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Disney Plus: the best movies and shows to stream in 2023

by Stewart Cole

Disney Plus is a service based primarily on the core brands of the Marvel company, Star Wars, and Disney — and that hasn't changed much this year. The new 2023 releases were still dominated by superheroes and Jedi, but there were some Na'vi and Time Lords. In fact, this year the service's offerings have been particularly solid for sci-fi fans, with stories spanning several galaxies and timelines. If you're new to Disney Plus, here are some first-run movies and shows.

From its first season, filled with branching timelines and retro-futuristic technology, Loki has carved out its own distinct space within the MCU while still connecting to (and influencing) the wider multiverse. It's something you can enjoy on its own or as part of a larger story. And that remains true in Season 2, which continues the time travel shenanigans with a new level of existential threats and some great new characters like OB (Ke Huy Quan). It doesn't look like we'll be getting a third season anytime soon (if ever), so now is a good time to catch up on the whole thing.

With so much Star Wars series now streaming on Disney Plus, Ahsoka he had to do something different to stand out. And while there are some disappointing elements to the show's first season — namely how it almost requires knowledge from the Clone Wars animated show — the series still got a lot right. That is, he really dug into his most magical elements Star Wars fable, with lots of cool ancient ruins and some scary witches. At one point there was even a flaming sword. No, it might not have peaked Andorbut it was still an elegant excuse to jump back to the galaxy far, far away.

We're now three seasons deep into the adventures of Din Djarin and Grogu, and while Baby Yoda's luster may have worn off somewhat, it remains a fun weekly excursion into the depths of Star Wars lore. Season 3 didn't tie up every loose end and, at times, felt a little too safe. But it had moody underground exploration and Jack Black and Lizzo as galactic royalty. It also ended on a surprisingly warm note – although it's unlikely we've seen the last of Mando and his little friend.

If you are tired of a lot of live action Star WarsThe Visions The anthology takes things in a completely different direction. The first volume focused on Japanese-style anime and had everything from a rock opera to a samurai duel. The latest batch of episodes, meanwhile, broadens the field with animated shorts from around the world. The result is a huge range of styles and tones — some are cute, some are terrifying, and one is even stop-motion.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The Guardians have always existed largely outside of the wider MCU. Yes, there are links and guest appearances, but you can also enjoy this trilogy on your own. The third story wraps things up with plenty of sentimentality—animal lovers, keep some tissues handy—but also maintains the family atmosphere and cosmic sci-fi he's created GotG such a blow to begin with. And if you're still in need of some Drax and friends, there's a special holiday treat too.

Werewolf By Night it might be the most experimental – and standalone – piece of the MCU to date. It's a nearly hour-long special that debuted in black and white and features zero big-name Marvel heroes or villains. Instead, it's a scary morsel of classic horror, harkening back to classic monster movies and which (at least at the moment) seems to have no significant connection to the rest of the cinematic universe. No background view required. It's just 50 minutes of pulpy fun, and you can even watch it in color now.

Doctor Who: The Star Beast

A trio of Doctor Who The specials help celebrate the show's 60th anniversary while also ushering in a new era on Disney Plus. And things started very well The Star Beast. The special brings back some fan favorites – David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna – along with a very creepy Furby-like creature called Meep. It has heart and sci-fi nonsense and surprisingly good production values. Just the thing to draw fans back ahead of Ncuti Gatwa's run.

The biggest movie of 2022 is now streaming from the comfort of your home, which will make it more than three hours long. The Water Road it is, if nothing else, a visual spectacle, the kind on which James Cameron has built his career. It's very similar to the first film, but wetter, which means some incredible underwater sequences and even a talking whale. The sequel also sets up a lot more to come, which is good — because Cameron has big plans.

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