Feel Good Movies on Disney+ Hotstar That’ll Leave You Smiling

Want a weekend watch that will leave you smiling between household chores? Pick a feel-good movie on Disney+ Hotstar.
Feel Good Movies on Disney+ Hotstar That’ll Leave You Smiling

Taking a break to jet off on a vacation every time work is challenging or when life is life-ing too much is the dream, but not a reality for most of us. Nor is it possible to feel cheery all the time, especially when the heat wave may be giving you frizz, fatigue, and frozen food cravings.

So if you need a story about a woman who rebuilds her life with her family after her husband cheats on her, or an empowering tale of owning your quirks, or perhaps a movie about two individuals who teach each other how to live on their own terms when life has not been the kindest to them, we have some feel-good movies on Disney+ Hotstar we know you will love, with a Pixar favourite thrown in.

Hope Floats (1998)

When your husband and your best friend cause you national ridicule, what do you do?

Birdee (Sandra Bullock) decides to move back to her hometown. There, she tries to reconnect with her family, including her truth bombing-dropping estranged mother Ramona (Gena Rowlands) and her daughter Bernice (Mae Whitman), who has no idea what her dad did. She also runs into Justin (Harry Connick Jr.), the man who never stopped loving her.

Scene from Hope Floats (1998)
Scene from Hope Floats (1998)

The opening scene sets the tone with the betrayal, and the rest of the film is a feel-good movie about the journey of “going back home again” to find yourself. The feel-good aspect of this film lies in its relatability index. For the recently heartbroken, it’s the dialogue, ‘People fall in love. They fall right back out. It happens all the time.’

Whether you accept this as a practical fact or a reluctant experience, it will hit you hard either way. When you’re not feeling empathy for Birdee, you are wondering if it’s karma because she wasn’t the nicest to anyone in high school.

The film is perfect for anyone who is trying to embrace their journey of healing, one baby step at a time.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Family road trip, anyone?

This family drama is a feel-good movie on Disney+ Hotstar with a twist — you don’t get perfect characters or people who get better through the film because of their achievements.

Scene from Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Scene from Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

You are introduced to a dysfunctional family, with each member presenting unique conflicts, but they all come together to support each other through it all. Each eccentricity in this film serves a purpose, and no, that purpose is not to grow out of it but to accept it.

At the crux of the chaotic and conflicting ideals of the family members is little Olive (Abigail Breslin), who wants to win the beauty pageant. Other family members include Frank (Steve Carell), who was unsuccessful at killing himself and Dwayne (Paul Dano), a teenager who has taken a vow of silence.

The difference between “losers” and “winners” is pointed out throughout the movie, and in the end, the value of uniqueness becomes the value that ties the family together and the viewer to the film.

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

This is the kind of movie you watch when it’s raining outside, and you feel in tune with nature just enough to watch a film about animals, the wilderness, and Matt Damon.

Scene from We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Scene from We Bought a Zoo (2011)

Benjamin (Damon) quits his job and moves with his two children to the countryside property, which also has a wildlife park. This move comes at the heels of his wife’s sudden death, and Benjamin is looking forward to restarting his life.

What better way to do that than to redevelop a zoo for a neglected bunch of animals who deserve love and support in abundance, something Kelly (Scarlett Johansson) and her small staff cannot keep up with?

The soundtrack of this film, ‘Why Not’ by Jónsi, is the winner. If you want to transport your mind to a cosy environment, consider downloading the tracks from this film. Damon has given us multiple impressive performances, like Good Will Hunting (1997), and his acting in this film is right up there. Touching upon various themes of family, acceptance, and healing, the story beautifully blends human nature and animal empathy.

And if there’s one takeaway you will get from this film, it’s that ‘You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.’

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Based on the 2012 eponymous book by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars weaves together the lives of two individuals who were destined to die soon due to cancer. Hazel (Shailene Woodley) has thyroid cancer, and Augustus (Ansel Elgort) is in remission from bone cancer. They meet at a support group, and the plot unfolds with their bond growing through adventures, difficult conversations, and emotionally healing experiences.

Scene from The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Scene from The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

The feel-good aspect comes from Hazel's resistance to Augustus's approach to his disease, i.e. being irritatingly cheerful about it. Throughout the film, she leans into the fact that though it may not always come naturally, it is the best way to deal with difficulties in life, and it’s the one thing that can help you weather through them.

The tragic nature of how their story ends may leave you in tears, but the beauty is that the film, in itself, leaves you with a solution for how to deal with that sadness and every other sadness you face. Dil Bechara (2020) is a Hindi remake of this film, with Sushant Singh Rajput reprising the role of Augustus and Sanjana Sanghi as Hazel.

Inside Out (2015)

With Inside Out 2 (2024) coming out in a month, it’s the best time to give this feel-good movie on Disney+ Hotstar a watch.

Apart from having all the outstanding elements that Pixar films are known for, such as endearing characters, impressive animation, and an emotional rollercoaster of a storyline, this film will give you the chance to introspect on your inner child in the most intelligent way possible.

Scene from Inside Out (2015)
Scene from Inside Out (2015)

The story is quite simplistic: you see the life of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) unfold through the interactions of her emotions, each of which has been personified; there’s Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling).

As Riley experiences shifting to a new city with her parents, where she finds it challenging to settle down at school or even find pizza she remotely likes, all her emotions are working on overdrive.

Also Read: 7 Animated Films That Are Not Just For Kids 

While Riley works through her emotions, you will also simultaneously find the vocabulary, patience, and capability to name the emotions (we can only wish ours were also voiced by Kaling, Poehler, and the others) you are feeling, the impact of core memories, and how our emotions fight to take up space. All of that in a kids’ film? Yes, and with every rewatch, we promise you will feel good about yourself.

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