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7 Movies to watch on Disney+ during Black History Month

Movies tackle tough-to-talk-about topics with stories of resilience

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If you’re looking for a kid-friendly way to enjoy black talent and learn a bit of history, Disney+ has decent options that tackle tough topics. You can turn to these films to learn something new during Black History Month or just to revisit some classics.

Remember the Titans

Some call it a sports film classic but it’s packed with historical significance and how a game meant much more than a score.

“Remember the Titans” tells the true story of African-American head coach Herman Boone and his attempt of integrating the T. C. Williams High School team in Virginia. The movie takes place in 1971, 17 years after the Supreme Court ruled segregation in schools to be unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board Education case. Integration looked different across the country, but the film narrows in on what it looked like for a young team of athletes.

Watch the trailer below.

The Color of Friendship

A progressive Disney original film that only aired on Disney Channel, “The Color of Friendship” tackles the complicated topic of apartheid in South Africa in a kid-friendly way.

The 2000 film follows the story of two girls: Piper Dellums, a black girl living in Washington D.C. with her congressman father and Mahree Bok, a white South African who comes into the Dellums’ home as a foreign exchange student. Bok only knows life in the apartheid, confused by the Dellums’ family structure and U.S. race relations. In the end, she returns home with a different perspective.

Watch the trailer below.

Up, Up and Away

Before there were the Incredibles, there were the Marshalls.

“Up, Up and Away” features a black family of superheroes with the youngest member, Scott, trying to see if he’ll one day get superpowers himself. The 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie follows the superhero rule book with an unsuspecting villain trying to capture the heroes, leaving Scott to prove himself -- powers or no powers. He uses friendship, bravery and some wit to save his family and tackle middle school.

The film has been praised to feature a whole family of black superheroes and giving kids the message that you can be super all on your own.

Disney classics. (Courtesy of Disney+)
Disney classics. (Courtesy of Disney+) (WKMG)

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The Proud Family Movie

From series to Disney Channel Original Movie, “The Proud Family Movie” still brings the laughs and subtle historical references.

In the 2005 film, originally meant to serve as the series finale, the Proud family goes on vacation but their getaway quickly gets hijacked by Dr. Carver. Turns out, Carver is the great-great-grandson of George Washington Carver, the most prominent black scientist of the 20th century and known for his work with peanuts.

His great-great-grandson keeps his peanut legacy alive by trying to make a ‘Genome Warrior,' and turns out he’s working on a humanoid peanut army. After learning Oscar Proud is working to make his Proud snacks tastier and has come up with a formula with no expiration date, Dr. Carver comes up with an elaborate plan to invite the Proud family to vacation on his island where the island natives -- short peanut creatures -- eventually get in on the hijinks.

It’s a wild story and safe for those with peanut allergies.

Disney classics.
Disney classics.

Ruby Bridges

Never underestimate the bravery of a child.

“Ruby Bridges” tells the real-life story of one of the first African-American children to attend school in the Deep South. The 1998 film rewinds to the early stages of integration. Six-year-old Ruby is the only first-grader chosen to attend an all-white school elementary school in New Orleans in 1960 due to her impressive test scores. Beyond the challenge of attending a new school, she is subjected to the harsh realities of racism for the very first time.

Guided by the love of her mom and dad, her heroic struggle for a better education became a statement. She went to school to learn but taught the nation a lesson.

Watch the trailer below.

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Glory Road

If you’re looking for a sports drama based on a true story with a championship ending, look no further than the “Glory Road.”

The 2006 film follows head coach Don Haskins and his goal of creating the best college basketball team -- even if that meant having an all-black starting lineup. It was no secret the University of Texas at El Paso lacked financial resources usually used to recruit the best players and build a star athletic program, but Haskins was determined to build the best team regardless of race.

His University of Texas at El Paso team would become the first all-black college basketball team in NCAA history, a feat that was met with its own tribulations in 1966. Haskins learned the Deep South wasn’t very forgiving to his talented athletes due to the color of their skin, the detail is quickly forgotten after their well-deserved NCAA championship win.

Watch the trailer below.

The Princess and The Frog

Disney gave the world its first black princess in 2009 and it was hard not to fall in love with Tiana.

Tiana starts off as a hardworking and ambitious waitress, working early mornings and late nights to save money to open the finest restaurant in New Orleans. In her quest to earn the final funds to open her restaurant, she meets Prince Naveen in frog-form. Mistaking her for a princess, he requests a kiss turning the two into the slimy amphibians.

“The Princess and the Frog” brought a modern twist to a Brothers Grimm fairy tale classic as Disney returned to its roots of traditional animation. Writers wanted their animated return to be “a princess movie for people who don’t like princess movies.” Each character has their own situation to sort through, from Tiana’s dilemma of buying the building for her restaurant to Prince Naveen trying to get back in his family’s good graces by marrying a princess.

Their adventure to make their dreams come true came with a bit of little elbow grease, making friends along the way and voodoo all in New Orleans fashion.

Watch the trailer below.

Did you find any other movies on Disney+ that should be on this list? Send them my way at gnunez@wkmg.com.


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