Disney Plus is finally available in the UK, boasting content from Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and of course, Disney’s own back catalogue. But where do you even start with content spanning several decades? That’s where we step in.
After launching in a select few countries back in November of last year, the wait for Disney Plus to launch in the UK has been an arduous one, but the patience of the British public has finally been rewarded.
As you can imagine, Disney has a huge library of classic movies and TV shows to call upon, but the sheer amount of content on offer can seem a little overwhelming. To save you from aimlessly scrolling through menus for several hours, here are some of the best TV shows and movies that you can dive into right now on Disney Plus.
1. The Simpsons
Because Hulu never made its way to UK shores, there’s never been a means to legally stream The Simpsons in the comfort of your own home. That is, until now. Even the team behind Disney Plus knew how big of an announcement this was, avoiding confirmation on whether or not the show would appear in the UK until just a few weeks ago.
Now, you might agree with the prevailing opinion that The Simpsons has lost its way in recent years, but there’s no denying that the show’s earlier seasons have maintained the spark that made them so enjoyable in the first place. Classic episodes like Marge vs The Monorail and A Star is Burns have become so iconic that they’re firmly part of the pop culture canon itself.
2. The Mandalorian
It’s the show that launched a thousand memes. Without a doubt, Disney Plus’ most prolific piece of original content, The Mandalorian is precisely what Star Wars fans have been waiting for. Boasting the same production values that you’d expect from a full-blown Star Wars film, The Mandalorian excels where The Rise of Skywalker faulted, by having more time to flesh out its characters and explore the intriguing underworld it establishes.
Even if the show was less than average – which it certainly isn’t – it’d still be worth a watch to catch a glimpse of Baby Yoda himself. The fandom surrounding Baby Yoda makes a lot more sense when you watch The Mandalorian, but be warned that you’re likely to end up buying all the Baby Yoda merchandise you can get your hands on by the time you’ve finished episode two.
3. Big Hero 6
It’s no secret that Disney’s homegrown animation studio has been on something of a winning streak as of late, matching the likes of Pixar with critical and commercial successes such as Frozen, Moana and Zootropolis. Despite being part of those recent successes, Big Hero 6 very rarely gets discussed with the same fervour, but it’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it before.
A little known secret, Big Hero 6 is also the first animated film from Disney that’s based on a Marvel property – albeit a lesser-known one. While certainly a superhero film on the surface, Big Hero 6 has a surprising amount of depth for a kid’s film, tackling the concept of grief head-on in a way that’s far more relatable than a lot of films geared towards adults.
Any kid who grew up in the 90s will remember rushing home from school, kicking the door down and plonking themselves in front of the TV to watch a show about… school. It might seem like a basic premise, but Recess reimagined the playground to become exactly how children view it to be – a vast wonderland of grass and concrete that could become whatever you needed it to be.
Unforgettable characters and quick wit earned the show its reputation as one of Disney Channel’s best original series, going on to snag its own feature film around the turn of the century. With all six seasons now available on Disney Plus, it’s high time that a brand new generation of kids caught up with TJ and the gang.
5. Free Solo
You might remember Free Solo as the Oscar-winner for Best Documentary at the 91st Academy Awards, but you might also remember it as the film that had you in a cold sweat for nearly two hours, gripping the nearby arm rests for dear life.
Following professional rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to scale Yosemite’s El Capitan without any ropes or harnesses, Free Solo is just so mesmerising in its quiet portrayal of obsession that you simply can’t look away.
The more time you spend in the company of Alex Honnold, the more you sympathise with his unending need to conquer that which is seemingly unconquerable. After all, the pursuit of greatness lies at the core of our own humanity. However, all of that goes out of the window when you catch a shot of him attempting to climb El Capitan and lose all control of your bowel movements. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a must-see nonetheless.