As winter marches on, it’s the perfect time of year to cozy up inside and enjoy some compelling content. Three of the top streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime — are offering up plenty of options in February, from sweet romances to riveting dramas, animated adventures to (of course) superheroes.
We’ve rounded up all that’s coming to these popular platforms in February 2021, as well as highlighted some shows and films you definitely don't want to miss.
The first of several Marvel Cinematic Universe shows to debut on Disney+ this year continues to play every Friday in February, culminating its eight-episode run at the end of the month.
While we’ve already watched a few episodes of this clever, mysterious story about two of our most powerful heroes, there’s still much more to learn, especially when it comes to tying into other characters and stories. We also love that this first MCU TV show fully embraces the style of beloved suburban sitcoms through the decades. We can’t want to see what happens next.
Every month, Disney releases a behind-the-scenes look at a particular show, series, franchise, or studio, and every month it’s a pretty riveting piece of content. This documentary short series looks at the people behind Pixar and what their various jobs entail on a day-to-day basis. This collection features five different people — and we’re particularly interested in the pastry chef and the production assistant.
We’re excited for this live-action family film about a young girl and her superpowered squirrel named Ulysses who pair up to go on unlikely adventures. The trailer finds Flora pining over the greatness of superheroes. Marvel characters naturally populate the pages, which seems a little amusing since Squirrel Girl is a lighthearted Marvel comics star and one that fans have been clamoring for. This may not be exactly that, but it's sure to delight and entertain younger audiences.
At long last, one of the most beloved Disney properties makes it to the streaming service with “The Muppets Show.” It’s been almost 45 years since it debuted, but every one of the enduring characters still holds a special place in all our hearts. All five seasons will become available, and you might want to revisit the wildly entertaining series that featured talented guests and hilarious skits. There are 120 episodes, so you can start binging all weekend long.
This uniquely animated film is a 20th Century Fox production that’s making its way to Disney+. It tells the story of Manolo, a man who gave his life to save that of his love and in doing so is transported to the Land of the Remembered. Featuring catchy music, bright colors, imaginative visuals, and a cast that includes Diego Luna, Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, and Christina Applegate, 2014’s “The Book of Life” is family fare worth revisiting.
The Frozen universe continues to expand, with another short arriving to the streaming service in February. This one is based on a virtual reality game that was recently released, and it explores mythical elements in the forest outside Arendelle. It’s framed as a bedtime story and promises more of the beautiful imagery and familial bonding that has made Frozen so beloved. It joins the two feature films, a couple other shorts, and a documentary as part of the Frozen experience on Disney+.
This dark and comedic B horror movie is full of everything genre fans desire: blood, gore, and absurdity. Written and directed by Brea Grant, it follows a nurse whose side-gig involves selling organs on the black market; she then uses the money on drugs to fuel her addiction. It’s sharp, wild, and ambitious, and definitely satisfying for those who want something gratuitous and twisty.
The popular horror anthology series returns to Hulu after a hiatus in February with a Valentine-themed episode called “Tentacles.” This follows a young couple who discover horrifying and twisted results of their love and intimacy. The wonder of this ongoing series is that each episode can stand on its own, and we’re excited to see how all the complexity and intensity of love evolves as a relationship progresses. The title is especially intriguing.
It seemed like a hard premise to pull off, but not only does Guillermo del Toro make believable a romance between a woman and a fish creature, but he makes it one of the most romantic, tense, and inspiring movies of the recent decade. “The Shape of Water” is a beautifully imagined love story set against the racism, sexism, and political fear of the 1960s, with incredible performances by Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, and an intimidating Michael Shannon. It’s definitely worth repeated viewing.
We’re somewhat keen on this new psychological thriller that follows a young teacher in Tokyo (Alexandra Daddario) who embraces the erotic and dangerous nightlife of the city. While this seems like a familiar story, as she encounters sexual curiosities and mysterious men, it may provide some welcome entertainment as she meanders through an exciting city after dark. We’re not quite sure about the tone just yet, but we definitely think younger adults will have their interest piqued.
We can’t wait to catch this film on Hulu that’s been piling up awards and critical praise across festivals for the last few months. Starring Frances McDormand and directed by Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” finds a middle-aged woman reassessing her life after personal and financial tragedy, selling her items and traveling across the western United States. Early reviews have been stellar and this film looks like a can’t-miss as it will surely be up for Best Picture come awards season.
Another drama we’re excited about (that may be up for awards as well) comes from Lee Daniels, who travels back to the 1940s to tell the story of Billie Holiday and the racial inequity that led the U.S. government to investigate her. Andra Day is in the title role, and an early trailer and buzz look mighty promising. Based on Daniels’ past works (“Precious,” “The Butler, Empire”), we’re excited about lots of drama, some beautiful highs, and some tense lows.
We’re always up for a mysterious story that ponders difficult ethical questions. This 10-episode Amazon Original psychological drama promises troubling characters, dark reveals, and many twists and turns. It follows three people with questionable pasts from which they’re trying to escape, but moral ambiguity and untrustworthiness look to creep up as the series goes on. We don’t have the exact date yet, so regularly check back on Prime.
Arguably one of the best movie musicals ever made, “Moulin Rouge” arrives to Prime on Feb. 1, and we can't think of a better time and season to embrace this magical, riveting drama. A colorful, majestic film about star-crossed lovers living in Paris in 1900, it features memorable music, stunning costumes, and deft, excited directing by Baz Luhrmann that leads to some unforgettable scenes.
We’re intrigued by this Amazon Original film premiering towards the start of the month that seems like a romantic drama infused with “The Matrix.” It stars Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek: he’s a recently disillusioned divorced man, and she’s a woman who’s convinced everything is an illusion. What has us most curious is that this story is helmed by director Mike Cahill, whose dreamy, psychological works like “I Origins” and “Another Earth” ask what it means to be alive.
Another Amazon Original, “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” offers up a young adult sci-fi romantic drama all wrapped in one. It also features an increasingly familiar concept: the time loop. It stars Kathryn Newton as one-half the teenage couple that is caught living the same day over and over again. A trailer emphasizes the cute and magical, though we’re hoping for some interesting takes on the common conceit as well.
Released last year, this lively, colorful take on the beloved video game character is coming to Amazon Prime. Though it took some tinkering to get right, this live-action film starring a CGI hedgehog was wildly popular. It features a cartoonish villain played by Jim Carrey and lots of allusions to the source material. It may be a bit too boisterous for adults, but kids will love it again and again.
Lastly, for those who crave some action, we recommended checking out last year’s “The Informer” starring Joel Kinnaman as a retired special force operative now working undercover for the FBI. There’s shady dealing, double-crosses, and plenty of suspense. While the setup may not be the most original, we’re excited about a cast that features Common, Rosamund Pike, and rising star Ana de Armas.
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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