Disney's announcement that it will pull all of its films from Netflix by 2018 is a bigger blow to the streaming giant than you might expect. Disney brands cover an enormous range of Netflix's catalog, including Marvel superhero movies, Star Wars projects, Pixar animated features and everything developed under Touchstone Pictures. Heck, if an oft-rumored acquisition comes true, even 20th Century Fox films will be leaving Netflix.
That means a significant portion of Netflix's catalog will vanish in a single year, transferred to Disney's upcoming streaming service. So if you're not willing to pay for yet another online subscription, this could be your last chance to watch the following excellent movies and TV shows from the House of Mouse.
A buddy cop movie starring anthropomorphic creatures sounds amazing, and it only gets better - and funnier - as the runtime progresses. Zootopia follows Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on the police force, as she teamsup with fox con-artist Nick Wilde to investigate why the city's predators are disappearing. Bundled with a surprisingly thoughtful message on tolerance, Zootopia never forgets to be entertaining and charming at the same time, and includes some great gags to appeal to audiences of all ages.
Ben Kingsley is Bagheera. Idris Elba is Shere Khan. Scarlett Johansson is Ka. Bill Murray is Baloo. If those names don't persuade you to check out Disney's new Jungle Book film, little else will. Jungle Book takes the best parts of the 1967 cartoon and reimagines almost everything else, balancing an upbeat tone with a slightly darker edge of the jungle's many dangers. The visuals are gorgeous, the performances are wonderful, and you'll walk away realizing you've watched the rare reboot that's better than the original.
Oh, and Christopher Walken's in it, too! As King Louie! I know, right?
Movie spinoffs don't always live up to their source material, but, thankfully, Finding Dory is one of the exceptions. Following the events of Finding Nemo, the amnesiac fish Dory regains memories of her lost parents, and sets off on a journey to find them. And just like many Pixar movies, these adventures are equal parts funny, charming and heart-wrenching, which makes Finding Dory a sequel you won't quickly forget.
Netflix is negotiating with Disney to keep Star Wars in its collection, and let's hope it does - even if just for movies like Rogue One. This direct prequel to A New Hope follows a crew of rogues and scoundrels on a mission to find the Imperial Death Star plans, leading them to an explosive last stand at Scarif. From its gritty take on Star Wars action to a risky plot decision that doesn't allow for sequels (other than, you know, Star Wars itself), there's a lot to love about Rogue One that makes us hopeful for future spinoffs.
Disney's latest princess movie is almost the polar opposite of Frozen, swapping out snow-covered mountains for a tropical Polynesian paradise. Thankfully, it's just as fun and charming as its predecessor. This story follows the title character Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), a young girl chosen by the ocean to return a magical artifact to its goddess. Assisting her in this quest is Maui (Dwayne Johnson), the demigod who stole and lost the artifact in the first place. Between its solid storytelling and high-quality production values, Moana is a wonderful animated film for the entire family.
The original Pete's Dragon is a downright charming film, telling the tale of a cheerful orphan whose best friend is a not-quite-imaginary dragon. The 2016 reboot takes the core themes of childhood wonder and imagination, reimagines them with state-of-the-art effects and offers a new plot reminiscent of movies like the Iron Giant. The end result is a wonderful retelling of a classic tale that appeals to new audiences and longtime fans alike.
As you prepare for Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War to drop in 2018, the time's never been more right to catch up on the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The most impactful of them all, Captain America: Civil War splits the Avengers allegiances between Cap and Iron Man after yet another incident involving superhuman powers leaves casualties in its wake.