The Best Disney Movies That Are Still on Netflix
These titles from the House of Mouse won't be on Netflix much longer!
The Walt Disney Company's own standalone streaming platform, Disney+, has been a threat to Netflix since it was first announced in August 2017 -- and since the service launched in November 2019, House of Mouse titles are slowly but surely trickling off of Netflix. Since any property under the Disney banner -- from Pixar movies to Lucasfilm's Star Wars one-offs to the Marvel superhero sagas -- are moving to Disney+, fewer and fewer are left to stream on good ole Netflix. While it's unclear when everything Disney-related will be obsolete (if they haven’t already with its large slate of animated and live-action available titles) on the OG streamer, several movies still remain. Here are the best Disney movies on Netflix to watch right now before you have to fork out money for yet another streaming subscription.
Chicken Little (2005)
Everyone knows the story of Chicken Little: a chick feels an acorn fall on his head and proceeds to blab to his animal friends that "the sky was falling." In the midst of Disney's strange '00s entries, they turned the tale into a full feature film -- flipping a bit so that the sky actually is falling because aliens are invading earth. Really, what's happening is that the aliens lost one of their own, which only Chicken Little knows and takes upon himself to see that the baby from outer space is returned to safety. It's definitely a bonkers albeit apt action-adventure spin, but Zach Braff, Joan Cusack, and Amy Sedaris are among the lead voice cast and the animal characters are quirky enough to make the movie cute so its utter weirdness works.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Taking on the iconic role of Mary Poppins, who's pretty much synonymous with Julie Andrews, sounds like a heavy task. Emily Blunt fills the whimsical nanny's shoes with ease, though, and gives the Broadway-musical-sized sequel to the Disney classic the right balance of nostalgia and excitement to tell a new chapter in the Banks family's story. Here, Michael and Emily Banks are all grown up, and Mary finds it necessary to descend via umbrella from the sky down to earth to look after Michael's children during a crisis. Magic -- in the form of charmed bathtubs and wondrous circuses -- abounds, of course, when the spoon full of sugar goes down.
Like everything else, sports were elevated to another level of competition during the Cold War, and the Olympics were like the final showdown between the US and the Soviet Union in the percolating nuclear fallout. The 1980 Olympic hockey tournament between the favored-to-win, four-time gold medalists Soviets and America's hodgepodge team was no different. The real-life underdog story is documented in 2004’s Miracle, chronicling the Americans' preparation for the games, lead by the unorthodox, inspired coaching of college hockey coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), culminating in the "Miracle on Ice" during the semi-final match. Miracle is a remarkable, triumphant look at one team’s determination in a particularly contested period in history.
The Muppets (2011)
Did you know that Jason Segel, like, loves the Muppets? You might've been able to guess, based on his character's puppet Dracula musical in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but in pursuing those counts from the Jim Henson Creature Shop, the actor got obsessed with writing a new Muppet movie. This 2011 hit that Segel also stars in alongside Amy Adams was the result, and he and co-writer Nicholas Stoller crafted a fantastic contemporary testament to how lovable Henson's creations were and still are. Full of self-referential humor about Hollywood, the flick follows a major Muppet fan and Segel and Adams' characters as they rally the now-disjointed gang again to save the Muppet Theater. With that old school musical pizazz and a cast of familiar fuzzy faces, it's as much a fun throwback to the original Henson movies as it is its own spectacular new story.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
Disney took Tchaikovsky's elegant Nutcracker suite and translated it into a grand cinematic production. The film is more interested in its elaborate costumes and set design of the four dream realms than it is its story, which maintains following Clara's (Mackenzie Foy) journey into a snowy land of enchantments, but expands upon her purpose there beyond what's in the ballet. While it may not be as traditional as the stage production, it's still full of sugary, gumdrop-filled wonders (including a Misty Copeland cameo) that makes it a family holiday marvel.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The Princess and the Frog is a return to form for the Disney: It's one of the House of Mouse's last hand-drawn films, it reimagines an existing fairytale, and helped move Disney forward by (finally) being the first animated feature with a black princess. The film transports a familiar story down to the New Orleans bayou, where a witch doctor turns a prince into a frog, and inadvertently gets an ambitious young waitress named Tiana (and Disney's first-ever black princess) caught up in the voodoo mysticism. The spirited animation and music will call back Disney's Golden Age, but based on its Jazz Age and Creole references, this has its own flare, too.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
The sequel to Wreck-It Ralph manages to outdo the original by offering some savvy commentary on the way we live now by taking its video game heroes into the World Wide Web. But don't worry it's still wonderful to watch the mismatched pair Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) traipse through this digital landscape with not-embarrassing personifications of internet tools like viruses and search functions. Plus, there's a truly great song, and oddball creations like academic search engine and a little blob named Gord.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Saving Mr. Banks peers behind Disney's doors to tell a sort of true account of one of Walt Disney's most tireless efforts: securing the rights to adapt Mary Poppins from the children's book author herself, P.L. Travers. Classic good guy Tom Hanks takes on Walt, imbuing an affable energy in his pursuit of convincing Travers, and Emma Thompson shines as she depicts the writer's internal conflict. While not a grand Disney blockbuster, Saving Mr. Banks offers a somewhat authentic look at the studio's old age inner-workings and the unique stories that make the ones on screen come life.
Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.