There''s a whole lot of exciting content to pick through on Disney Plus, including hours of Spider-Man cartoons of a different level, and two different versions of Adventures in Babysitting. (Although I would argue that the Vincent DOnofrios scene in Babysitting is a great way to learn from him.)
It''s a bit clunky, but there''s plenty of documentary costs available on the streaming platform to alleviate your appetite for knowledge. Below, we''ve collected a list of several of the best titles, covering a wide spectrum of topics, including nature films, undersea exploration, Disney''s history, and the making of the Star Wars trilogy (the good one). Check out our list of Disney Plus''s best documentaries right now.
Editor''s note: This list was last updated on May 2022, informing Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 U (a SOUR film) and The Beatles: Get Back.
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Couldn''t Be Televised) (2021)
Director: Ahmir Questlove Thompson
The 1969 Harlem Culture Festival, which included legendary performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Gladys Knight & the Pips, is a fascinating story. Despite its popularity at the time, Summer of Soul has revived the once lost festival for a new generation and is now a testament to the power of great music in a turbulent period. Meredith Loftus is the author of the film.
Olivia Rodrigo: A SOUR film directing her home 2u (SOUR film) (2022)
Stacey Lee, director, is a producer and director of the film.
Olivia Rodrigo takes you through the music of her debut album Sour while traveling from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Los Angeles, California. However, the vulnerability present in her music is evident, and Rodrigo is upfront about how difficult it was to follow the success of her first song. Despite this, Rodrigo''s remarkable insight and closure gives her a clear picture of life and relationships that are easy to lose track of as we age. - Brynna Arens
The Beatles: Get Back (2021)
Peter Jackson (Director)
Peter Jackson comes up with a three-part documentary about his album Let It Be. It''s a feeling of being in the audience with the most famous bands in history, although it''s not unusual to see it all the time. By the end, you''ll feel resentment for seeing them performing together. - Jennifer McHugh
Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions (2020)
Director: Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift''s personal concert will be held in the comfort of your home at the Long Pond Studios, underside of her co-producers, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner. Each track includes stripped-down performances from folklore, which are the first in-person performances since recording the album remotely. Taylor also takes the time to reveal the plot and meaning behind each track. This documentary is not just for Taylor Swift enthusiasts but for anyone who wants to know more about today''s creative process. Meredith Loftus,
The Pixar Story (2007)
Leslie Iwerks, director, is working on a series of television series.
The Pixar Story is a film adaptation of the 1970s that enticed a lot of animators and storytellers. This documentary, based on the success story of Pixar Animation Studios from the start, provides a feel-good yet informative watch for movie enthusiasts young and old. Fair warning: it will likely make you want to start a Pixar movie marathon afterwards! Meredith Loftus
The Rescue (2021)
Director: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
The Rescue is a similarly frightening yet utterly unique approach to the dangerous mission to rescue a soccer team trapped in a Thai cave in 2018. It is a documentary that explores both recreation and footage, so you can get close to everything you need, capturing the horror of diving into the darkness and not knowing whether it will be executed. It is a story based on compassion and compassion for all involved, never letting go as you sink deeper into the depths. Chase Hutchinson
The Valerie Taylor Story of Playing with Sharks (2021)
Sally Aitken, director of The Daily Mail, is
Playing with Sharks, a multifaceted documentary that shows both cinema history and the natural world. First shown at Sundance a few years ago, it shows Taylor herself as she progresses from filming like Jaws to becoming a marine conservationist and Australian icon. There are some painful moments that don''t shy away from losing eye on the dangers of sharks when she didn''t initially appreciate them as much as she did in later life. It also gives a very close look at the woman who would become one of
Don Hahn, the writer/director, is a well-known writer and writer.
Howard Ashman, the lyricist and screenwriter behind some of the most successful Disney films, died when he contracted HIV and died of AIDS before Beauty and the Beast was even released. However, Don Hahn, who worked with Ashman on Beauty and the Beast and directed Waking Sleeping Beauty, tenderly recounts Ashman''s life, from his childhood in theaters, to his terrifying debut on Broadway that aided him to Disney. Despite his amazingly strong success, it is remarkable to think about his accomplishment
Walt and El Grupo (2008)
Theodore Thomas, writer and writer, is the inspiration for "Theodore Thomas."
Walt Disney and a small group of animators and artists traveled to South America in 1941, fearing the Nazi influence. It was a chance for Walt to clear his head. It was just a chance for him to confront the animators strike that left him feeling depressed and depressed and his mother passed away in 1938. It was also a pleasure to see Walt and El Grupo, both of whom has worked tirelessly. So get started by looking for fun and inspiration.
Empire of Dreams (2004)
Kevin Burns and Edith Becker are the directors of the film.
Ed Singer, writer, is a songwriter.
From the beginning, Empire of Dreams was created for the Star Wars Trilogy DVD release, and you''ll not be able to see a larger making-of documentary on the George Lucas original series. After a while, the film interviews virtually every cast and crew member involved in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. It''s like going through the long lines of one of the prequels and approaching yourself very positively.
If you have ever watched this documentary before, I am wondering what you have been doing with your life. It''s the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the original trilogy, and it''s a must-watch for people who love the pew-pews and the laser swords. Im just waiting for Disney Plus to introduce the truly amazing making-of feature from the Episode One DVD as the perfect companion piece.
Free Solo (2018)
Directors: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin
Free Solo is a free climb of El Capitan, in Yosemite National Parks. For those who are uninitiated, free climbing is without any harness or safety line. Basically, it''s the scariest activity that human beings can engage in that does not involve space travel and/or uncaged lions.
Free Solo has been awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2018, and it''s easy to see why when you watch it. Honnolds climb the 3,000 foot rock formation is dizzying, and if you like me, you''ll spend the whole film with your butt firmly buckled. While removing the minor spoiler that Honnold is alive and well at the time of this writing might alleviate some of the tension, however his quest is unbelievable.
African Cats (2011)
Directors: Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey
Alix Tidmarsh and Keith Scholey are the writers.
African Cats is a 100% of the Disneynature documentaries available on Disney Plus. One parent, a family of cheetahs who were raised by a single mother, has a real long-running conflict with roving hyenas. The other, a pride of lions, has a real, long-running power struggle involving an exiled lion trying to gain control. It''s very Shakespearian.
The film is woven into stunning footage at the massive game park and is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, who is the icing on the cake. Some of the box office gross was donated to the African Wildlife Foundation to assist some of Kenya''s reserves, which ultimately resulted in the preservation of 50,000 acres of land.
Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)
Director: Don Hahn
Patrick Pacheco, author of the book, is a prolific writer.
Waking Sleeping Beauty gets a sneak peek at Disney''s revitalization in the late 80s and early 90s, owing to a variety of hits, like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.
The film, directed and directed by Disney producer Don Hahn, is composed entirely of archive interviews with Disney animators and executives, as well as personal footage from the various employees on the screen during this one of the most controversial periods of the company''s history. Like I said, the film is surprisingly candid and does not contrast Disney in the most outrageous light, although most of the shade thrown is taken in the direction of Jeffrey Katzenberg, the one-time Disney director who quit in the mid-90s to establish DreamWorks.
Assembling a Universe (2014)
Assembling a Universe is a short documentary that was originally released on ABC in 2014, but since then, it gives viewers a look at how Marvel Studios began and how the MCU got off the ground. It''s kind of fluffy, and it focuses a lot on ABCs Agents of Shield, which is totally adorable. When approached together with 2019s Expanding the Universe, you get a neat retrospective on how the MCU has evolved in the past half-decade, and where it will be launched next
Directors: Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield
Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, and Don Hahn are some of the most well-known authors in the world.
The chimpanzee''s life is chronicled, thus the title is both direct and universal. We follow Oscar as he is being raised by his mother Isha in a group of chimps, but his mother is then separated from the squad following a brutal attack by a group of competing chimps. In the end, Isha most likely dies, as a lone chimpanzee makes for easy prey in the jungle, and indeed we never see her again. Oscar
Oscar is eventually adopted by Freddy, and the group takes the Scars to the streets one again, according to Warriors style. It almost wouldnt surprise me to learn that Scar was on Disney''s payroll. The film is narrated by Tim Allen, which was initially disappointing, but the actor/comedian and Disney mainstay is a good fit.
Frank and Ollie (1995)
Theodore Thomas, the writer/director, is theodore Thomas''s assistant.
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, two legendary animators who worked with Walt Disney from the start of the company till the 1970s, were required viewing for anyone with any interest in Disney (and American animation in general). Thats over 40 years of movies, which is absolutely perfect when you think about it. They even appear in The Incredibles as the two old men commenting on old school.
As two of the Nine Old Men, Frank and Ollie have shared stories, there''s a slew of historical footage and interviews with other Disney animators (well, contemporary for 1995, anyway) Waking Sleeping Beauty is a great companion piece to the Three-Day Surprise (like me).
The Imagineering Story (2019)
Leslie Iwerks, director of a sports organization, has been appointed.
Mark Catalena, writer and writer
The Imagineering Story is still a continuing docuseries, but it''s absolutely worth watching for anyone interested in Disney''s history. It focuses on Disneyland and the various Disney theme parks, from Walt Disney''s initial vision to the conception and construction of the actual rides, and on how the company has continued producing entertainment destinations in the decades since Walt''s death.
Imagineers are the inventors that design Disney theme parks, and they have done some incredible work over the years. (The Haunted Mansion in particular is a cultural tribute to Ub Iwerks, who is also famous for her film The Pixar Story.)
Dolphin Reef (2018)
Directors: Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey
David Fowler, writer, is a well-known writer.
This year, the so-so Elephant and the very amazing Dolphin Reef are both released by Disneynature veterans Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, and the documentary also focuses on the reef''s interconnectedness and beauty, as well as narrator Natalie Portman. This year, the undercurrent of nature conservationism and the emergence of environmentalism, is revealed more than ever. Drew Taylor, the author of Drew Taylor''s book, "The Elephant, and the Dolphin Reef,
Titanic: 20 Years Later / Atlantis Rising (2017)
Director: Thomas C. Grane and Simcha Jacobovici
Richard Brehm, Georgeos Diaz-Montexano, and Simcha Jacobovici are some of the writers.
Unlike Titanic, the directors return to the wreckage of the famous ship two decades after the release of his hugely successful film, Titanic. Cameron, who has the latest in technology, is eager to explore the sunken ship once more to answer lingering questions about the tragic sinking. It''s a pleasure to think that much of what we now know about the Titanic is attributed to the filmmaker, who has fueled several underwater expeditions, and the documentary is a fascinating time for history buffs, fans of the
Although Atlantis Rising is a bit sluggish to me, who finds James Cameron''s idea of looking for the mythical dead city of Atlantis quite humbling. But the crew of the expedition actually finds some cool items, including a number of anchors from the Bronze Age. It has a sense of one of those "Searching for Bigfoot" shows, but the desire of everyone involved is enough to discern those more eye-rolling moments.
Born in China (2016)
Lu Chuan, director, is an art form.
David Fowler, Brian Leith, Phil Chapman, and Lu Chuan are all writers.
Four different animals from Disneynature and Shanghai Media Group have produced this film for you. If you like snow leopard cubs, adorable panda cubs, adorable Tibetan antelopes, or a famous golden snub-nosed monkey, this is the film for you. We just discovered your secret, and it''s easy to get it right.
The film by John Krasinski has been narrated, revealing the behavior of the various furry stars in the movie. Tao, the monkey, discovers that she cannot truly protect her two cubs in the audience. And the panda mom does a terrific job talking about it all.
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