Disney Plus: the best TV shows and movies to stream in Australia
After a great deal of anticipation, Disney Plus has finally arrived on Australian shores, bringing with it an incredible amount of content from the Mouse House's celebrated properties, including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox.
And, in a move that surprised just about everyone here in the Aussie TechRadar offices, Disney Plus offers heaps more movies in Australia than the US, which is a nice change of pace from the smaller content libraries we've come to expect from other streaming services.
With so much classic content to choose from, the act of actually making a selection and watching it can be difficult and time-consuming. In an effort to streamline the process, we've taken the liberty of providing choices for the best TV shows and movies to stream on Disney Plus right now.
Not interested in Disney Plus?
- The best TV shows on Netflix
- The best movies on Netflix
- The best TV shows on Stan
- The best movies on Stan
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As the first live-action Star Wars series to date, The Mandalorian is worth the Disney Plus subscription price alone. Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King) and Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), The Mandalorian is Star Wars on a more intimate scale than we're used to seeing it. That's not to say that it lacks scope or ambition – in fact, every episode released so far is bursting at the seams with action, VFX and the kind of world-building intrigue that made us fall in love with the franchise in the first place. The show follows the adventures of a strong and (mostly) silent bounty hunter who lives his life by a code – much like that other famous Mandalorian, Boba Fett. Just as the original Star Wars film was inspired by classic television serials and Kurosawa films, The Mandalorian proudly wears its influences on its sleeve, recalling the likes of Lone Wolf & Cub, John Wick and Sergio Leone's The Man With No Name trilogy. It's also responsible for one of the best new characters in the Star Wars universe to date (one which we won't be spoiling here).
Seasons on Disney Plus: 1
For the first time ever, The Simpsons is finally available to stream in Australia. It's now possible for Aussie Disney Plus subscribers to stream the first 29 seasons of the classic animated sitcom in its entirety – that's actually kind of a huge deal for fans who've had to make do with ageing DVD box sets and infrequent television re-runs all these years. Sure, the writing in The Simpsons does take a sharp drop in quality after the first dozen or so seasons, but there's no denying that it feels incredibly good to binge-watch those early seasons all over again. Best of all, every episode of The Simpsons is available to download in the Disney Plus app, so we know what we'll watching on public transport for the foreseeable future!
Seasons on Disney Plus: 29
DuckTales! Whoo-oo! If you're of a certain age group that grew up in the late '80s or early '90s, those words alone will probably have you humming and whistling the theme song to this classic animated series for the rest of the day. If you haven't seen it before, DuckTales follows Donald Duck's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and the adventures they share with their uncle, the wealthy and eccentric Scrooge McDuck. Honestly, the show is so delightfully enjoyable and timeless, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a huge grin on your face as soon as you start watching it.
Seasons on Disney Plus: 3
Those who remember Disney's short-lived animated series Gargoyles are very likely to have remained lifelong fans of the show, thanks to its brooding characters and gothic style. Similar in tone to Batman: The Animated Series, Gargoyles follows a group of creatures led by Goliath (Keith David) who were cursed by the humans they were sworn to protect and frozen in stone for a thousand years. Now, the Gargoyles have awoken again in modern day New York City, and must team up with NYPD detective Elisa Maza (Salli Richardson) in order to fight evil.
Seasons on Disney Plus: 3
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Fancy the idea of watching Jeff Goldblum be delighted by things while offering a chorus of Goldblum-esque "ooooohs" and "aaaaahs?" Well, you're going to love Disney and National Geographic's new documentary series The World According to Jeff Goldblum. Watch as the star of such classic films as The Fly, Independence Day, Jurassic Park and Cover Up adorably learns about a variety of interesting subjects, from ice cream to tattoos. If that doesn't sound like a good time to you, then you might have to go watch Jurassic Park again.
Seasons on Disney Plus: 1
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
From Dave Filoni (co-creator of The Mandalorian) comes Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a show that (almost) single-handedly redeems George Lucas' prequel trilogy with its epic action, fantastic story arcs and old-fashioned episodic nature. To this day, many fans consider The Clone Wars series to be Star Wars at its very best. Its cartoony style probably won't appeal to everyone, but if you settle into its rhythm you may just come to the conclusion that Star Wars probably should've been a TV series all along.
Seasons on Disney Plus: 6
For real, who doesn't love Disney's Aladdin? Its story of a street-rat who's granted three wishes after finding a magic lamp is universally appealing, and Robin Williams' performance as the loveable Genie is truly untouchable (sorry, Big Willy). And has there ever been a Disney film with more memorable songs? No, there hasn't.
The Lion King
The biggest and most ambitious traditionally-animated Disney film of all time, The Lion King became an instant smash hit upon its release in 1994, earning itself two Oscars and cementing itself as a timeless classic. Though it's since been remade as a live-action feature and even turned into a broadway musical, the original animated film is undoubtedly the best.
Lady and the Tramp
As Disney Plus' first major original film, Lady and the Tramp effortlessly ticks all the boxes for what makes a great story for the whole family. The 2019 version of Lady and the Tramp follows a lovely house dog (Tessa Thompson) who meets and falls for a charming street mutt (Justin Theroux). Not surprisingly, the story is as incredibly heartwarming as it was back in 1955, and we're not ashamed to admit that we shed more than a few tears of joy during the film's famous spaghetti and meatballs dinner scene.
Star Wars saga
If the Disney Plus original series The Mandalorian is reason enough to subscribe to this service, the ability to stream every Star Wars film to date in glorious 4K and HDR just might be the next best reason. From the original Star Wars right through to last year's Solo: A Star Wars story, every film in the saga is readily available to watch on Disney Plus. And with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker only weeks away, now might be the perfect time to kick off the greatest binge-fest of the galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy
It shouldn't have worked, but the decision to make a blockbuster space opera based on one of the Marvel's lesser known comic books proved to be inspired to say the least. Writer/director James Gunn (Slither, Super) managed to deliver a hilarious space-hopping adventure that never once forgot the humanity at the core of the film's diverse characters. No small task when you consider that these characters include a feisty raccoon and a walking, talking tree.
Avengers: Infinity War / Endgame
Easily the biggest crossover event in cinematic history, the one-two punch of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame was tasked with providing closure to a story that's carried over for two dozen films. That it managed to do so in a way that satisfied pretty much everyone is nothing short of a miracle. During the course of over a decade, we've come to love characters like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the rest of the Avengers, which is why these two films work at such a deeply emotional level. What Marvel has pulled off here is extraordinary, and will likely never be replicated at this scale again.
Based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen smartly takes the classic fairy tale and reinvents it for modern audiences. Offering not one, but two powerful women in lead roles, Frozen aims to teach young girls that they're the masters of their own destinies – these spirited sisters don't need princes to come and rescue them. Frozen also defied all odds by becoming the highest-grossing animated film of all time, likely due in large part by some of the best original songs that Disney has produced in decades.
If you're particularly afraid of heights, you may want to steer clear of Free Solo, a vertigo-inducing portrait of real-life rock climber Alex Honnold, a man who challenges himself to scale the 3,200ft face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without any ropes or safety gear. This Oscar-winning documentary delves into the man's life, relationships and headspace as he saddles up to achieve this seemingly impossible task.