Meghan Markle's return to Hollywood is now streaming on Disney+ (alongside more new titles)
The documentary Elephant drops today.
With many in the world now social distancing and looking for ways to stay occupied indoors, entertainment-focused companies have released plenty of movies and TV shows early on streaming platforms. Movies previously slated for months-from-now releases are instead available on demand, and services such as Amazon Prime Video are even streaming titles that were slated for events like SXSW and Tribeca Film Festival.
However, perhaps no streaming service has released as many newsworthy movies ahead of schedule as Disney+. Already home to thousands of popular movies and TV shows, the platform keeps adding hotly anticipated films much sooner than planned. Today alone, it dropped Onward and the Elephant documentary featuring Meghan Markle.
If you haven’t already, there’s no better time to sign up for Disney+. Since its vast library can be overwhelming to new subscribers, we’ve rounded up eight of the best new movies to watch on Disney+ in April. You’ll need a subscription, which starts at just $6.99 per month, but the undecided can sign up for a seven-day free trial. And if you’re sure that you’ll want to hold on to Disney+, its year-long subscription for $69.99 (that’s $5.83 per month) is your best bet.
As Nick Miller from New Girl once aptly pointed out, “It is perfectly fine to watch TV all day,” and we can’t think of anything better to do than to hunker down with content like Marvel, Star Wars, and classic Disney animated movies. Check out the best new movies to stream on Disney+ right now below.
Stream it! Onward, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
With all the uncertainty going on in this world, it’s nice to see that some things never change. In Onward, Pixar has once again produced a marvelous movie with tons of laughs that tugs at your heartstrings. Starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, the animated movie tells the story of two elf brothers who go on an adventure in search of their father (or rather, the rest of him). Check out the trailer here for the film, which has already garnered an 87 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Stream it! Elephant, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
Meghan Markle is back in Hollywood. She lends her voice to Disneynature’s Elephant, a documentary that follows two African elephants, Shani and her son, Jomo, in their journey to reach a lush paradise through the Kalahari Desert. Along the way, they endure hardships like lack of resources and dangerous predators. The Duchess of Sussex was “absolutely intrigued by the elephants and transfixed,” said filmmakers Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz to People. Elephant is the companion piece to Dolphin Reef, narrated by Natalie Portman — read more about it below.
Stream it! Dolphin Reef, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
Another documentary with an equally impressive narrator, Dolphin Reef borrows the voice of actor, activist, and future female Thor Natalie Portman. It tracks the journey of Echo, a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin who has to learn the ways of the ocean to survive predators such as Orca whales, stingrays, and tiger sharks. Dolphins are one of the most joyful animals on the planet, and this documentary just might bring a smile to your face, too.
Stream it! Frozen 2, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
We can list all its achievements (highest-grossing animated film of all time, Academy Award nominee, etc.), but it’s simpler to say that Frozen 2 is another fantastic Disney movie full of that magic the studio has perfected throughout the years. This time, sisters Anna and Elsa seek to restore a mysterious unbalance in Arendelle and discover buried secrets about their family on the way. The music is addictive and the characters lovable, so if you haven’t watched Frozen 2 yet, what are you waiting for?
Stream it! Disneynature Penguins, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
Penguins might just be some of the cutest, funniest, and most watchable creatures in the world. Their little feet and clumsy walks are all captured in this Disneynature documentary, which is narrated by The Office star Ed Helms. It follows Steve, an Adélie penguin in the Antarctic, who tries to build a nest, find a life partner, and start a family while facing dangerous predators like killer whales and leopard seals. The documentary has garnered a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and you can take a look at its trailer here.
Stream it! Black Panther, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
One of the most acclaimed Marvel movies to date, Black Panther finally landed on Disney+ just last month. Starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, Ryan Coogler’s film takes thematic inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet while putting an afro-futuristic spin on the superhero origin story. It garnered a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and countless accolades (including a Best Picture Oscar nomination), and it propelled its titular character to legendary status in Marvel’s cinematic pantheon.
Stream it! National Treasure, free with a Disney+ subscription; disneyplus.com
Yes, it has a ridiculous premise, but National Treasure might just be the ultimate campy watch for those with a penchant for early ’00s nostalgia. Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger star in this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film that involves Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell, and the American Constitution. It’s become a cult classic since its release in 2004, and you can catch it on Disney+ starting April 30.