Tom Power, senior entertainment reporter
Spooky season has officially arrived, which means it's time for Disney to release a batch of new horror-themes films on its main streaming service. Leading the charge is Haunted Mansion, which made its Disney Plus debut on October 4, so it's the latest addition to this guide.
New Disney Plus movies regularly join the streaming giant's back catalog. And, while the collection of new movies landing on the service isn't as large as those on Netflix and Prime Video, there's still a healthy amount of new films that have arrived on Disney Plus since August.
If you're looking for a complete round-up of the best ones to hit one of the best streaming services since late summer, then, you've come to the right place. Below, we've compiled a list of the seven biggest new Disney Plus movies, including Haunted Mansion, which is the latest hair-raising flick to join the platform's movie-based ranks.
If you're searching for even more film offerings on the streamer, our best Disney Plus movies guide has you covered. It contains a more comprehensive round-up of the greatest films on Disney Plus, so head on over there once you've checked this article out.
US readers should note, however, that a few of the entries in this guide are only available on Hulu. If that's you, you'll have to load up Disney Plus' sister streamer to watch them. We've made a note of the ones this applies to in the release date section of those entries. But we digress. Here are all of the new Disney Plus movies to join the service since August.
New Disney Plus movies: October 2023
Release date: October 4
Disney is slowly building out a corner of its stacked movie library with films based on some of its most popular theme park rides. We've already been treated to live-action adaptations of Pirates of the Caribbean, Tomorrowland, and Jungle Cruise, with each one being received well (or not, in some cases) by audiences worldwide.
Now, it's Haunted Mansion's turn to get the ride-turned-film treatment. The supernatural horror-comedy stars Rosario Dawson (Star Wars: Ahsoka) as Gabbie, a widowed doctor who moves into Gracey Manor with her son Travis (Chase W Dillon), only to find it's, well, haunted. Determined not to be kicked out of their new home by the scary spirits that inhabits its walls, Gabbie enlists the help of numerous ghost experts – astrophysicist Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield), Father Kent (Owen Wilson), supernatural professor Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito), and psychic Harriet (Tiffany Hadish) – to exorcise her and Travis' new abode.
A film that fared far better with general viewers than critics, Haunted Mansion seems like the perfect, somewhat-family-friendly spook-filled adventure to get you in the mood for Halloween.
New Disney Plus movies: September 2023
No One Will Save You
Release date: September 22 (available on Hulu in the US)
Spooky season isn't officially here yet, but 20th Century Studios has jumped the gun somewhat to deliver a terrifying sci-fi horror-thriller that you need to watch this weekend.
No One Will Save You stars Kaitlyn Dever as Brynn, a social outcast in her small US hometown. When a race of mind-controlling extraterrestrials suddenly invade and take control of the local populace (sans Brynn), though, our protagonist is forced to fight for her survival and freedom – and confront her past in the process.
The movie's official trailer already gave us unsettling and frighteningly atmospheric vibes thanks to its creepy alien creatures when it arrived in early September. And, given the hugely positive reception it's received since, No One Will Save You sounds like it's worth letting it invade your TV screen.
Release date: September 13
Elemental looked like it would fall foul of the same issues that have plagued recent Pixar movies. Yes, it looks visually spectacular and would likely tug at the heartstrings, but it appeared to lack story substance and the smart, snappy humor we'd come to expect from the Disney subsidiary.
After some questionable critics-based reviews and a lackluster start to its theatrical run, though, Elemental proved it wasn't a complete failure. Thanks to positive word of mouth, it earned $484 million worldwide and a 93% positive audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Even better, Elemental smashed The Little Mermaid's Disney Plus movie record in its first five days on the platform.
Set in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic elements of nature, Elemental stars the short tempered, fire-based Ember and free-flowing water-type Wade. After a chance encounter, they grow close, and begin to positively challenge each other's worldview and the overarching theme that elements cannot mix. Find out where Elemental ranks on our best Pixar movies list while you're here.
The Little Mermaid
Release date: September 6
Over three months after it debuted in theaters, The Little Mermaid's live-action retelling has surfaced from under the waves to join Disney Plus' movie library. Just five days into its streaming run, it became the most-watched Disney Plus film of all-time (although that's been broken by Elemental since).
Thankfully, Disney's latest adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's iconic tale is now available to watch. The musical comedy-drama film, which – eventually – follows the human-obsessed Ariel's quest to stop sea witch Ursula from becoming the oceans' new overlord, did okay at the global box office with a near $570 million haul to its name. We expect it to be more popular on Disney's primary streamer, though, especially with little in the way of new Disney Plus movies to watch right now.
Before you load it up, be sure to read our review of The Little Mermaid. Next, find out why the film took inspiration from David Attenborough, not Avatar 2, then which of its songs was its composer's favorite track and, lastly, where it ranks in our best Disney live-action movies list.
New Disney Plus movies: August 2023
Vacation Friends 2
Release date: August 25 (available on Hulu in the US)
A sequel to 2021's buddy-comedy film of the same name – if you drop the number two from its title – Vacation Friends 2 picks up just a few months after its predecessor. When Marcus (Lil Rey Howery) earns an all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean to convince a hotel chain's owners to let his construction firm build its next, well, hotel, he's joined by wife Emily (Yvone Orji), plus friends and married couple Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) with their baby in tow. Unfortunately, Kyla's incarcerated father Reese (Steve Buscemi) unexpectedly shows up at the same resort. Cue hilarity-induced carnage.
That would be the case, anyway, if Vacation Friends 2 was remotely funny. Per Rotten Tomatoes, it's been labeled a disaster by critics, with its 20% and 39% critical and audience ratings on the review aggregator website proving as much. Of all the new Disney Plus movies here, this is one to avoid altogether.
Miguel Wants to Fight
Release date: August 16 (available on Hulu in the US)
This coming-of-age comedy may not have been on anyone's radar prior to its release, but it's doing a pretty good job of entertaining viewers, if its 71% fresh critics score on Rotten Tomatoes score is anything to go by.
For the uninitiated, Miguel Wants to Fight follows the titular high schooler who's never found himself throwing down with, well, anyone. However, "when a combination of events turn his life upside down, Miguel and his three best friends –the stoic David, rowdy Cass, and quick-tonged Srini – enter into a series of hilarious misadventures as he tries to get into his first ever fight."
A funny, smart, heartfelt, and action-packed underdog story, Miguel Wants to Fight might be worth catching if you're looking for something unique to stream.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release date: August 2
Get ready for one last ride. The Guardians of the Galaxy's potentially final outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) originally hit theaters on May 3, and it quickly cemented itself as not only one of the best Marvel movies ever, but one of the best films of the year.
The final James Gunn-directed Marvel movie is an unsurprisingly funny, action-packed, creatively bizarre, earnest, and incredibly emotional watch. Believe us, you'll want to have a box of tissues handy for the amount of tear-jerking scenes that make up Guardians 3's fantastic but weepy plot.
We've known that Guardians 3 was coming to Disney Plus for a while now. And, with the Marvel Phase 5 film finally hitting the service, we'd be amazed if it doesn't storm up the streaming movie charts in the next week or two. A worthy addition to our new Disney Plus movies list.
While you're here, find out where it sits in on the increasingly confusing MCU timeline in our Marvel movies in order guide.
New Disney Plus movies: coming soon
There are more terrifying new Disney Plus movies coming in the month of October, as well as the first Holiday-themed flick set to arrive in November. Check them out below:
- Mrs Doubtfire (1993) – October 6 (US only)
- Flicka (2006) – October 6 (US only)
- The Boogeyman (2023) – October 11 (UK only)
- Betty & Coretta (2013) – October 13 (US only)
- Wrapped Up in Christmas (2017) – October 13 (US only)
- Once Upon a Studio (2023) – October 16
- Appendage (2023) – October 18 (UK only)
- Vampires Suck (2010) – October 20 (UK only)
- Dashing Through the Snow – November 17
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As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.
Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.