If you have to watch one Disney+ movie this April, stream this one

Men in ships travel underwater in Aliens of the Deep.

It would be understandable if Disney+ subscribers feel a little jealous of Hulu in April. That’s because the new additions to Hulu include The Big Lebowski, The Fifth Element, Hellboy, Ocean’s 11, Jumanji: The Next Level, and even Wonder Woman. The only major Disney+ movie to debut in April was Wish. For families with kids or animation lovers, Wish might be enough. But when picking the one movie to watch on Disney+ in April, we decided to dive a little deeper into the streaming catalog. That’s how we settled on our choice for the one Disney+ movie that you have to watch this month: Aliens of the Deep.

Between the premiere of Titanic in 1997 and Avatar in 2009, director James Cameron threw himself into the realm of underwater exploration and directed or co-directed two documentary films. Cameron’s first documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss, is not on Disney+. But Aliens of the Deep has a permanent home here. This movie was originally an IMAX release and it was filmed in IMAX 3D. The streaming experience may not be able to replicate that, but Aliens of the Deep is still visually dazzling even in 2D. And now, we’ll share the three reasons why you should watch Aliens of the Deep this month.

It’s one of James Cameron’s passion projects

James Cameron in Aliens of the Deep.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Cameron can be a polarizing figure for some, and there are still a few who haven’t forgiven him for jokingly claiming to be “King of the World” when Titanic won Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars. But when it comes to deep sea exploration, Cameron doesn’t bother to hide his excitement for it. Cameron isn’t the only narrator or host in this movie, but he is very much at the forefront of it.

For this documentary, Cameron and his co-director, Steven Quale, accompanied a team of NASA scientists for a series of deep dives in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans to get a better idea of what life is like miles beneath the surface of the water. Cameron may not be the most eloquent on-camera personality, but his sense of wonder and adventure is infectious.

It shows us amazing creatures that live in the sea

An unknown sea creature from Aliens of the Deep.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

It’s important to note that the picture above is real, but we’d be hard-pressed to fully describe or explain much about the creature shown within it. Without the advanced underwater vehicles used in the film, humans would never have gotten a glimpse of this creature or the other life forms that live miles beneath the surface of the ocean. These may be the closest things that we have to aliens that live on our world, and it’s simply breathtaking to see them.

Cameron and his companions are often at a loss for ways to describe them as well. This is truly a journey into the unknown, and it’s worthwhile for that aspect alone.

It imagines alien life on other worlds

An imagined underwater alien civilization in Aliens of the Deep.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Now, the above picture is CGI, because there are no underwater cities like this on Earth. But one of Cameron’s pet theories that he shares throughout Aliens of the Deep is that the creatures deep within the oceans may offer us a guide to other life forms in the universe that live in oceans far away from the sun. That’s why NASA scientists were taken on Cameron’s diving expeditions.

There’s no way to test Cameron’s theory with our current technology, but late in the movie, Cameron does offer up a vision of what alien life and civilization might look like if it developed underwater. It’s just a fantasy for now, but in retrospect, it’s easy to see the influence that this may have had on Cameron’s work in Avatar: The Way of Water.

Watch Aliens of the Deep on Disney+.