Take a trip down memory lane with Disney+ movies.
After breaking down all the classic TV shows from your childhood that are now streaming on Disney+, we thought it only right to do the same for movies. The highly anticipated launch of Disney+ anticlimactically included only two original films exclusive to the new streamer. The first being the latest live-action adaptation of a Disney animated classic, Lady and the Tramp, and the second being Noelle, a Christmas comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader as the children of Santa Claus. With just these two new movies to watch over the holidays, it’s a safe bet many families will be scrolling through the Disney library for a classic flick from their childhood. Below we’ve listed 10 films from your youth that are now streaming on Disney+. Happy streaming and share some of your favorites down in the comments section.
The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998)
Originally released in 1961, The Parent Trap was the first of many sequels and remakes to come for the twin-centric Disney franchise. The film stars teenage English actress Hayley Mills as identical twins Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers, who meet for the fist time while at summer camp. After discovering their eerily similar appearances, the two form a rivalry fueled by pranks. The girls are punished and forced to live together for the rest of camp. This leads to Sharon and Susan realizing they each have single parents, meaning they must be identical twins separated at birth. Excited by the thought of meeting the parent they never had, the twins conspire to switch places when camp ends.
Thirty-seven years later, Disney remade the film starring Lindsay Lohan as the twin sisters. Both films are considered Disney classics and streaming now on Disney+. Rumors have recently surfaced about Disney developing a new remake of the film exclusively for Disney+, however no formal announcements have been made.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Generally recognized as Walt Disney’s “crowning achievement,” to this day Mary Poppins stands as the closest a Disney film has ever come to winning the Academy Award for Best Picture. In the end, it lost to My Fair Lady. Starring Julie Andrews as the titular magical nanny character, Mary Poppins was a fantastical live-action and animated musical unlike anything Hollywood had ever seen. In her Oscar-winning performance, Andrews captivated viewers, as well as those acting alongside her. Co-starring Dick Van Dyke as Bert the one-man-band and chimney sweep – the dynamic duo team up after Mary is hired to look after the troublesome Banks children. The musical adventures the foursome proceed to have live on today as some of the most iconic moments in Disney history. In addition to Andrews winning for Best Actress, the score and song “Chim Chim Cher-ee” were also awarded Oscars.
Nearly 55 years after the original beloved by generations, Disney released a sequel titled Mary Poppins Returns. Starring Emily Blunt as the one-and-only Marry Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Bert’s former apprentice, with Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as the grown Banks children – the film tastefully served as a proper follow-up to the Disney classic. Both films are now streaming on Disney+.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
The first of what would become another Disney franchise favorite, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids stars Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinski, a struggling inventor who accidentally shrinks his children along with the neighbors children. The film marked the directorial debut for Joe Johnston, who would go on to direct Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, and Captain America: The First Avenger. Grossing over $222 million worldwide, the film was an unexpected hit and Disney’s highest-grossing live-action movie for the following five years. With this sudden success came the 1992 sequel, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; the Disney theme parks attraction, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience; the straight-to-video movie, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves; and the three season sitcom, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. Not bad for a mid-summer family comedy. Oh, and a new sequel for Disney+ titled Shrunk is apparently in development with Frozen’s Josh Gad attached to star. Now all they have to do is get Rick Moranis to come out of retirement.
Home Alone (1990)
The definitive Christmas movie of the ‘90s, Home Alone is the perfect blend of comedy, drama, action, and holiday spirit. This childhood classic starring everyone’s favorite child actor, Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who is left home on his own for the holidays, was frankly too big to fail. Written by legendary ‘80s filmmaker John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller) and directed by Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Harry Potter), with an iconic score by John Williams – 20th Century Fox pulled no punches with this expected holiday smash. In fact, the movie lived on as the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time until last year. Co-starring the brilliant Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as two burglars unable to outsmart a child, with Catherine O’Hara and John Heard as Kevin’s worried parents – the majority of the cast would return for the film’s 1992 sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
The franchise went on to produce two more made-for-TV sequels, Home Alone 3 and Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House. With Home Alone now streaming on Disney+, it comes as no surprise that the streaming service has plans to reboot the classic holiday franchise. Unfortunately they’ll never be able to recreate the lightning in a bottle magic of the first two films.
The Sandlot (1993)
Unlike the majority of the films featured on this list, The Sandlot was not an immediate hit. It also wasn’t produced by Disney, but rather 20th Century Fox, which was only recently purchased by Disney. The Sandlot tells the story of Scotty Smalls, a nerdy kid new to the San Fernando Valley. Even though he’s terrible at baseball, Smalls is quickly embraced by a local group of boys who regularly play at a nearby sandlot. After the boys lose their ball to a neighbors yard, Smalls learns the legend of the scary dog, “the Beast,” who lives behind the fence. One day after the team’s best player, Benny Rodriguez, hits the cover off the ball, Smalls steals an autographed baseball from his stepfather in order for the game to continue. When that ball is hit into the Beast’s yard, Smalls tells the gang that it was autographed by some guy named Babe Ruth.
The Sandlot eventually became a cult classic on home video and television, delivering hilarious quotes and nostalgic Halloween costumes for generations to come. 2005 and 2007 saw the direct-to-video releases of The Sandlot 2 and The Sandlot: Heading Home, with Disney+ most recently announcing a television series starring the entire cast of the original film. That’s right, over 25 years later Disney is getting the sandlot kids back together.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This ‘90s Disney classic is the rare flop turned cult hit for the House of Mouse. Starring the iconic witch trio of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters, Hocus Pocus is the quintessential Halloween movie for the entire family. Three hundred years after the sisters curse themselves to avoid being hanged, Max and Dani, two siblings new to Salem, Massachusetts accidentally break their spell. Upon being resurrected, Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson vow to continue their pursuit of taking all of the children’s souls in Salem. The first child they discover is Dani (Thora Birch), who quickly flees to the cemetery. From there the witches continue to use their powers to wreak havoc over Salem on Halloween night. In hindsight, Disney clearly made a mistake releasing Hocus Pocus in the heart of the summer. However, the film’s cult status continued to grow every year it aired as part of Disney Channel and ABC Family’s (now Freeform) Halloween-themed fall programming.
Arguably more popular today than at any point over the past 25 years, Disney recently took the hint and put in development a sequel film likely to air exclusively on its new streaming platform. Now you can stream the original film year-round on Disney+ in anticipation of the long awaited follow-up.
The Santa Clause (1994)
It might sound crazy twenty years after the fact, but back in the ‘90s there were few comedic actors bigger than Tim Allen. Between starring on Home Improvement for eight seasons, performing standup, and voicing Buzz Lightyear – you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing “The Toolman.” Which is why in 1994, Disney cast Tim Allen in its latest Christmas family comedy, The Santa Clause. The film tells the story of Scott Calvin (Allen), a divorced father who on Christmas Eve hears a man on his roof. Once outside, Scott yells at the man who slips and falls twenty feet to the ground. Scott then discovers a card in Santa’s pocket that reads, “If something should happen to me, put on my suit, the Reindeer will know what to do.” And thus begins the process of Scott’s transitioning into Santa Clause. The film was an immediate hit and quickly became a television staple around the holidays. Eight years later Disney released The Santa Clause 2 to positive acclaim, with The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause following four years after. Like many franchises third film, the opening weekend earnings and reviews fell flat, ending The Santa Clause Trilogy on a low note and a conclusion to Tim Allen’s 10+-year hot streak.
1996’s Jack stands today as one of Francis Ford Coppola’s rare comedies and Robin Williams’ underrated performances. The dramedy tells the story of Jack Powell (Williams), a 10-year-old boy with an amplified version of Werner syndrome, a premature aging disorder. Jack is mentally still a child, but he has the appearance of a forty-year-old man. Sheltered from the world by his mother (Diane Lane), when his tutor, played by Bill Cosby, suggests Jack should attend public school, their world begins to change. Jack is a coming-of-age comedy with tear-jerking moments scattered throughout. Although it received mostly negative reviews, Williams’ performance is sincere and exemplifies his inner-child like so many of his most memorable roles. The film also includes appearances by Jennifer Lopez as Jack’s teacher, Fran Drescher (The Nanny) as the mother of Jack’s best friend, and Michael McKean (Better Call Saul). Universally looked down upon within Coppola’s canon, the Academy Award-winning director has shared his fondness for Jack, saying: “I must say I find Jack sweet and amusing. I don’t dislike it as much as everyone, but that’s obvious— I directed it. I know I should be ashamed of it but I’m not. I don’t know why everybody hated it so much.”
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Following the success of 1994’s The Jungle Book, Disney’s first live-action remake of an animated feature – the House of Mouse quickly set in motion its next adaptation, 101 Dalmatians. Penned by iconic screenwriter John Hughes (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Pretty in Pink, Home Alone) and directed by Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks), 101 Dalmatians opted to leave the animals voiceless in contrast to the 1961 animated One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The comedy adventure stars Glenn Close as the villainous fashion designer, Cruella de Vil, who sends her henchman Jasper (Hugh Laurie) and Horace (Mark Williams) to kidnap her employee’s Dalmatian puppies.
Close’s performance received a nomination for Best Actress at the Golden Globes and four years later reprised the role in 102 Dalmatians. Disney is currently filming Cruella, a live-action prequel starring Emma Stone as a young Cruella de Vil. It is scheduled to hit theaters May 28, 2021.
Dr. Dolittle (1998)
Along with the Home Alone films, Disney had its sights set on another successful franchise when acquiring 20th Century Fox earlier this year. Starring the incomparable Eddie Murphy as Dr. John Dolittle, a surgeon with the innate ability to talk to and understand animals – Dr. Dolittle was another franchise launching hit for Murphy following 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop, and The Nutty Professor. Co-starring Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, Raven-Symone, and Kyla Pratt, the live-action cast was only to be outshined by a legendary ensemble of comedic voice actors including Chris Rock, Norm Macdonald, Albert Brooks, Gilbert Gottfriend, Gary Shandling, John Leguizamo, and Ellen DeGeneres. Murphy would return to the role three years later for Dr. Dolittle 2, with Kyla Pratt starring in three additional direct-to-video sequels – Dr. Dolittle 3, Tail to the Chief, and Million Dollar Mutts.
As memorable as Eddie Murphy’s performance and a guinea pig with Chris Rock’s voice were – the longest lasting contribution of Dr. Dolittle might be its soundtrack. Largely produced by Timbaland, the collection of R&B and rap included songs by Ginuwine, Ray J, and the Grammy-nominated single, “Are You That Somebody?” by Aaliyah.