Family movie night is sort of a tradition for many families, at least in western culture. The secret to a good kids movie is finding something that will entertain everyone. Most everyone has a soft spot for Disney. Maybe it’s because of the characters and storylines, maybe it’s because it was such a big part of our childhood. Whatever the reason, Disney movies are an excellent choice for family movie night. But which are the best Disney movies on Netflix?
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We’ve put together a list of some of the best Disney movies available for Netflix below. Keep in mind that a lot of Disney flicks have been removed from Netflix when Disney Plus launched, and the same may happen to the movies on this list eventually.
Best Disney movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as Disney movies leave and others make their debut on Netflix.
1. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
A few big names star in this movie including Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren. The story revolves around a girl named Clara who is transported into a parallel world where she meets a soldier by the name of Phillip along with the regents who control the three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. It’s up to Clara and Phillip to head to the Fourth Realm, which is the home of the tyrant Mother Ginger, to restore peace in what is an unstable world. There’s a lot more to the story, of course, but we don’t want to spoil it for you. This really is a great movie and is primarily aimed at kids.
2. The Muppets
Disney bought the rights to The Muppets a while ago, and its first major effort was this 2011 reboot. Amy Adams and Jason Segal (who also co-wrote the movie) star along with Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and all your favorites. It’s an old-fashioned musical as The Muppets find out their theater is being torn down. They have to raise $10 million in order to save the day. This is just a pure fun, and funny, family movie.
3. Mary Poppins Returns
This 2018 sequel to the hit 1960s musical stars Emily Blunt, who seems born to play Mary Poppins. She returns to help a now grown-up Michael Banks take care of his own three young children. While this sequel doesn’t have quite the magical glow that the original movie had, there are certainly some great sequences to watch. Plus, Blunt makes up for much of the film’s slow faults. Finally, Dick Van Dyke returns in a cool cameo.
4. Saving Mr. Banks
Speaking of Mary Poppins, this 2013 movie is all about the creation of both the original book by P.L. Travers and how the movie version came to be as well. Emma Thompson plays Travers with a lot of skeptisms about adapting her book for the screen. Tom Hanks does his best in bringing Walt Disney himself to life, as he tries to convince Travers to let his studio make the movie.
5. Disney Short Films Collection
Netflix has posted this collection of 12 short subjects from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Think of it as a brief look at some interesting side-trips into Disney’s properties. In this collection, you can watch two Academy Award winners for Best Animated Short, Paperman, and Feast. You also get a cool retro-looking Mickey Mouse short, Get A Horse!, and two shorts featuring the cast of Tangled and Frozen, respectively.
6. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
I was a big fan of Wreck it Ralph. As you expect from sequels, Ralph Breaks the Internet isn’t quite as charming as its predecessor, but it’s still fun to watch and my kids absolutely loved it. After a part breaks from the game Sugar Rush, Vanellope and Ralph head into the internet to try to find a way to fix it. Along the way the two characters have to split up, sending the young princess on a journey of self-realization in the process. Just like the first film, friendship is the overall theme of the movie but the direction it takes is certainly a bit different.
7. Princess and the Frog
We’ve all heard the tale of the frog prince growing up, but this charming Disney movie takes things in a different direction. After kissing the frog prince our unsuspecting heroine is turned into a frog. Eventually, the two must work together if they want to ever become human again. Along the way, they meet a bunch of fun characters, sing some catchy songs, and realize that what they want and they need in life are not necessarily the same thing. The story is relatively predictable but it’s a fun watch. It’s also the last hand-drawn Disney movie to date which gives it a special place in my heart.
8. Chicken Little
Like Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little is a bit wacky but that’s probably why it remains a favorite among my kids. This movie didn’t do well rating wise but it’s still enjoyable enough, especially if you love the TV show Scrubs (as it stars Zach Braff as Chicken Little).
Chicken Little is a fun twist on the Chicken Little (also known to some as Henny Penny) fable. You know, the story of a young chicken who claims the sky is falling. The movie fast-forwards past the (Disney-ized version of) events of from the fable. Chicken Little is basically the butt of many jokes in his town of Shady Oaks and his own father is embarrassed by him constantly. Chicken Little sets out on a path to remedy his reputation but when a piece of sky falls once more it looks like there may be more to his claim than originally believed.
So that’s it for our look at the best Disney movies on Netflix, but we’re just really scratching the surface. For even more Disney Netflix films head here.