With 2023 coming to an end, it’s a good time to look back at some of the best series released on Disney+, and I’ve picked out my top five films, in no particular order, that I’ve enjoyed the most, which have been released exclusively on Disney+ around the world and also on Hulu in the United States.
Unfortunately, while I usually like to do top ten lists, in all honestly, when I compiled the list of original films in 2023, there were too many films that just weren’t good enough to be on a best-of-the-year list!
Here are my Top Five Disney+ Original Films of 2023:
This touching biopic film tells the story of Richard Montanez, who is the son of a Mexican immigrant, and was a janitor at Frito Lay when he came up with the idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. His creation, inspired by the flavours of his community, revitalises Frito-Lay and disrupts the food industry. There is some debate over exactly how true this story was, but I thought it was a lovely film that introduced me to the world of Hot Cheetos!
If you only watch one film on this list, I’d say make it “Flamin’ Hot”!
“Quiz Lady” is about two sisters, Anne and her estranged train-wreck of a sister, Jenny, played by Sandra Oh and Awkwafina, who must work together to help cover their mother’s gambling debts. When Anne’s beloved dog is kidnapped, they set out on a wild cross-country trek to get the cash.
This is a charming road trip comedy film that I really enjoyed. I really liked how Sandra Oh and Awkwafina played the exact opposite characters to those I was expecting, which was refreshing. They don’t really make these kinds of films so much any more, it feels like something out of the nineties and it’s a bit daft, but I liked it.
This documentary is all about the man, the myth and the legend, the one behind Marvel. If you love Marvel, you will no doubt know about Stan Lee, or you think you do. Over the years, through countless cameos in films and little notes in the Marvel comic books, many of us instantly connect Stan Lee with Marvel.
“Stan Lee” tells Stan’s story in his own words. Using only archival material—from personal home video, interviews and audio recordings—the film examines Stan’s origin story and what emerged from it: a far-reaching universe of stories with three-dimensional characters that have resonated with people all over the world. It’s worth noting that this is an “official” documentary, so it does gloss over some of the aspects of his life and career that maybe Marvel doesn’t want us to know, but I really enjoyed learning more about Stan Lee.
No One Will Save You
In this Hulu/Star Original film, Kaitlyn Dever plays Brynn, who finds solace within the walls of the home where she grew up until she’s awakened one night by strange noises from unearthly intruders.
This movie gripped me from the start till the very end. There are plenty of jump scares and very little dialogue. “No One Will Save You” wasn’t a movie I expected to like, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend checking it out.
This was easily my favourite Disney+ Original film of the year, and sadly, Disney decided that this movie was either too expensive or didn’t pull in enough viewers in the few weeks it was available on Disney+, as it was removed as part of a $2 billion impairment write-off over the summer. However, it can now be purchased on digital platforms.
The film tells the story of Caleb Channing, who is about to be relocated to an idyllic, faraway planet following his father’s death. To fulfil his dad’s last wish before leaving, he and his three best friends hijack a rover to explore a mysterious crater. It has that road trip kids’ movie vibe that is fun, and it’s such a shame Disney removed it.
What was your favourite movie from 2023? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.