We often recommend products we like. If you buy anything via links on our site, we may earn a small commission.
If you’re a Disney+ subscriber, it’s probably because you have young children OR you’re a big fan of The Mandalorian. Sure, there are other valid reasons to subscribe to Disney+, but these are the big ones.
Which is just our way of saying that you’ve probably overlooked a lot of great movies on Disney+. There’s an entire treasure trove of awesome content that people tend to miss because they have preconceptions about Disney+ and don’t have time to investigate the library.
Indeed, Disney is much more than just animated movies and superhero flicks. Here are some of the best hidden gems on Disney+ that are surprisingly good yet often overlooked.
1. John Carter
Based on A Princess of Mars by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter is known more for being a box office flop than anything else. It’s a shame, because the movie is a good time. Yes, it’s a little cheesy at times, but the movie knows this and laughs along.
Starring Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis in a rare role in which he isn’t in costume, Willow is a film that George Lucas originally thought could be the fantasy equivalent of Star Wars. While it never gained that level of popularity, the movie is a great time, even though director Ron Howard left in some strangely chilling imagery.
You don’t need me to tell you what The Simpsons Movie is, as it’s right in the title. What you might need me to tell you is that it’s on Disney+. Even though I knew the entire run of The Simpsons was streaming on the service, I forgot about the movie until I saw it browsing through the available films.
Directed by Joe Johnston, who would later direct Captain America: The First Avenger, this film has an oddly similar feel. Set just a few years before the Marvel film in 1938, The Rocketeer is also a period superhero film, based on the 80s comic book series by Dave Stevens. Worth watching for Alan Arkin’s character alone.
If you want to know more, check out our review of The Black Hole. Just know that it’s 1970s sci-fi, which is to say it’s pretty out there. Star Wars this is not, but it’s a cheesy good time.
Remember when technology was fun? Even if you’ve never found technology fun, writer and director Steven Lisberger obviously did. Otherwise, we’d never have Tron. Starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, and David Warner, this movie is definitely dated, but still worth watching. The sequel, Tron: Legacy, is also streaming on Disney+.
Leonard Maltin coined the name “Young Swords” for this 1993 film, as it starred Charlie Sheen and Keifer Sutherland, who had both starred in the 1988 western Young Guns. This is far from the most faithful adaptation of the story, but it’s got more swashbuckling than you can shake a sword at.
This is a movie you probably know exists, but if you’re anything like me, you had no idea it was on Disney+. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is an odd mix of cartoon hijinks and neo-noir hard-boiled detective movie. While I loved this one as a kid, you may need to be careful with letting young children in on this one, as one character (you’ll know who I mean) can be downright terrifying.
There was no shortage of kid-friendly sci-fi in the 1980s, and Flight of the Navigator is a great example. While a kid is ostensibly kidnapped by aliens, they turn out to be friendly and the kid gets an awesome spaceship to fly around in, at least until the government steps in to ruin his fun.
Is Disney+ Right for You?
If you’ve finished binging The Mandalorian and can’t find anything else worth watching on Disney+, it may be a sign that the streaming service isn’t the right one for you. Look into a few others to see if you may be able to get more bang for your buck: