What better way to lighten up lockdown?
Need to pad out the long weekend as we hibernate indoors? Put your feet up, pop on the kettle and get yourself a free trial of Disney+. From childhood classics to the entire Marvel universe, there’s a whole lot of wholesome content to get through. Here’s Secret Manchester’s guide to the best films and TV shows to start off with.
New to Disney+, Soul has been named one of Pixar’s very best – and with good reason. The movie explores life and death in a beautiful way, following musician Joe who is still working to achieve his life goals. Starring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, the film explores what makes you ‘you’ and how we all have our own unique passions in life, and the result makes for one of the best new movie releases in a very long time.
Avengers: End Game
Officially the highest-grossing movie of all time, Avengers: End Game is finally available to stream in the comfort of your own home, where you can sob at its ending with only the judgement of the glass of wine you’re nursing. Let’s face it, being transformed into a world where Thanos is the biggest threat rather than Coronavirus seems strangely comforting, making it the perfect antidote to the news right now.
If you haven’t seen the cuteness that is Baby Yoda yet, you must have been living under a rock, and if you’ve wondered where it originates from, it’s Jon Favreau’s Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. Star Wars fans have been absolutely hooked on it since its 2019 premiere, with a second season now in production as a result. The series has been described as ‘nostalgic’ to the beloved original trilogy, and follows a lone gunfighter in ‘the outer reaches of the galaxy’ on a new adventure.
Lady And The Tramp
Exclusive to Disney+, Disney’s latest live-action remake just landed on the streaming platform – and it has a stellar cast. Marvel favourite Tessa Thompson plays Lady, while Justin Theroux stars as The Tramp. The film, of course, follows the original story, and includes that iconic spaghetti scene, much to our relief. Cosy up and experience the classic story in a whole new way while stuck indoors isolating.
Continuing the story following the events of Avengers: End Game, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are back as the Scarlet Witch and Vision living happily ever after, but their bliss is soon interrupted when they realise things aren’t as they seem. Hardcore fans will know the story from the comics, but otherwise, Marvel fans will love this delightful new addition to the franchise’s library.
Ok, so this one’s a bit of a tearjerker. Chris Pratt and Tom Holland team up again in Onward, a new animation that tells the tale of two brothers mourning their father’s death. The movie explores grief and loss in a lovely manner, as the pair come closer together on a journey to say goodbye to Dad.
High School Musical
High School Musical was an instant hit back when it premiered in 2006, making both Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron household names. Take a nostalgic trip back to a simpler time with an absolutely cracking soundtrack, including hits such as Breaking Free and Get Your Head In The Game. For those not familiar, the film follows Gabriella, who has just transferred to a new school, as she experiences the trials and tribulations of a typical American high school – all while being terrorised by her new arch-nemesis, Sharpay.
Feeling blue in quarantine? There’s no one quite like Eddie Murphy to cheer you up on a down day, and Dr. Dolittle is an absolute classic movie choice for a night cuddled up on the sofa. The comedy follows a doctor who discovers he has a special talent for communicating with animals, but the whole world around him (naturally) thinks he’s losing his mind.
Our Planet meets the Royal Family, Elephant is part of Disney’s new documentary offering, Disneynature – and this one in particular is narrated by the wonderfully calming Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The documentary follows Shani and her son as they join their herd and embark upon a journey across the Kalahari Desert – and is the first project the Duchess has taken on since joining the Royal family.
A fairly new entry to Disney Pixar’s roster, Inside Out saw huge critical and audience acclaim upon its release, and is generally considered one of the animation studio’s best movies to date. The film follows Riley, an 11-year-old who’s just moved to San Francisco, as she and her five emotions struggle to adjust to her brand new life. Be sure to prepare the tissues for this one, however, as the range of feelings from a child’s perspective is quite the emotional rollercoaster.
If you haven’t seen Ratatouille already, you’re missing out. It’s a heartwarming tale about a rat who for some reason has some pretty fancy tastebuds, and he has big aspirations of becoming one of France’s most renowned chefs. You’ll probably be able to work out what the obstacle is there, as Remy the rat soon comes to realise that humans don’t take too fondly to rodents. It’s an easy watch for a Sunday evening, and perfect for lifting the mood mid-quarantine.
Another much-loved Disney animation with a fantastic lead, John C. Reilly stars as the titular Ralph, a video game character who’s had enough of being the bad guy and embarks on a journey to become a video game hero – although things don’t quite go as planned. Once you’ve fallen in love with that movie, there’s also a sequel to watch too, titled Ralph Breaks The Internet.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
This one takes it way back, but it’s one of Disney’s finest nostalgia-inducing films – along with other classics such as The Sound of Music. Released in the early 70s, there’s no denying the animation and effects are pretty rusty, but this movie is the literal equivalent to a hot bowl of soup. Its comforting, heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining. The film follows a witch, three kids and a conman on the hunt for a magical component that will help Britain defend themselves in WWII.
Swiss Family Robinson
Another major throwback to remind you of your childhood, Swiss Family Robinson follows a shipwrecked family as they start afresh building an island home. The family must learn to live in the wild and shed their modern needs as they’re stranded with no hope of returning. It’s a great movie choice if you fancying worrying about someone else’s problems rather than your own, but it’s a whole lot of fun too.
The Incredibles 1 and 2 are both available to stream on Disney+ – providing some light relief while we stay indoors. If you haven’t seen them yet (and if not, have you been living under a rock since 2004?), the films follow a family of superheroes who live undercover as civilians when the government puts a ban on superheroes… That is, until dangers comes to town.
The Parent Trap
Nineties kids will remember the absolute classic that is The Parent Trap, starring former Disney Princess Lindsay Lohan (we all know how that turned out). The former child star stars as twins Hallie and Annie, who are both separated when their parents divorce. Years later, they find each other at summer camp and come up with all sorts of crazy efforts to bring them back together.
[Featured image: Disney]