Let’s be honest, Disney Plus has added a touch of much-needed magic to a lot of homes since the service became available in March. But even though, by now, you may have seen most of what Disney Plus has to offer, there may be a few hidden gems that you’ve missed.
So, we’ve put on our Mickey Mouse ears and dived headfirst into the world of Disney, Marvel, The Simpsons, Star Wars and National Geographic and dug out some buried treasure.
Below is our list of Disney+’s top 10 hidden gems for you to discover and get watching. So, In the words of Walt Disney himself; “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
10. Three Men and a Baby
Looking through Disney’s vast back catalogue, it can be surprising to see a lot of forgotten ‘live action’ films. Most of which we probably didn’t even realise were part of the Disney Studios franchise. I know I didn’t. One, in particular, that lends itself to a cosy Sunday afternoon is ‘Three Men and a Baby’. Staring Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck. (who you’ll recognise as Monica’s attractive older boyfriend from Friends). It’s perfect to get those nostalgic feels, and if you have never watched it, you need too!
TIP: There’s also Three Men and a Little Lady, which you can watch straight after!
9. Newsies: The Broadway Musical
Now, at the beginning of summer, Disney+ made a huge song and dance about their newest offering – Hamilton. (quite rightly so – it is a must-see). But they also quietly added another stage show: Newsies: The Broadway Musical. Based on the New York City Newsboy Strike in 1899. It comes complete with a great soundtrack and some really loveable characters. Granted, it’s not as well-known as Hamilton or other beloved musicals but while we’re stuck indoors, missing the theatre, it does give you the chance to get a bit of that matinee or evening show feeling back.
TIP: According to Inside, the magical Aladdin: The Broadway Musical might be added soon too.
8. The Reluctant Dragon
This 74-minute feature film is easily swiped past, especially as the cover art for the film can just look like an old children’s cartoon. But, it’s a lot more, not only is it the fourth feature length film ever released by Disney in 1941. It was also their first attempt at a live action script with animation.
The first 53 minutes of The Reluctant Dragon is more like a documentary of sorts, as you follow Robert Benchley on a tour around the Disney Studios. Robert Benchley was a then famous American humourist and columnist. Within the studio tour you get to see all the inner workings of a 1940s animation production studio. You get a sneaky peek into the drawing processes, character voicing, storyboarding and the modelling stages. As well as a glimpse of models from past and upcoming (at the time) 40s and 50s Disney films. There’s also a meeting the main man, Walt Disney, himself as he talks to Benchley about his ventures. The last 20-or-so minutes features the titular cartoon about the Reluctant Dragon. It’s well worth the watch for people who love Disney and looking at how the animations all came together.
TIP: Don’t be put off by the fact that it starts in black and white, as that doesn’t last for the full feature.
7. Disney’s nature documentaries
A fact not widely known: Disney Studios have been making animal and nature documentaries since 1948. It all started with a series of short films called ‘True Life Adventures’. Between 1953 and 1960 Disney then released seven feature-length documentaries under the same name. Six of these utter gems you can catch on Disney Plus. In the 50 years since then, Disney has kept a steady stream of animal documentaries going. All set to music in way that seems like the animals are keeping in time with the music, not the other way around. If you love entertaining animal programmes, these are for you.
TIP: Most of the nature documentaries are under the National Geographic tab. The names of the six full length features from the True Life Adventure series on Disney+ are: The Living Desert, The Vanishing Prairie, The African Lion, Secrets of life, Perri and Jungle Cat.
6. Marvel’s Hero Project
If you love Marvel like we do, you will be pretty clued up on all the movies, series and cartoons that are on offer. Yet, there is a little gem, in the shape of Marvel’s Hero Project, that you may have missed. Currently, it is one season long, with 20 30-minute episodes. Each episode follows the story of a young person, highlighting how they’ve inspired and influenced change.
At the end of each episode, the Marvel team inducts them into The Marvel Hero Project and gifts them a few items which all Marvel fans would love: a pretty cool Marvel Hero jacket and their very own special collector’s edition comic all about them. It’s an incredible series that shouldn’t be overlooked when you are searching for your next binge-watch.
TIP: Don’t forget the tissues, even Thanos would shed a tear at these inspiring children.
5. Treasure Island
Want to see where all the Disney live-action films started? Look no further than Treasure Island! Released in 1950, it was the first full-length feature film released by the studios, with no cartoon elements. It’s a great story, which sticks closely to the original Robert Louis Stevenson book. It also paved the way for other pirate-themed films, such as The Pirates of the Caribbean. So, if you’ve never seen it before, give it a go, you might find a little hidden treasure of your own.
TIP: Warning – there are no female cast members in this film, and there wasn’t in the book either. Boo!
4. Strange Magic
When Disney bought out Lucasfilm Ltd, it not only acquired Star Wars and Indiana Jones, there were a lot of other amazing films too. Arguably, one of the most visually and musically appealing was the 2015 computer-animated fantasy, Strange Magic. Loosely based on the William Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the film features many famous musical bangers, such as Can’t Help Falling In Love, made famous by Elvis Presley, Three Little Birds originally by Bob Marley, and Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance… It’s hard not to sing along.
TIP: Along with Strange Magic, it is worth looking at the Lucasfilm back catalogue, as there are some amazingly unique films.
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride
We’re all a little sceptical about sequels, I get it. But, if you love The Lion King, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride simply shouldn’t be missed.
It follows on from the first film and is focused around Simba’s daughter, Kiara, voiced by Neve Campbell, and another lion called Kovu, voiced by Jason Marsden. Matthew Broderick, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella are all back once again to voice Simba, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa. Even James Earl Jones lent his voice to the film, making him the only cast member to have been in all 3 full-length films. Annoyingly, the only voice not to return is Rowan Atkinson.
If you’ve seen the stage show, you’ll recognise the title track ‘He Lives In You’ – hey, it’s got to be good if the stage show are stealing tracks from it!
TIP: There’s also The Lion King 1 ½, however, these are a lot of little stories, not a full-length film. The Lion King series is absolutely one of the gems on Disney Plus.
2. Queen of Katwe
One of the best-hidden gems on Disney Plus has to be Queen of Katwe – that’s why it’s almost made our top spot (and it was a very close call)! This true-life story is set between 2009 – 2012, based on Phiona Mutesi, a gifted national chess player from Uganda. It stars Madina Nalwanga, who plays Phiona, Lupita Nyong’o, who plays her mother, and David Oyelowo, who portrays her coach. If you want to be inspired, moved and entertained, search and press play on Queen of Katwe.
TIP: Don’t be put off because it’s about chess… there is a lot more to it and the acting is second to none.
1. The World According to Jeff Goldblum
We know him best from Jurassic Park, The Fly, Independence Day and a whole host of other great movies. But, it’s safe to say you don’t really know the real Jeff Goldblum until you watch The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
When Disney+ first went live, this 12-part series was on the main page of things to watch with good reason. Yet, over time, it may have very well got lost or moved down on your list.
Goldblum is such an intriguing character and he is so infectiously curious about things, making the episodes addictive and easy to watch. Each episode you learn about the science and origins behind things we take for granted, such as sneakers, denim, coffee and much more. It’s very interesting!
TIP: Try not to binge them too quickly, as they are so good and who knows when the new series will arrive.
So, there you have our list of hidden gems, so pop on your Mickey Mouse ears and get watching… or is it just me that wears my ears to watch Disney films?
That’s our list of hidden gems on Disney Plus, thanks for reading. Have you seen any of our recommendations before you read this list? Do you agree or disagree with our points, or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
More of our Disney Plus articles HERE
Hogwarts Houses For MCU Characters
Since its conception, Hogwarts houses have been a deciding factor in getting to know people. How someone answers “what Hogwarts house are you in?” can tell you a lot about a person. But where do some of our favourite MCU characters shape up when faced with the sorting hat?
Tony Stark/Iron Man- Ravenclaw
While Tony could be argued for almost any of the houses, Ravenclaw suits him best. Most of his development comes from the pursuit of knowledge. Aside from being one of the smartest characters in the MCU, he is constantly learning and improving upon his technology. He tends to approach large problems from a strategic and pragmatic standpoint, especially in his later films. Admittedly he can be brave and somewhat self-servingly ambitious. But who he is at the end of his arc and the way that he solves problems points to Iron Man being in Ravenclaw.
Steve Rogers/Captain America- Gryffindor
Is it even a question? Steve Rogers is definitely a Gryffindor. From day one, he has always strived to do what’s right. And he subtly wants a bit of glory for it too. He’s a natural leader and has always rushed into danger without a thought. He is undoubtedly driven by bravery and righteousness and is through and through a Gryffindor.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow- Hufflepuff
Natasha is tricky. She could truthfully swing in any direction. It may seem strange to put a spy in Hufflepuff, but if nothing else, Natasha is loyal. She cares deeply for those close to her and has shown that she’s willing to die for them. Her characterization throughout the MCU has been lacking, but her solo film has shown her to be fiercely loyal.
Bruce Banner/The Hulk- Ravenclaw
Another Ravenclaw. Similar to Tony, Bruce is very intelligent. While he seems to be less inclined to want to fight battles than Tony is, he is constantly learning. His relationship with the Hulk can even be characterized this way. By a desire to learn how to control him, then to understand him, then to become him. His arc is one that is driven by knowledge.
Thor is always looking to prove himself. Even though he can lift the hammer, he is constantly looking for validation that he is worthy. He’s not usually afraid of much, and when he is, he faces it anyway. What makes Thor a Gryffindor though is his desire to be the hero. He’s not in Slytherin because he doesn’t desire to rule. He’s not ambitious, he just wants validation.
Peter Parker/Spiderman- Gryffindor
Peter is another hard one. He’s intelligent like Bruce and Tony, which could throw him into Ravenclaw. He’s loyal to his friends, which could put him into Hufflepuff. But at his core, Peter is in Gryffindor. The proof is in one of his first lines in the MCU. In Civil War, he tells Tony, “if you can do the things I do, and you don’t, then bad things happen because of you. (paraphrased)” He feels that because he’s special, he has to act. And unlike Steve and Thor, Peter is almost always afraid. He faces his challenges in spite of that. And while he wants to have a normal life, and a typical High School experience, he selflessly puts himself on the line. Once again, Peter is not looking for recognition, he’s just trying to do the right thing.
Dr Strange- Ravenclaw
Lots of Ravenclaws in the MCU. For Dr Strange, there really isn’t any other option. He is completely driven by the pursuit of knowledge. And while recognition came with that, we see with his journey into the mystic arts that his true motivation comes from learning. He’s a very similar character to Tony Stark, and both of them are textbook Ravenclaws.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch- Hufflepuff
Like Natasha, Wanda is driven by her relationships. She is faithfully loyal to her brother, then Vision, then her family. She is definitely motivated to protect and care for those she loves. Including creating an entire alternate reality to be with them! Wanda is brave and intelligent, but at her core, she is loyal.
Finally, a Slytherin. Once again, was there any other option? Loki is characterized by his cunning and ambition. He wants to rule. And he doesn’t get there by rushing into battle. He gets there by being sneaky and clever. Loki is a Slytherin through and through.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel- Slytherin
This may not feel like the obvious choice for Carol, but she definitely portrays characteristics of a Slytherin. She’s the best, and she wants people to know it. She’s confident and clever, and she likes attention. We don’t know her very well yet, but from what we’ve seen, she seems to relish in the attention her efforts provide. She is good, helpful, and ambitious.
T’Challa/Black Panther- Hufflepuff
T’Challa is also driven by loyalty. But while he is protective of those he loves, his true loyalty is to Wakanda. He’s not king because of ambition, he’s king out of duty. Everything he does is through the lens of “what is best for Wakanda?” While it’s a bit unconventional, his loyalty to Wakanda characterizes him as a Hufflepuff.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man- Gryffindor
At first, it appears that Scott would be in Hufflepuff. After all, he is very motivated by his relationship with his daughter. But if he were truly 100% driven by that, he would have made different choices. He would not have betrayed Hope and Hank and teamed up with Captain America without their permission. He also would not have stolen from his company and landed in jail in the first place. But both of those above decisions do characterize him as a Gryffindor. He wants to be in the action, and he doesn’t always consider the consequences. Scott isn’t really looking for recognition and is not that ambitious, but he does want to be involved in the big events. He wants to help people, and he bravely faces battles. Sometimes without discretion.
Do you agree with our picks for these MCU characters in Hogwarts Houses? If not or if we’ve missed any out, leave us a comment below.
Check out our review of Black Widow HERE.
- Hogwarts Houses For MCU Characters July 23, 2021
- Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered July 19, 2021
- Loki Episode 6 – Review July 15, 2021
- 9 Drummers That Became Lead Singers July 14, 2021
- Black Widow – Review July 10, 2021
- Movie News10 months ago
The 9 Most Powerful Power Rangers Villains
- Comics & Literature10 months ago
What Happened To The Fellowship After The Ring Was Destroyed?
- Movie News11 months ago
The Incredible Hulk Is The Best MCU Movie
- Movie News8 months ago
Which Traps Would Have Killed Harry And Marv In Home Alone?
- Movie News10 months ago
What Went Wrong? Hook
- TV News5 months ago
Homelander: The Greatest Villain In TV History
- Comics & Literature10 months ago
Harry Potter: The Tragic Life Of Remus Lupin
- TV News9 months ago
8 The Simpsons Characters Who Deserve Their Own Spin-Off