically enhanced super soldier who spent 70 years in the Arctic ice. But nothing can prepare him for the revelation that Bucky Barnes, his best friend, survived the fall that apparently killed him back in the 1940s. Worse yet, Bucky is a brainwashed assassin who fights for Hydra, an international terrorist organization. This paranoid thriller takes its cues from 1970s espionage films: Captain America has no idea who he can trust within Washington D.C.'s stony landscape. Even with help from Black Widow and the Falcon, the odds are against him — but he's not about to give up on Bucky that easily.

  • Starring: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie

  • Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

  • Year: 2014

  • Runtime: 138 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Coco

Though his family rigidly forbids all things tuneful, young Miguel's love of music cannot be quashed. After becoming convinced legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz was his great-great-grandfather, Miguel swipes the icon's guitar from his mausoleum — and is promptly transported to the Land of the Dead with a single strum. With the help of his departed relatives, Miguel must unravel the truth at the heart of his family's hatred of music. But the clock is ticking: If Miguel doesn't manage to return to the Land of the Living by daybreak, he will take his place among the ranks of the well and truly dead.

  • Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt

  • Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

  • Year: 2017

  • Runtime: 104 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Edward Scissorhands

Gothic horror meets pastel suburbia when Edward, the unfinished creation of a mad scientist, is taken in by an utterly normal American family. As he has dangerously sharp blades where hands should be, Edward seems like a monster — but in fact, he's a gentle soul who soon falls in love with Kim, the family's teenage daughter. His topiary, hair-styling, and ice sculpture skills soon charm the neighborhood ... for the most part. Not everyone, it turns out, is crazy about the strange young man living in their midst. Edward is on a collision course with conformity itself — and in the suburbs, only one may reign supreme.

The Emperor's New Groove

Incan Emperor Kuzco is a self-obsessed brat who's considerably more interested in building vacation homes than anything resembling governance. But after Yzma, his scheming advisor, turns him into a llama, Kuzco is forced to work with Pacha, one of his humble subjects. Though this mismatched pair learns to collaborate, Yzma is hot on their tail, with oodles of malicious magic to spare. Every single character in "The Emperor's New Groove" is a fabulously designed, hilariously performed marvel — Eartha Kitt's iconic Yzma even proved to be a late-career highlight for the legendary performer. There are no princesses, songs, or magical castles in this Disney outlier ... and that's exactly what makes it so beloved.

  • Starring: David Spade, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton

  • Director: Mark Dindal

  • Year: 2000

  • Runtime: 82 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Encanto

Deep in the Colombian mountains lies a happy little community protected by a magical candle. This flame bestows incredible gifts upon the Madrigal family ... except for young Mirabel. Why is Mirabel powerless, when her cousins are able to shape-shift and talk to animals? Why is she the only Madrigal who sees the cracks beginning to tear apart their home? And what happened to psychic Uncle Bruno, who mysteriously vanished 10 years earlier? Mirabel's search for answers takes her into the complicated heart of her family's history, trauma, and secrets. The Madrigals will never be the same — and maybe that's exactly what they need.

  • Starring: Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero

  • Directors: Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith

  • Year: 2021

  • Runtime: 109 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Enchanted

Giselle is a starry-eyed maiden from the kingdom of Andalasia, a cartoon fairyland full of spontaneous singing and big-eyed woodland creatures. Sadly, Giselle's requisite prince has a wicked stepmother, who magically exiles her to a horrible live-action place full of misery and cynicism: New York City. Taken in by a gruff but good-hearted divorce lawyer and his eager daughter, Giselle awaits her prince's rescue, learns about indoor plumbing, and slowly but surely realizes the real world might not be so terrible after all. This clever film manages to parody Disney's well-worn tropes and take them to new heights. Much of this success is due to Amy Adams, whose luminous performance as Giselle is as hilariously saccharine as it is heartfelt.

Fantasia

This luxurious ode to animation's unlimited possibilities still dazzles like the day it debuted. Consisting of eight vignettes set to masterfully conducted classical music, "Fantasia" runs the aesthetic gamut. Some pieces are whimsically abstract, like the one set to Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite," which imagines the changing seasons as an endless dance between fairies, falling leaves, and flowers. Others, like the immortal "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment, tell a more concrete story — in this case, the titular apprentice's disastrous foray into magic he cannot control. It all culminates in "Night on Bald Mountain," a vision of demonic revelry that has haunted multiple generations of moviegoers. "Fantasia" reminds viewers that Disney isn't just a Hollywood behemoth — it's an artistic powerhouse.

Fantasia 2000

As the new millennium dawned, Disney decided to revisit the "Fantasia" formula. What resulted is just as magical as its 1940 predecessor. The eight animated segments that make up "Fantasia 2000" are, like those of the first "Fantasia" film, set to vivid music. The visual style ranges widely: The "Rhapsody in Blue" sequence — which captures four New Yorkers' interwoven lives — takes inspiration from legendary cartoonist Al Hirschfeld's work, while an adaptation of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" makes use of computer animation. The final piece, which depicts a nature sprite's experience of volcanic destruction and rebirth, takes Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" to utterly rapturous heights. "Fantasia 2000" is a breathless journey into wonder.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Mr. Fox is a charming former thief who put criminality behind him for the sake of his family. But life as a newspaper columnist lacks the edge he craves, and so Mr. Fox indulges in a raid on three vile farmers. This brings disaster down upon his community of creatures — but Mr. Fox might be clever enough to see them through it. Wes Anderson's refined eccentricity is a perfect match for stop-motion animation. Mr. Fox's world is a quirky wonderland where badgers wear pocket squares and pop teeny-tiny bottles of champagne. Add in an impressive cast, and you've got a cat-and-mouse (and fox, badger, rabbit ... ) flick unlike any other.

Finding Nemo

Despite his many precautions, anxious clownfish Marlin cannot keep scuba divers from capturing his son, Nemo. With the help of Dory, a clinically forgetful blue tang, Marlin must embark upon a rescue mission unlike any other. Meanwhile, Nemo is cooking up an escape plan of his own — but can he survive the dangers of the human world? The ocean is a terrifying place in "Finding Nemo," but it's also full of wonder. Pixar's depiction of the Great Barrier Reef makes this point especially clear: It is jaw-droppingly vibrant and full of instantly memorable characters. There isn't a single frame of this film that isn't crowded with personality, whether it's in the form of surfer dude sea turtles, altruistic sharks, or chatty pelicans.

Freaky Friday

Tess wants Anna, her teenage daughter, to make good choices. Anna wants Tess to let her be the guitar-shredding rebel girl she is. When a magical fortune cookie body-swaps them, they end up learning why their desires always seem to be in conflict and how to reconcile them. This mother-daughter comedy is sincere without ever being saccharine: Anna and Tess' clash is rooted in genuine love, fear, and shared loss. It's also a fabulous showcase of Jamie Lee Curtis' comedic prowess. Whether she's playing Tess the put-together therapist or Anna in Tess' body, she is absolutely uproarious.

  • Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Chad Michael Murray

  • Director: Mark Waters

  • Year: 2003

  • Runtime: 98 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Free Solo

Picture this: You're climbing an enormous cliff, without any sort of equipment. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Not to Alex Honnold — he does this on purpose. "Free Solo" captures this unique athlete as he prepares to climb Yosemite National Park's El Capitan, a towering monolith more than 3,000 feet high. What sets this documentary apart from similar projects is its commitment to examining its own existence: "Free Solo" openly grapples with the ethical ramifications of capturing an endeavor that might very well end in death. Why does Honnold risk it all? Why are we compelled by this? The answers are complicated, and luckily, "Free Solo" does them justice.

Frozen

Young Elsa has finally taken her rightful place as queen of Arendelle. But she has a secret not even her sister, Princess Anna, knows about: Elsa has mysterious magical powers over snow and ice. Her disastrous coronation reveals this gift to her subjects, which sends Elsa fleeing into the mountains — but loving, naive, stubborn Anna is hot on her heels. "Frozen" offers great music, gorgeous visuals, and an exploration of love in all its forms, from warm familial bonds to steadfast self-esteem. Plus, "Let It Go" really is that good ... even if you've already heard it 300 times.

  • Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad

  • Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

  • Year: 2013

  • Runtime: 105 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy aren't exactly an A-list super team. Every member has run afoul of some intergalactic law or another — in fact, they meet in a super-secure space prison. Up against Kree fanatic Ronan the Accuser, ultra-baddie Thanos, space smugglers, and sundry other cosmic forces, the Guardians — consisting of Earthling Peter Quill, warrior Gamora, malcontent Rocket, arboreal Groot, and terse Drax — are forced to work as a team. But that cooperation still might not be enough to make it out of this mess alive. An offbeat escapade with a killer soundtrack, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a tribute to oddballs everywhere.

Hamilton

The fact that "Hamilton," a hip hop musical about a little-loved Founding Father, became a smash hit is a testament to its brilliance. In this recording of the Broadway show, Alexander Hamilton rises from total obscurity to the heights of his new nation through luck, ambition, and towering intelligence. Shadowing him every step of the way is Aaron Burr, the man who will one day kill him in an infamous duel. Revolution can be glorious, but it also takes a heavy toll — something everyone in this show learns the hard way. This electric stage production loses nothing by being brought into the living room — in fact, you might appreciate being able to instantly rewatch the show's most rapid-fire moments.

  • Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry

  • Director: Thomas Kail

  • Year: 2020

  • Runtime: 160 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Hercules

Hercules is born to the divine Zeus and Hera, but a godly scheme whisks him away to Earth, where he's raised by humble farmers. After learning of his true heritage, Hercules sets out to prove himself a hero and regain his godhood. Unfortunately, Hades, lord of the underworld, wants other things for "Herc" — namely, a place among the powerless dead he rules. A snappy, snarky, kinetically animated film, "Hercules" treats Greek myth with utterly modern irreverence. James Woods' chatty Hades is among the most memorable products of this approach: He's a patter-heavy wise guy, a sleazy salesman, and a scheming malcontent, all rolled into one flaming blue ball. Ancient history has never been so much fun.

  • Starring: Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

  • Year: 1997

  • Runtime: 98 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Hidden Figures

It's 1961, and the Space Race is heating up. The experts at NASA are pushing themselves like never before, especially those who work in Virginia's Langley Research Center. Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan are among these brilliant minds — but unlike many of their colleagues, they're Black women. As they assess heat shields, explore new computer technology, and calculate trajectories, they confront brick walls of bigotry. But the times are changing, and just as their rockets go further each day, so too do these trailblazing women. A joyous exploration of irrepressible genius and unbendable courage, "Hidden Figures" brings its titular heroines into the well-deserved spotlight.

  • Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae

  • Directors: Theodore Melfi

  • Year: 2016

  • Runtime: 128 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Howard

Though you might not recognize the name Howard Ashman, you definitely know his work: Ashman was the songwriter behind such Disney hits as "Under the Sea," "Be Our Guest," and "Friend Like Me." He also died at the age of 40, due to complications from AIDS. In this luminous documentary, Don Hahn — a Disney legend unto himself, who worked with the lyricist on such hits as "Beauty and the Beast" — captures Ashman's life with uncommon tenderness and grace. The memories of family members, co-workers, and friends are braided together into a complex tapestry: Everything from Ashman's childhood games of pretend to this time in the New York City theater scene is explored. Ashman's life was extraordinary, and so is this documentary.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor Hugo and Disney might seem like an odd combination, but this stunning musical makes a strong case for the blend. Quasimodo, the eponymous hunchback, has lived within Notre Dame his entire life. His guardian, Judge Frollo, insists this is for his own protection. But these strictures are no match for Esmeralda, the fearless and beautiful Romani dancer who enchants Quasimodo, Frollo, and Phoebus, the captain of Frollo's guard. In protecting her from Frollo's covetous wrath, Quasimodo seizes the life he's always longed for — but such a heroic quest does not come without consequences. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" plumbs the depths of the human heart with moving insight, stirring music, and breathtaking visuals.

  • Starring: Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Tony Jay

  • Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

  • Year: 1996

  • Runtime: 97 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

The Incredibles

Once upon a time, superheroes saved the world — then the public forced these bastions of justice underground. Bob Parr, who once socked evil in the jaw as Mr. Incredible, now slogs through life as an insurance adjuster. A mysterious woman named Mirage seems to offer him a return to glory, but she isn't what she seems. Soon enough, the entire Parr family is put in danger by Bob's derring-do — good thing they've all got superpowers. "The Incredibles" is basically Pixar's version of "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," with all the disillusionment that implies. The fact that it's still a hilarious adventure kids gobble up like candy is a testament to its greatness.

  • Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson

  • Director: Brad Bird

  • Year: 2004

  • Runtime: 115 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Inside Out

Young Riley is not crazy about her family's move to San Francisco, a fact the anthropomorphic emotions who live inside her head know well. Things go from bad to worse after a mishap hurls Joy, Sadness, and Riley's core memories into the far reaches of her brain. Joy and Sadness must make their way back to headquarters before Riley's life falls apart, but how can two such oppositional forces possibly work together? In tackling cognition itself, "Inside Out" takes Pixar's impressive body of work to new heights. You'll never forget this movie's inventive approach to trains of thought, abstract thinking, and imaginary friends.

  • Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling

  • Director: Pete Docter

  • Year: 2015

  • Runtime: 95 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Iron Man

Tony Stark is a billionaire, a tech genius, and kind of a jerk. Being kidnapped by terrorists humbles him and leads to his greatest creation: an incredibly advanced suit of armor boasting flight capabilities, hundreds of projectiles, and many other martial marvels. Having lost his taste for war profiteering, Tony decides to move in a different direction, but his business partner, the fiendish Obadiah Stane, isn't on board. Only a movie as clever, thrilling, and vivacious as "Iron Man" could have kicked off the behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Robert Downey Jr. is still a revelation in the title role, no matter how many times you might have seen him save the world by now.

  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow

  • Director: Jon Favreau

  • Year: 2008

  • Runtime: 127 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Jane

Primatologist Jane Goodall is internationally renowned for her revolutionary work with chimpanzees. But long before she was regarded as a groundbreaking expert, she was dismissed and underrated as a foolish, untrained girl. This virtuoso documentary captures her career in all its complexity, from those early obstacles to the fundamental shifts she caused in humanity's understanding of itself. A magnificent score and vivid footage of Goodall's first forays into the wild make the story even more compelling. In chronicling an extraordinary woman's life, "Jane" captures the heart of scientific exploration itself and the unquenchable thirst for understanding that drives it.

Lilo and Stitch

Life is hard for little Lilo. Her peers don't share her interests in Elvis, photography, or morbid make-believe. She's still healing from her parents' sudden deaths. The threat of social services looms over the harried home she shares with her big sister, Nani. Stitch, a violent alien experiment on the run from galactic authorities, is an unlikely ally — but as it turns out, he and Lilo understand each other perfectly. "Lilo and Stitch" weaves sci-fi, Hawaiian culture, and grief into an uncommonly genuine story of family in all its forms. Its exquisite watercolor backgrounds are also among the most sumptuous in the Disney canon.

  • Starring: Daveigh Chase, Ving Rhames, Kevin Michael Richardson

  • Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois

  • Year: 2002

  • Runtime: 87 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

The Lion King

The Pride Lands are a thriving animal kingdom, ruled by King Mufasa. But Scar, Mufasa's scheming brother, isn't content to watch from the sidelines. After concocting a terrible tragedy, Scar pushes Simba, Mufasa's son, into the wild. The young prince hides from his responsibilities for a time, but he cannot ignore the call to duty forever. This sweeping coming-of-age tale features astonishingly beautiful animation and a plethora of now-classic songs. Simba's journey is both deeply mythic (ancestral spirits appear in the sky to offer him wisdom) and endearingly cheeky (an entire song is dedicated to the art of slacking off). This clever blend made "The Lion King" into a smash hit and an enduring favorite of all ages.

The Little Mermaid

Ariel might be an undersea princess, but she just can't help but dream of the human world. After she rescues handsome Prince Eric from a shipwreck, her interest gains new passion — which Ursula, a sneaky sea witch, knows exactly how to exploit. Stripped of her voice but granted a pair of human legs, Ariel must find some way to make Eric love her within three days, lest she become Ursula's prisoner. "The Little Mermaid" made major waves by kicking off the Disney Renaissance of the '90s. It's not hard to see how it accomplished this: The film's earnest storytelling, vibrant animation, and absolutely spectacular score still sparkle like a brand-new dinglehopper.

  • Starring: Jodi Benson, Pat Carroll, Christopher Daniel Barnes

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

  • Year: 1989

  • Runtime: 86 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Mary Poppins

The Banks children would like a cheerful and indulgent nanny, while their father wants one who will keep his kids in line. Mary Poppins manages to satisfy both camps with her brand of magic. But she hasn't entered the Banks family's life just to clean up nurseries and bewitch carousels. She's here to teach them — especially Mr. Banks — how to cherish the true joys of family life. Bursting with effervescent music and innovative animation, "Mary Poppins" remains a uniquely vivacious treat for the whole family.

  • Starring: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson

  • Director: Robert Stevenson

  • Year: 1964

  • Runtime: 142 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Moana

To keep a mysterious blight from destroying her island home, Moana must step into her destiny as the ocean's chosen guardian ... which means getting along with Maui, the demigod responsible for the whole mess. But the destruction that stalks the ocean isn't exactly what it seems — and neither is Maui, whose bluster hides a lonely heart. Moana is ready to become a voyager, but is she prepared to brave the wilds of loss, betrayal, and self-doubt? An adventuresome tale full of crashing waves and soaring songs, "Moana" grounds itself in empathy. It's also definitely the only movie featuring a David Bowie-esque musical number sung by a gigantic, blinged-out coconut crab.

Mulan

Mulan is eager to be a good daughter, but her clumsiness and outspoken attitude just don't fit imperial China's norms. To make things worse, the Huns have invaded, and her father has been conscripted to fight in the Chinese army. Knowing her aging parent won't survive such a conflict, Mulan cuts her hair, dons his armor, and joins the fight in his place, disguised as a young man. With help from diminutive dragon Mushu and her new comrades, Mulan is transformed into a warrior, and learns that heroism and nobility were within her all along.

The Muppets

Muppet Studios is a decrepit wreck, and a cruel tycoon is looking to demolish it to get at the oil underneath. The Muppets must band together to stop this injustice, but they've long since parted ways. Luckily, an earnest Muppet named Walter, his human brother Gary, and Gary's girlfriend Mary are eager to reunite them. This erstwhile group must pull off a telethon unlike any other to save their beloved theater, but can they bridge the divisions that split them up in the first place? This fizzy film will please new and old Muppet fans alike.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Perhaps the only movie suited for both Halloween and Christmas viewing, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" centers around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Though he embodies the October holiday, he's become bored by its familiar spookiness. Stumbling into Christmas Town reignites Jack's imagination, to the point that he decides Halloween Town will take over the Yuletide festivities. This proves difficult, however — especially after the fiendish Oogie Boogie kidnaps Santa. This stop-motion marvel finds wonder in both holidays: Halloween is at its most fabulously fearsome in Jack's world, while Christmas shines like new through his awed eyes.

  • Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Frank Welker

  • Director: Henry Selick

  • Year: 1993

  • Runtime: 80 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Parent Trap

Hallie and Annie are identical twins, but for the first 11 years of their lives, they have no idea this is the case. After their parents divorced in their infancy, each adult took one daughter and scampered off to their corner of the world. When the girls realize the truth after meeting at summer camp, they decide to impersonate each other and go home with the parent they've never known. With a little luck, they might just get mom and dad back together ... if a scheming blonde with her eyes on their dad doesn't get in the way first. A sunny family comedy featuring Lindsay Lohan's breakthrough role (she plays both sisters), "The Parent Trap" is a giddy good time.

  • Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson

  • Director: Nancy Meyers

  • Year: 1998

  • Runtime: 129 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Jack Sparrow is a pirate without a ship, Will Turner is a blacksmith without a past, and Elizabeth Swann is a woman without options. Their fates collide when the undead crew of the infamous Black Pearl, Jack's former ship, kidnap Elizabeth in the hopes of lifting their curse. Absolution won't come that easily, however — especially since Will and Jack are hot on their heels. A high-seas adventure with an irrepressible spirit, this first installment of the "Pirates of Caribbean" franchise is still the very best of the series.

  • Starring: Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom

  • Director: Gore Verbinski

  • Year: 2003

  • Runtime: 145 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

The Princess Bride

Westley and Buttercup are in love, but the former's apparent death at the hand of the Dread Pirate Roberts and the latter's engagement to Prince Humperdinck wrench them apart. What's a storybook couple to do? Have a grand adventure involving kindly giants, vengeful swordsmen, and Rodents of Unusual Size, of course. One of the most quotable movies you're ever bound to see, "The Princess Bride" spoofs fairy tales as gleefully as its embraces their most tried-and-true tropes. True love has never been so funny or so genuinely affecting.

  • Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin

  • Director: Rob Reiner

  • Year: 1987

  • Runtime: 98 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

The Princess Diaries

Being a Disney princess doesn't usually involve navigating high school, but nothing about Mia Thermopolis' life is what you'd expect. A nerdy San Francisco teen, Mia is shocked to learn she's heir to the throne of Genovia. Clarisse, her elegant grandmother, is determined to transform her into a refined beauty, but Mia isn't so sure she's suited to the royal life. What's a girl who dreads public speaking supposed to do? Anne Hathaway is absolutely perfect as awkward yet adorable Mia — it's no wonder this proved to be her breakthrough role. Julie Andrews is just as charismatic, albeit significantly more sophisticated, as Clarisse. Together, they form one of the most charming and memorable grandmother-granddaughter pairs in film history.

  • Starring: Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Mandy Moore

  • Director: Garry Marshall

  • Year: 2001

  • Runtime: 116 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

The Princess and the Frog

Tiana has been saving up to open her own restaurant for years, and she's just about reached her goal. Unfortunately, a visiting prince has been transformed into a frog, and Tiana's kiss doesn't restore him — it turns her into a pond-hopping amphibian as well. Together, they must journey across 1920s New Orleans in search of a way to break the spell ... but the solution might be closer than they realize. "The Princess and the Frog" boasts inventive animation, catchy tunes, and one of the most charming princesses in the Disney canon.

  • Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, John Goodman

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

  • Year: 2009

  • Runtime: 98 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Queen of Katwe

Life in the Ugandan slum of Katwe is anything but easy, as young Phiona knows well. But everything changes when she discovers chess through a local missionary center. A prodigy eager to hone her skills and increase her understanding of the game, Phiona rises through the competitive chess world's ranks — but no matter how swiftly she ascends, calamity is never far behind. Based on a true story, "Queen of Katwe" resists easy cliches. Phiona, her family, and the people of Katwe are all well-rounded individuals doing the best they can with what the world has given them. What results is an incandescent story of success, sacrifice, and struggle.

  • Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, Madina Nalwanga

  • Director: Mira Nair

  • Year: 2016

  • Runtime: 125 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shaun is a parking valet, living a low-key life in San Francisco. But this persona is false: In truth, Shaun is Shang-Chi, a deadly martial artist and the son of Wenwu, leader of the secretive and centuries-spanning Ten Rings organization. Shang-Chi can't run from his past forever, especially after Wenwu starts sending his forces to attack him on city buses. But confronting his father means confronting mythological forces of immense power, as well as his family's own grief. Shang-Chi's first movie is an adventure of the highest order and an exciting new chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sleeping Beauty

Princess Aurora is beautiful, graceful, and kind. Unfortunately, she's also been cursed by the wicked Maleficent. At the age of 16, Aurora is fated to touch the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deep and deathlike sleep, which can only be broken by true love's kiss. "Sleeping Beauty" is one of the most visually splendiferous movies of the early Disney era, full of vibrant jewel tones and eye-catching character design. It's also chock-full of memorable characters, like the three good fairies who watch over Aurora, clever Prince Phillip, and, of course, Maleficent — a villain so magnetic that she got her very own movie 55 years later.

  • Starring: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley

  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Eric Larson, Les Clark

  • Year: 1959

  • Runtime: 78 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White, a compassionate young princess, lives the soot-grimed life of a scullery maid. But her beauty and gentleness cannot be hidden by rags forever. Soon enough, she's declared "the fairest one of all" by an all-seeing magic mirror. Cast out by the jealous Queen, Snow White finds a home with the seven dwarfs. But the Queen refuses to let her live, even in exile. Will her poisoned apple bring Snow White's life to an abrupt end? You probably already know the answer, but that hardly matters — "Snow White" is still a rich and mesmerizing masterpiece for all ages.

  • Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Harry Stockwell

  • Directors: David Hand, William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson

  • Year: 1937

  • Runtime: 86 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

The Sound of Music

Young Maria, an Austrian woman of the 1930s, dreams of becoming a nun, but she just can't seem to conform to her abbey's quiet ways. Luckily, the forbidding Georg von Trapp's seven rambunctious children need a governess — a job considerably more suited to spirited Maria's talents. As she falls in love with both the children and their father, however, the shadow of Nazism grows longer and darker. In contrasting warm-hearted romance, timeless humor, and unforgettable music against the gathering storm of World War II, "The Sound of Music" captures something vital: Joy endures, no matter the circumstances.

  • Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Peggy Wood

  • Director: Robert Wise

  • Year: 1965

  • Runtime: 175 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

A far-off galaxy suffers beneath the Galactic Empire's authoritarian rule. Luke Skywalker, a humble farm boy, is an unlikely hero of this conflict — he's only ever known the sands of Tatooine, the out-of-the-way desert planet he calls home. But as he soon learns, he's actually the son of a famed Jedi Knight, whose power and potential now flows through his veins. With the help of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, rebellion leader Princess Leia, and suave smuggler Han Solo, Luke must master the mysterious Force that powers both sides of the war before the Empire crushes the Rebellion once and for all.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

Luke Skywalker's journey grows more complicated, intimate, and fantastical in this widely lauded installment of the "Star Wars" franchise. As Darth Vader pursues Han Solo and Princess Leia across the galaxy, Luke trains with Yoda, a Jedi Master of immense skill. Will Luke master the light side of the Force or fall into darkness? This question grows all the more complex once Luke learns his father wasn't exactly the slain hero Obi-Wan made him out to be. Family secrets, interstellar warfare, and pulse-pounding romance collide in this classic film.

The Straight Story

After learning his estranged brother has suffered a stroke, elderly veteran Alvin Straight decides to visit him. As he can't legally drive, he has to get creative and ultimately settles on traveling the 240 miles dividing them on his riding lawnmower. As he makes his way across the beautiful and unforgiving landscape, he faces engine trouble, human misery, and dwindling funds — but also joy, camaraderie, and unconquerable love. This nuanced film tackles everything from fraying family ties to the loneliness of advanced age with unforgettable insight.

  • Starring: Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton, Richard Farnsworth

  • Director: David Lynch

  • Year: 1999

  • Runtime: 111 minutes

  • Rating: G

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Questlove's feature-length directorial debut tells the story of 1969's Harlem Cultural Festival. Haven't heard of it? "Summer of Soul" isn't surprised — this watershed moment of Black pride, artistry, and activism has largely been erased from the public consciousness. Luckily for us, this vibrant documentary is out to explain why with keen insight and a plethora of fascinating interviews. But for all this thoughtful criticism, "Summer of Soul" is also an ecstatic ode to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Footage of legendary musicians like Nina Simone and Stevie Wonder captures these luminaries at the height of their powers while first-hand recollections from festival-goers and the performers themselves provide vivid detail. What results in a portrait of unadulterated joy. 

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor, heir to the Asgardian throne and Avenger supreme, finds himself on the brightly colored and brutally violent world of Sakaar in this riotous Marvel movie. The Hulk is there too, having crash-landed after "Avengers: Age of Ultron." He's the long-standing champion of Sakaar's infamous gladiatorial games. Eager to get back to Asgard before his long-lost sister Hela takes the place over, Thor sets out to get the Hulk, his brother Loki, and the cynical Valkyrie on his side. But breaking out of Sakaar, a planet crawling with unscrupulous lowlifes from around the galaxy, is no mean feat. Good thing too — watching our heroes wend their way through this bizarre world is absolutely hilarious.

  • Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett

  • Director: Taika Waititi

  • Year: 2017

  • Runtime: 132 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Turning Red

13-year-old Mei is a star student, devoted daughter, and fierce friend. But when she wakes up one morning as a gigantic red panda, her carefully ordered life is smashed to pieces. She soon discovers that the women of her family have been enduring this chaotic transformation for years — and luckily, there's a way to stop it. But is the red panda, and the uninhibited emotion it brings, really so bad? "Turning Red" is a vibrant and unabashed celebration of young womanhood, from its fond portrayal of boy band mania to its tender exploration of the mother-daughter bond. Elastic animation brings things to even greater heights and captures the middle school experience in especially endearing detail.

  • Starring: Sandra Oh, Rosalie Chiang, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
  • Directors: Domee Shi
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Toy Story

If all "Toy Story" accomplished was being the first entirely computer-animated movie, that would have been enough. But the people at Pixar are overachievers, and "Toy Story" is also one of the greatest animated films ever made. Woody, a well-loved cowboy doll, is young Andy's favorite toy. But his peak position is threatened by the arrival of Buzz Lightyear, a sleek plastic astronaut with blinking lights and sound effects ... who has no idea he's a toy. Their hysterical battle of wills highlights everything from the shifts that defined 20th-century kid culture (alas, poor cowboys, victims of the space age) to the fleeting nature of childhood itself. "Toy Story" takes viewers to infinity and beyond, all by looking inside the toybox.

Up

After his beloved wife dies, elderly Carl decides to escape encroaching urban development by attaching thousands of balloons to his home and simply flying away. To his displeasure and surprise, he has a stowaway: Russell, an excitable Wilderness Explorer eager to earn his "Assisting the Elderly" badge. Things get even more complicated when they land in South America and discover Carl's boyhood hero, the Lindbergh-esque Charles Muntz, is very much alive ... and possibly bonkers. Though grief has made him cynical, Carl soon learns that adventures happen when you least expect them, if you're brave enough to open your heart to their possibilities.

  • Starring: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai

  • Director: Pete Docter

  • Year: 2009

  • Runtime: 96 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Eddie Valiant is a private eye, like so many noir heroes before him. But his Los Angeles is home to both humans and cartoon beings like Roger Rabbit, who winds up framed for murder. Together, taciturn Eddie and wacky Roger must uncover the truth — if they can, that is. Corruption runs deeper in Toontown than anyone realizes, and those in power are full of dangerous tricks. Even decades after its release, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" remains hysterically funny, gorgeously rendered, and surprisingly sweet. Animation and detective fiction have never been so weird or so downright entertaining.

  • Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins, Charles Fleischer

  • Director: Robert Zemeckis

  • Year: 1988

  • Runtime: 104 minutes

  • Rating: PG

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%