Well, there’s no turning back now. On Nov. 12, Disney officially launched Disney Plus, the media empire’s answer to the age of streaming. Priced at $6.99 per month (or $69.99 per year), the service will offer both original series and films, along with classics from inside the Disney vault.
With over 300 titles available to stream upon launch, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’ve taken the leap and sold your soul to the Disney machine. Here’s a helpful guide on what’s available, where you should start and what you can probably skip.
Disney Plus Originals
One of the major selling points of Disney Plus is its massive content library of amazing films. However, Disney Plus libraries are geo-restricted in many parts of the world, and you can only access it with the help of a VPN that works with Disney Plus. Apart from that, there are a few ready to stream films and series upon launch.
“Lady and the Tramp” (2019)
While “The Lion King” and “Cats” have stolen the real-animals-turned-animated spotlight for the year, Disney Plus is here to remind us that they did, in fact, invest money in a live action remake of “Lady and the Tramp.” If animated dogs falling in love wasn’t your thing, how about real dogs, with animated mouths? Much like “The Lion King,” the remake will most likely offer nothing new to the story, but if you have some extra time on your hands, it may be worth checking out.
“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (2019)
I mean … this can go so many different ways. Though I am a former “High School Musical” fanatic, I’m not as hard-pressed for a reboot of the beloved films as some others. I also did not feel personally offended by the announcement of … whatever this is (not a reboot, and NOT a remake, as advertised by the service). I mean, don’t quote me on this, but it doesn’t look that … bad? I have to give Disney some credit for at least trying to bring some original content to the table, though the story line — “boy who doesn’t sing sings for girl” — sounds eerily familiar. Either way, curiosity will definitely get the better of everyone.
If nothing else, please tune into “Noelle” so Anna Kendrick gets her check. This “Elf” reminiscent holiday comedy doesn’t look half bad. Kendrick is a gem in any role, and with Bill Hader and Billy Eichner in supporting roles, it should make for some mildly entertaining holiday viewing.
Disney Channel Original Movies
Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) were a staple of practically every millennial’s childhood. Luckily, over 100 DCOM titles are available to stream on Disney Plus. My personal recommendations are:
“Cadet Kelly” (2002)
Sorry, but the scene where Christy Carlson Romano and Hilary Duff are back to back before they perform a ribbon dance (the details of why they’re performing a ribbon dance are murky) is in the top 10 DCOM moments.
“The Cheetah Girls” (2003) and “The Cheetah Girls 2” (2006)
Notice how I left “One World” out. This was not a mistake — give me Raven or give me death!
“Pixel Perfect” (2004)
Formative in my love of pop stars, a must-see at any age.
Don’t skip this just because Halloween is over. “Twitches” is great in any season.
“Princess Protection Program” (2008)
Take yourself back to the days when all you had to worry about was whether Demi and Selena were still BFFs.
“Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” (2009)
Easily the best Disney Channel series turned DCOM.
“Lemonade Mouth” (2011)
Then revisit the soundtrack, which still slaps to this day.
Of course, you’ll be able to access your fair share of Pixar titles upon launch. Though you really can’t go wrong with any of them, I suggest you prioritize:
“Monsters Inc.” (2001) and “Monsters University” (2013)
My personal favorite, along with the sequel that managed to deliver. Both have withstood the test of time and remain classics in the Pixar catalog.
If you’re in the mood to start questioning whether the reality presented here is actually on its way to becoming ours.
“Finding Nemo” (2003) and “Finding Dory” (2016
Another pair that go hand-in-hand. Both possess that childlike joy that we all turn to Pixar for.
I mean … it never gets old.
Disney Channel Original Series
You really can’t go wrong, but I urge you to start with:
“Good Luck Charlie” (2011)
Everybody say, “Thank you, Bridgit Mendler!”
“Wizards of Waverly Place” (2007)
Everybody say, “Thank you, Alex Russo!”
“That’s So Raven” (2003)
One of the few Disney Channel series that remained truly iconic from start to finish.
“The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” (2005)
Easily the most quotable Disney show of all time.
“Lilo & Stitch: The Series” (2003
So often forgotten in the Disney Channel conversation. If you didn’t grow up on it, it’s not too late to acquaint yourself.
Aside from the aforementioned categories, Disney Plus will also host a plethora of other Disney-owned titles with live-action and animated films dating back to the 1930s. This miscellaneous category is easily the most overwhelming, so here are the movies you have to visit (or revisit) as you start your Disney Plus journey.
“Freaky Friday” (2003)
NOT to be confused with whatever Disney Channel put out last year. This classic starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis was huge in my development as a person and truly deserves to go down in history as one of the greats.
“The Muppets” (2011)
Sign me up for anything involving the Muppets, especially this heartwarming little number.
“The Mistle-Tones” (2012)
I am genuinely the only person who watched and enjoyed this ABC family holiday musical, but I am valid — and so are you, if you decide to stream it this holiday season!
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (2010)
Thanks to Disney’s recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox, you can now revisit this iconic adaption of the iconic book series any time you want.