The 50 Best TV Shows and Movies to Watch on Disney+ Right Now

The Disney streaming platform has hundreds of movie and TV titles, drawing from its own deep reservoir classics and from Star Wars, Marvel and more. These are our favorites.

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Of all the companies to enter the streaming wars, Disney has significant advantages with Disney+. It can draw from a deep vault of its own animated and live-action movies and from popular shows on its own cable networks — as well as from company properties like Marvel and Star Wars. And that’s not counting the platform’s slate of original TV shows and movies.

That’s a lot of material: nearly 500 films and 7,500 TV episodes at the time of its debut. Below is our guide to the 50 best titles on Disney+, arranged in reverse chronological order with an eye toward variety. As the service continues to build its catalog, this list will change too.

Here are our lists of the best movies and TV shows on Netflix, the best of both on Hulu and the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.

ImageAnthony Mackie in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
Credit...Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

Bringing TV shows into latest “phase” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at once develops superheroes too minor for their own movies and adds production values uncommon on television. On the heels of “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” takes place six months after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” focusing on two characters haunted by the loss of Captain America but given little time for reflection before a new terrorist group starts to emerge. Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) make for one seriously glum duo, but the action sequences have a mortal, punishing grit to them that would make Cap proud.

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Credit...Liane Hentscher/ABC

Disney’s middling sports-comedy franchise gets a boost from the “Cobra Kai” treatment, with the once-scrappy Mighty Ducks hockey team now a joyless pee-wee juggernaut and its former coach, Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez), now a grizzled, cranky, down-on-his-luck rink owner. But it’s Lauren Graham who ties the series together as an earnest mother who wants sports to fun again, so she builds a hockey team around her son, populated by misfits who barely know how to skate. The rest of this underdog scenario more or less writes itself.

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Credit...Marvel/Disney

One persistent criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that all the movies look and feel basically the same, a natural consequence of its intersecting characters and story lines. Casting two lesser M.C.U. characters, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), as misfit newlyweds in a ’60s-style suburban sitcom, “WandaVision” is an audacious departure, which critic Mike Hale called “a high-concept combination of paranoiac mystery and nostalgic pop-culture burlesque.” Between the silly misunderstandings and winking references to old standards like “Bewitched,” the show plants some odd disruptions that suggest everything is not as it seems.

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Although “The Mandalorian” takes place between the events of “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens,” this thrilling sci-fi-adventure series makes a virtue of simplicity, casting off the dense mythology that has burdened the “Star Wars” brand. Most of the blessedly short episodes are about a Clint Eastwood-like bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) and his precious charge — popularly known as Baby Yoda but officially known as the Child — who square off against various galactic beasts and cutthroats. Mike Hale called it “well paced and reasonably clever, with enough style and visual panache to keep your eyes engaged.”

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Crossing the leisure-time sibling dynamic of “Phineas and Ferb” with a much smarter version of the comic mysteries of “Scooby Doo,” this lively and sweet animated series is about Dipper and Mabel Pines, 12-year-old twins who are shipped away to the middle of Oregon to live with their crazy “Grunkle” Stan. Stan runs a beaten-down tourist trap called the “Mystery Shack,” which becomes the nexus of supernatural happenings. Voiced by Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal, the twins have a winning banter that’s underscored by real affection.

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Let’s face it: Of the 31 (and counting) seasons of “The Simpsons,” only about the first nine are any good, but that legendary run had such a cultural impact that quotes from and references to it have become a linguistic shorthand. The creator Matt Groening and his animators conceived the Simpsons and the town of Springfield as an endlessly elastic source of colorful characters and sharp jibes about American families, institutions and values. Our critic called its animation “ingenious” and its scripts “consistently inventive.”

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The original four-season run of “DuckTales,” totaling more than 100 episodes, expanded on a corner of Carl Barks’s duck universe by focusing on the treasure-hunting and hoarding exploits of Scrooge McDuck and three grandnephews — Huey, Dewey and Louie — who come under his care while Donald Duck fights for the United States Navy. A gallery of colorful villains, like Flintheart Glomgold and Magica De Spell, are constantly after Scrooge’s fortune, particularly the Number One Dime that started it all. Both the original and the new “DuckTales” have rambunctious energy to spare.

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Four decades after it went off the air, Jim Henson’s “The Muppet Show” might seem alienating to younger generations, who will not only scratch their heads over the dated pop culture references but might also be unfamiliar with the variety-show format. Yet Henson’s beloved creatures have stood the test of time, and there’s no better showcase for them than this delightful patchwork of sketches, musical numbers and silly interstitials. “The Muppet Show” has been difficult to access over the years — this collection offers all but two of the original 120 episodes, many of which were unavailable on DVD — so this is a great chance to sample classic moments or skip ahead to favorite characters.

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Saturday morning cartoons were always short on educational opportunities for children, but ABC decided to do a public good by producing “Schoolhouse Rock!,” a series of three-minute animated interstitials that proved to be surprisingly sticky mnemonic devices. Disney+ doesn’t have the complete run of episodes — it has 51 of the 64, the vast majority made in the mid-1970s — but it has all the classics, including the call-and-response of “Conjunction Junction,” the heart-rending multiplication song “Figure Eight” and “I’m Just a Bill,” a civics lessons that was parodied on the “Simpsons” episode “The Day the Violence Died,” which is also available on the service.

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Based on the illustrated children’s novel by Kate DiCamillo, this winningly eccentric answer to superhero fatigue gives special powers to a squirrel that gets sucked into a vacuum cleaner, but the animal is much better at sowing chaos than saving lives. The relationship between an 10-year-old comics geek (Matilda Lawler) and her chittering new friend turns out to be surprisingly sweet, particularly as her parents (Alyson Hannigan and Ben Schwartz) are going through a separation. Maya Phillips praised the film’s “good-natured looniness” and the “superheroic lineup of comedy powerhouses” in the cast.

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After several years spent elevating herself to arena-filling megastardom, Taylor Swift sprung a quarantine surprise with “Folklore,” a collection of modest, lovely, personal songs that stripped away the commercial sheen of her last few albums. In an idyllic cottage in upstate New York, Swift and her two chief collaborators on the record, the National’s Aaron Dessner and her longtime co-writer and producer Jack Antonoff, perform all the tracks in order and talk about them over oceans of white wine. When her 2020 world tour was canceled, Swift had to reinvent herself. With “The Long Pond Studio Sessions,” she reinvents the concert film, too.

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The original production of this audacious pop musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda was a near-impossible ticket on Broadway, but now it comes to streaming as a vital and stubbornly optimistic ode to the American experiment. Leading a cast of mostly Black and Latino actors, Miranda plays Alexander Hamilton as an immigrant made good, a “young, scrappy and hungry” embodiment of an emerging nation. “Hamilton” has been described as a hip-hop history, but the music is as varied as the history is idealized and thorny. A.O. Scott wrote that the film is “motivated, above all, by a faith in the self-correcting potential of the American experiment.

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In the standard “Phineas and Ferb” episode, Candace is the aggrieved sister who always tries and fails to bust her brothers for whatever outrageous invention or scheme they’ve dreamed up on a random summer day. So it’s a treat to see Candace get shuttled off to an alien planet where she is finally appreciated, albeit with an unforeseen catch. “Candace Against the Universe” isn’t like three episodes stacked together; rather, it’s an inspired and fully imagined spectacle with splashy musical numbers, galactic adventure and weird gags on semantics and sci-fi clichés.

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Death isn’t usually negotiable, but when Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a middle-school music teacher, falls down a manhole shortly after booking his first big gig as a jazz pianist, he is willing to defy the laws of heaven to realize his dream. Although this touching and whimsical Pixar movie gets into the bureaucratic intricacies of the afterlife, “Soul” is most affecting as a tribute to the small, myriad pleasures of New York City. A.O. Scott called it “a new chapter in Pixar’s expansion of realism.”

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Wes Anderson’s second attempt at stop-motion animation, after 2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” applies the same meticulousness to an original entertainment that uses whimsy and adventure to mask dark themes about a future teetering on the brink of authoritarianism. With a “canine flu” epidemic gripping Japan, its demagogue leader sends the nation’s dogs to quarantine on a garbage island, underestimating their frisky resilience and camaraderie. Manohla Dargis called these droll pups “surprising, touching and thoroughly delightful company.”

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The most divisive “Star Wars” movie is also one of the boldest and best, defying the orthodoxy of the Jedi traditionalists in order to embrace a more operatic vision of the overmatched Resistance doing battle against the First Order. It starts with the shock of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) casually tossing a light saber off a cliff and keeps the heresies flowing from there, all in an effort to heighten the emotional stakes for the battles to come. Manohla Dargis called it “a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment.”

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The first two “Thor” movies rank among the worst of the Marvel cinematic series, but one solid takeaway is that Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-wielding alien studmuffin thrives as the dopey center of a fish-out-of-water comedy. Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok” offers just that, exploiting its hero’s good humor to maximum effect while offering a vamped-up Cate Blanchett as an all-powerful villain who plots to destroy his home planet, Asgard. Manohla Dargis admired how the film “humanizes” Thor, but still thinks “what he needs is a myth as mighty as his shtick.”

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Tucked away in a segregated building at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., in the early 1960s, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) joins her Black colleagues as a “human computer” until her computational brilliance becomes too valuable for NASA to deny. The irresistible history lesson “Hidden Figures” follows Johnson and two other Black mathematicians as they break down barriers at a crucial time for the space program. A.O. Scott called it “a well-told tale with a clear moral and a satisfying emotional payoff.”

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Disney has spent decades laboring over the creation of more strong-willed heroines, but few have embarked on a mission as consequential as Moana, who travels the seas to save her Polynesian village from environmental ruin. Her adventures are rendered in pleasingly lush ocean blues, and Dwayne Johnson has a fun role as the egotistic demigod Maui. But the true star of “Moana” is the songs, which range from the soaring (“How Far I’ll Go”) to the silly (“You’re Welcome”) to the Bowie-esque (“Shiny”). A.O. Scott wrote that they “anchor the film’s cheery globalism in a specific South Pacific milieu.”

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Disney live-action films don’t exactly have a tradition of gritty realism, but with “Queen of Katwe,” the director Mira Nair scrapes some of the gloss off the rousing true story of a Ugandan girl whose prodigious gifts as a chess player allow her to see the world beyond a Kampala slum. By taking the time to detail the day-to-day struggles of a desperately poor family, Nair adds power to the girl’s efforts to maneuver around the board. If “Hoosiers” made you cry, predicted A.O. Scott, “‘Queen of Katwe’ will wreck you.”

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The goofy 1977 musical comedy turns into a sincere drama about an orphaned wild child (Oakes Fegley) who befriends a big green dragon in the Pacific Northwest. By playing this story completely straight, the director David Lowery links an earnest environmental message to a touching affirmation of family. Reviews were mostly kind, though our critic found it “sentimental.

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When an 11-year-old girl moves to San Francisco from the Midwest, the personified emotions that control her mind — Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) — go haywire. Ranking near the top of Pixar tear-jerkers, “Inside Out” is about how children develop into complex emotional beings and the important role that melancholy plays in making it happen. A.O. Scott called it “an absolute delight — funny and charming, fast-moving and full of surprises.”

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Credit...James Bridges/20th Century Fox, via Associated Press

The tragic love story between Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort), two cancer-afflicted teenagers who meet in a support group, is handled with uncommon tenderness and passion in this adaptation of the author John Green’s Y.A. tear-jerker. The fact that Hazel’s terminal diagnosis puts an expiration date on their relationship only intensifies the film’s devil-may-care romantic spirit — the two know their first love will be their last, and they act accordingly. A.O. Scott wrote, “the film sets out to make you weep,” and it succeeds.

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The X-Men franchise has gone through more deaths and revivifications than the average X-Men character, with only mixed success, but “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is as assured and entertaining as any incarnation, with a clever deployment of multiple timelines. With the future in peril, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to 1973 to stop events that will lead to the extinction of man and mutant alike. A.O. Scott wrote that the characters and actors “provide just enough wit and feeling to make “Days of Future Past” something other than a waste of a reasonable person’s time.”

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The first third of “WALL-E” is a high-water mark for Pixar, quietly and wondrously detailing the solitary life of the only trash-compacting robot left on an uninhabitable future Earth. The film doesn’t drop off much, either, when the robot befriends a sleeker android sent to the planet to search for signs of life — and perhaps hope for surviving humans to return home. “We’ve grown accustomed to expecting surprises from Pixar,” wrote A.O. Scott, “but ‘WALL-E’ surely breaks new ground.”

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Credit...Zade Rosenthal/Paramount Pictures

The Big Bang event that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Iron Man” established the template for more than 20 superhero movies and counting. But it owes much of its success to Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Tony Stark, an arrogant military contractor who turns himself into the most advanced weapon in creation. While later Marvel movies were burdened by mythological baggage, “Iron Man” still feels as sleek and fleet as the superhero himself. A.O. Scott called it “an unusually good superhero picture.”

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Riding high off a nonstop run of hits after “Toy Story,” Pixar gambled on the almost perversely unappealing premise of a Parisian rat with a passion for finessing haute cuisine. But “Ratatouille” pays off in the fast-paced kitchen slapstick of a rodent on the loose, a sensual appreciation for food and a rousing message about pursuing your dreams, no matter your seeming limitations. A.O. Scott called it “a nearly flawless piece of popular art.”

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As the son of two powerful superheroes (Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston), Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is expected to be the star freshman at a school for kids with special powers. Instead, he lands with the nerdy sidekicks (called Hero Support). Will’s awkward development raises the stakes on the typical high school comedy and the loaded cast offers inspired supporting turns by Dave Foley, Bruce Campbell and Kevin McDonald as his instructors. Stephen Holden called it “a zippy Disney adventure-comedy.”

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After getting falsely convicted of stealing shoes, a boy (Shia LaBeouf) gets sent to a labor camp where wayward children are forced to dig five-foot holes in the desert sun for no apparent reason. Based on the novel by Louis Sachar, “Holes” has the backdrop of a Depression-era social drama and heel-turns by Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson, but its delightful eccentricities lighten the mood. A.O. Scott credited the director Andrew Davis for having “turned the book’s spare, gritty allegory into a shaggy-dog saga that is sometimes hectic but always surprising and never easy, predictable or false.”

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Because of a troubled production and disappointing returns, “The Emperor’s New Groove” was considered a rare misstep in the Disney animation renaissance of the ’90s and early ’00s. But this fleet, anarchic, hilarious buddy comedy about a self-absorbed king turned llama (David Spade) and a humble peasant (John Goodman) is a chance to see what Disney animators could do if they were allowed to channel the manic energy of their Warner Brothers peers. Our critic admired its “cheeky effervescence and spunk.”

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Credit...(AP Photo/Billy Higgins, via Walt Disney Pictures

The director David Lynch shocked the film world by following the hard-R mind-melters “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and “Lost Highway” with a G-rated, fact-based Disney film about an elderly Midwesterner (Richard Farnsworth) who travels 370 miles on a riding lawn mower to visit his ill, estranged brother. There’s plenty of Lynchian eccentricity and style, however, to his heartfelt slice of Americana, and a genuine conviction in the decency that evildoers in his other films often work to snuff out. Janet Maslin called it “a supremely improbable triumph.”

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30 years after Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote their only made-for-television musical — a live event with Julie Andrews in the lead — Disney revived it for a relaunch of “The Wonderful World of Disney” anthology, with Brandy, the first Black Cinderella, leading a diverse cast of Broadway ringers and recognizable stars. The TV production values are more modest than the talent deserves, but Brandy makes a headstrong and luminous heroine, the prince (Paolo Montalbán) is more than a generic royal prize and Whitney Houston, who co-produced the film, summons a magic as the Fairy Godmother that has little to do with ho-hum specia0l effects.

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The first feature-length Pixar movie was also the first entirely computer-animated feature, representing an evolutionary leap for Disney on par with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The sequels would add a more emotional component, but the original “Toy Story” may be the funniest and most fast-paced, scoring jokes off the interplay and adventures of Woody, Buzz and other toys that come to life when they’re not being watched. Our critic called it “the sweetest and savviest film” of 1995.

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Though it flopped at a time when superhero movies were neither common nor a sure thing, “The Rocketeer” is crackerjack entertainment, a pulpy retro adventure about the F.B.I. and the Nazis fighting over a Howard Hughes invention in 1938 Los Angeles. Bill Campbell plays a go-getting stunt pilot who stumbles upon a jetpack that transforms him into a self-styled hero but makes him a wanted man. Our critic found the overall effect merely “benign,” but conceded that it’s a “bustling, visually clever film.”

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The renaissance of Disney animation that started with “The Little Mermaid” peaked with this romance between the book-smart Belle and the tempestuous Beast, a former prince who holds her captive in his enchanted castle until the curse that turned him into a monster is broken. The technical and artistic contributions are first-rate all around, none greater than the songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, which include “Be Our Guest” and the title number. Our critic praised its combination of “the latest computer animation techniques with the best of Broadway.”

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Equal parts slapstick and sentimentality, “Home Alone” has elbowed its way into Christmas-movie canon as a boyhood fantasy and Looney Tunes-style comedy that ultimately affirms suburban family togetherness. After his parents and 10 siblings accidentally abandon him while leaving on a holiday trip to Paris, a mischief-making 8-year-old (Macaulay Culkin) enjoys having run of their enormous house. As Caryn James noted in her review, “the carefree and wry” comedy becomes more outlandish in the second half, when the boy fends off two hapless burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern).

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Credit...AP Photo/Touch Museum, 20th Century Fox

Within a two-year span in the 1980s, studios released four “Freaky Friday”-style body-swapping comedies, but none have had the staying power of Penny Marshall’s deft coming-of-age film “Big,” which uses its fanciful premise to access the funny and bittersweet experience of growing up. Tom Hanks is perfectly cast as a 13-year-old trapped in the body of a 30-year-old, faking his way through a job as a toy-company executive while blowing his salary on trampolines and arcade games. Janet Maslin called it “a buoyant summer comedy.”

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Walt Disney Studios had experimented with live-action-animation hybrids for decades before “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” but it never achieved anything close to the fluidity and sophistication of Robert Zemeckis’s one-of-a-kind noir. Through the story of a hard-boiled private detective (Bob Hoskins) who helps a cartoon rabbit on a murder rap, the film pays homage to Disney and Warner Brothers animation while delivering an all-ages “Chinatown.” Its best moments, our critic wrote, “are so novel, so deliriously funny and so crazily unexpected that they truly must be seen to be believed.”

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Unpacking the mythology of countless bedtime stories, this fractured fairy tale from Rob Reiner, adapted from the novel by William Goldman, winks knowingly at the conventions of romantic adventures while paying them off all the same. At its center is a star-crossed love story between a would-be princess (Robin Wright) and a mysterious pirate (Cary Elwes), but much of the fun is at the periphery, like Mandy Patinkin’s hapless swashbuckler and Wallace Shawn’s Sicilian outlaw. Janet Maslin hailed the “delightful cast and a cheery, earnest style that turns out to be ever more disarming as the film moves along.”

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Disney would come to regret making a sequel to perhaps the greatest children’s film ever made, but Walter Murch’s “Return to Oz” has picked up a deserved cult following over the years for its half-wondrous, half-nightmarish reading of L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels. This time, Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) goes back to a far less enchanting place, with the Yellow Brick Road and the Emerald City in ruins, her old friends turned to stone and the land patrolled by people with wheels instead of hands and feet. Our critic warned that “children are sure to be startled by [its] bleakness.”

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What did the future look like in 1982? This Disney science-fiction-adventure offered one distinctive vision, although not many people flocked to see it at the time. The film has endured as a cult favorite and technological curio, however, presaging inside-the-grid scenarios like “The Matrix.” It also provides a jaundiced look at corporate-controlled tech realms, pitting a computer engineer (Jeff Bridges) against the Master Control Program in a virtual environment. Our critic Janet Maslin praised its “nonstop parade of stunning computer graphics,” even if they weren’t accompanied by more “old-fashioned virtues.”

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A year after “Mary Poppins,” Julie Andrews’s ebullience proved even more crucial in boosting the three-hour adaptation of this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, which sets a bright songbook against the grim backdrop of Nazi-occupied Austria. Andrews plays another maternal-figure-for-hire, a struggling nun who leaves the convent when a widower (Christopher Plummer) asks her to look after his seven children. Memorable songs like “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi” and the title number help her do it. Our critic didn’t care for the Broadway hit, but admired Andrews’s “air of radiant vigor.”

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In this boisterous musical, Julie Andrews descends from the sky to bring discipline and magic to two spoiled English schoolchildren — and she did the same for a studio that had struggled to make live-action fare on par with its animated classics. With a twinkle in her eye, Andrews’s nanny leads the children through chores with “A Spoonful of Sugar” and more whimsical numbers like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Feed the Birds.” Citing the legacy of P.L. Travers’s original novel, our critic praised it as “a most wonderful, cheering movie.

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Set aside the implausibility — and cruelty — of divorced parents’ including identical twins among the assets they divide, and “The Parent Trap” is a delightful screwball comedy, with Hayley Mills playing 13-year-old twins who meet for the first time in summer camp. The two decide to switch parents in a crazy scheme to bring their mother and father back together, assuming that they never married other people after the divorce because they still loved each other. Our critic admired Mills’s “cheerfully persuasive lead performance.”

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Photographed in Super Technirama 70, “Sleeping Beauty” is notable especially for eye-catching color and spectacle that sprawls across its wide-screen frame — particularly during a climax when a prince confronts a hedge of thorns and a fire-breathing dragon. Yet it’s just as elegant when Princess Aurora, cursed to eternal slumber by the vengeful Maleficent, dances to “Once Upon a Dream” against a lovely forest backdrop. Our critic encouraged readers to see it on a large screen to appreciate its “gorgeous and stirring vistas.”

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Part of Disney’s “True-Life Adventures” series, “Perri” builds a semidocumentary framework around a novel by Felix Salten, who also provided the source material for “Bambi.” Much like its animated counterpart, the film emphasizes the beauty and terror of nature in equal measure, following a vulnerable young pine squirrel as it evades predators, meets a mate and makes its way through an idyllic patch of Technicolor forest. Our critic admired “the extremely adroit easing of actual incidents into the story flow.”

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“Miracle on 34th Street,” which turns on the heartwarming revelation that a department store Santa is the real thing, has become a classic Christmas movie — though the promotion for its release in the summer of 1947 never mentioned the holiday. Poor Kriss Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) gets dragged through a mental hospital and a courtroom and rebukes the impact of commercialism on Christmas. Our critic advised readers to “catch its spirit” and called it “maybe even the best comedy of the year.”

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No one can forget the trauma of watching a hunter kill a young deer’s mother. But after that notorious moment, “Bambi” is watercolor poetry, following the fawn as he learns and grows alongside his woodland friends and eventually becomes a father himself. Without spelling it out in a big production number, the film quietly teaches children about the “circle of life” in all its beauty, wonder and occasional loss. “The colors,” our critic raved, “would surprise even the spectrum itself.”

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When the Italian woodworker Geppetto wishes upon a star that his marionette Pinocchio will become a real boy, a blue fairy brings the puppet to life, but that’s only the beginning of a difficult odyssey before Geppetto’s dream comes true. Modern audiences may be shocked by how dark Pinocchio’s journey becomes, particularly when he arrives at Pleasure Island, but the beauty, horror and moral simplicity of the film are still resonant. The movie bombed on initial release, but our critic praised it as Walt Disney’s “happiest event since the war.”

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The first full-length animated feature remains a treasure and an institutional touchstone, establishing the outsized clashes between good and evil, the comical interludes and the lush house style that would endure as Disney hallmarks for decades. A princess’s beauty, a queen’s vanity, a magic mirror, a poisoned apple and a cottage full of diminutive miners are among the classic elements plucked from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale. Our critic called it “sheer fantasy, delightful, gay and altogether captivating.”

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