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24 Black Movies on Disney Plus to Watch for Black History Month

February stands out as a time to honor and celebrate Black history, culture, and contributions.

On Disney+, there are a ton of movies that offer a chance to dive deep into stories of determination, resilience, and joy that mark Black History Month.

And when I say a ton, I mean a ton! It can be hard to narrow down what to watch, so I pulled together a list of my favorites, plus I’ll show you how you can find even more.

Keep reading for my curated collection of the 24 best Black movies on Disney Plus.

Best Black movies based on a true story

Disney+ features a compelling collection of movies that span genres and eras, shedding light on the lives, struggles, and achievements of real-life Black individuals.

Whether it’s to learn, reflect, or simply enjoy great storytelling, these Black movies based on a true story are sure to leave a lasting impact.

Betty and Coretta (2013)

Director: Yves Simoneau
Starring: Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 28 min
Best for: History buffs and fans of powerful dramas

This film tells the story of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige) after their husbands, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, were assassinated.

The women show strength and empowerment as they come together to continue their husbands’ work in fighting racial injustice, all while coping with their loss and being single mothers.

The Color of Friendship (2000)

Director: Kevin Hooks
Starring: Lindsey Haun, Shadia Simmons
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 27m
Best for: Younger audiences and families discussing race relations

A Disney Channel original movie based on the true story of a white South African exchange student, Mahree (Haun), who comes to live with a Black American family and their daughter, Piper (Simmons), in DC during apartheid.

The girls must overcome their assumptions of each other, highlighting the importance of empathy and understanding.

Cool Runnings (1993)

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Starring: John Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 1 hr 38 min
Best for: Fans of underdog stories and feel-good films, 90s kids

Based on the true story of Jamaica’s first bobsled team competing in the Winter Olympics, this movie showcases a group of determined individuals breaking barriers and inspiring others along the way.

Glory Road (2006)

Director: James Gartner
Starring: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Mehcad Brooks
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 58 min
Best for: Basketball fans and advocates for social justice

The film recounts the inspiring true story of the 1966 Texas Western University basketball team, with the first all-Black starting lineup, on their journey to the NCAA national championship with their coach, Don Haskins (Josh Lucas).

Hidden Figures (2016)

Promotional poster for the movie Hidden Figures, featuring Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer.
© 2017 20th Century Fox.

Director: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, Octavia Spencer
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hr 7 min
Best for: Fans of history and space exploration

This film celebrates the real-life story of 3 brilliant Black women at NASA, Mary Jackson (Monae), Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer), who played a vital role in the success of astronaut John Glenn’s orbit around Earth.

Queen of Katwe (2016)

Director: Mira Nair
Starring: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hr 4 min
Best for: Aspiring underdogs and chess enthusiasts

An inspiring true story of a young girl in Uganda, Phiona Maltesi (Nalwanga), who discovers she has a talent for the game of Chess, changing her life forever.

Red Tails (2012)

Promotional poster for the historical movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails. There are World War II era plane in the sky, with flames and smoke all around.
© 2012 20th Century Fox.

Director: Anthony Hemingway
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Michael B. Jordan, Method Man, Ne-Yo, Leslie Odom Jr.
Genre: Action/Adventure
Duration: 2 hr 5 min
Best for: Aviation buffs, history fanatics, and action lovers

This film tells the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of Black pilots in the Army who fought in World War II, a time of segregation both in the military and at home.

Remember the Titans (2000)

Director: Boaz Yakin
Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Donald Faison, Ethan Suplee
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 53 min
Best for: Lovers of football and stories about unity

This dramatized tale follows the true story of a newly-integrated high school football team in Virginia who fight to overcome racial tension in the community so they can unify and win.

Rise (2022)

Promotional poster for the Disney+ original film, Rise.
Photo: Disney+

Director: Akin Omotoso
Starring: Uche Agada, Dayo Akeniyi, Elijah Sholanke
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 53 min
Best for: Fans of basketball and heartwarming family stories

This Disney+ original film tells th story of the Antetokounmpo family and their journey from Nigeria to Greece and eventually to the NBA.

It’s an inspiring underdog tale about family ties, grit, and 3 brothers with dreams big enough to make it happen.

Ruby Bridges (1998)

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Starring: Chaz Monet, Michael Beach, Penelope Ann Miller
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 36 min
Best for: Families and history enthusiasts

This film follows the real-life story of 6-year-old Ruby Bridges, who became the first Black student to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans in 1960.

It does a great job of portraying her bravery and determination in the face of adversity.

Safety (2020)

Photo still from the Disney+ movie, Safety, featuring Ray and Fahmarr peaking around a corner of a building.
Photo by Chuck Zlotnik. © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Reginald Hudlin
Starring: Jay Reeves, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Corinne Foxx
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hr 2 min
Best for: Everyone who believes in brotherhood and beating the odds

Another great Disney+ original film that tells the touching true story of Ray McElrathbey, a former Clemson University football player who took in his 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr, due to his mother’s struggles with substance abuse.

Can he juggle the game, school, and parenting? You have to watch to find out!

Best fictional Black movies on Disney+

If you’ve been through the historical and biographical films, how about some fictional films that tell important stories and celebrate Black culture?

Here are my favorite fictional movies to watch for Black History Month – or really, any time of the year!

Black is King (2020)

Promotional still of Beyonce from her visual album film on Disney+, Black is King.
© 2020 Parkwood Entertainment.

Director: Emmanuel Adjei, Ibra Ake, Blitz Bazawule
Starring: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Jay-Z
Genre: Visual album
Duration: 1 hr 25 min
Best for: Music lovers and those looking for a cultural celebration

If you’re not a member of the Bey-hive, like myself, then you may not know that Beyoncé is very well known for her stunning visual films that accompany her albums.

Disney+ gave the queen herself the platform for one of her latest, Black is King, and it is STUNNING.

The film includes many of the lessons from The Lion King and is bursting with vibrant colors, sensational songs, and powerful messages of beauty, strength, and resilience.

Black Panther (2018)

Director: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
Genre: Action
Duration: 2 hr 14 min
Best for: Fans of Marvel and those interested in Afrofuturism

This groundbreaking Marvel film not only thrills with its action-packed sequences but also dives deep into themes of heritage, identity, and responsibility.

It follows T’Challa (Boseman), the King of Wakanda, as he fights to protect his hidden African nation and embrace his role as the Black Panther.

Also available on Disney+ is the follow-up film, Wakanda Forever, which follows the exposure of Wakanda to the rest of the world and the death of Chadwick Boseman in real life.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)

Director: Robert Iscove
Starring: Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Paolo Montalban, Whoopi Goldberg
Genre: Musical, Romance
Duration: 1 hr 28 min
Best for: Romantics at heart and lovers of fairy-tale endings

This enchanting retelling of the classic tale of Cinderella was an absolute game-changer in the 90s.

It stars two of the most iconic Black artists of that time in the top roles, Brandy Norwood as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother.

Doctor Who: The Church on Ruby Road (2023)

Promotional poster for Doctor Who: Special 4 - The Church on Ruby Road, featuring Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor.
Photo: Disney+

Director: Mike Tonderai
Starring: Ncuti Gatwa, Millie Gibson,
Genre: Science Fiction, Christmas
Duration: 56 min
Best for: Sci-fi geeks

The BBC made history when they cast the first Black actor to play lead role, aka The Doctor, in the phenomenal sci-fi series, Doctor Who.

While not a Disney produced series, the streaming service struck a deal with BBC to import some of its content for viewers – and we were lucky enough to get one of its Christmas films, Doctor Who: The Church on Ruby Road, starring Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor.

TIP: If you go into Disney+, this is likely listed under the name Doctor Who: Special 4, rather than its original title.

Haunted Mansion (2023)

Promotional poster for the 2023 movie, Haunted Mansion, styled after The Tower tarot card, with a photo of Travis in the middle.
© 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Justin Simien
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Lakeith Stanfield, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 2 hr 4 min
Best for: Lovers of spooky fun and family adventure movies

The iconic Haunted Mansion ride gets an all-new story set in New Orleans, with an ensemble cast featuring some of today’s top Black actors: Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Tiffany Haddish, and LaKeith Stanfield.

The story follows a single mom (Dawson) and her son (Dillon), who move into a haunted mansion after the death of their husband/dad.

And while the movie suggests lots of scares, it actually takes a more comedic route!

The Little Mermaid (2023)

Promotional poster for the 2023 live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, with Ariel sitting on a rock under the sea and supporting characters in the background.
© 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay
Genre: Musical
Duration: 2 hr 15 min
Best for: Fans of classic Disney fairy tales and new-wave musicals

The classic tale of The Little Mermaid comes to life with singer and actress Halle Bailey as Ariel.

With catchy tunes that’ll have you humming Under the Sea all week long, plus a treasure trove of new songs, this splashy spectacle promises to be a tidal wave of enchantment for the young and the young-at-heart.

Animated Black movies on Disney+

Disney is perhaps best known for their animated films, both feature length and short. Here are a few of my favorite animated Black movies on Disney+.

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Voiced by: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey, John Goodman, Terrence Howard
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 37 min
Best for: Family audiences and fans of fairy tales with a twist

In this animated tale, Disney finally gave us our first Black princess.

The story follows the tale of a young woman, Tiana, in New Orleans who dreams of opening her own restaurant and is hard at work to make it happen.

And just as she is about to make it happen, a chance encounter with a frog sets her on an adventure she never saw coming!

The Proud Family Movie (2005)

Director: Bruce W. Smith
Voiced by: Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, Paula Jai Parker, Jo Marie Payton, Orlando Brown, Arsenio Hall
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Best for: Familial bonding and fans of the original series

In this movie based on the original series, Penny Proud sets off on a tropical vacation with her family instead of celebrating her sweet 16 with her friends back at home.

Everything does not go smoothly when an evil scientist tries to steal her dad’s secret multiplying formula so he can take over the world.

Also available to stream is The Proud Family series, as well as the Disney+ original reboot, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.

Self (2024)

Director: Searit Huluf
Voiced by: Searit Huluf
Genre: Drama, Short
Duration: 6 min
Best for: Fans of thought-provoking and heartfelt stories

This short film follows the story of a wooden doll who struggles to find her place in the world and longs to be like others.

It’s a lovely story about embracing yourself and what makes you different.

Soul (2020)

Promotional poster for the theatrical release of Pixar's Soul.
© 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Questlove, Daveed Diggs
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hr 40 min
Best for: Dreamers and music enthusiasts of all ages

In this Pixar original story, we encounter Joe, who has always dreamed of becoming a Jazz musician and just as it seems it might happen, he gets into an accident that sends him on a side quest he never could have imagined.

Strange World (2022)

Promotional poster for the animated Disney movie, Strange World.
© 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Don Hall
Starring: Gabrielle Union, Jaboukie Young-White, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Lucy Liu
Genre: Adventure
Duration: 1 hr 42 min
Best for: Blended families and adventurers

In this fun animated original story, we follow a family of adventurers who must save a plant that is a source of energy.

It’s a wonderful story that I’m sure a lot of families can relate to (especially if you’ve experienced conflict), plus it has Disney’s first openly queer character!

Twenty Something (2021)

Promotional still from the short film, Twenty Something, on Disney+.
© 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Aphton Corbin
Voiced by: Kaylin Price, Ariana Brown, Aliyah Taylor
Genre: Drama, Short
Duration: 8 min
Best for: Anyone who’s ever struggled with adulting

This Sparkshorts film explores what its like becoming an adult and always feeling like you’re a little behind everyone else.

Us Again (2021)

Director: Zach Parrish
Genre: Romance, Short
Duration: 7 min
Best for: Hopeless romantics

This lovely short film follows a story of an older couple as they reminisce about their younger, dance-filled years.

BONUS: 3 Black movies coming to Disney+ in the future

If you’re worried about selections being stale through the remainder of the year or for next year’s Black History Month – don’t be! Disney+ has some excellent options coming down the pipeline.

Wish (2023)

Promotional poster for the animated Disney movie, Wish.
© 2023 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Director: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Voiced by: Ariana DeBose, Natasha Rothwell, Chris Pine, Evan Peters, Victor Garber
Genre: Animation
Duration: 1 hr 35 min
Best for: Dreamers

Released in theaters in November 2023, Wish tells the story of Asha (DeBose), a young Black-Hispanic girl who bravely stands up for others in her family and community against a devious King who grants wishes – with a catch.

While Disney has not yet announced when the film will hit their streaming platforms yet, based on past films’ theater-to-streaming timeline, it might debut in February 2023. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one!

Captain America: Brave New World (2025)

Director: Julius Onah
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Carl Lumbly, Harrison Ford, Liv Tyler
Genre: Action
Duration: TBD
Best for: Marvel fans, especially of Captain America and the Falcon

Not much is known about the plot of this film thus yet, but we do know that during the mini series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, The Falcon becomes the newest Captain America after the position is left vacant when the original Cap (played by Chris Evans) dies in Avengers: Endgame.

Captain America: Brave New World is set to release in theaters on February 14, 2025, so hopefully we’ll see it on Disney+ by Summer 2025.

Blade (2025)

Promotional logo for the upcoming film from Marvel Studios, Blade.
© 2022 MARVEL.

Director: Yann Demange
Starring: Mahershala Ali
Genre: Action
Duration: TBD
Best for: Marvel fans

Marvel announced that part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 6 will include a standalone film based on the iconic character, Blade, with Mahershala Ali in the titular role.

Not much is known about the plot of the movie thus yet. However, as it stands, the release date has been set for November 7, 2025 – so we won’t see this hit Disney+ until 2026. Perhaps in time for Black History Month 2026?

How to find more Black movies on Disney Plus

Without a doubt, after watching all of the excellent Black movies on this list, you’ll be wanting more.

Sign in to Disney+ and select the Search button. From there, scroll until you find the Black Stories collection.

This collection includes different categories of movies, shows, and documentaries that feature Black stories, actors, and directors.

Sometimes you’ll also see this collection in the featured content slider on the home page.

What are your favorite Black movies on Disney+?

Throughout Black History Month, let each day be a celebration of Black narratives – some that bring out a laugh, others that may prompt tears, but all enriching.

The 24 movies listed here on Disney+ are impactful stories that are certain to foster greater understanding and appreciation.

With these films, we find not just entertainment but also education on perseverance, innovation, and the transformative power of believing in oneself. They are not just movies; they’re windows into experiences, dreams, and realities.

So sit back, start streaming, and honor Black History Month with these unforgettable cinematic gems on Disney+.

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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