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One of the big selling points for Disney+ is undeniably going to be that it gives you access to the entirety of Star Wars, including all 10 (soon to be 11) movies and ever episode of The Clone Wars, Rebels and Resistance, as well as the shiny new bounty hunter series, The Mandalorian (Watch now on Disney+).
But what happens after you’ve immediately binge-watched the entire Star Wars universe? How are you supposed to scratch that space adventuring itch then?
Fortunately, Disney+ has your back. Read on to find a list of the best space adventures and sci-fi stories Disney has to offer, and just to make it tricky, we’re not even going to include the MCU.
The Black Hole (1979)
A research vessel discovers the missing spaceship, USS Cygnus, orbiting near a black hole. This often-overlooked film features absolutely mind-blowing special effects that still stand up today, as well as a surprisingly gritty take on the well-trodden “Heart of Darkness in Space” genre and some loveable robots that give R2-D2 a run for his money. (Watch now on Disney+)
Treasure Planet (2002)
An animated adventure that can give the best live action space opera a run for its money, this outer space retelling of Treasure Island gives us spaceships that look like old-fashioned galleons floating through the stars on solar sails, with a bionic Long John Silver and ancient alien tech treasure. (Watch now on Disney+)
Wall-E’s spaceships are a bit more traditional sleek white space-liner fair that sees to every need of its indolent, hover chair inhabiting giant space babies as they flee a ravaged Earth. You might see it as cutting satire on the evils of consumerism. I see it as honestly not a bad way to spend my retirement.
But either way, nobody really watches Wall-E for the humans, it’s the robots that are the real stars of the show here. (Watch now on Disney+)
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Lilo & Stitch (Watch now on Disney+) asks the question, what if the alien in ET was actually the monster from Alien, but was still adorable? Definitely the most heart-warming story you’ll see about a genetically augmented alien killing machine crash landing on Earth and befriending a human child, that shows Disney had alien and spaceship designing chops long before the Guardians of the Galaxy came on the scene.
Disney+ will also give you access to Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, Stitch! The Movie, Leroy & Stitch, and Lili & Stitch: The Series.
The Flight of the Navigator (1986)
A story of alien child abduction and relativistic time dilation that’s either a thrilling adventure or a horror story depending on what age you are when you watch it.
When 12-year-old David is accidentally knocked out in the forest near his house, he wakes up to discover eight years have passed, but he hasn’t aged a day. When it turns out a crashed UFO has downloaded their star charts into David’s brain, it’s the beginning of a chase around the world.
The Trimaxion Drone Ship, or “Max”, with its sleek, silver shapeshifting exterior and cupboard full of extra-terrestrial specimens, still looks just as alien and futuristic today as it did 30 years ago. (Watch now on Disney+)
Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)
Two orphaned siblings, Tony and Tia Malone, start to demonstrate extraordinary psychic powers, and so naturally have to go on the run to escape the clutches of an evil millionaire who wants to exploit their gifts. Teaming with a bitter old widower in a Winnebago, the fugitives soon discover they have out of this world origins.
A great chase story that spawned a sequel, Return to Witch Mountain, a remake in 1995, and another, Race to Witch Mountain, starring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. (Watch now on Disney+)
More cyberspace than outer space, Tron was a CGI spectacular before there was CGI, and a video game movie before there were any proper videogames. It’s hard to imagine what audiences would have made of Tron when it was first released.
Today, however, it’s a fantastic retro roller coaster ride as software programme Kevin (Jeff Bridges) is sucked into a virtual world of light cycle duels and evil artificial intelligences that somehow still manages to be presciently creepy about the way tech companies absorb your personal data. The sequel, Tron: Legacy, was released in 2010, featuring a magically de-aged Jeff Bridges, and Disney+ will also let you watch the Tron: Uprising animated series that (Jeff) bridges the two films. (Watch now on Disney+)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
This Disney adaptation of the classic Jules Verne novel features a magnificent steampunk submarine, Oscar winning special effects and heavy hitting performances from Kirk Douglas and James Mason facing off against each other as a burly seaman and a megalomaniac outlaw of the waves.
The only downside of this film is that they decided to call it 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and not Finding Nemo.
If steampunk submarine antics are your thing, Disney+ also offers Atlantis: The Lost Empire and its sequel, Atlantis: Milo’s Return. (Watch now on Disney+)
The Rocketeer (1991)
You may know Joe Johnston as the director of Captain America: The First Avenger, a film about a guy who is on the receiving end of some advanced technology (super soldier serum) from a business magnate and inventor called Howard (Stark), who then uses it to go and beat up Nazis. While that film is available on Disney+, you might not know that Disney+ also features The Rocketeer, a film about a guy on the receiving end of some advanced technology (a rocket pack) from a business magnate and inventor called Howard (Hughes), who then uses it to go and beat up Nazis. It’s a winning formula for a reason. (Watch now on Disney+)
A film that completely rewrote the rule book for CGI in movies, this film also features some fantastic space marine vs alien life battle sequences from the king of space marine battle sequences, James Cameron. It also showcases some lovingly designed and rendered alien life, and planetary landscapes unlike anything we’ve seen in movies even now.
It’s a fantastic time to catch up on this sci-fi epic as well, as over the next few years James Cameron is ready to roll out enough sequels to make a saga that perhaps even rivals the Star Wars universe itself. Of course, given time we expect all these sequels will be joining the Disney+ catalogue as well. (Watch now on Disney+)
Disney+ is the only place to stream your favorites from Disney and more. Watch now!