BEST kids movies to watch at home on Disney+
When you are stuck at home or don’t want to go outside, here are our favourite family movies to watch on Disney+.
Disney+ is an on-demand streaming service that launched in New Zealand in November 2019 with over 500 family and kids movies and more than 350 series They have movies from Disney, Pixar animation, Marvel comic book movies, Star Wars adventures and National Geographic. Disney+ costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 for a year (as at March 2020). They also offer a 7 day free trial, so it’s a good time to try it out while we are in lockdown in New Zealand. You can find out more about Disney+ here: www.disneyplus.com
There are lots of family films to choose on Disney+, here are our families favourite ones:
Christopher Robin (2018)
Disney’s charming movie Christopher Robin was inspired by A. A. Milne’s and E. H. Shephard’s Winne The Pooh children’s books. In this adventure Christopher Robin is now grown up and living in London but has lost his way. Christopher’s childhood friends Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabit, Kanga and Roo come out of the Hundred Acre Wood to help him rediscover the joy of life. This is an endearing movie that the whole family will enjoy.
Frozen and Frozen 2
Frozen is a heartwarming tale of Anna, who is in a race to find her sister Elsa whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Elsa teams up with Kristoff and his reindeer Sven and a snowman named Olaf to help find Elsa.
The sequel Frozen 2 was released early on Disney+ to bring some cheer during the COVID-19 gloom. Frozen 2 expands the world around Arrendale but has darker moments than Frozen. Whilst, we did not enjoy this movie as much as Frozen however it is still enjoyable to watch with its stunning animation, music and heart touching moments.
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Big Hero 6 is a fun animation movie based on a Marvel comic the tells the story of how robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada and his robot Baymax team up with a band of unlikely heroes to save San Fransokyo. Disney+ also has a Big Hero6 Series available to watch.
The Lion King (1994 and 2019 versions)
The Lion King (2019) is an extremely realistic computer animated remake of Disney’s original 1994 Lion King movie. It retells the story of Simba who idolises his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. Not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasas brother (and former heir to the throne) had his own plans.
Due to the realism of the animated animals, some younger children may find this movie more frightening than the original cartoon version. Our favourite is still the original 1994 version of the movie.
Aladdin is a live fast paced modern animation film retelling the original classic 1992 Aladdin film. Will Smith stands out as the blue genie where he shows us his singing, acting and dancing skills in this fun movie.
Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (2019)
Toy Story is an American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney. Andy a boy, Sheriff Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) a vintage cowboy doll and Buzz Lightyear an action figure star are the main characters in the first Toy Story movie and its 3 sequels. We enjoyed all four of the movies, but liked Toy Story 2 the best as it was an action packed story that tells you what it means to put others ahead yourself.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2010)
The film is based on C.S Lewis’ timeless adventure books and will entertain the whole family. The story is set during World War II and tells of how four siblings are sent to an English country house to live with an old professor to be safe. Lucy finds a wardrobe that leads to the magical land called Narnia while playing hide and seek. Once there, the children discover a land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants that has become cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch. Under the guidance of the lion Alsan, a noble and mystical ruler, the children fight to overcome the White Witch‘s powerful hold over Narnia in a spectacular, climactic battle that will free Narnia from the’ icy spell forever.
Inside Out (2015)
Disney Pixar’s original movie Inside Out takes you to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind. Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for 11 year old Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley‘s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. We think this film is best suited to kids aged 6 years plus and adults as the dream clown may upset younger viewers.
Stargirl from Disney+ released in 2020 is a quirky coming-of-age story based on the critically-acclaimed, New York Times’ best-selling young adult novel about an unassuming high schooler Leo Borlock who finds himself inexplicably drawn to the free-spirited new girl Stargirl Caraway, whose unconventional ways change how they see themselves… and each other. Families with tweens and teens will enjoy this movie.
From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a metropolis where various animals live and thrive in a human free world. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder. The movie has lots of jokes for the adults that will go over the kids head making it film parents will enjoy too! This is a fun, clever and enjoyable movie for the whole family.
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
The Good Dinosaur asks the question: “What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?” In this journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. This movie is made especially for kids with the dinoaurs looking cute and cuddly rather than scarily realistic and the storyline being easy to follow.
The Incredibles (2004) and The Incredibles 2 (2018)
Mr Incredible, Bob Parr is married to his superhero wife Elastigirl, Helen Parr have retreated to live in the suburbs with their 3 children Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack and assumed the identies of normal people. The entire family get roped into Bob’s adventures and the kids get to use their own superhero powers.
In Incredibles 2 the Parr family take on the Underminer who plans to rob Metroville bank.
The Incredible movies are fun and action packed that all ages will enjoy.
Cars (2006), Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017)
Cars is a computer animated comedy film that has 2 sequels Cars 2 and Cars 3.
Cars follows the adventures of racing car Lightning McQueen who lives in Radiator Springs, a forgotten town on Route 66. Lightning McQeen a talking car discovered winning wasn’t the most important thing and enjoyed making friends in Radiator Springs.
In Cars 2 Lighting McQueen encouraged by tow truck pal Mater enters the World Grand Prix, taking place in the landmark cities of Tokyo, London and Paris.
In Cars 3 sequel Lightning McQueen discovered he is no longer the best racer on the circuit, he has been overtaken by a sports car with newer technology.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
A city of monsters with no humans called Monstropolis centers around the city’s power company, Monsters, Inc. The lovable, confident, tough, furry blue behemoth-like giant monster named James P. Sullivan (better known as Sulley) and his wisecracking best friend, short, green cyclops monster Mike Wazowski, discover what happens when the real world interacts with theirs in the form of a 2-year-old baby girl dubbed Boo, who accidentally sneaks into the monster world with Sulley one night. It’s up to Sulley and Mike to send Boo back in her door before anybody finds out. This is a fun movie for both kids and grown-ups to watch.
Coco is a musical adventure film set in Mexico that both adults and children will enjoy. The film’s main character is Miguel who dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, despite his families ban on playing music. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
The movie is best suited to children aged 8 years and over as younger children may find the Land of the Dead and the skeleton characters unsettling
Watch the lovable robot WALL-E who discovers a new purpose in life when he meets robot EVE and meets a hilarious cast of characters on their journey across the universe. The first 30 minutes of the movie is almost dialogue free which may make younger kids restless until the action scenes of the movie take place. The movie has a strong environmental message to reduce, reuse and recycle to help the planet.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Lilo & Stitch is a fun animated comedy adventure from Disney that was a hit amount kids aged 10 years and under. The story tells the friendship between cute little Hawaiian Lilo Chase and the naughty alien Stitch and follows them on their fun adventures.
Pete's Dragon (2016)
Pete’s Dragon is fun heartfelt animated adventure film about an orphan Pete and his best friend an invisible green dragon called Elliot. It is a movie that will make you laugh and cry that both adults and children will enjoy. The movie was filmed in New Zealand and captures New Zealand breathstaking scenery in the film too.
Wreck-it Ralph (2012) and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2 (2018)
Wreck-it Ralph is a fun animated Disney movie, Ralph plays the bad guy in his arcade video game. He leaves his own arcade video game to prove he isn’t just the bad guy on a game hopping journey to prove he is a true hero with a big heart in this animation movie. The film is fun for both kids and parents.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is a funny sequel movie that expands on Ralph’s colourful universe and characters in this story about friendship.
Moana sets sail on a daring mission to save her people in this Walt Disney Animation Studios movie. She meets the demigod Maui and they cross the ocean together on their voyage.
Merida is determined to carve her own path in life and defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land. When her actions inadvertently unlease chaos in the kingdom, Merida mus harness all of her skills to undo a beastly curse before it it too late and discovers what true bravery is.
This modern Cinderella movie shines with beauty, imagination, magic and royalty.
Despite being mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, spirited Ella resolves to take charge of her fate before the clock turns midnight.
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
This adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast brings the classic to life, complete with an enchanted castle, catchy tunes and a tale as old as time. Watch brave, independent Belle discover the enchanted castle of a mysterious beast after setting out to rescue her father.
Rapunzel, a teen with 70 feet of golden hair wants to get out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years. When the kingdom’s most wanted bandit is taken hostage, the unlikely duo set off on a hair-raising escapade.
A Little Mermaid
Disney’s The Little Mermaid explores royalty under the sea. Ariel the mermaid, strikes a bargain with devious sea witch, Ursula to be human. She must then win the prince’s love and save her father’s kingdom in a race against time.
Finding Dory (2016)
Dory is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them.
Lady and the Tramp (2019)
The Disney+ Original is a timeless re-telling of a favourite animated Disney classic. Lady and the Tramp follows a house dog and a stray as they embark on an adventure and come to understand the value of home.
A Bug's Life (1998)
At an annual pace, a huge colony of ants is forced to collect every piece of food that grows on their island for a group of menacing grasshoppers. But that all changes when a misfit inventor ant named Flik accidentally knocks over the offering pile thus forcing the grasshoppers’ devious leader Hopper to force the ants to redo their gathering of food. Despite the fact that his friends don’t believe him and desperate to help save the colony, Flik volunteers to go out into the world and search for a group of ‘warrior’ bugs. Instead, what he got was a talented group of circus performers. But when the grasshoppers return and take control of the island, Flik must prove himself a true hero before it’s too late.
Bolt, is about an American white shepherd, that has lived his whole life on the set of his action TV show, where he believes he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he meets a female alley cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino. He learns that he doesn’t have superpowers and that the show is not real when he tries to find his way home.
Ratatouille is a fun family comedy about Remy a determined young rat who dreams of becoming a famous chef set in Paris.
Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
Mrs Doubtfire is an oldie but a goodie! The eccentric dad of three kids dresses as a British nanny so he can care for his children at the home of their mother in this comedy.
The Sond of Music (1965)
This classic musical inspired by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is about the Von Trapp family who courage leg them across the Alps in their 1938 flight to freedom. Although this is an old movie originally released in 1965, it makes for a fun family singalong.