5 Best animated movies currently available on Disney+

5 Best Animated Movies Currently Available on Disney+
Credits: Disney+

Our top 5 picks for you to revisit are some of the iconic Disney animated movies.  

Disney+ spans over a century of its parent company’s history, from early short films to innovating full-length movies, from family live-action classic films to today’s blockbuster collection of superheroes and three-dimensional computer visuals. It’s a broad period filled with classics.

Indeed, the Disney library is brimming with profoundly moving stories that significantly impact human perceptions. The themes of love, loss, coming of age, and family are in these stories.

So, check out our list of the five best-animated features on Disney+ for your subsequent viewing. 

Turning Red (2022)

5 Best Animated Movies Currently Available on Disney+
Credit: Disney+

Director: Domee Shi

Writers: Julia Cho and Domee Shi

Cast: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, and James Hong

Runtime: 1h 40m 

Pixar’s animation movie, released on March 11, 2022, has been getting great reviews from the audience and critics. Pixar Studios have been a master of delivering high-quality animated films for many years.

They have proved themselves to be the best studio in the delivery animation genre, filled with lovable characters and touching storylines. Turning Red does the same thing with incredibly talented people who joined this movie. 

Domee Shi, who has already won an Academy Award for her delightful 2018 animated short film Bao, has created something magnificent.

This is a coming-of-age story where the supernatural and the mundane coexist happily, with each jaw-dropping surprise grounded in lifelike normalcy.

Turning Red | Official Trailer

The summary of Turning Red:

Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang) is a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence.

Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter – an unfortunate reality for the teenager.

And as if changes to her interests, relationships, and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda.

Luca (2021)

5 Best Animated Movies Currently Available on Disney+
Credit: Disney+

Director: Enrico Casarosa

Writers: Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones

Cast: Rosalie Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan, and Sacha Baron Cohen

Runtime: 1h 35m 

Another one of Pixar’s best animation movies was released last year. The film was established on the Italian Riviera in the 1950s and 1960s and was inspired by director Enrico Casarosa’s childhood. 

Sea monsters in this universe transform into humans when they are on dry land but switch back to their scaly forms when exposed to water. Family-coddled Luca discovers these facts after meeting Alberto, a recklessly optimistic orphan.

The two monsters, united by a love of Vespas, eventually pass as humans in the village of Portorosso, where an intelligent, red-headed girl named Giulia.

Things quickly take a turn when their innocence of just enjoying life by interacting with humans leads to exposure of their secret. 

Disney and Pixar’s Luca | Official Trailer | Disney+

The summary of Luca:

A young boy experiences an unforgettable seaside summer on the Italian Riviera filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides.

Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but a deeply-held secret threatens all the fun: he is a sea monster from another world just below the ocean’s surface.

Encanto (2021)

5 Best Animated Movies Currently Available on Disney+
Credit: Disney+

Director:  Jared Bush and Byron Howard

Writers: Charise Castro Smith and Jared Bush

Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama

Runtime: 1h 39m 

Encanto is one of those films with a fantastic story that connected people worldwide. It is not just a good Disney movie but one of the strongest animated films in a long time, from its flawless animation to the colors incorporated in every scene and the representation of Colombia.

The screenplay tells a beautiful story about how a family is the most important thing and should help bring out the best in every member. 

The movie sends out an important message that no matter what happens if you are true to yourself, magical things will happen.

On the other hand, Encanto is a vibrant, beautiful family story with a brilliant music score by Lin-Manuel Miranda. At the 94th Academy Awards, the film received an Academy Award for Best Animated Film. 

Disney's Encanto | Official Trailer

The summary of Encanto

Encanto follows a multigenerational Colombian family, the Madrigals, led by a matriarch (Botero) whose children and grandchildren—except for Mirabel Madrigal (Beatriz)—receive magical gifts from a miracle that helps them serve the people in their rural community called the Encanto.

When Mirabel learns that the family is losing their magic, she sets out to find out what is happening and save her family and their magical house.

Moana (2016)

5 Best Animated Movies Currently Available on Disney+
Credit: Disney+

Directors: Ron Clements and Jon Musker

Writer: Jared Bush

Cast: Auli’I Cravaho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jermaine Clement, and Alan Tudyk

Runtime: 1h 43m

Moana is an adventure film with a big focus on the journey. “There’s more beyond the reef,” she says, envisioning a version of the world that only exists in folklore. The film begins with two excellent original songs that set the tone for her story. The songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i.

The song You’re Welcome, sung by Dwayne Johnson, became very popular when released on streaming platforms and had around 1.1 billion views on YouTube. 

There are some touching and amusing diagonals on the way to the film’s pleasant and affirmative conclusion.

Moana lives in a vibrant world of water and sunny skies, into which the moviemakers have inserted a slew of visual and musical highlights. Maui’s tattoos come to life, transforming his body into an inky comic strip within the film’s colorful, vivid cartoon world.

Moana is an inspiring central character, an intelligent and brave young woman whose personal goals beautifully align with a larger, world-saving quest.

Moana Official Trailer

The summary of Moana

The film tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of a chief of a Polynesian village, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with the goddess Te Fiti.

When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail, searching for Maui, a legendary demigod, hoping to return the relic to Te Fiti and save her people. The plot is original but takes inspiration from Polynesian myths.

The above list includes Disney films released in recent years where the technology has improved drastically. But there is a one-of-a-kind feature film that deserves to be mentioned as Disney’s best-animated film from the ’90s:

The Lion King (1994)

5 Best Animated Movies Currently Available on Disney+
Credit: Disney+

Director: Roger Allers | Rob Minkoff

Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Moira Kelly

Runtime: 1h 29m

This movie is a classic and needs to be included in this list — the pleasant yet straightforward animation style with a heart-touching story. The Lion King was released when animated films were thriving.

It was challenging to bring something new to the table and create something that piqued people’s interest. It dares to tackle challenging issues with ease. Viewers can prepare for more difficult lessons later by processing life’s realities through stories.

The bond between Mufasa and his son, Simba, is depicted in the most comforting way, which later becomes a pure tear-jerker and pulls your heartstrings when the tragedy occurs in the movie.  

The saga of Simba, which has deep roots in Greek tragedy and owes something to, most notably, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is both educational and entertaining.

A movie isn’t complete unless it has a good soundtrack and score; it helps to emote feelings about what’s happening on screen. Thanks to Elton John and Tim Rice, this film has one of the best Disney songs ever written. 

The Lion King | Original Trailer | Disney+

The summary of The Lion King:

In “The Lion King,” Simba (Swahili for lion) is a young lion to succeeds his father, Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands. 

However, after Simba’s paternal uncle Scar murders Mufasa to take the throne, Simba is duped into believing he is to blame and flees into exile. 

After growing up in the company of the carefree outcasts Timon and Pumbaa, Simba receives valuable perspective from his childhood friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny and take his place in the Circle of Life as the rightful King.

All of the films listed are available to watch on Disney+.