If you signed up for Disney+, Disney’s big new streaming service, you probably feel like a kid in a candy shop right now. You could go back and stream MCU highlights like Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy before revisiting Avengers: Endgame; or you could knock out the Star Wars trilogy of your choice before The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters next month; or, I don’t know, binge-watch all of DuckTales if you’re so inclined.
But doesn’t that seem a little…easy? The truth is that Disney has a rich archive of films—especially once you consider the studios it’s bought along the way, like Fox and Pixar—and while the Disney+ algorithm is unlikely to point you toward some of the deeper cuts in the studio’s history, we’re more than happy to help. Here are a few hidden gems you might want to seek out in Disney+:
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad* (1949)
There’s a reason Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, one of the attractions that was there when Disneyland opened in 1955, is still operational today. This brief double feature, which splits its runtime between an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and an adaptation of Washington Irving’s "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," tells two classic stories with traditional animation that still looks terrific by modern standards.
Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)
Just a few years before debuting as James Bond in Dr. No, Sean Connery starred in Darby O'Gill and the Little People, a goofy, family-friendly comedy that doubles as an entry-level course on Irish folklore (but, mostly, leprechauns). This is an ideal example of Disney’s bygone, often overlooked era of putting out wacky-as-hell live-action movies that still hold up pretty well today.
The Black Hole (1979)
As far as Disney goes, interesting failures don’t come much more interesting than The Black Hole, which arrived in theaters back in 1979 and is a mostly inexplicable blend of Star Wars and Alien and The Poseidon Adventure and, uh, Dante’s Inferno. I can’t really explain this nutty movie, but it deserves to be seen—if only for the then-cutting-edge special effects, and the reminder that Disney used to roll the dice a lot more often.
Return to Oz (1985)
No, this famously nightmare-inducing version of L. Frank Baum’s later Oz novels is not an ideal sequel to the immortal 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. But it is a strange, fascinating movie in its own right, with surreal twists and turns that need to be seen to be believed by audiences of any age. (That said: Probably not the worst idea to put younger or more sensitive kids to bed before you push play.)
Willow was originally conceived by George Lucas as the fantasy equivalent of Star Wars: an entire original universe, complete with its own unique characters and mythology, for viewers to delve into. And while you shouldn’t set your sights quite that high, it is a compelling enough story that Disney is currently developing a sequel series for Disney+. So if you’ve never seen it, why not get in on the ground floor?
The Rocketeer (1991)
This engaging cinematic tribute to Hollywood’s golden age plays like a cross between Indiana Jones and Iron Man, as a superhero with a jetpack squares off against undercover Nazi agents in Los Angeles circa 1938. The Rocketeer was a minor flop in its time, but a devoted (and well-deserved) cult following has kept discussions of a sequel or reboot alive—so watch it now and say you were a fan all along.
James and the Giant Peach (1996)
Unjustly overlooked in a proud tradition of kid-appropriate but creepy movies that also include The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, this adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel offers a fascinatingly weird blend of stylized live-action sequences and deliberately rough-hewn stop-motion animation.
Fantasia 2000 (2000)
This long-delayed sequel to 1940’s Fantasia already feels like a throwback to a different, more experimental era for Disney, packing in eight different animated shorts set to unique pieces of classical music. But the eclectic nature of Fantasia 2000 is perfect for the streaming era, where the format ensures that even the pickiest viewer won’t be bored for long until the next sequence comes around.
Tron: Legacy (2010)
All right, cards on the table: I don’t think Tron: Legacy is a great movie. But I do think it’s a great Daft Punk music video. And you’ve gotta watch something while you’re on the treadmill, right?
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Released in the shadow of movies like Cars 2 and The Smurfs, the gentle, traditionally hand-drawn Winnie the Pooh was already an anachronism. But the traits that originally made Winnie the Pooh feel like a refreshing break from the busy, celebrity-voiced CGI animated movies of the era have only grown more appreciable with time. At a mere 69 minutes, the charming, gentle Winnie the Pooh probably didn’t need the full theatrical release it received in 2011—but it’s perfect for a low-key family movie night in 2019.
The BFG (2016)
Let’s say that I told you, right now, that there’s a well-reviewed Steven Spielberg movie—starring an Oscar-winning actor and based on a best-selling novel by a beloved author—that you’ve never seen. Wouldn’t you be interested? Well, that movie is The BFG. And based on the box-office gross, I’m almost certainly correct: You’ve never seen this charming, well-crafted movie. Well, now you can!
Free Solo (2018)
You won’t get the full effect if you’re not in a movie theater, but you still owe it to yourself to watch this nail-biter of a documentary chronicling climber Alex Honnold’s attempt to scale a famous peak in Yosemite without any ropes. (And you don’t need to take my word for it—Free Solo took home the Oscar for Best Documentary last year.)
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The long-awaited PlayStation 4 game is sometimes brilliant, sometimes clunky, and always something special.
Originally Appeared on GQ