21 Best Movies For Teens on Disney Plus (April 2024)

While the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the name Disney is Mickey Mouse and films or kids, a fair share of Disney movies also cater to teenagers. While they have fun elements, they also deal with mature themes. No matter how outlandish the movies are, there is always a message at the story’s heart. Keeping that in mind, we bring you the best movies for teens on Disney Plus.

21. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name by John Green, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ shows two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, who meet at a cancer support group. Their journey to Amsterdam to meet an author, their growing love for each other, an impending tragedy, and how these are depicted in the film make it a true tearjerker for teens. Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Willem Dafoe, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is a cult coming-of-age romance you can watch here.

20. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

The first installment of the Star Wars anthology series and an immediate prequel to ‘Star Wars’ (1977), this movie follows Jyn Erso, who is recruited by the Rebel Alliance to help them get their hands on the plan for Death Star, a superweapon that can destroy entire planets, that the Empire is making. The catch is that Jyn’s father, Galen Erso, is the lead engineer. Will Jyn be forced to kill her father before she can recover the plan? ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ has the answer. The movie is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, along with Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, and Mads Mikkelsen. You can stream it here.

19. Jungle Cruise (2021)

Starring Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, and Jack Whitehall, this movie is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Set in the early 20th century, ‘Jungle Cruise’ follows researcher Dr. Lily Houghton and her brother MacGregor, who arrive in Brazil and hire skipper Frank to navigate the Amazon River while they look for Lágrimas de Cristal Tree, a tree that can cure anything. However, the quest is risky as not only are there dangers at every corner, but there are also the undead conquistadors who searched for the tree during the 16th century but ended up being cursed. To be part of this adventure/expedition, which is based on the popular Walt Disney theme park ride Jungle Cruise, aka Jungle River Cruise, you can stream the movie right here.

18. Cruella (2021)

Directed by Craig Gillespie, ‘Cruella’ stars Emma Stone as the titular character first introduced in the 1956 novel ‘The Hundred and One Dalmatians’ by Dodie Smith. Stone takes the baton of theinfamouss and iconic villain from Glenn Close, who played the role in the 1996 film ‘101 Dalmatians,’ to which this film serves as a prequel. It shows how Estella “Cruella” de Vil transformed from a young fashion designer to a fur-craving villainous woman and what led to this transformation. You can stream ‘Cruella’ here.

17. Hamilton (2020)

A biographical musical drama directed by Thomas Kail, ‘Hamilton’ is a live stage recording of the 2015 musical of the same name that was shown on Broadway. It is based on Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography ‘Alexander Hamilton.’ It blends jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and other Broadway styles to showcase the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the country’s first Secretary of Treasury. A film that everyone should watch, ‘Hamilton’ stars Lin-Manuel Miranda as the titular personality, along with Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Anthony Ramos, Ariana DeBose, and Leslie Odom Jr. You can stream the film here.

16. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

A great film about the production house Disney itself, ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ shows the extent to which producer Walt Disney went to convince author P. L. Travers to give him film rights to her book series ‘Mary Poppins.’ His endeavor took 20 years to fruition, and he finally got the rights in 1961. The musical film ‘Mary Poppins’ was finally made and released in 1964. ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ gets its name from the character George Banks, the employer of Mary Poppins, whom Travers created based on her relationship with her estranged father. The film thus delves into Travers’s past as well as her relationship with the Disney team. The cast includes Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P. L. Travers. You can stream ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ here.

15. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Based on the popular video game franchise ‘Prince of Persia,’ ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ is directed by Mike Newell. Set in the 9th century A.D., it follows a young prince named Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is framed for murdering his father, King Sharaman of Persia, who adopted him when he was nothing but a street urchin. How he finds the culprit who killed his beloved father while keeping himself safe, as well as tackling the power of a dagger that can turn back time, are what we get to see in this action-fantasy drama. Alongside Gyllenhaal, the movie stars Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, and Alfred Molina. You can stream the movie here.

14. National Treasure (2004)

Directed by Jon Turteltaub, ‘National Treasure’ is an adventure heist flick starring Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, and Harvey Keitel. It follows Benjamin Franklin Gates and his friend/partner-in-crime computer expert Riley Poole as they try to find a Freemason treasure, the clues to which have been left in strategic places, including the original Declaration of Independence at the National Archives and the bell tower of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. How the duo, joined by Abigail Chase, an archivist at the National Archives, seeks the treasure while being tracked by Gates’ former friend/crime boss Ian and his gang, as well as the F.B.I., is what we find out in this fast-paced movie. You can watch ‘National Treasure’ here.

13. Free Guy (2021)

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, and Taika Waititi, ‘Free Guy’ follows Guy (Reynolds), who is a non-playable character (N.P.C.) in an online video game Free City created by Antwan Hovachelik (Waititi), a selfish fellow. When Guy becomes fully self-aware, he decides to take control and progresses across the levels, something Hovachelik cannot allow, especially with his Free City 2, the sequel to Free City, about to roll out. So we see Guy racing against time to find the build of Life Itself, a game created by Millie (Comer), who is also a player in Free City, before Hovachelik, who stole the source code of Life Itself and used it to create Free City, can destroy the servers and remove Guy from existence. To find out whether he is successful in his quest, you can watch ‘Free Guy’ here.

12. Venom (2018)

A part of Sony’s Spider-Man universe, ‘Venom’ tells the origin story of one of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies, Venom, an alien symbiotic organism. It merges with a journalist named Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) after the latter sneaks into the secret lab of Life Foundation, bankrolled by its C.E.O. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), which seems to be carrying out questionable trials on animals and humans. Eddie gains superhuman strength and agility while looking like a monstrous creature unlike anything ever seen. Whether Eddie and Venom can prevent Drake, who has also merged with another symbiote called Riot, from bringing more such symbiotes to Earth and ushering in the next step in human evolution is what we see in this action-packed movie. You can stream ‘Venom’ here.

11. Avatar (2009)

Director James Cameron’s sci-fi magnum opus that took visual effects to a whole new level, ‘Avatar’ tells the story of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic marine, who is sent to Pandora, a moon inhabited by the Na’vi, tall blue-skinned sapient humanoids after his identical brother, an operator for the Resources Development Administration (R.D.A.) on Pandora, dies. Jake is given an avatar, a Na’vi-human hybrid, as humans cannot survive on Pandora. As the story moves ahead, we see how Jake switches sides from the R.D.A., which is bent on exploiting Pandora’s minerals, to the Na’vi to help them protect their planet from humans after becoming a Toruk Makto, rider of the revered dragon-like creature that the Na’vi’s address as Toruk. You can watch ‘Avatar’ here.

10. X-Men (2000)

Based on the superhero team in Marvel comics, ‘X-Men’ centers on mutants, humans born with the X-gene that gives them superpowers. On the one hand, we have X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, a telepathic mutant who believes humans and mutants can live together in peace and harmony. On the other hand, we have Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, who leads the Brotherhood of Mutants and believes that humans are weaker and mutants are the future of humanity. In the middle of this cold war that often takes the form of a real one, we have humans, some of whom support Xavier’s ideology while others hate mutants. How the X-Men prevent Magneto from turning the whole world into mutants is what the movie shows. The stellar cast includes Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, and Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, along with Anna Paquin, James Marsden and Halle Berry. You can watch the movie here.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

The first installment of the highly popular Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, this film is based on yet another Disney theme park attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean. It is directed by Gore Verbinski. A film that made Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow a household name, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ follows the cunning Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), who team up to rescue Turner’s ladylove Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the clutches of Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), captain of the ship called the Black Pearl. Barbossa kidnaps her because he believes she knows the location of a medallion that can lift the curse that has befallen the Black Pearl crew. Adventurous, humorous, and of epic proportions, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ is a must-watch swashbuckler film. You can stream it here.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

The fifth movie of the MCU, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ is directed by Joe Johnston. The movie’s events occur during World War II and follow Steve Rogers, who is rejected by the U.S. Army due to his short height and weak body. He is then recruited for the super soldier program headed by Dr. Abraham Erskine. As a result of the experiment, Rogers gains superhuman strength, height, and muscles. He then goes on to defeat the villainous Nazi Red Skull and sacrifices himself by crashing a super-bomber, targeted towards American cities by Red Skull, in the Arctic. However, he would later be saved by Tony Stark’s father, Howard Stark, and kept in cryo-sleep until regaining consciousness 70 years later in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. You can stream ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ here.

7. Isle of Dogs (2018)

Directed by Wes Anderson, this is a stop-motion sci-fi animated comedy. It follows 12-year-old Atari, who sets off on a stolen plane to find his dog Spots in Trash Island. That is where Mayor Kobayashi exiled all the dogs of Megasaki Cityi after the city was hit by dog flu. Atari teams up with five mongrels to search for Spots, kicking off an adventure that explores the friendship between humans and dogs in a whole new way. The voice cast includes Koyu Rankin, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Murray. Other than Rankin, who voiced Atari, the rest of the actors voiced the mongrels. A Silver Bear for Best Director winner at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ can be streamed right here.

6. The Avengers (2012)

The first Avengers movie (the sixth movie in general) of the MCU that brings together Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) for the first time, ‘The Avengers’ is directed by Joss Whedon. It shows how the intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. brings the superheroes together to fight the evil forces of Loki, Thor’s adopted brother, and prevent an alien invasion on Earth. ‘The Avengers’ can be streamed here.

5. Iron Man (2008)

The movie that kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Iron Man’ shows the origin story of the Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man/Tony Stark. Featuring Robert Downey Jr. as world-renowned industrialist/philanthropist Tony Stark, it follows the events that led him to build his Iron Man suit, including being held captive by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings. It is in this movie that we see Tony’s realization of how technology can be used to make the world a safer place take shape. The cast also includes Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow. You can stream it here.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

A brainchild of Steven Spielberg (director) and George Lucas (co-writer along with Philip Kaufman), ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ is the first installment of the Indiana Jones film franchise featuring archaeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). We follow Jones as he races against the Nazis, led by Adolf Hitler himself, to find an ancient religious relic known as the Ark of the Covenant that is hidden within the Well of Souls. If Hitler gets his hands on the relic, it will allow him to make his army invincible. And it is up to Jones to prevent that. Can he do it? To find out, you can watch ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ here.

3. Cars (2006)

This timeless classic is directed by John Lasseter. The movie’s events take place in a world home to anthropomorphic vehicles, i.e., vehicles with human traits. We follow a self-centered rookie sports car named Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), who ends up in the desert town of Radiator Springs due to an accident on the way to his final race in the Piston Cup Championship. Already irritated as his time is running out to reach the place for the finals, McQueen is forced to repair a road that he ruined. However, as days pass, he realizes that there’s more to life than just winning. As he befriends the cars around, including the retired legendary 3-time Piston Cup winner Hudson Hornet (voiced by Paul Newman), he learns about friendship and love and how winning amounts to nothing if you are all alone. A must-watch movie, especially for car lovers, ‘Cars’ can be streamed here.

2. Spider-Man (2002)

This movie is the one that revamped superhero movies in the 21st century and laid the blueprint for the MCU. Starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Willem Dafoe as the villain Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, the movie is directed by Sam Raimi. It shows how Peter Parker got bit by a radioactive spider and received his powers, including sticking to walls and spinning webs out of his wrists. When the Green Goblin arrives as a threat to the people of New York, it is up to Peter, who takes up the moniker of Spider-Man and puts on the iconic red and blue suit, to stop him. The rest of the cast includes Kirsten Dunst as Peter’s crush, Mary Jane, and James Franco as Peter’s best friend Harry Osborn, son of Norman Osborn. You can watch ‘Spider-Man’ here.

1. Soul (2020)

Rarely is a Pixar movie as layered as ‘Soul.’ Directed by Pete Docter, it is a brilliant commentary on existential crisis, ambition, one’s culture, and even life and death. Docter expertly blends all of these to give us an animated fantasy, at the center of which is a middle school teacher/aspiring pianist, Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx). Gardner dies on the very day he is supposed to get his big break as a pianist and ends up in the Great Before after managing to escape from the Great Beyond, the film’s version of the afterlife. But to return to Earth, he will have to help an unborn soul find its spark, i.e., the desire to live. How he does it and the realization he has in the process make ‘Soul’ one of the best animated movies of all time. Winner of the Best Animated Feature at the 2021 Oscars, two Golden Globe Awards, and two British Academy Film Awards, ‘Soul’ can be streamed here.

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