Much like the chapters of a story, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has long divided itself into phases which, up until 2019, comprised the Infinity Saga.
Named after the Infinity Stones, the Infinity Saga spanned 23 MCU films beginning with 2008's Iron Man and concluding with 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Phase 4 of the MCU then began in 2021 with WandaVision on Disney+, following a long hiatus due to the pandemic. And at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Phase 4 and beyond will be called the Multiverse Saga.
But as Phase 4 draws to a close and fans look to the next chapter of this newly named saga, Disney is looking back with some rather interesting results.
The Must-Watch Infinity Saga Movies, According to Disney
Japan's Disney+ page has released a list of the best and most important films to watch within the Infinity Saga. However, there were a few key films that didn't make the cut.
The Disney+ page titled the following Infinity Saga list as a Weekend 2-day Course:
- Iron Man (128 minutes)
- Thor (115 minutes)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (124 minutes)
- The Avengers (143 minutes)
- Thor: The Dark World (112 minutes)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (121 minutes)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (141 minutes)
- Ant-Man (117 minutes)
- Captain America: Civil War (148 minutes)
- Doctor Strange (115 minutes)
- Avengers: Infinity War (149 minutes)
- Avengers: Endgame (181 minutes)
Of the films that made the list, Disney didn't include the Iron Man sequels, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, or any of the MCU Spider-Man solo films.
Is Disney's Infinity Saga List Missing Key Films?
Since this list is described as a two-day watch list and the most important for the Infinity Saga, the exclusion of certain films shouldn't be seen as a reflection of quality.
Instead, the films which made the list appear to have been chosen for their focus on the Infinity Stones. This is probably why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Winter Soldier didn't make the cut.
But even with that focus in mind, some inclusions and omissions are a bit strange.
Considering Wakanda's presence in Infinity War and T'Challa's entrance in Endgame, the absence of 2018's Black Panther seems a little odd. The same can be said for Thor: Ragnarok, due to how the film's ending plays into Thor's Infinity War and Endgame story, as well as that of Captain Marvel.
After all, if the list's litmus test is the presence of Infinity Stones, it's worth remembering that an Infinity Stone was the source of Carol Danvers' powers.
But of all the films that made and didn't make Disney's list, the strangest is the inclusion of Ant-Man instead of its 2018 sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
While Ant-Man introduces audiences to the cast, it's Ant-Man's sequel that introduces the use of Quantum Realm.
This, of course, is essential to how the Avengers end up acquiring the Infinity Stones in Endgame and defeat Thanos.
Regardless, even though the reasons behind why Ant-Man made the cut and Ant-Man 2 did not are unknown, Disney's "Readers Digest" version of the Infinity Saga is sure to be helpful for those looking to catch up with the MCU.
Now that Marvel Studios is telling stories on Disney+ in addition to the big screen, first-time watchers and casual audiences are going to to need this types of lists now more than ever.
All of Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga films (with the exception of The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home) are available to stream on Disney+.