Best Documentaries on Disney Plus

If you love learning about nature, you’ll find some of the best documentaries on Disney Plus! If you don’t have a Disney+ account yet and you love learning in entertaining ways, it’s time to sign up!

Screenshot of documentary films and shows streaming on the Disney Plus platform.

Disney Plus, one of my family’s favorite streaming platforms, offers some of the most treasured animated classics like the “Little Mermaid” and “Lion King” and the films from the expansive universe of Marvel comics. Additionally, it includes some of the best documentaries that provide an intimate look into the wonders of the natural world, creative processes, history and much more.

These documentaries range from tales of the Animal Kingdom in nature documentaries like “Disney Nature African Cats” and “Disney Nature Bears” to fascinating historical records in “Apollo Missions to the Moon” and “Lost Treasures of the Maya”. Some are produced by the Disney streaming platform itself, and you’ll also find many contributions from National Geographic.

There’s truly something worth watching for everyone and every taste, so to make the process of finding something to watch with your family easier, I’ve put together a list of the best documentaries on Disney+!

The Space Race

Rated G. 1 hour 30 minutes.

This National Geographic documentary uncovers the little-known story behind the race to put the first black man into space.

A Real Bug’s Life

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

This captivating docuseries is inspired by the world of Disney and Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Narrated by Awkwafina, the series will give you an incredible journey into nine different micro bug worlds around the globe.


Rated TV-14. 1 season.

Queens on Disney+ is a docuseries narrated by Angela Bassett, showcasing female animals like elephants and hyenas leading their groups. It highlights how these animal leaders protect and guide their families in nature.

Disney Nature African Cats

Rated G. 1 hour 30 minutes.

This stunning nature documentary follows the epic journey of African lions and cheetahs in the Kalahari Desert, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. It offers a true-life adventure that animal lovers will find enthralling.

Disney Nature Bears

Rated G. 1 hour 18 minutes.

Shot in the heart of America’s most remote wilderness, this documentary showcases the exciting and touching journey of a family of grizzly bears. It beautifully captures the thrills and dangers that these creatures encounter in their everyday lives, making it a remarkable watch.

Disney Nature Born in China

Rated G. 1 hour 20 minutes.

The film captures intimate moments with a panda and her growing cub, a young golden monkey, and a mother snow leopard in the wilds of China. Narrated by John Krasinski, it offers a rare and touching look at the relationships and growth of these animals in the natural world.

Atlantis Rising

Rated TV-PG. 1 hour 34 minutes.

This feature-length documentary, led by James Cameron and a team of experts, explores the sunken city of Atlantis. It is a unique blend of history and innovative technology, presenting an intriguing adventure that seeks to uncover the mysteries of the past.

Disney Nature Chimpanzee

Rated G. 1 hour 19 minutes.

A true story that follows the heartwarming journey of a young chimpanzee named Oscar and his adoptive adult male in the tropical jungles of South America. This poignant narrative offers a fascinating insight into the complex social structure and survival strategies of these primates.

Free Solo

Rated PG. 1 hour 41 minutes.

Also available to watch on Hulu, this 2019 Oscar-winning documentary showcases Alex Honnold’s breathtaking, rope-less climb in Yosemite National Park. It not only captures the physical rigors of this daring feat but also delves into the emotional resilience and singular focus of Honnold.

Giants of the Deep Blue

Rated PG. 44 minutes.

This documentary dives into the deep blue sea, revealing the majestic creatures that inhabit the world’s oceans, from the Okavango Delta to the coral reefs of the Pacific. It offers a stunning glimpse into the fascinating underwater world and its rich biodiversity.

Disney Nature Wings of Life

Rated G. 1 hour 21 minutes.

Narrated by Meryl Streep, this film is an enchanting love letter to the pollinators of the world. It provides an intimate look at butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, bats, and flowers, and underscores the crucial role they play in maintaining our ecosystems.

Apollo Missions to the Moon

Rated PG. 1 hour 35 minutes.

This comprehensive historical account of NASA’s Apollo program uses archival footage and exclusive interviews. It provides an in-depth look at man’s first journey to the moon, shedding light on the challenges, triumphs, and human determination that made it possible.

Before the Flood

Rated TV-14. 1 hour 36 minutes.

Produced by and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this documentary showcases the dramatic changes occurring around the world due to climate change. Moreover, it emphasizes the actions that we, as individuals and as a society, can take to prevent catastrophic disruption and ensure a sustainable future.

How Dogs Got Their Shapes

Rated PG. 44 minutes.

Narrated by Jane Lynch, this light-hearted and educational documentary explores the fascinating science behind why different breeds of dogs have different shapes and sizes. It provides insights into the evolutionary, genetic, and environmental factors that have shaped our canine companions.

Secrets of the Zoo

Rated TV-14. 5 seasons.

Offering an insider’s view of one of the nation’s best and most popular zoos, this series provides a behind-the-scenes look at animal care, conservation, and wildlife management. It’s a riveting exploration of the diverse and complex roles that zoos play in preserving and protecting animal species.

Great Migrations

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

This breathtaking documentary series takes viewers around the world on the arduous journeys that millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species. It captures the marvels of the animal kingdom and the astounding lengths they go to for survival and propagation.

Welcome to Earth

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

Led by Chris Hemsworth, this series offers a closer look at the marvels of our planet, from the depths of the oceans to the peaks of mountains. Each episode offers an immersive and awe-inspiring look at the wonders and mysteries of the natural world around us.

Lost Treasures of the Maya

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

In this documentary series, a team of experts uses new technology to reveal the secrets of an ancient mega-city. They delve into the civilization and culture of the Maya, unearthing insights about this remarkable civilization and their architectural and technological innovations.

The Imagineering Story

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

This insightful six-part series delves into the captivating 67-year history of Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative force behind Walt Disney World and other iconic Disney parks. Serving as a fascinating blend of artist studio, design center, think tank, and innovation laboratory, it’s an essential watch for Disney fans and those curious about the imaginative process behind the magic.

Waking Sleeping Beauty

Rated PG. 1 hour 27 minutes.

This documentary gives viewers a rare inside look at the conflict, drama and tension that ushered in the ‘Disney Renaissance’, a decade of unparalleled creativity and success for the Walt Disney Animation Studios. From ‘The Little Mermaid’ to ‘The Lion King’, this film covers an era of transformation and revitalization for the company.

Dolphin Reef

Rated G. 1 hour 18 minutes.

Narrated by Natalie Portman, this film introduces us to Echo, a young bottlenose dolphin who must navigate the complex social structure of the pod and the coral reef he calls home. A treat for animal lovers, it provides a glimpse into the rich biodiversity found in our oceans.

Empire of Dreams

Rated TV-14. 2 hours 30 minutes.

The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy: This documentary, rich with behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews, offers an in-depth look at the making of the original Star Wars trilogy. A must-watch for Star Wars fans and film enthusiasts, it shines a light on the creative process of George Lucas and his team.

The Pixar Story

Rated TV-G. 1 hour 31 minutes.

Offering a look at the humble beginnings and the pioneering work of the animation studio, this documentary narrated by Stacy Keach chronicles Pixar’s rise from a small, struggling group to a groundbreaking, Oscar-winning animation powerhouse. This documentary is a true testament to creativity, innovation, and resilience.


Rated PG. 1 hour 30 minutes.

Directed by Brett Morgen, “Jane” is a critically acclaimed documentary providing an intimate look into the life and work of Jane Goodall, a ground-breaking researcher who revolutionized our understanding of primates. The film combines archival footage from her research in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park and interviews with Jane herself, giving us an inspiring portrait of her dedication to studying and protecting chimpanzees.

These films and series are one of the best ways to explore the natural world, learn about historical events, understand the creative process behind Disney classics and delve into topics as diverse as climate change and the story of Star Wars. While I enjoy these Disney Plus documentaries, there are many other documentary films and shows to watch on the streaming service too.

It’s clear that whether you’re a fan of the animal kingdom, a history enthusiast, or a Star Wars fan, Disney Plus has a documentary for you, making it one of the most well-rounded and appealing streaming platforms available today. If you didn’t find something new to watch here, there is plenty to watch on other streaming services too, so check out my lists of the best documentaries on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video next!

Or consider signing up for an affordable Curiosity Stream subscription. You’ll find films and shows on almost any subject you can think of. And, it’s less than $20 per year! Read my Curiosity Stream review to learn more.

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