20 musicals, theatrical films and programmes you can watch on Disney+
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
(Updated on Jul 17, 2020)
There's no denying that the newly released Hamilton film on Disney+ has taken musical theatre fans by storm! And the movie's exclusive, supplementary programme, Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes On You, hosted by Robin Roberts is just the icing on the Hamil-cake. In case #Hamilfilm isn't enough reason for you to get a Disney+ subscription now, here's a list of the Top 20 Musicals, Theatrical Films, and Programmes Not Called "Hamilton" that are perfect for Broadway and West End theatre buffs! Be sure to give them a good stream!
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Top 20 films, shows, and programmes to stream on Disney+ for theatre fans
• Mary Poppins & Mary Poppins Returns
Julie Andrews is a legend as the practically-perfect nanny in the 1964 original. The Girl on the Train's Emily Blunt is also just as good in the hit sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, which sees Lin-Manuel Miranda — the creator and star of Hamilton — also appear in the cast as Jack. The West End musical may be on pause for now, but you can still get your Mary Poppins musical fix on Disney+!
• Annie (1999)
This musical classic was last seen in the West End in 2017 for its 3rd revival. It is also one of the few musicals in history to have a stage sequel (Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge). Catch the 1999 TV stage version (not the 1980s film) on Disney+!
• The Sound of Music
Julie Andrews makes the list twice. This beloved theatre and film classic will still teach you that "there's nothing better than running up a hillside while singing your heart out."
"Extra, extra! Read all about it!" Catch both Newsies: The Broadway Musical and the 1992 musical Disney film on Disney+. Both the film and show are inspired by the infamous Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City.
The hit 2016 3D computer-animation film by Disney is a fabulous musical adventure that's fun for the whole family! In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches the island of Motunui, Moana answers the Ocean's call to seek out the Demigod to set things right. The movie features music by Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Moana is also now showing at The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water on 21 July 2020 at 3.30pm.
This Disney+ original reality series is based on a pilot that aired on ABC back in 2017 and is a bundle of fun! The show reunites cast members of high school musicals to recreate their performance and perform as adults. A must-see for musical theatre fans!
• Aladdin (2019) & Aladdin (1992)
In case you missed the Disney Theatrical production of Aladdin in London and can't make it to NY or Hamburg, the original 1992 animated film and 2019 live-action remake will give you the magic carpet ride you're looking for. Also, be sure not to miss the upcoming pantomime production at the Lyric Hammersmith this Christmas!
• Freaky Friday (2018)
No, this isn't the one with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis but rather the 2018 Disney Channel Original Movie starring Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Heidi Blickenstaff with a musical twist that's 90 minutes of pure melodic bliss!
• Beauty and the Beast (2017) & Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Before there was The Lion King musical, there was Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, the first-ever Disney Theatrical production! Be our guest and watch the original 1991 animated film from Disney's fondly remembered Renaissance Era, which inspired the hit stage musical, and then finish it off with the 2017 live-action remake starring Harry Potter's Emma Watson in a spectacular performance as Belle.
• Disney Family Singalong I & II
These two fabulous programmes feature your favourite Disney numbers sung by a plethora a big-name stage stars, including Broadway's original Wicked Witch of the West Idina Menzel (Rent, Frozen) and her Glinda-stic co-star Kristin Chenoweth, plus Anika Noni Rose, Ben Platt, Cassie Levy, Darren Criss, Heather Headley, Jennifer Hudson, Josh Gad, Josh Groban, Josh Strickland, Kara Lindsay, Kristin Chenoweth, Luke Evans, Neil Patrick Harris, Tituss Burgess, and the cast of Broadway’s Aladdin!
• Frozen and Frozen II
The West End production of Frozen is set to make its West End premiere at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane very soon! So why not celebrate with both films on Disney+!
• Let It Shine (2012)
This Disney Channel Original Movie loosely based on Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac features an ensemble African-American cast comprised of Coco Jones, Tyler James Williams, Trevor Jackson, and Brandon Mychal Smith. Let It Shine follows the talented but shy rapper Cyrus DeBarge (Williams) who writes romantic hip-hop verses under the pseudonym "Truth" and haves them delivered to his secret crush Roxanne "Roxie" Andrews (Jones) by his best friend Kris McDuffy (Jackson).
• Babes in Toyland
In magical Toyland, Mary Contrary and Tom Piper get ready for their big wedding, but the dastardly Barnaby kidnaps Mary all for himself!
• Once Upon a Mattress
This musical comedy featuring music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer is a quirky find that stars Tracey Ullman, Carol Burnett, Zoey Deschanel, and Matthew Morrison.
• Into the Woods
Internationally renowned composer Stephen Sondheim’s fairy-tale inspired work reunites The Devil Wears Prada co-stars Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt, who are joined by James Corden, Chris Pine and more. This critically acclaimed box office hit is waiting for you to press play on Disney+!
• Bedknobs and Broomsticks
A stage musical adaptation of the 1971 Walt Disney Film has been confirmed to be in the works by the President of Disney Theatricals, Thomas Schumacher, as recently as May 2020. Be sure to stream the film that inspired it on Disney+!
This musical romantic drama film debuted on Disney+ earlier this year to widespread critical acclaim. Directed by Julia Hart and featuring music by Rob Simonsen, Stargirl stars Grace VanderWaal and Graham Verchere and serves as an exploration of the intense emotions and non-conformity that teenagers face in high school and the euphoria of your first love.
• Sister Act & Sister Act II
Though these films are not musicals, their theatricality helped inspire the widely popular stage musical in 2013, which has toured both Germany and the UK. The West End production of Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg was originally meant to debut this summer but has now been postponed to summer 2021. But don't worry. Whoopi will be coming back in the habit and you can catch her in both films that inspired it all on Disney+!
• The Lion King (1994) & The Lion King (2019 "live-action")
One of the longest-running musicals of all time both on Broadway and in the West End* is based one of Disney's most popular films of all time. This animated classic never stops being the circle of our life! It's just so entertaining! And now you can watch it on Disney+ back to back with the widely praised 2019 remake, which sees the return of James Earl Jones (also known for voicing Darth Vader in Star Wars) as Mufasa, joined by Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, and John Kani as Rafiki.
*The Lion King tickets are back on sale and booking in London's West End from 3 November 2020!
• Beyoncé's Black is King (Coming Soon)
Speaking of Beyoncé... Disney Plus has announced a new visual album by the pop diva entitled Black Is King, which is set to premiere globally on the platform on 31 July 2020. The visual album is based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift and comes one year after the remake premiered. It serves "a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience" that reimagines the lessons learnt in The Lion King for "today's young kings and queens in search of their own crowns." Be sure not to miss it at the end of this month!