The best Disney Plus documentaries to watch while stuck at home

disney plus documentary

Disney Plus documentaries may not be the first thing you might watch when you sign up for the streaming service. However, there are some excellent nature and science movies to stream on Disney Plus, both from Disney’s studio as well as National Geographic. In addition, there are some excellent documentaries on Disney Plus that look behind-the-scenes at Disney itself. 

It was hard, but we managed to pick what we think are the 10 best documentaries on Disney Plus that you can stream right now while you might be stuck at home. Don’t already have Disney Plus? You can sign up for the service at the link below, and enjoy a 7-day free trial!

Best Disney Plus documentaries

1. The African Lion

african lion

Disney released what it called “True-Life Adventures” in its early days. These documentaries gave both children and adults a way to see parts of the world that at the time were very exotic. The African Lion, released in 1995, is an example of these kinds of films that are now Disney Plus documentaries. the filmmakers spent three years on the African wilderness filming a family of lions in their natural habitat.

2. Aliens of the Deep

aliensof the deep

James Cameron is best known as a movie director of fictional films, such as The Terminator,  Titanic, Avatar and more. However, he’s also very much involved with exploring the depths of the sea in real life. This 2005 film shows Cameron joining an expedition to the deepest regions of the oceans, where life shouldn’t be possible. However, thanks to hypothermal vents at certain locations on the bottom, there is indeed life, and it’s unlike anything on Earth. It’s definitely one of the best Disney Plus documentaries. 

3. Bears

bears disney plus

Bears may be one of the most educational Disney Plus documentaries. The 2014 movie takes place in Alaska, where a mother bear tries to take care of, and protect, her two new bear cubs. The Disney Plus bear film is fascinating and terrific to watch on a lazy weekend.

4. Elephant

elephant

This is a new Disney Plus documentary original. The 2020 release, narrated by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, follows a family of elephants as they trek more than 1,000 miles to find water. They also have to deal with lots of other threats along the way.

5. Free Solo

free solo

This National Geographic film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2019. It’s easy to see why. It follows the efforts of rock climber Alex Honnold, who in 2017 made a 3,000 foot free solo climb (that means without any ropes, harnesses or any other kind of safety equipment) of El Capitan. The photography that was used to depict his climb makes this well worth watching. It’s without a doubt, one of the best Disney Plus documentaries.

6. One Day at Disney

one day at disney

One Day at Disney is a Disney Plus documentaries original. It shows one typical day on planet Earth, as seen through the eyes of Disney employees around the world. You seem them working at Disney’s movie studios to the company’s many theme parks, along with other employees at the ABC TV network and more. It’s a fascinating look at the inner workings of  perhaps the biggest entertainment business in the world.

7. Waking Sleeping Beauty

waking

In the 1970s and most of the 1980’s, Disney’s famed animation studio was suffering. The group released a ton of movies that were both critical and box office failures. This 2010 film takes a look at how the animation studio got out of that rut and started to release a string of huge hits in the late 1980s and 1990s, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. It’s one of the most fascinating Disney Plus documentaries.

8. Expedition Mars

expidition mars

NASA has been sending unmaned probes to the mysterious red planet Mars since the 1960s. However, the space program suffered through a number of failures to send Mars probes in the 1990s. This 2016 National Geographic documentary shows how the space program got back on its feet. It developed and launched two unnamed Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The film shows what those two rovers discovered about Mars after they successfully landed and started their treks on the red planet in 2004.

9. Empire of Dreams: The Store of the Star Wars Trilogy

empire of dreams

For true fans of the original Star Wars trilogy, this two and a half hour documentary is a must. Made in 2004, it goes into heavy details on the making of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. It also has lots of behind-the-scenes footage and new interviews with the cast and crew of the movies. It’s one of the more entertaining Disney Plus documentaries.

10. Apollo: Missions to the Moon

apollo disney plus

The Apollo manned moon missions remain one of the biggest achievements in history. This 2019 documentary looks back at the history of the Apollo program in great detail, and on the 12 manned missions to the moon that were the result of thousands of people’s efforts, both inside the capsules and back on Earth.

That’s a look at the best documentaries on Disney Plus. Which one of these Disney Plus documentaries will you be streaming tonight?

There’s a ton of other content you can stream on the service. Here are our guides to some of our favorite shows and movies across a variety of genres.

Don’t have Disney Plus yet? Sign up now, and remember there’s a 7-day free trial. 

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