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Disney+ has announced its UK slate and for Marvel, Pixar and classic animation fans it’s a real treasure trove of content. Plus there’s loads of new movies and shows made specially for the service to watch, but what if you’re looking for something else?
We dug through the list to pick out the best of the rest, in no particular order.
Disney+ will land in the UK on 24 March. There’s a monthly subscription fee of £5.99 a month, or an annual charge of £59.99. If you pre-order before 23 March, Disney is offering a year’s subscription for £49.99.
Cool Runnings (1993)
In today’s movie parlance, this movie would definitely admit to being “inspired by” the Jamaican bobsleigh team’s experience at the 1998 Calgary Winter Olympics rather than a genuine biopic, but it’s all the better for it. John Candy is brilliant as their coach Irv and the central foursome have a natural chemistry which lifts it above your regular formulaic sports movie.
Freaky Friday (2003)
It’s difficult to imagine now, but once upon a time Lindsay Lohan was a gifted comic actress, as this remake proves. She plays the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis when they are magically switched into each other’s bodies after a Chinese meal.
Read more: The film that will never be on Disney+
Cue Curtis as a punky teen musician and Lohan as a middle-aged therapist. It’s cute and funny and thoroughly watchable.
There’s real menace in this underrated adaptation of Louis Sachar’s young adult bestseller, about a boy (a youthful Shia LaBeouf) who’s wrongly sent to a desert-based juvenile prison where he spends his day digging, well, holes, for the sadistic warden (Sigourney Weaver). There’s some Goonies-esque treasure hunting, witty flashbacks and LaBeouf showing why he became an adult star.
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The jury is out on which is the best Muppet film – some swear by Christmas Carol, others like Take Manhattan, while there are those who prefer the recent reboots. But there’s something perfectly pure about Kermit and his crew’s first big-screen outing, not least because of all the original voices and the classic music by Bugsy Malone composer Paul Williams. Road movies don’t get much better than this.
Pete’s Dragon (2016)
Not enough people caught this remake of the 1977 live-action/cartoon about a boy who ends up living in the woods with a green furry dragon. Sounds faintly ridiculous, but the CGI is excellent, the story is a little more sombre and meditative than your usual kid flick and you really feel the relationship between firebreather Elliott and his young friend (Oakes Fegley).
Remember the Titans (2000)
Yes, it’s cheesy, yes, you can kind of guess what happens, yes it has Denzel Washington making lots of rousing speeches. But, like, it’s Denzel. And this real-life tale about a black coach trying to integrate a southern high school football team is all the right kinds of tearjerking and heartwarming.
Read more: All the Pixar coming to Disney+ UK
Plus it’s got a supremely nerdy Ryan Gosling in an early role.
Return to Oz (1985)
It’s kind of difficult to believe a movie like this actually exists, but if you haven’t seen yet, you definitely should. Generally considered one of the most terrifying kids’ movies ever made, it’s technically a sequel to the Judy Garland classic, but will haunt your dreams more than any flying monkeys.
The Rocketeer (1991)
This early attempt at a superhero movie is set in 1938 and follows a stunt pilot (Bill Campbell) who uncovers a prototype jet pack. It was a flop at the box office, which is a shame because it’s swashbuckling, fun, wholesome and it’s got Timothy Dalton in it.
Forget the mediocre sequel, this revolutionary movie about computer game avatars remains exhilarating to watch, despite the dated CGI, which in a weird way still feels quite futuristic. Retro gamers assemble!
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
This adaptation by Ava DuVernay of a 1962 novel was mistakenly ignored on release and deserves to be caught up with now it’s streaming. There’s some big themes going on (like any good sci-fi fantasy) and a filmmaker like DuVernay is just the person to bring them out. An excellent young cast makes all the people with funny names and weird jobs more than easy to get a handle on.
This documentary features some fantastic interviewees, including Julie Andrews and Star Wars composer John Williams, who all come together to talk about Robert and Richard Sherman. They’re the sibling songwriting team who came up with the tunes in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I Wan’na Be Like You from The Jungle Book, among hundreds more.
Read more: What Star Wars is there on Disney+ UK?
A nostalgic Hollywood history lesson about two extraordinary talents whose songs have and will endure.
The Country Bears (2002)
By all accounts, this film is utterly nuts. Beary Barrington is an anthropomorphised bear adopted by a human family who tries to reform an estranged ursine country rock group while an evil banker (Christopher Walken) attempts to foil him.
It’s got a bunch of people in animatronic bear suits, Elton John, Wyclef Jean and a small bear shredding a guitar solo. It’s like Howard the Duck meets the Muppets meets someone in the grip of a drug-induced fever dream. It would be a crime not to watch it on a loop.
Disney+ is set to debut in the UK on 24 March.