Since its launch at the tail end of 2019, Disney+ has steadily expanded to new nations and established itself as a well-known streaming service that can compete with the likes of Netflix. Even without the impressive variety of genres available on the streaming service, Disney’s animated classics are enough to make a subscription worthwhile. The same applies to fans of science fiction.
What Disney+ sci-fi movies are a must-see? While the House of M is more often associated with fantasy than science fiction, this is more a result of reputation than actual practice. However, this cannot be said of the ten upcoming sci-fi movies that are currently available for streaming on Disney+.
1. Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959)
Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is based on Jules Verne’s 1864 science fiction classic of the same name, is an epic adventure that, despite having aged quite a bit since its initial release, is still enjoyable to see today. The tale progresses quickly enough for none of the sequences to feel out of place, and the spectacular effects were outstanding for the period, even if they were never particularly realistic or jaw-dropping. Journey to the Center of the Earth has a believable sense of adventure that makes it impossible to dislike even though the plot is not particularly interesting.
Genre: scientific romance, adventure fiction, scientific fiction
Director: Eric Brevig
IMDb Rating: 5.8/10
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem, Seth Meyers, Jean Michel
2. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)
Disney Channel Original Movies are generally tough to suggest to people who did not grow up with them. They frequently involve cheesy acting, erratic acting, and plots that seem more appropriate for a weekly series than a feature-length movie. The science fiction movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century isn’t precisely an exception, but it’s endearing enough to stand on its own without relying too much on nostalgia. A 13-year-old girl who was born and raised in a space station is sent to Earth as punishment for misbehaving. There, she makes some lasting friends, learns to be less judgmental of others, and discovers a plot that might kill thousands of people.
Genre: science fiction, comedy, adventure
Director: Kenneth Johnson
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Cast: Kirsten Storms, Raven-Symoné, Bob Bancroft, Stuart Pankin, Holly Fulger
3. Flight of the Navigator (1986)
Science fiction investigates concepts that could be a reflection of current social, political, or economic issues. It belongs to a genre where the distinction between fantasy and reality is hazy. Science fiction can be thought-provoking, melancholy, terrifying, or uplifting, but it can also occasionally simply be simple fun. A 12-year-old child named David inexplicably passes out close to his house. When he finally wakes up, he discovers that he has not aged a day and is now eight years in the future. Although 1986’s Flight of the Navigator leans more toward the fiction end of things, this narrative of a youngster who winds himself aboard a spaceship still has the heart of a classic sci-fi adventure story pounding inside it.
Genre: science fiction, adventure
Director: Randal Kleiser
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Cast: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Cliff De Young, Veronica Cartwright, Sarah Jessica Parker
4. Phineas & Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension (2011)
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, the only animated movie on this list, is a contender for the finest Disney Channel Original Movie ever. It is advised to be familiar with the series, although newbies to the franchise should find the film’s witty humor amusing: Phineas and Ferb travel to a parallel universe where Doofenshmirtz rules over the three states. With Perry’s assistance, they must find a route home after discovering that he is a covert agent. Across the 2nd Dimension offers all the elements needed to create a classic of contemporary science fiction, including alternate dimensions, evil cyborgs, and Perry the Platypus.
Genre: adventure, animation
Directors: Dan Povenmire, Robert Hughes
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Cast: Vincent Martella, Ashley Tisdale, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Caroline Rhea
5. The Black Hole (1979)
The Black Hole, which was Disney’s first non-PG feature film, is notable for its box office failure and mixed reviews from reviewers. Scientist Kate McCrae is on a research ship when it comes across her father’s lost ship, the USS Cygnus, close to a black hole. They decide to investigate what happened there. The Black Hole is a 1979 disaster film that is far too flawed to be considered “awesome,” but if someone is willing to look past the clichéd dialogue and slow pace, it kind of works as a misguided epic that also serves as a reminder of a time when Disney willingly stepped outside of its comfort zone in an effort to survive in a post-Star Wars world.
Genre: action, adventure
Director: Gary Nelson
IMDb Rating: 5.9/10
Cast: Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms
6. Smart House (1999)
Smart House from 1999, adds a nice message, some real emotion, and Katey Sagal as a hologram of a 1950s housewife to the well-worn premise of a futuristic home run by a computer. Since its fundamental notion has previously been thoroughly explored, Smart House intelligently prioritizes the growth of its human characters. The main character, a 13-year-old kid who is mourning the loss of his mother, uses the House’s virtual assistant as a substitute mom as a coping strategy, but this move ultimately backfires.
Genre: Adventure, sci-fiction
Director: LeVar Burton
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10
Cast: Katey Sagal, Ryan Merriman, Katie Volding, Kevin Kilner, Jessica Steen
7. John Carter (2012)
An adaptation of the 1917 film A Princess of Mars, John Carter’s greatest claim to fame is that it was one of Disney’s biggest box office disappointments due to its infamous failure to live up to expectations. Even if these facts cannot be disputed, poor marketing rather than the caliber of the movie contributed more to John Carter’s demise. Although far from perfect, John Carter is a visually stunning film with some terrific action sequences, engaging work from actors like Bryan Cranston and Dominic West, and a planet waiting to be discovered.
Genre: action, fantasy, adventure
Director: Andrew Stanton
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Thomas Haden Church
8. The Rocketeer (1991)
In the pre-World War II setting of The Rocketeer from 1991, a stunt pilot obtains a jet pack and begins a career as a superhero. The Rocketeer is fantastic as an adventure movie with a superhero motif, but it is pretty thin as a science fiction plot. A stunt pilot discovers a jetpack prototype that allows him to fly.
However, the dark powers of the world also desperately want this jetpack. The Rocketeer has a certain simplicity and innocence to it that is more reminiscent of pulp fiction from the 1930s than any of its contemporaries, in contrast As the titular Rocketeer, Bill Campbell is delightful, and Jennifer Connelly and Alan Arkin also give standout performances as Peevy and Jane, respectively. Although the entire cast is fantastic, Timothy Dalton steals the show as an evil character like Errol Flynn.
Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy, science fiction
Director: Joe Johnston
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Cast: Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino
9. The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)
The 1997 remake Flubber is probably more well-known than the Fred MacMurray-starring 1961 original. For his various escapades, a professor creates an astonishing flying rubber. A dishonest businessman is envious of his creation and wants to possess it. Will he be prosperous? The Absent-Minded Professor is a science fiction comedy that largely depends on slapstick humor, similar to the later Robin Williams movie. As a result, it is more likely to appeal to children than adults. Although The Absent-Minded Professor occasionally plays it too safe, its light-heartedness is endearing.
Genre: comedy, drama, sports, science fiction
Director: Robert Stevenson
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Cast: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Tommy Kirk
10. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has matured like good wine in comparison to another movie version of a Jules Verne book, Journey to the Center of the Earth. An enormous sea monster was reportedly attacking ships in the Pacific Ocean in 1866, leaving Professor Pierre M. Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre) stranded in San Francisco.
They are persuaded to join an expedition to find the monster. Whether it is because of James Mason’s mesmerizing performance as Captain Nemo, the Nautilus ship, which spent more than 20 years in the Magic Kingdom, or the violent clashes with the giant squid, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is regarded as one of Walt Disney’s finest live-action successes. In many ways, it established the bar for what high-budget adventure movies might do without using animation.
Genre: Science fiction, adventure, drama
Director: Richard Fleischer
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Cast: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre, Robert J. Wilke