10 of our Favorite Disney Science Fiction Films
Disney has some great movies in the realm of science fiction. Here are but 10 films we recommend watching. All of them except John Carter are currently available on Disney+, although John Carter is on Netflix and will be on Disney+ on May 2. What Disney science fiction films are your favorites?
TRON is a wonderful technological fantasy in which software developer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) gets zapped into his video game world. In the game, he goes by CLU and he meets two other programs named TRON (Bruce Boxleitner) and Yori (Cindy Morgan). Together they must protect the mainframe from the MCP and his right hand program Sark.
The Black Hole
By the late 1970s, Star Wars had taken the world by storm and everybody wanted in on the action. In 1979, Disney developed its own space opera The Black Hole. The crew of the Palamino finds a large ship at the precipice of a black hole. The ship is headed by Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell) and his armada of faceless drones. The crew soon realize something sinister is going on and realize the drones are actually zombie like humans. What is the crew to do?
If ever there was a film to suffer from bad marketing, it was John Carter, which is a shame because the film is actually quite good. The original story, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, was actually one of the influences of Star Wars. You can definitely see the influences. It's about a space opera about a ex-Confederate soldier who suddenly finds himself on Barsoom (otherwise known as Mars). John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) must help the princess save her people.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back is considered the best of the Star Wars films. It's incredibly strong in its dramatic narrative and, at the time, sequels were relatively unheard of. So, people were incredibly happy to see their favorite characters coming back tour de force. Following the events of A New Hope, we see the rebellion scattered after the Imperial attack on Hoth. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) goes to train with Yoda while the others try to reconnect with the rebellion. All of the character end up on Bespin where we see Han Solo (Harrison Ford) frozen in carbonite to be brought to Jabba the Hutt and Luke learns the truth about Darth Vader.
Treasure Planet is a film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The film basically follows the premise of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island except it takes place in outer space. A young Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Leavitt) heads off on the ship of John Silver (Brian Murphy) to make his fortune although life is not as glamorous as he originally thought it would be. And he doesn't know if he can trust Silver. But, he soon becomes a member of the crew and saves the ship from certain destruction using his ingenuity. It's a great little film that doesn't get the attention it deserves.
Flight Of The Navigator
I remember when this film came out and thinking how much I wanted to be the boy David (Joey Cramer) who becomes psychically linked to a space ship. With the help of the inhabitants aboard, he must help them escape earth before the military gets ahold of the ship. It's a great family fun film for sure.
The Absent Minded Professor
The Absent Minded Professor is an absolute Disney classic. It is about an inventor named Professor Brainard (Fred MacMurray) who develops a rubbery substance which he calls Flubber. Flubber allows things to get an extra lift. For example, he put it on the bottom of basketball shoes allowing players to jump higher. Brainard wants to get his formula out there, but is constantly being thwarted by Alonzo Hawk (Keenan Wynn) who wants to make a fortune on Flubber. But, as all stories go, good always wins.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Atlantis: The Lost Empire is the 41st film from Walt Disney Animation Studios and one of the most different. The movie's graphic style is heavily influenced by Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy. It involves a young cartographer and linguist by the name of Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox) who gets to go on the adventure of a lifetime in search of the lost empire of Atlantis. It's in the lost world that Milo becomes charged with the responsibility of working with Princess Kida (Cree Summers) to save Atlantis from oncoming threats.
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Another Disney classic, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is based on a book by Jules Verne. This film was one of the first films shot in Cinemascope. In this movie, Professor Pierre M. Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre) go on an expedition to search for a sea monster. During their search, they and their harpooner Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) are thrown overboard during an attack by the monster, but they discover the monster is actually a submarine called the Nautilus piloted by the maniacal Captain Nemo (James Mason). Will the men escape the clutches of Nemo?
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes features a young Kurt Russell who was a big Disney star at the time. The story revolves around Russell's character Dexter who is part of a group that persuades businessman A.J. Arno (Cesar Romero) to donate his computer to them. During a thunderstorm, Dexter gets zapped and gains all the knowledge of the computer. The thing is that Arno also runs an illegal gambling ring and his information was on it. Troubles arise when Dexter starts giving away details of the gambling ring!