Disney+ now showing sci-fi classic released 50 years after landmark original

The Planet of the Apes franchise lives on

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

There are few science-fiction franchises out there with the staying power of The Planet of the Apes. And sci-fi is every bit on trend right now, with the likes of Fallout 4 and more romping viewers' screens this year. 

While Star Wars might have more box office clout, it's not quite as old, since the first Apes film came out all the way back in 1968, and blew people's minds with its prosthetics and a blockbuster of a twist ending. 

The franchise is in rude health thanks to a terrific trilogy of modern movies, with another about to arrive at cinemas coming in late May: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

If you're looking forward to that movie coming out, there's great news where catching up is concerned: all the modern Planet of the Apes movies are on Disney+, including the superb 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In the never-ending race to be considered the best streaming service, that's quite a win for Disney. 

It gives a more coherent and detailed origin story to the hyperintelligent apes that we know will one day come to rule over Earth, reducing humanity to a scavenger species. 

With James Franco as the main human point of contact, the film is really carried by the unbelievable motion capture work of Andy Serkis as Caesar, the main ape character who we observe growing up. 

When Rise first came out it was greeted with positive reviews and reactions – its Rotten Tomatoes critics' score is currently sat at 82% – but its reputation has grown over time, while its two sequels (before Kingdom this month) were really well-liked, too.

They form a very impressive trilogy that has some really dark moments and striking sights to offer up, all anchored by those incredible CGI apes. 

That'll be a quartet now, thanks to the arrival of a new film, so if you're hoping to really appreciate the modern Apes films as a whole then you'd better dip onto Disney+ in the coming weeks to see how they all hold up. 

It'll be particularly interesting to see how that CGI motion and facial capture comes across on a truly excellent modern display like the LG G3 OLED TV – from our sampling, it's a remarkably solid showing for a movie that's more than 10 years old. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.