Disney Plus has quickly become one of the UK’s most popular streaming services. In fact, it now has more subscribers than Netflix. The service offers a range of films and shows that can be enjoyed by all ages. As well as animated Disney classics, you can also watch live action films and engaging documentaries. With Disney owning a myriad of other brands, such as Marvel and Fox, there’s no end to the entertainment available. If you are considering Disney Plus, or have it and don’t know what to watch, here is Carelink24’s list of the best films on Disney Plus for older audiences.
1. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
This film tells the heart-warming story of how the classic novel, Mary Poppins, made it onto the big screen, and immediately became a favourite of Mary Poppins’ fans and non-fans alike. The film follows author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) on her journey to California, including her clash with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) over how her beloved novel should be adapted. Eventually, the two come to a strained compromise, resulting in the Mary Poppins film we know and love today. The film also explores some biographical scenes from Travers’ life.
2. Lady And The Tramp (1955)
Of course an animated classic was going to come up – it’s what Disney is best known for! Don’t worry, it won’t be the last though. Lady And The Tramp is a beautiful love story between dogs from two different worlds. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, however, our dogs find lasting love over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. It is one of the first full-length Disney features not based on a fairy-tale, but a short story in Cosmopolitan magazine.
3. The Parent Trap (1961)
Unlike your grandchildren, many of you will remember the original Parent Trap, which predates the Lindsay Lohan hit by 37 years. Like the Lindsay Lohan remake, the original also stars one actress, Hayley Mills, playing both twins. This is so impressive as computer effects were still in the far future. Instead, the filmmakers made do with tricky camera angles and a body double to create the illusion. You’d never know! This would make a great film to watch with the grandchildren, especially if they’ve seen the 1998 remake already.
4. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas (1999)
It may no longer be the season, but there has to be at least one Christmas film on this list, and it’s Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. Not only does it feature Disney’s most iconic and beloved character, but it tells three heart-warming Christmas tales about friends, family, and presents. This Christmas classic features the whole Disney cast: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, and not forgetting Goofy. The characters share their seasonal frustrations, which eventually lead to a lesson learned and a magical Christmas. The last story, involving Mickey and Minnie, is a spin on the most famous Christmas tale: The Gift of The Magi.
5. Christopher Robin (2018)
Live-action versions of animated classics can be divisive at the best of times. However, one of the best Disney spins of this nature is Christopher Robin. In this film, we see a grown-up Christopher Robin who hasn’t thought of his pals from the Hundred Acre Wood in a long time. Luckily, Pooh Bear and the gang show up in London via a passageway and remind Christopher of what is really important in life, just as his business and other adult worries come to a climax.
6. Frozen (2013)
Frozen became a smash hit upon release. While this has taken the younger audiences by storm, it is also popular with older viewers. Based loosely on The Snow Queen fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the glittering snow and twinkling sky bring this film the ultimate cosy factor. Frozen is known for its extraordinary soundtrack too, specifically for its hit song, Let It Go. This was the first song from a Disney animated musical to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 since 1995.
7. One Hundred And One Dalmatians (1961)
Another animated dog special. However, this one focuses a little less on the love story and more on puppies trying to escape a woman hellbent on using their fur for a coat. One Hundred And One Dalmatians is a beautiful story, but it is also special for its stylised animation style. It drifts away slightly from the classic Disney style with sketch-type drawings. Disney attributes the film’s unique animation to a new, experimental technique they were using for the first time. They claim the kinks in the technology created One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ hazy lines.
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
A star-studded cast shines in this British-Indian comedy-drama based on a novel by Deborah Moggach. The story follows Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton, a group of British pensioners moving to India to live in a hotel. It’s best described as a coming of age film, but when you’re 60 rather than 16. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is witty and hilarious but also attempts to explore a story outside of what you might expect for a film that centres around retirement-age characters.
9. Beauty And The Beast (1991)
A tale as old as time. Anthropologists believe the Beauty And The Beast story is actually over 4,000 years old. It has been rewritten and reimagined hundreds of times, as you can imagine, but Disney’s is one of the best. This version was released in the 90s, during a cinematic boom known as the Disney Renaissance. The film has captured not only the hearts of children but also of older people too. It is stunningly animated and riveting. There is a scene that even includes singing from the one and only Angela Lansbury! It is truly a Disney triumph for the ages.
10. The Muppet Movie (1979)
Sometimes it can feel like the Muppets have been around forever. They’re timeless classics of televisions and movies, so why not enjoy their first big screen appearance. This film follows Kermit the Frog as he begins his journey to become a movie star, packing his bags and heading for Hollywood. Along the way, he meets fan favourites of the Muppets franchise such as Gonzo and Miss Piggy, all the while pursued by the villainous Doc Hopper.
Best Films of Disney Plus
There you have it. Our picks for the best films on Disney Plus for older people. We tried to include a varied range on our list, animated and non-animated, old and new, as there really is something for everybody on Disney’s streaming service. However, we believe these are the films that will be especially enjoyed by the older generation. We highly recommend checking them all out, as well as everything else Disney Plus has to offer. If these choices aren’t for you, there is so much more to see.
If you’re looking for more film recommendations, check out 9 Fantastic Films on Netflix for Older People.
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Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 16th January 2023 to reflect current information.