Disney+ is making childhood dreams come true for adults all over the country, as well as certain other regions around the world (sorry UK fans!). Through the service, Disney fans are rediscovering some of their favorite films from Disney's past.
While many are watching classic animated hits like Beauty and the Beast or rewatching iconic Disney Channel favorites like The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, many are looking for those underrated gems that they totally forgot about. Here are ten of the most underrated live-action films that you can find on Disney+.
10 Pete's Dragon
The live-action remakes that Disney is attempting have hit the biggest highs and the lowest of lows. Few of them were as ignored though as 2016's Pete's Dragon, a remake of the live-action animated hybrid film of the same name.
This reimagining is full of a ton of heart and fantastic performances. It's a fairly straightforward narrative, but that's anything but a deterrent. If Disney is good at anything its offering digestible heartwarming entertainment. Pete's Dragon represents that wholly.
9 Blackbeard's Ghost
One thing Disney was great at, too, was crafting up weird-premised live-action films and following through on that weirdness. The sixties are full of examples of this, but perhaps the best and wackiest of the bunch is Blackbeard's Ghost.
Following a college track coach who stays at a haunted inn run by the descendants of the famed pirate, he accidentally summons the spirit of the buccaneer only to find him a madcap physical comic. What follows is a convoluted romp involving casino gambling, organized crime, pirate ghosts, and The Bride of Frankenstein (seriously, Elsa Lancaster plays a major role).
8 The Parent Trap
Many nineties kids look back on the Lindsey Lohan led The Parent Trap as the quintessential version, and they certainly aren't wrong to do so, it is a classic of many childhoods. But, that film wouldn't be what it is without the original.
Starring Hayley Mills as the two sisters, this original is one of the best live-action films to ever come out of the Disney studio. It has loads of charm, humor, and heart. Plus, it offers up a great classic Disney tune with the song Let's Get Together.
7 Greyfriar's Bobby
In the mood for a tearjerking animal movie? Greyfriar's Bobby is your best bet. Based on a true story, this film takes place in and around Edinburgh, Scotland. During the turn of the century, a small Skye Terrier follows his sick master into the city, only to lose him to age and sickness.
The dog is too heartbroken to leave his master's grave, and soon garners a following of admirers for his love and dedication. Sadly though, the city wants him removed as a stray dog. What will happen to the poor little terrier? You'll have to watch to find out!
6 Treasure Island
Apart from animation, Disney is often synonymous with one thing: Pirates. Everyone automatically thinks of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise or Peter Pan, but another landmark pirate film in their repertoire was this classic adaption of Treasure Island.
Uncomplicated and unpretentious, this is a classic pirates tale through and through. There are no weird squid people or pirate codes, just classic swashbuckling adventure. Funnily enough, the cast is led by Bobby Driscoll, who provided the voice later on for Peter Pan himself.
5 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
If you're looking to continue your live-action deep dive with more swashbuckling action, then 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a perfect fit. This adaption has some astounding landmark effects. The large scale squid puppet which attacked the Nautilus submarine is one of the best ever put to film.
Though it might look a bit dated compared to the CGI work used today, at the time it was astounding. Apart from the fun adventure story at its heart, 20,000 Leagues is really a testament to Walt Disney's innovation as a filmmaker and eventual Theme Park tycoon.
The Tim Burton animated film of the same name was certainly a favorite for many upon release, but did you know it was a remake of one of Burton's first films? The original film short can actually be found on Disney+, and unlike the animated version is filmed in live-action.
It follows the basic premise but much quicker than the animated version. It is exceptionally adorable, featuring all real-life dog actors. But another major draw is a great little performance from The Shining alum.
3 Return to Oz
Everyone remembers seeing The Wizard of Oz as a child, and how upbeat and whimsical it was. Few, though, are aware of its horrifying distant cousin, Return to Oz. This version of the Oz story plays like a direct sequel to the book as opposed to the film and scarred more youngsters than Labyrinth ever did.
This lesser-known '80s film is seriously twisted, with horrifying practical effects and set pieces. Yet, for all its unintended terror, it's actually kind of fun. In its own oddball way, it's attracted its own cult following. Give this one a try, but like any horror movie, be sure to have something funny to watch after.
2 The Rocketeer
While many look to the first Batman film or the early Marvel films as the beginning of Superhero cinema, few remember another wholly original creation from Disney. The Rocketeer follows in the footsteps of classic pulp fiction like Indiana Jones to offer a wartime fantasy superhero film.
Joe Johnston, who directed Captain America: The First Avenger, offers that similar blend of nostalgic pulp here. It is an excellent steampunk Esque war film with more fun action than most films of its kind today. Also, Timothy Dalton as the villain is too much to handle, in the best way possible.
1 Darby O'Gill And The Little People
Without a doubt, this might be the most underrated live-action Disney film ever made. Darby O'Gill and the Little People brings the tales and fables of Ireland to life with the classic Disney magic you'd expect. Discovering the idea of forced perspective decades before The Lord of the Rings, this film offered innovative special effects to bring its leprechauns to life.
Directed by Robert Stevenson, director of Mary Poppins, its no wonder this movie works as well as it does. Utilizing the beautiful countryside of Ireland, a young Sean Connery, and weird practical effects, Darby O'Gill is classic Disney through and through.