Come back, Mickey!
in the near future.
While the online service has basically become synonymous with — no one says — by 2019, you won’t be able to stream whatever Disney content you want on Netflix anymore.
Disney announced this week that including Pixar movies, from Netflix at the end of 2018 because they’ll be launching their own streaming service in 2019, with original movies, TV shows, and, yes, all of the Disney movies you’ve been watching on other online platforms.
(Disney will also be launching a robust ESPN streaming service earlier in 2018.)
So, what does that mean for watching your favorite Disney movies and TV shows online?
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, specifically said that any would definitely be pulled from Netflix, but, the “jury was still out on Marvel and Star Wars films.” (You forgot they owned Marvel and Lucasfilm now, didn’t you?)
Iger mentioned that the Marvel shows that were specifically created for Netflix — like Daredevil or The Defenders — would remain on the service, but other Disney shows (like the Disney Channel shows that are currently on Netflix) were not mentioned in the announcement.
However, it may be safe to assume that the fate of ANY Disney-owned property on Netflix right now is up in the air. So, rather than buying all of your favorite programs before they disappear behind that Disney-specific paywall, why not and TV shows on Netflix right now with a little at-home film festival?
If you want to spend a few weeks making your Netflix account the happiest place on Earth, here are the 25 BEST Disney movies and TV shows currently on Netflix that you should definitely watch before they’re gone next year.
It won the best animated film Oscar for a reason. This buddy-cop comedy, set in a metropolis filled with talking animals, is one of the smartest, funniest, most surprisingly poignant movies that Disney has made in years. You will not mind watching this with your kids (or on your own).
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I know the fate of the Star Wars films on Netflix isn’t set in stone yet, but any excuse to revisit Rogue One is a good one. Does it have some weird flaws and no opening crawl? Yes. But the action is still fantastic, the world-building is solid, the ending is crazy, crazy dark, and that Darth Vader scene, right? I mean, right??
3. Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection
Walt Disney Animation Studios is currently experiencing a bit of a creative renaissance — thanks to movies like Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, and Zootopia — but one of the best showcases for the exciting things currently happening at the studio is this collection of the brilliant short films that have been accompanying recent Disney releases. Is this a case of Disney blatantly copying the Pixar formula? YES. But that doesn’t mean they’re not really, really good.
This 1940 classic is one of the most beautiful animated films of all time AND it has spent the past 70 years acting as many kids’ first introduction to classical music. So, yeah, this is a capital-C “Classic” and the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment is still one of the best things Mickey Mouse ever did.
5. The Emperor’s New Groove
I will physically fight anyone who argues that Emperor’s New Groove isn’t one of the funniest animated films of the past 20 years. But I get it. Nothing about this 2000 movie makes sense. It had a troubled production history (there’s a whole documentary about how they cut out all of the music Sting wrote for it), it stars David Spade, and it’s about a llama. But, man oh man, it is HILARIOUS.
6. The Jungle Book (2016)
The original animated version has way better music and a looser, more casual vibe, but Jon Favreau’s live-action/CGI remake of the Disney classic is engaging, entertaining, and absolutely gorgeous to look at.
7. Queen of Katwe
If you’re not familiar with this movie, you should be — especially if you know any impressionable young girls looking for a kick-ass role model. Directed by the woman who brought us Bend It Like Beckham, this biopic tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from a poor region of Uganda who improbably became a world chess master. (It’s really fantastic.)
8. The Parent Trap (1961)
The iconic original still has a ton of charm, plus it doesn’t come with all that “OMG, what happened to Lindsay Lohan?” baggage. You should give it a try.
9. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Probably still the best blending of live action and animation ever put to film, Roger Rabbit is better than you remember. Plus if you freaked out over the recent trailer for Ready Player One, where Steven Spielberg got permission to have the Back to the Future car interacting with the Iron Giant, Freddy Kruger, and other pop culture properties, Roger Rabbit is essentially the animated version of that — somehow finding a way to have Mickey Mouse joking around with Bugs Bunny without getting everyone sued.
10. Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
If the fifth movie has given you Pirates fatigue — and if recent press coverage of Johnny Depp has given you Johnny fatigue — you should seriously go back and revisit The Curse of the Black Pearl. It’s a tremendously FUN movie and Depp is undeniably fantastic in it. Maybe it can help you remember why people actually wanted MORE Jack Sparrow in the first place.
11. Sky High
This 2005 film is an under-the-radar gem and maybe one of the best superhero films of the past 20 years. It’s like a John Hughes movie set in a high school for the children of superheroes, but the script is cleverer than you expect and the casting is EXCELLENT. You’ve got Kurt Russell, Lynda Carter (as the principal), and a murderer’s row of comedians from sketch comedy groups like Broken Lizard, Mr. Show, and The Kids in the Hall. It’s worth a look.
12. Phineas And Ferb
You may not believe me, but Phineas and Ferb is one of the smartest, funniest, most meta animated shows in recent memory. It follows the continuing adventures of of two child geniuses trying to have the best summer ever, but it’s about so much more than that. It has inept super villains, a disembodied reggae space voice (??), constant fourth wall breaking, and a huge fan following, which lead to guest appearances by people like Ben Stiller, Kevin Smith, and Simon Pegg. Trust me, it’s addictive.
13. Mickey’s House of Villains
This might seem like an odd pick, but it has some hidden depth. The Disney Channel had a show called “House of Mouse” about Mickey Mouse owning a nightclub that various Disney characters would visit and, in this Halloween episode, every Disney villain shows up and takes over the establishment. But that storyline isn’t the real appeal (it’s pretty cheesy). The best part is that the episode collects new and old Halloween-themed Disney short films and most of them (even the new ones) are extremely well-made.
14. The Nightmare Before Christmas
A stop-motion classic and the inspiration for 90% of the merchandise at Hot Topic. This Tim Burton masterpiece is still the best “movie to watch between Halloween and Christmas” ever made.
15. Disney Animation Collection Volumes 1-3
These short film compilations collect some of the most memorable cartoons from the golden age of Disney, like The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and Mickey and the Beanstalk. If you enjoy classic animation (or if you want to show your kids that there were cartoons before the era of CGI), these are worth a look.
Kick-ass princess who controls her own destiny, Dwayne Johnson oozing charm, music by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda… what’s not to like? (You’re welcome.)
17. Cool Runnings
Children of the ‘90s have a lot of affection for this biopic about the insane true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team competing in the Winter Olympics and with good reason. It’s charming as HELL and it stars John Candy, so it has a LOT going for it. One of the most kid-friendly, smile-worthy sports movies in recent memory.
18. Captain America: Civil War
So, as I said earlier, it’s still not clear if Marvel movies will be leaving Netflix as part of the new Disney streaming service, but why not use that as an excuse to rewatch Civil War? Because it’s good. Strangely good. In fact, it shouldn’t be this good. The premise is insane and it has way too many characters, but it all works and it might be the best Avengers movie since the original Avengers. (I’m purposely avoiding eye contact with you, Age of Ultron.)
19. Doctor Strange
Very similar to Civil War in respects that “yeah, it might not leave Netflix,” but it’s still really entertaining. Might not be the best Marvel movie ever, but it’s visually engaging, Cumberbatch is a strong lead, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
This 1995 movie set at a kids’ fat camp might look like a clichéd riff on the traditional “camp movie” formula, but you have to take a look at the pedigree behind this movie. It is the first film ever written by Judd Apatow (yes, that Judd Apatow), the production team is made up of people behind shows like Freaks & Geeks and some of Adam Sandler’s funniest movies, AND the bad guy is Ben Stiller who is essentially playing a proto-version of his villain from Dodgeball. So if you missed this on in the 90s, it’s worth a look.
21. Girl Meets World
This Disney Channel show — a continuation of the ‘90s nostalgia hit Boy Meets World — shouldn’t be as good as it is. And yet, despite some expected kids’ show cheesiness, it’s unexpectedly smart, moving, and well-made. Particular credit goes to woke AF Rowan Blanchard for bringing a surprising amount of gravitas to the title role.
22. Finding Dory
It’s not as good as Nemo. (It has to be said.) But, despite being slight and a bit repetitive, it’s still beautifully made and will make you smile for hours.
23. The BFG
This movie flopped at the box office, but Steven Spielberg’s take on the Roald Dahl classic deserved better. It wears its heart on its sleeve, has some wonderful moments, and Mark Rylance’s performance as The BFG is simply beautiful.
24. Pete’s Dragon (2016)
The original Pete’s Dragon is a weird ‘70s goofball gem, but this 2016 retelling of the story trades in all of the sing-alongs to tell an amazingly moving story about a feral boy in the wilderness living with his gentle giant dragon friend. It’s more like a love-child of E.T and a Terrence Malick movie than Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and it’s definitely worth your time.
25. Lilo & Stitch
One of the weirdest, most eccentric animated movies that Disney ever made and it’s… GREAT. Just great. You will smile all the way through it.