Everything You Need to Know About the Top 10 Movies on Disney+ According to Experts

As one of the most popular streaming services, Disney+ offers subscribers an extensive catalogue of new and iconic movies to binge from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and more all in one place. But with thousands of titles at your fingertips, it can be challenging to determine which films are truly worth watching.

That‘s why having trusted experts guiding the way makes navigating Disney+ less daunting so you can spend less time searching aimlessly and more time enjoying cinema magic.

From record-smashing musicals to imaginative animated tales, here are the top 10 best movies on Disney+ deemed must-watch selections by entertainment critics across top media publications.

Overview of the Top Disney+ Movies

Before diving into the full top 10 ranking, let‘s briefly profile these elite films highlighted by experts as Disney+‘s cream of the crop viewing:

MovieGenreRelease YearRatingRuntime
HamiltonMusical, biography2020PG-13161 min
The Lion KingAdventure (live-action)2019PG118 min
National TreasureAction-adventure2004PG131 min
Flight of the NavigatorSci-fi, adventure1986PG90 min
The Princess and the FrogAnimated musical2009G97 min
X2Superhero2003PG-13134 min
CocoAnimated fantasy2017PG105 min
Hidden FiguresBiography, drama2017PG127 min
MoanaAnimated musical2016PG107 min
Hocus PocusComedy, family1993PG96 min

This table compiling key details gives you a sense of the diversity across Disney+‘s movie catalogue. The streaming platform truly offers genre variety accommodating all ages and tastes.

Now let‘s explore why each of these films in particular represent the best of the best movies for Disney+ subscribers to watch based on experts‘ overwhelming praise.

#10: Hocus Pocus (1993)

Kicking off the list is the Halloween cult classic Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the delightfully wicked Sanderson sisters bent on eternal youth.

29 years later, this comedy has remained a staple viewing for families and nostalgic millennials come fall season. The movie currently holds a 63% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With rumors circulating of an in-the-works sequel, Hocus Pocus undeniably retains its bewitching quality.

In his 2020 review, Mashable entertainment reporter Proma Khosla notes that Hocus Pocus "maintains a cozy, nostalgic glow without losing any of its mischief and mayhem." Audiences can count on the Sanderson sisters to liven things up once more when Hocus Pocus 2 reportedly releases on Disney+ in Fall 2022.

#9: Moana (2016)

Disney dazzles with this computer-animated musical set on the Polynesian island of Motunui starring newcomer Auliʻi Cravalho as the voice of the titular Moana alongside Dwayne Johnson‘s Maui. Not only did this film offer Disney Animation Studio‘s first portrayal of Polynesian culture, but Moana also combined pitch-perfect storytelling with solid box office sales.

Moana earned a staggering $690 million worldwide as the sixth highest-grossing film of 2016. Pair this financial success with a near-perfect 98% Rotten Tomato score, and Moana emerges as one of Disney Animation‘s strongest productions in recent memory according to experts.

Leonard Maltin, renowned film critic and historian, offered immense praise by calling Moana "funny, touching, exciting…and utterly charming." Meanwhile /Film writer Hoai-Tran Bui says "the visually stunning film delivers the cosas we have come to expect from Disney." From its breathtaking animation to Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s catchy musical numbers, Moana makes sailing the seas into a magical cinematic voyage.

#8: Hidden Figures (2017)

Switching gears to the amazing true story behind NASA‘s early space missions, Hidden Figures highlights the overlooked contributions of three brilliant African-American female mathematicians – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – amidst the Space Race in the 1960s.

Alongside touching on relevant social issues, Hidden Figures impressed with $236 million globally and an outstanding 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. /Film‘s Angie Han declared it "as gentle and glowing as a space launch itself." It manages to balance striking the right historical tone with an inspiring narrative around working toward opportunity and racial justice.

Leading ladies Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe also lend their outstanding acting chops to these trailblazing characters. By uncovering this pivotal part of NASA‘s history, Hidden Figures makes for a thoughtful viewing experience as both a charming drama and lesson in perseverance.

#7: Coco (2017)

Another more recent Disney/Pixar winner, Coco captivates through its culturally-rich dive into the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos. Aspiring young guitarist Miguel gets transported to the whimsical Land of the Dead on an quest to discover his family history and pursuit of his musical passion.

With over $800 million earned at the global box office, Coco ranks among Pixar‘s most successful animations to date. Adding its touching exploration of Mexican traditions including Día de Los Muertos bolstered its cross-cultural appeal.

Per /Film writer Hoai-Tran Bui‘s review, the movie "blends Pixar‘s usual emotional storytelling with the vibrant iconography of Mexican culture for the studio‘s most personal, and most magical, film yet." She also spotlights the artwork for "its color and fluidity in emulating Mexican folk art." Across the board, experts hailed Coco as a poignant family-friendly story as well as visual triumph.

#6: X2 (2003)

In this expert-recommended Disney+ movie, the X-Men superheroes unite against humankind’s oppression of mutants while confronting new foes in the process. Specifically, leaders Professor X and Magneto face troubling attacks from across enemy lines with the former’s imprisonment while the latter’s powers weaken.

As the highest-grossing X-Men film unadjusted for inflation with nearly $415 million worldwide, X2 built upon its predecessor‘s momentum in expanding the beloved Marvel franchise. In fact, a 91% Rotten Tomatoes critics‘ score cemented near-universal acclaim.

Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers affirmed in his review that director Bryan Singer “delivers the knockout goods,” also highlighting star Hugh Jackman‘s “fierce performance” as the standout Wolverine. Through its gripping storyline performed by an A-list ensemble cast, X2 represented a superhero film ahead of its time that holds up wonderfully.

#5: The Princess and The Frog (2009)

This postmodern Disney princess story transports audiences to Jazz Age New Orleans as hardworking aspiring restaurant owner Tiana crosses paths with visiting prince Naveen who‘s been turned into a frog by the voodoo witch doctor facilier.

Earning $271 million worldwide against a $105 million budget, The Princess and the Frog proved one of Disney Animation‘s most profitable ventures in years thanks partially to its catchy musical numbers. The film also represented an endearing return to core Disney roots through a fairy tale lens.

In Vox‘s positive review, critic Emily VanDerWerff says writers "have fun toying with genre conventions before getting down to the business of just telling a great genre story." She also spotlights fantastic voice work from Anika Noni Rose as Tiana and Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen. Through strong critical reception and a box office performance exceeding expectations, The Princess and the Frog stands out as a Disney+ must-watch.

#4: Flight of the Navigator (1986)

This lesser-known 80s sci-fi flick follows 12-year-old David Freeman who mysteriously disappears for 8 years only to resurface unaged with a quirky smart-mouth alien ship/friend that gifts him exceptional navigating skills.

While lower-budget, Flight of the Navigator entranced younger viewers upon release. In a retrospective piece, *Vice calls it “a movie this generation bonded with, talked about, and obsessed over” for how it expanded children’s imagination.

Though the story holds up spectacularly over 35 years later through its light-hearted tone and visual effects magic. /Film writer Cory Woodroof says Flight of the Navigator "represents arguably the best of kid adventure films; full of warmth, wisdom and wonder.” Any 80s kids or genre fans looking for a dose of nostalgia will appreciate this little-known Disney gem.

#3: National Treasure (2004)

This beloved historical heist flick delivers action in spades as researcher Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) races against thieving bandits to uncover clues on the Declaration of Independence that will reveal the hidden location of lost Civil War gold.

Bringing in $347 million globally against a $100 million budget, National Treasure sparked a lucrative franchise thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer‘s production chops and Cage‘s trademark unhinged energy at the helm getting audiences hooked. In his review, Roger Ebert hailed it as “so silly and yet so entertaining that only a churl could find fault.”

With Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha and Jon Voight filling out the talented ensemble, National Treasure fires on all cylinders from its performances to high-octane storytelling. Now with both the original and its sequel Book of Secrets streaming on Disney+, subscribers can readily enjoy this expert-recommended pop history adventure duo whenever they desire access to some cinematic buried treasure.

#2: The Lion King (2019)

Disney struck box office gold again with this CGI-recreation of their 1994 animation phenomenon The Lion King. Keeping the original‘s acclaimed plot in tact, groundbreaking visual effects now bring viewers on young Simba‘s coming-of-age journey as the heir to the animal kingdom‘s throne after his father Mufasa‘s death orchestrated by villainous uncle Scar.

Scoring over $1.6 billion dollars, The Lion King remake emerged as one of the highest grossing films of 2019 and 9th biggest ever. On top of the breakthrough realism applied to its beloved characters against stunning African landscapes, fans connected with the Shakespearean story just as strongly augmented by photorealism magic.

Overall critical reception also skewed positive as Variety critic Owen Gleiberman reflected most fans‘ viewpoint: "Is it cool to see photo-realistic lions sing James Earl Jones’ crimson and clover? Yes, undeniably." Through wizardly advanced technology powering up a timeless narrative, this Lion King successfully won over audiences for a new generation.

#1: Hamilton (2020)

Topping the list is Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Broadway pop culture phenom Hamilton bringing the story of United States Founding Father Alexander Hamilton to the stage through inventive hip-hop, R&B and pop musical stylings. Disney outbid rivals by paying $75 million for distribution rights to the live 2016 stage recording with Miranda in the title role.

Drawing over 70 million households in July 2020 according to Disney , Hamilton became a word-of-mouth streaming sensation acclaimed for its masterful catchy tunes and fresh musical perspective on early American history. /Film writer Hoai-Tran Bui says "Miranda’s lyrics are intoxicating" while Variety calls the Disney+ movie "an explosive device of a film.”

Ultimately, critical experts aligned with enthusiasm on Hamilton‘s brilliance thanks to its unprecedented songwriting and performance spectacle led by visionary composer Miranda. After smashing Tony records with 11 wins, Hamilton‘s continued conquest of Hollywood makes it the can‘t-miss crown jewel movie on Disney+ guaranteed to dazzle subscribers.

Compiling this guide to the top-rated films Disney+ offers for me as a streaming analyst really showcases the diversity sitting on your home screen whenever you login.

You can journey alongside Moana across enchanting Polynesian seas then tap your toes as Alexander Hamilton spits fire about the birth of America then join the X-Men battling enemies to protect mutant kind. Every type of movie magic is here waiting thanks to Disney+‘s endless vault.

Ultimately with the certified Fresh acclaim these 10 movies have amassed from the most trusted entertainment voices, you can feel confident as a subscriber that these selections promise quality cinema. From charming animations to breathtaking spectacles to cult classics, consider adding any of these fantastic films above to your Watchlist!

Hopefully now every time you browse Disney+, you‘ll feel well-equipped to find an entertaining option endorsed by experts and beloved by millions worldwide any night of the week. So what genre sparks your mood today? The expansive Disney+ movie universe awaits. Happy streaming!

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