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Best Movies Coming to Disney+ in January 2023


As we start the new year off with a bang, there is plenty of new content coming to our favorite streaming services to keep us entertained. While the streaming platform is mostly focusing on television with new episodes of your favorite recently released shows, Disney+ also has a handful of movies coming in January, though there are no new 2023 titles or Disney+ originals to enjoy.


Disney+ continues to bring their library up to date across all of their assets, and this month, they’re heavily focusing on updating their National Geographic documentaries. These span several different topics and all come from different times within mostly the last decade. If you want to learn something new, or just enjoy watching documentaries in general, definitely keep an eye out this month for what’s being newly added to Disney+.

MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY

Strangest Bird Alive (Jan. 6)

A pair of baby ostriches
National Geographic

The Strangest Bird Alive that this documentary refers to is the ostrich. They’ve lived and existed in the Namibian desert for over 70 million years, but frequently struggle to survive. One of their biggest challenges annually is finding the right moment to breed. They want their babies to hatch around the time it rains so that there is plenty of food and water for them to be able to grow. The beautiful nature documentary tells viewers all about these strange habits of an ostrich as well as how they live as not only the largest bird, but as flightless ones.

King Shakir Recycle (Jan. 18)

the poster for King Shakir Recycle featuring the titular character in space with trash
Cartoon Network Turkey

King Shakir Recycle is a Turkish animated movie based on Turkish TV cartoon King Shakir. The titular character is a lion who leads both the movie and the TV show as he faces different problems with his family and friends, often tackling real world issues in kid friendly ways. This movie focuses on scientists trying to solve pollution issues by collecting the trash and sending it into space with rockets. This solution doesn’t last long, however, as the trash begins to land on alien planets who don’t like that Earth’s trash is now covering their own planets, and head towards Earth for revenge.

Sharkatraz (Jan. 20)

Alcatraz Island surrounded by the bay
National Geographic

Sharkatraz is a documentary about the two things the title combines: sharks and Alcatraz. In the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz prison sits on an island as a home to many of the toughest criminals out there. In order to keep them from attempting to escape, despite the obvious security measures they had, they created stories about sharks in the water to keep them from trying to leave.

Related: Why Are Shark Movies Having Such a Big Moment?

While there are definitely sharks in the bay, some of the stories they tell, such as all the sharks only having one fin, so they constantly circle the rock, are completely made up. This documentary explores both Alcatraz and these myths as well as the different sharks you can find living in the bay.​​​​​​​

Ocean’s Breath (Jan. 20)

Ocean's Breath
National Geographic

One of the most common topics for nature documentaries is the ocean, since there’s so much out there to learn, and so much we have yet to uncover. Ocean’s Breath is no different, focusing on the coral reefs of the planet and how they are all slowly dying out. Three scientists team together in this documentary to bring us an up close and personal look at the coral reefs. They also try to track down the reason as to why they’re dying, as they’re an important part of the ocean and its life, by visiting the Dolomites, a mountain range in Italy that’s the site of an ancient coral reef now transformed into rock.

T. Rex Autopsy (Jan. 27)

The fake model of a T. Rex laid out and ready for its autopsy
National Geographic

T. Rex Autopsy might sound like something impossible at first, but it’s actually something that a team of four paleontologists did. Using the most complete T. Rex skeleton recovered, named Sue, as a reference, a silicon replica of the T. Rex is made only to be cut apart again by the paleontologists.

Related: Best TV Series Coming to Disney+ in January 2023

They use this to try and determine how large the different organs would have been in the dinosaur, as well as where they would fit within the skeletal structures they have managed to piece together. While not entirely factual and historically accurate, as we likely will never know every single thing about real dinosaurs, it’s still an interesting piece and something that helps give us a better understanding of dinosaurs

Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes (Jan. 27)

A rocket being shot into space, the smoke billowing below and scaring off a bunch of birds
National Geographic

Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes is all about the story of the space shuttle the Challenger in the days leading up to the tragedy. Using no narration or interviews, the documentary solely pieces together reports from journalists covering the story, recordings from NASA and the crew itself, and other rarely seen images and audio recordings. It brings the days and events leading up to the disaster into light, giving everyone a detailed view of what happened behind the scenes surrounding this historic and tragic event. It also has a special focus on Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian to be launched into space, and the big deal this event was for her.

American Blackout (Jan. 27)

people rush forward as they attempt to secure water bottles for themselves and their families
National Geographic

This isn’t your average documentary: American Blackout is a realistic drama exploring the possibilities of what would happen if the power grid in the United States was hacked and taken down. Since any kind of electronic device is able to be hacked into, and many other urban infrastructures will be highly affected by this, the point of this movie was to bring to life what would happen if something like this did occur.

In American Blackout, the public first thought the power would come back on shortly after it went out, but as the ten days it was off continue, the country falls into anarchy as people began to struggle to feed themselves and their families, as well as protect them.



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