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Dive into the Magic of Disney Ocean Movies on Disney Plus

Calling all ocean lovers and fans of Disney! Disney+ has a treasure trove of ocean-themed movies and documentaries that are sure to leave you awestruck and inspired.

Whether you’re looking for thrilling adventures or heartwarming tales, these films have something for everyone.

Join me as we take a deep dive into the best Disney ocean movies on Disney Plus. From classics like The Little Mermaid to newer releases like Avatar: The Way of Water, this list has you covered.

New ocean movies and shows on Disney+ in 2023

Here’s a quick list of ocean themed movies and shows added to Disney+ this year:

  1. Aquamania (1968)
  2. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
  3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Season 1 (2023) – premieres December 20, 2023
  4. The Little Mermaid (2023)
  5. Merbabies (1938)

Animated ocean movies on Disney+

Aquamania (1968)

In this newly-restored short film, Goofy attempts to teach his son how to water ski.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

This animated film takes us on an adventure with Milo Thatch, a young historian who believes that the lost city of Atlantis exists and sets out to find it. Along the way, he meets a colorful cast of characters and encounters danger at every turn.

Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003)

This sequel to Atlantis: The Lost Empire follows Milo, Kida, and their team as they journey back to the surface world to help investigate reports of a sea creature targeting ships.

Dory’s Reef Cam (2020)

If you ever need some ocean ambiance with a Disney twist, Dory’s Reef Cam is perfect for you.

Dory’s Reef Cam is kind of like a virtual aquarium or maybe it’s like your TV is a porthole on a ship. Either way, it’s three hours of reefs, fish, and other marine life scenery.

Finding Dory (2016)

This charming and heartwarming sequel to Finding Nemo follows Dory as she sets out on a journey to find her family.

Along the way, she meets a slew of new friends and has plenty of exciting adventures.

Finding Nemo (2003)

This classic animated film tells the tale of a young clownfish named Nemo who is captured and taken to an aquarium.

His father, Marlin, sets out on a daring journey to rescue him, encountering a host of colorful characters along the way.

Lava (2015)

This short film tells the story of a lonely volcano who is looking for love. The film features a delightful song and a heartwarming tale of love and companionship.

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Promotional poster for the animated film, The Little Mermaid (Sing-Along Version).

This beloved classic tells the tale of Ariel, a mermaid who dreams of exploring the human world.

The film has catchy tunes, memorable characters, and a charming story that will absolutely capture your heart.

Check out my post Best Mermaid Movies on Disney Plus for more Ariel vibes.

Luca (2021)

Photo still from the Pixar film, Luca, with Alberto and Luca standing in the opening of a cave by the ocean.
© 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

This delightful animated film tells the story of two young sea monsters and a local girl who explore the wonders of the Italian Riviera and form a heartwarming friendship.

It’s full of catch songs, lovable characters, and memorable lines.

Also available to stream is the short film Ciao Alberto.

Merbabies (1928)

In this newly restored Silly Symphony short film, we are treated to merbabies frolicking in the ocean with other marine life.

Moana (2016)

Promotional poster for the animated film, Moana (Sing-Along Version).

This delightful film follows Moana, a brave young girl on a journey across the ocean to save her people and restore balance to the forces of nature.

The film is filled with catchy tunes, gorgeous visuals, and a thrilling story of adventure and heroism.

A sing-along version is also available to stream.

Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

This classic Muppets film puts a unique spin on the classic tale of Treasure Island.

The film is filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of silly antics from everyone’s favorite furry friends.

And while it’s not animated, it is entirely a puppet film, so, in my opinion it’s closer to being animated than live action.

Ocean themed documentaries on Disney+

Aliens of the Deep (2005)

Produced by James Cameron, this documentary takes you to the depths of the ocean to explore the strange and fascinating creatures that inhabit it.

The film uses state-of-the-art technology to capture footage that has never been seen before.

Atlantis Rising (2017)

This documentary takes you on an archaeological expedition to find the lost city of Atlantis with filmmaker James Cameron.

The film combines stunning visuals with cutting-edge science to explore the mystery surrounding this mythical city.

Back to the Titanic (2020)

Back to the Titanic takes us on an adventure back to the infamous ship’s wreckage over a century after it met its tragic fate.

We get to witness the hard work and dedication that goes into exploring such a historically significant site, all while unraveling the mysteries that still surround the disaster.

Becoming Cousteau (2021)

Jacques Cousteau during a 1970 dive.
The Cousteau Society

Becoming Cousteau is all about French explorer Jacques Cousteau and his decades-long quest to save the ocean from pollution.

Dolphin Reef (2018)

Photo still from the documentary, Dolphin Reef, with a school of dolphins swimming under water.

This documentary provides an intimate look at the lives of dolphins and the environments in which they live.

The film also tells the story of a young dolphin named Echo as he grows up and learns to navigate the challenges of life in the ocean alongside his mother, Kumu.

Drain Alcatraz (2017)

This NatGeo documentary gives us an inside look at what lies beneath the notorious Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay.

From hidden tunnels to underwater caves, the filmmakers left no stone unturned in their mission to reveal the secrets of this once-infamous prison.

Drain the Oceans (2018-22)

Two scuba divers exploring the Rouse Simmons shipwreck.
National Geographic / Troy Walsh

This documentary series uses cutting-edge technology to reveal what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.

Each episode explores a different part of the ocean, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Baltic Sea, as well as the history and legends that inhabit them.

Drain the Oceans: Mississippi and Arctic (2021)

These special episodes of Drain the Oceans focus on the Mississippi River and the Arctic Ocean, exploring the rich history and natural wonders of these two regions.

Drain the Oceans: World War II (2016)

This special episode of Drain the Oceans takes you on a journey beneath the waves to explore the mysteries of the World War II era, including sunken ships, lost planes, and hidden secrets.

Drain the Bermuda Triangle (2014)

This documentary explores the myth and legend of the Bermuda Triangle, using cutting-edge technology to reveal what lies beneath the surface of this mysterious region.

Drain the Sunken Pirate City (2017)

This special episode of Drain the Oceans takes you on a journey to explore the hidden history of a sunken pirate city.

The film combines stunning visuals with expert analysis to bring this fascinating story to life.

Drain the Titanic (2015)

This doc will sink its teeth into you with its juicy revelations about the world’s most famous shipwreck. It’s like they took the Titanic, shook it up like a cocktail, and poured out all the secrets.

From the engineering failures to the heroics of crew and passengers, the documentary really dives deep.

Giants of the Deep Blue (2018)

This documentary takes us on a journey to explore the largest creatures in the ocean, from whales to sharks to giant squid.

It combines fascinating science with stunning visuals to create a truly immersive experience.

Making the Wish: Disney’s Newest Cruise Ship (2022)

This documentary takes you behind the scenes to explore the making of Disney’s newest cruise ship, the Wish.

It combines fascinating insights with stunning visuals to showcase the magic of Disney’s latest creation.

Oceans (2009)

This documentary explores the majesty and beauty of the ocean, highlighting the incredible habitats and diverse creatures that inhabit it.

The Rescue (2021)

Two scuba divers exploring the Rouse Simmons shipwreck.
National Geographic / Troy Walsh

This heartwarming documentary follows a group of dedicated volunteers who work to rescue and rehabilitate sea animals, from sea lions to dolphins.

Scuba Sam’s World (2018)

This docuseries follows the adventures of Scuba Sam as she explores the oceans of the world.

The show is filled with fascinating insights and stunning visuals, making it a must-watch for ocean lovers.

Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures (2017)

This documentary explores the incredible natural wonders that exist beneath the waves in America’s oceans, from vibrant coral reefs to underwater canyons.

Sea Scouts (1939)

This documentary series follows a group of young people as they learn about sailing, navigation, and the wonders of the ocean.

The series is a testament to the power of education and the importance of teaching our youth about the wonders of nature.

Secrets of the Whales (2021)

Promotional poster for the National Geographic ocean documentary, Secrets of the Whales.

Secrets of the Whales spills the tea on the mystical creatures known as whales and their secret lives.

You’ll get to dive deep, quite literally, into the world of whales and see what really goes on beneath those huge bodies and enigmatic stares.

Shark documentaries

Disney+ is a treasure trove of shark documentaries from National Geographic, which is well-known for its annual Sharkfest programming.

You can find so many different shark movies to watch, so if that floats your boat, check out all the must-watch NatGeo shark docs.

Titanic: 20 Years Later with James Cameron (2017)

Our favorite alien-slaying heroine, Sigourney Weaver, hosts this documentary, while the notorious filmmaker behind the iconic movie, James Cameron, revisits the wreckage of the Titanic.

But don’t worry, this isn’t your average snooze-fest documentary. Cameron spices things up by sharing never-before-seen footage and using futuristic technology to explore the ocean floor.

What Sam Sees! (2018)

Scuba Diver Sam takes us under the sea to introduce us to all of the amazing marine life swimming around down there in this short film.

Live action ocean movies on Disney+

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

This classic film follows the journey of enigmatic Captain Nemo and his submarine crew as the captain is teetering on the brink of madness.

It’s based on the novel of the same name by Jules Verne and is a must-watch for fans of old-school adventure movies.

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Promotional poster for the film Avatar: The Way of Water.
© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Avatar: The Way of Water takes us to a new part of Pandora, where the Na’vi are one with the ocean and its fascinating creatures – and of course, there is plenty of conflict and adventure.

The sequel to Avatar brings back favorite characters like Jake Sully and Neytiri, while introducing new ones, like Kiri and Spider.

Finest Hours (2016)

Based on a true story, this movie tells the tale of a daring Coast Guard rescue mission in the midst of a brutal winter storm in 1952.

The film combines heart-pumping action with a moving story of bravery and heroism.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

This sequel to Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief follows Percy and his friends as they set out on a journey to find the mythical Golden Fleece.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

This film introduces audiences to the world of Percy Jackson and follows his adventures as he discovers that he is a demigod.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies

This beloved franchise follows the swashbuckling adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his motley crew of pirates.

The films are filled with action, adventure, and plenty of humor, making them a must-watch for fans of all ages.

Available to stream on Disney+ are:

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Shipwrecked (1991)

After a ship he is on is destroyed on a storm, Hakon is deserted on an island – only to find his ship’s crew have been captured by pirates.

Tiger Cruise (2004)

Maddie (Hayden Panettiere) desperately wants her dad to leave the US Navy so he can spend more time with the family.

But after embarking on a “tiger cruise,” where Naval families embark on a training mission out at sea together, she begins to see the importance of his job.

Treasure Island (1950)

In the 1950 film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, Treasure Island, we follow young Jim Hawkins as he sets out to find treasure with the help of the infamous Long John Silver.

Under the Sea: A Descendants Short Story (2018)

Under the Sea: A Descendants Short Story is the perfect blend of Disney magic and maritime adventure.

Starring Dove Cameron and China Anne McClain, this short film packs a wallop with its bubbly soundtrack and clever storyline.

Ocean themed shows on Disney+

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023)

Though not yet released, this highly anticipated series is based on the beloved books by Rick Riordan and follows the adventures of a young demigod named Percy Jackson.

This show premieres on Disney+ on December 20, 2023.

Shipwreck Hunters: Australia (2022)

Promotional poster for the Disney+ show, Shipwreck Hunters: Australia.

This reality series takes us on a journey to explore the shipwrecks of the Australian coast, combining fascinating history with stunning visuals to create a truly immersive experience.

The Suite Life: On Deck (2008-2010)

This beloved Disney Channel series follows the hijinks and adventures of Zack and Cody as they embark on the SS Tipton to attend high school at Seven Seas High.

Wicked Tuna (2012-2022)

First Mate Matt Mattson on the Fish Hawk on the reality series, Wicked Tuna.

Wicked Tuna is a reality series about seasoned fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It follows their lives as they battle it out on the open sea to catch the biggest and baddest bluefin tuna around.

It’s like watching a high-stakes poker game, but instead of chips and cards, it’s all about reel skills and sheer muscle.

Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks (2014-21)

Taking place solely in the salty North Carolina waters, this reality series chronicles the exciting and often back-breaking journey of fishermen who are hoping to land a prize catch of bluefin tuna.

Brace yourself for some fueled competition, friendly (and not so friendly) rivalries, and even a touch of high-spirited drama.

Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks Showdown (2022)

This reality series takes viewers on a wild ride with the bluefin tuna fishermen of North Carolina as they face off against each other in a competition that is sure to leave you hooked!

With a cast of colorful characters and a plot as unpredictable as the sea, Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks Showdown promises an adventure that will have you reeling in your seat.

Zenimation (2020-21)

While the Disney+ original series Zenimation isn’t about the ocean completely, it has three lovely episodes dedicated to the big blue and beyond.

This is secretly (or not so secretly anymore) one of my favorite shows on Disney+.

If you haven’t heard of it before, I highly recommend it. It basically takes scenes from Disney’s animated catalog and stitches them together in themes.

It’s such a fun way to relive some of your favorite movies and characters!

In the first episode of season 1, Water, we are treated to scenes featuring water with some of our favorite characters, like Moana.

Episode 9, Water Realms, expands to scenes about ocean and water focused lands, like Hawaii in Lilo & Stitch.

Last up is season 2, episode 5, Waterways where we see scenes featuring travel by water, like Ariel swimming under the sea in The Little Mermaid.

The Park Pixie’s top picks

Before you check out another post, here are my absolute top picks out of all the documentaries, shows, and movies mentioned in this post.

  1. Best show: Zenimation (2020-21)
  2. Best soundtrack: The Little Mermaid (1989)
  3. Best animated film: Finding Nemo (2003)
  4. Best documentary: Secrets of the Whales (2021)

What are your favorite Disney ocean movies and shows?

From Finding Nemo to Secrets of the Whales, Disney+ offers a ton of great ocean movies.

Whether you’re looking for something to watch on inter-island getaways or just want to add a dash of the seaside in your living room, Disney+ has you covered.

With so many aquatic adventures available, don’t forget to make some time for yours and take the time to explore the riches of the oceans from the comfort of your home.

And since any good explorer is only as good as those they bring along, why not invite your friends and family? Your voyage awaits!

Now all that’s left is to find out – what are your favorite Disney ocean movies? Let me know in the comments below.

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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This post was originally published June 17, 2023. It was last updated October 14, 2023.