New Disney Plus movies are being added to the streaming platform on a regular basis, and this page is here to help you keep track of the latest arrivals.
Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, and National Geographic all fall under the Disney Plus umbrella – alongside Disney-branded films and TV shows – so there’s an impressive and diverse range of content on offer. In fact, there’s so much available that it’s always helpful to get a few pointers. After all, none of us want to miss out on the most exciting new Disney Plus movies when they arrive.
We’re the first to admit that pickings have been slim lately, especially with Avatar: The Way of Water taking longer than usual to make its streaming debut. Still, there are plenty of exciting new releases to enjoy, from blockbusters like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to music documentaries like J-Hope in the Box.
Here, then, are our picks of the new Disney Plus movies you can watch right now. Be sure to check out our best Disney Plus movies list for a more comprehensive guide, too.
New Disney Plus movies: March 2023
Chang Can Dunk
Release date: March 10
This Disney Plus Original movie (co-produced by Master of None’s Lena Waithe) has echoes of past Disney high school/sports movies like The Mighty Ducks.
The titular Xiao Ming ‘Bernard’ Chang (Bloom Li) is a sophomore student who loves basketball but lacks the height or skills to complete a successful slam dunk. After falling into a swimming pool makes him the reluctant subject of a viral video, he ends up making a bet with one of the most popular kids in school – that he’ll complete a dunk by homecoming. If he fails, he’ll have to pay up to the tune of a valuable first edition Pokémon card.
Expect plenty of valuable life lessons to be learned as Chang gets expert tips from basketball YouTuber Deandre Cooke (Dexter Darden).
New Disney Plus movies: February 2023 and beyond
J-hope in the Box
Release date: February 17
If you’re a BTS fan, there’s a good chance you’ve already seen this – on numerous occasions. For the benefit of everyone else, this documentary follows BTS band member J-hope as he makes and releases his first solo record, aka ‘Jack in the Box’. Along the way, the rapper (the first member of BTS to release his own material) talks about the creative decisions that went into making the 2022 album, as well as preparing for a groundbreaking performance at the Lollapalooza festival.
Expect plenty of insight into what makes one of the most popular recording artists on the planet tick. Also, with BTS taking an extended hiatus to pursue various solo projects and complete the military service that’s mandatory in South Korea, J-Hope in the Box is the ideal way to fill the void. A largely worthy inclusion in our new Disney Plus movies guide.
42 to 1
Release date: February 10
In 1990, Mike Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Then he came up against Buster Douglas, who defied 42-1 odds to leave his previously undefeated opponent on the canvas.
This ESPN documentary tells the story of one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, predominantly from the point of view of the victor. Alongside interviews with the underdog champ, there’s plenty of archive footage that’ll enthrall and engage you in equal measure. Just don’t expect any new contributions from Tyson.
Release date: February 3
A reminder of a time when teen rom-coms made it into theaters rather than going direct to streaming, this 2006 movie is effectively a high-school version of Splash.
During their last summer together, a pair of best friends find a mermaid who’s run (okay, swum) away from home. Cue plenty of (literal) fish out of water comedy as the girls try to keep the eponymous Aquamarine’s watery origins a secret – as with Madison in Splash, she grows legs when she’s on dry land – and chat about boys. Elements of the film have undoubtedly dated, but pre-teen viewers should find plenty to enjoy.
Water & Power: A California Heist
Release date: February 3
The title may suggest this is some kind of film noir, but this is actually a National Geographic documentary – albeit one with sinister echoes of Jack Nicholson-starring crime classic Chinatown – about water barons profiting from California’s natural resources at the expense of its residents.
Directed by Marina Zenovich (who won an Emmy for Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired) and produced by Alex Gibney (an Oscar-winner for Taxi to the Dark Side), Water & Power tells a story of exploitation in a state whose issues with water supply are well documented. A powerful docufilm that needs to be seen to be believed.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release date: February 1
Arguably the biggest release to hit Disney in many months, the sequel to Black Panther has just landed – and it’s a triumph. Picking up a year after the first film ended, this Marvel Phase 4 film handles the unexpected loss of Chadwick Boseman by playing out the death of King T’Challa – resulting in a beautifully touching funeral scene.
In the wake of T’Challa’s death, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (Martin Freeman) must step up to protect themselves from intervening world powers, pressuring Wakanda to share its vibranium. After a chaotic period, a new Black Panther is created and battle ensues.
This much-anticipated sequel strikes all the right notes, a tricky task when it had such big shoes to fill. Find out where one of the more recent new Disney Plus movies placed on our best Marvel movies list.
Release date: December 23
Strange World may not have set the box office alight and hit Disney Plus a lot sooner than anticipated, but it’s a visual delight and has enough adventure to entertain the whole family.
Centered on a family of adventurers on a mission to save the planet from a mysterious ecological crisis, Strange World is co-helmed by Raya and the Last Dragon directors Don Hall and Qui Nguyen, and features some beautiful animation and glowing colour palettes. Full of action and fantastical creatures, there’s a lot to like about Strange World, which features famous voices like Jake Gyllenhaal and Lucy Liu. It has a great script, but was just a little too formulaic for some tastes.
If These Walls Could Sing
Release date: December 16
A documentary film directed by Mary McCartney (Paul’s daughter), If These Walls Could Sing delves into the history of Abbey Road Studios and the iconic musicians who have recorded there. With extensive interviews and footage from the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Ringo Starr, Noel and Liam Gallagher, Cliff Richard, and Roger Waters, we find out just how special Abbey Road is, and the important place it played in the British music scene.
Critics enjoyed the romp through British music, though one called it “charming but not revealing”. Another wondered what a more accomplished documentarian would have drawn out with this much access to this many legends. Still, it’s an entertaining watch, especially for music buffs.
Release date: December 9
Disney has been focusing on its National Geographic releases a lot more recently, and this is one of the best. Ocean’s Breath explores the past, present, and future of coral reefs – the ‘lung’ of the ocean, at a time when many reefs are facing mass extinction.
But who is killing the coral? In this film, three scientists try to find out what is going wrong using the latest technology (like 3D scanning drones). It isn’t as bleak as it sounds, because there is a way to save the coral reefs – buried in the vastness of the Dolomites.
Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again
Release date: December 9
The fourth instalment of the hit Night at the Museum franchise is the first to be animated. In the film, Nick Daley, son of Larry Daley (played by Ben Stiller in the movies), takes over as the night guardian at the museum. At first, everything seems to be going well. But the villain from the first movie, Kahmunrah, returns – and things quickly take a turn for the worse.
Response to this movie has been wildly inconsistent, with some declaring the magic has been brought back to the series with the fast-paced animation and character humor. Others, though, aren’t so convinced, criticising the nonsensical plot and stiff dialogue. Luckily, the runtime is only one hour and 17 minutes so it won’t take too much time out of your day to give it a go. Just don’t expect it to stick around on our new Disney Plus movies list.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Release date: December 2
Though this Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie is adapted from the second book of the series, it is actually the sixth film in the franchise (and the second to be made in CGI). Disaster-prone Greg is back, and this time the focus is on his relationship with his older brother, Rodrick. A lazy rock musician (he’s in a high school band), Rodrick loves to torment his younger brother – but will they ever bond?
With a straight-down-the-middle score of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, is it worth your time? Well, yes, but only if the kids want to watch it. The plot is a bit all over the place and it certainly doesn’t live up to Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules. But it is remarkably short, which is something.
Not up for a movie? Try our pick of the best Disney Plus shows.
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