Updated on 9/26/2023 at 7:25 PM
While Disney+ has gained a reputation as a hub for family-friendly fare (or for adults looking to relive their childhood favorites), it has plenty of movies geared toward adult audiences. From documentaries to darker entries in long-running franchises, Disney+ isn’t just for kids.
Some movies, like “Winnie the Pooh,” really are better for kids. Of course, plenty of Disney+ flicks are perfect for both adults and children, which is part of their charm — they hold up no matter what age you are. (Who’s to say adults can’t love singing along to “Frozen” and “Encanto”?) From gorgeous historical dramas like “Hidden Figures” to romantic comedies like “While You Were Sleeping” to films that are better for adults like “Saving Mr. Banks,” there are plenty of options on the streamer for adults to have a quality cinematic experience. Iconic, cult-classic movies like “Sister Act” and “10 Things I Hate About You” have become beloved favorites among movie fans of all ages for a reason. More recently, Disney’s live-action rendition of “The Little Mermaid” joined the club when it began streaming on Disney+ this September.
Ahead, check out some of the best movies on Disney+ for adults. There’s plenty of magic to be found — even in movies with an older target audience.
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— Additional reporting by Kalyn Womack and Naomi Parris
“The Little Mermaid”
This live-action remake of the classic Disney film stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, the unforgettable mermaid who longs to live on land. Featuring classic songs like “Part of Your World” and “Under the Sea” as well as supporting cast members like Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, and Jonah Hauer-King, this deep-sea story is perfect for adults to enjoy with or without kids.
Watch “The Little Mermaid” on Disney+.
The biographical Broadway musical smash tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury, soundtracked to blends of hip-hop, jazz, and R&B. Go back in time with music and lyrics by the show’s Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and prepare to be blown away by performances from Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, and more.
Watch “Hamilton” on Disney+.
“West Side Story”
Steven Spielberg’s award-winning remake of the classic musical romance explores the story of star-crossed lovers Tony and María. Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, and Ariana DeBose, the film takes place in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1957, where a whirlwind romance breaks out amid a gang turf war. The movie features musical numbers from the cast as well as an appearance from original “West Side Story” star Rita Moreno.
Watch “West Side Story” on Disney+ now.
“Holes” is one of those movies you’re better off watching as an adult. The dramatic coming-of-age story follows a wrongfully convicted boy (played by Shia LaBeouf) who’s sent to a boot camp in the middle of the desert, where he and other children are forced to dig mysterious holes all day long. However, something sinister gets uncovered as they investigate the truth behind their brutal tasks.
Watch “Holes” on Disney+ now.
“The Cheetah Girls”
If you’re a fan of fun musicals, you’ll love being swept up by the magic of “The Cheetah Girls.” The Disney original follows the titular high school girl group as they set out to become music’s next big stars. Though egos and drama sometimes get in the way, the cheetahlicious power of their friendship always brings them together for some amazing performances. They even take their singing talents across the globe to Barcelona and India for the movie’s two sequels, “The Cheetah Girls 2” and “The Cheetah Girls: One World.”
Watch “The Cheetah Girls” on Disney+ now.
“Suga: Road to D-Day”
BTS fans, this documentary follows the band’s group member as he travels across the globe in search of musical inspiration for his “D-Day” album, which was released back in April. Watch as he sets out to tell his story through music and meets fans around the world, from Seoul and Tokyo to Las Vegas and beyond.
Watch “Suga: Road to D-Day” on Disney+ now.
“Bend It Like Beckham”
Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley star in 2002’s “Bend It Like Beckham,” which is about an ascendant girls’ soccer team in London. Nagra’s Jessn is supremely talented at soccer (or as the Brits say, football), but her Indian parents don’t approve. The coming-of-age story blends sports, friendship, and family for a very satisfying ride.
Watch “Bend It Like Beckham” on Disney+ now.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Yes, there are over 30 MCU movies but years later, 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” remains one of the best. The story finds Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in a spy thriller that ultimately shakes the US government to its core. Joining him are Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow and Sebastian Stan as Bucky (aka the titular Winter Soldier). Anthony Mackie also debuted as Sam Wilson in the movie. Also on board is legendary actor Robert Redford as a S.H.I.E.L.D. head with a lot to hide.
Watch “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on Disney+ now.
“The Incredible Hulk”
“The Incredible Hulk” has always had a strange place in the Marvel canon. Released in 2008, it was meant to bring Edward Norton’s Hulk into the newly forming MCU but the movie was poorly reviewed, and Mark Ruffalo took on the role as the Hulk going forward. However, in recent years, characters from this movie (and the actors who’ve portrayed them) have started to pop up in the MCU, and this hidden gem is finally streaming.
Watch “The Incredible Hulk” on Disney+ now.
“Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Harrison Ford’s iconic turn as Indiana Jones helped make him one of the biggest stars in the world. Now, you can stream all the Indiana Jones films on Disney+. Start with “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” released in 1981.
Watch “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” on Disney+ now.
Peter Parker fans, Disney+ is home to Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland as everyone’s favorite web slinger. Take a chance to revisit “Spider-Man 2,” released in 2004. It features Alfred Molina’s legendary turn as Doc Ock.
Watch “Spider-Man 2” on Disney+ now.
“National Treasure” sees Nicolas Cage star as Benjamin Franklin Gates, who uses a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence to find a secret, hidden treasure. Though the premise is a little goofy, Cage really sells the story, which is full of thrills.
Watch “National Treasure” on Disney+ now.
Howard Ashman wrote music for “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and in the process, he transformed Disney animated films forever. The documentary “Howard” chronicles his life before his death from HIV/AIDS in 1991.
Watch “Howard” on Disney+ now.
Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer are perfection in this 2017 film about the Black women behind NASA’s early launches. The movie was nominated for three Oscars and two Golden Globes.
Watch “Hidden Figures” on Disney+ now.
“The Finest Hours”
In 1952, a ship splits apart off the coast of New England during a terrible storm. It’s up to the nearby Coast Guard to rescue the entire surviving crew while the storm rages.
Watch “The Finest Hours” on Disney+ now.
“Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”
It might be a movie about teens, but adults will appreciate its satirical wit. When a city girl with Broadway dreams has to move to the suburbs, she gets knocked down a few pegs. However, with the help of her friends, she strives to make a splash as the lead role in the school’s rock-inspired musical.
Watch “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” on Disney+ now.
“Ernest Saves Christmas”
On the brink of retirement, Santa Claus is on the lookout for a suitable replacement, and cab driver Ernest P. Worrell needs to help him. Santa has plans to give children’s show host Joe Carruthers the job, but while he is traveling to Florida to do so, he encounters a few bumps in the road. Ernest, along with a runaway teenager named Harmony Starr, must jump through hoops to help Santa pass the torch onto the newest Kris Kringle before Christmas is threatened for good.
Watch “Ernest Saves Christmas” on Disney+.
“Isle of Dogs”
Yes, Wes Anderson is on Disney+. The director’s 2018 animated film features a lineup of his usual onscreen collaborators — this time voicing dogs.
Watch “Isle of Dogs” on Disney+ now.
“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
This 1997 classic is finally available to stream to your heart’s content. Starring Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, and Victor Garber, this is an iconic adaptation of the fairytale.
Watch “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” on Disney+ now.
Free-solo rock climber Alex Honnold attempts his biggest dream: scaling Yosemite’s 3200-foot El Capitan without a rope. This NatGeo documentary follows Honnold as he prepares for the climb of his life.
Watch “Free Solo” on Disney+ now.
Thirty-year-old football fan Vince Papale thought his chances of playing his favorite sport were long gone. After getting the chance to try out for the Philadelphia Eagles, he winds up the oldest rookie in the NFL — but that’s only the beginning of his story.
Watch “Invincible” on Disney+ now.
Starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, and John Candy, the 1984 classic follows workaholic Allen Bauer (Hanks) who is convinced he can’t fall in love — that is, until he meets a mermaid named Madison (Hannah). Get ready to get swept away by their romance in this rom-com.
Watch “Splash” on Disney+.
“The Love Bug”
A low-key race car driver and his mechanic best friend acquire a quirky VW Beetle that seems to have a personality of its own. The duo and their new car, “Herbie,” soar to the top of their sport — which puts them squarely in the crosshairs of an unscrupulous car dealer. It’s a sweetly cheesy throwback movie with ’60s retro flair.
Watch “The Love Bug” on Disney+ now.
“Miracle on 34th Street”
6-year-old Susan Walker has plenty to believe in, but when it comes to Santa Claus, the only thing that she believes is that he isn’t real. When Susan meets Kris Kringle, a department-store Santa who tells her he is the real Santa, her love for Christmas is ignited. The only problem Santa faces is a city that is convinced he isn’t real after being wrongfully arrested. Susan, along with her mother’s boyfriend, lawyer Bryan Bedford, must help the biggest skeptic believe in Santa before Christmas is ruined.
Watch “Miracle on 34th Street” on Disney+.
A new coach is hired to pull together the US men’s hockey team in the lead-up to the 1980 Winter Olympics. As he assembles a team and sets the lofty goal of defeating the heavily favored Soviet team, the athletes’ struggles becomes a touchstone for Cold War politics.
Watch “Miracle” on Disney+ now.
“Miracle at Midnight”
If you remember the old “Wonderful World of Disney” movies, you might remember this historical drama that debuted as part of the TV-movie series in the late 1990s. When a Danish doctor and his family learn of the upcoming mass arrests of Danish Jews by the occupying Nazis, they work with resistance fighters to transport thousands of people to safety in Sweden.
Watch “Miracle at Midnight” on Disney+ now.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
Even (or especially) adults loved the first entry in the “Pirates” franchise, a sharp adventure story that’s pays loving homage to pirate lore while playfully skewering it. Before the franchise became a lengthy, occasionally unwieldy epic, it was a straightforward tale: a blacksmith teams up with a rogue pirate to rescue his childhood friend from a cursed pirate ship.
Watch “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” on Disney+ now.
While the entire Star Wars canon appeals to adults as well as children, “Rogue One” deserves a special mention as perhaps the franchise’s most mature film to date. Jyn Erso, the mercenary daughter of an Imperial-controlled engineer, is drawn into the rebellion when a message from her father is received. Jyn and her new allies set out on a fateful mission: retrieve the plans for the Death Star.
Watch “Rogue One” on Disney+ now.
A man coaches a low-ranked high school baseball team after injuries derail his promising baseball career. When the chance to try out for the majors comes around, his players make him a deal: they win the championships, and he’ll try out one last time.
Watch “The Rookie” on Disney+ now.
“Saving Mr. Banks”
Don’t let the “Mary Poppins” title fool you. While it’s not exactly unsuitable for kids, adults will likely get much more out of this movie, which is loosely based on the drama behind the scenes of the classic movie. As prickly author P.L. Travers clashes with Walt Disney’s genial commercialism, she recalls her difficult upbringing with the alcoholic but charming father she adored.
Watch “Saving Mr. Banks” on Disney+ now.
“The Simpsons Movie”
It may be animated, but it’s certainly not for kids! When the Simpsons get blamed for polluting the global water supply, their family is sharply divided. Homer sets out not just to save the world, but to earn his family’s forgiveness.
Watch “The Simpsons Movie” on Disney+ now.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Following its November 2022 release, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has finally arrived on Disney+. Starring Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, and Tenoch Huerta, the “Black Panther” sequel sees Wakanda and its inhabitants dealing with new threats and the loss of their leader King T’Challa.
Watch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on Disney+.
A nightclub singer with a big voice and a bigger personality accidentally witnesses her mobster boyfriend commit murder. For her safety, she’s whisked away and placed in witness protection among the nuns of a California convent. When she takes over their choir, she introduces her own brand of soulfulness into their music.
Watch “Sister Act” on Disney+ now.
“Home Alone: The Holiday Heist”
Finn Baxter just moved from California to Maine with his parents and younger sister. While getting settled in the house, Finn starts to believe that his new home is haunted and sets up traps in hopes of capturing the ghosts that haunt the place. When his parents leave the house to go to a Christmas party, a trio of thieves break in and attempt to steal a number of valuable paintings, and it’s now up to Finn to protect himself and his sister from the thieves and stop them from causing havoc in his house.
Watch “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist” on Disney+.
“10 Things I Hate About You”
The razor-sharp teen comedy might feel a little out of place among cheery, animated kids’ movies, but we’re not complaining. In this update of “The Taming of the Shrew”, a nerd falls in love with Bianca, a popular girl whose overprotective father won’t let her date until her acid-tongued, independent sister Kat does. He hires the school’s resident bad boy to woo Kat, and shenanigans naturally ensue.
Watch “10 Things I Hate About You” on Disney+ now.
“Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit”
Everyone’s favorite fake nun Deloris is called back into action in this sequel. Her friends from the convent need her help teaching music to teenagers at a struggling school. It will take all her patience and musical know-how to turn them into a star choir and save the school from closure at the hands of a cold-hearted administrator.
Watch “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” on Disney+ now.
The iconic 1980s sci-fi movie follows a computer-game programmer who gets pulled into the actual world of the computer. As he tries to escape, he interacts with the programs inside the computer, which are a lot more threatening than strings of code should be.
Watch “Tron” on Disney+ now.
“Three Men and a Baby”
Three single men with successful careers find themselves caring for an infant left on their doorstep. Their babysitting nightmare gradually changes as they grow attached to the child.
Watch “Three Men and a Baby” on Disney+ now.
In “Avatar,” humans attempt to access the world of Pandora inhabited by the Na’vi. Former Marine Jake Sully falls in love with a Na’vi woman and finds himself fighting to survive in her world while also fulfilling his orders from Earth.
Watch “Avatar” on Disney+ now.
“The Parent Trap”
After their divorce, each parent takes one of their identical twin daughters and raises them separately. The two girls run into each other at a summer camp more than a decade later and attempt to reunite their family.
Watch “The Parent Trap” on Disney+ now.
Based on the inspiring true story of young activist Ruby Bridges, this film depicts Ruby’s journey to becoming one of the first African-American children to attend an integrated school in the racist South. The six-year-old struggles to adjust to new life when she’s selected to attend an all-white school, causing a racial uproar.
Watch “Ruby Bridges” on Disney+ now.
“The Santa Clause 2”
After eight years of being Santa, Scott discovers a second clause in his contract: he needs to find a wife. Luckily for him, “Lost”‘s Elizabeth Mitchell is his son’s new principal.
Watch “The Santa Clause 2” on Disney+.
“While You Were Sleeping”
Sandra Bullock plays Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, a lonely transit worker who rescues her longtime crush from the path of an oncoming train. While he lies comatose in the hospital, a misunderstood comment from Lucy causes his family to believe she’s his fiancée.
Watch “While You Were Sleeping” on Disney+ now.
“Confessions of a Shopaholic”
This rom-com follows the journey of Rebecca, a New York City shopaholic who runs into trouble when she accumulates debt. To pay it off, she seeks to land her dream job at a fashion magazine but instead starts writing a personal-finance column for a sister publication. The column unexpectedly becomes a hit, but her secret threatens her love life and newfound success.
Watch “Confessions of a Shopaholic” on Disney+ now.
After he fails to prevent scientist Howard Plummer from being assassinated, an elite Navy SEAL strives to redeem himself when he gets assigned to protect Plummer’s children.
Watch “The Pacifier” on Disney+ now.
“The Game Plan”
A bachelor football star must learn to balance the demands of his career with his personal life when he discovers he has a young daughter from a previous relationship.
Watch “The Game Plan” on Disney+ now.
“The Santa Clause”
When Santa dies on his property, Scott Calvin ends up becoming the new man in the red suit (and wow, that premise is way darker than we remember). With the joy of kids all of over the world resting on his shoulders, Calvin steps up for them, and for his own son.
Watch “The Santa Clause” on Disney+.
“Black Is King”
This American musical by Beyoncé reimagines the story of Disney’s “The Lion King” for today’s generation, depicting the voyage of Black families.
Watch “Black Is King” on Disney+ now.
“Remember the Titans”
This historic film is based on the true story of a newly appointed Black coach and his high-school team, who navigate their first racially-integrated season together.
Watch “Remember the Titans” on Disney+ now.
“Chang Can Dunk”
This sports drama follows Chang (Bloom Li), a 16-year-old Asian American high school student in the marching band who bets the school basketball star that he can dunk by homecoming, according to Disney. As he embarks on his journey, he’ll have to “reexamine everything he knows about himself, his friendships and his family.”
Watch “Chang Can Dunk” on Disney+.
“The Lion King”
This 2019 musical film retells the iconic coming-of-age story of Simba, a young lion prince who flees his kingdom only to learn lessons of courage and responsibility.
Watch “The Lion King” on Disney+ now.
“The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement”
In this sequel to the original “The Princess Diaries,” Mia returns to Genovia after graduating from Princeton only to learn that she can’t become queen unless she’s married within 30 days.
Watch “The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement” on Disney+ now.
After receiving cryptic fortunes at a Chinese restaurant, a mother-daughter duo wake up the next day to find that they’ve switched bodies. They’re forced to play each other’s roles until they find a solution.
Watch “Freaky Friday” on Disney+ now.
“Home Sweet Home Alone”
Disney+’s “Home Sweet Home Alone” brings the “Home Alone” franchise into the 21st Century with a new crafty kid at the helm in the form of Max Mercer (Archie Yates). Like Kevin before him, Max is left home alone after his parents fail to notice he’s not with them as they set off on their holiday. At first, Max is delighted, but when a married couple tries to steal a family heirloom from his home, he has no choice but to defend his house from the thieves.
Watch “Home Sweet Home Alone” on Disney+.
“The Princess Diaries”
Shy San Francisco teenager Mia must readjust to life when she discovers that she is a real-life princess, heir to the crown of Genovia. With the help of her grandmother, Queen Clarisse, she learns what true royalty looks like while maintaining her own independence.
Watch “The Princess Diaries” on Disney+ now.
“Turner & Hooch”
Tom Hanks plays a dignified US Marshall who solves crimes with the help of a junkyard dog, Hooch.
Watch “Turner & Hooch” on Disney+ now.
“A Christmas Carol” (2009)
Don’t let the slightly creepy CGI put you off, because Disney’s 2009 version of “A Christmas Carol” is an engrossing and moving version of Charles Dickens’s classic tale thanks to stellar voice work from Jim Carrey as Scrooge. Just be warned, the Ghost of Christmas Future is so legitimately scary, it might give the little ones in your family nightmares.
Watch “A Christmas Carol” on Disney+.
Among Disney+’s first batch of original movies is “Noelle”, the story of Kris Kringle’s daughter who steps up when her brother is too overwhelmed to continue the family legacy. Goofy and original, this movie is quality holiday cheesiness.
Watch “Noelle” on Disney+.
“One Magic Christmas”
Have all the tissues ready for this 1985 film about a young mother who loses her faith in Christmas. It’s only through the help of her daughter and a guardian angel that she rediscovers the joys of the holidays.
Watch “One Magic Christmas” on Disney+.
“Rise” chronicles the true story of a trio of brothers who all became NBA champions. Basketball players Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo all went pro, and their amazing story touches on migration, family ties, sports, and much more.
Watch “Rise” on Disney+ now.
“The Muppet Christmas Carol”
“The Muppet Christmas Carol” upgrades Dickens’s original tale by adding incredible music and well, Muppets. However, the movie’s secret weapon truly is Michael Caine, who delivers a beautiful performance as Ebeneezer.
Watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” on Disney+.
Starring Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher, “Godmothered” is a magical holiday film about a determined fairy godmother-in-training named Eleanor who takes it upon herself to grant the wish of a little girl. Unfortunately for Eleanor, the little girl’s wish was left unanswered for so long, she’s now a grown woman who is heading into the holiday season as a single mom with a job she hates. As you can imagine, discovering she now has to fix some very adult problems leaves Eleanor with a much bigger job on her hands than she expected.
Watch “Godmothered” on Disney+.
“The Ultimate Christmas Present”
Two young girls in Los Angeles stumble across Santa Claus’s weather-making machine and use it to create a snow day in Los Angeles. What they don’t realize is that their snow day comes with a Christmas-sized cost.
Watch “The Ultimate Christmas Present” on Disney+.
“Babes in Toyland”
If you can get past the creepy dolls, the 1961 version of “Babes in Toyland” is a fun, musical spectacular. It’s also on overall odd film — Mother Goose plays a surprisingly large role — but there’s a saving Christmas subplot, so it all evens out.
Watch “Babes in Toyland” on Disney+.
“Peter Pan & Wendy”
The live-action reimagining of J.M. Barrie’s novel and the 1953 animated classic “Peter Pan” centers on the second titular character, Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson). According to Disney, Wendy is “a young girl afraid to leave her childhood home behind” who meets Peter Pan (Alexander Molony), “a boy who refuses to grow up.” “Alongside her brothers and a tiny fairy, Tinker Bell (Yara Shahidi), she travels with Peter to the magical world of Neverland. There, she encounters an evil pirate captain, Captain Hook (Jude Law), and embarks on a thrilling and dangerous adventure that will change her life forever.”
Watch “Peter Pan & Wendy” on Disney+.