When it comes to great TV shows AND movies, Disney+ has a treasure trove of content!
Not only do we get access to some great NEW movies, like Soul and Raya and the Last Dragon, but we’ve really enjoyed watching original content like The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But there is SO much more to Disney+ than just the big Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel content!
In fact, there are some TRUE hidden gems on Disney+, including TV shows you’ve long since forgotten about, as well as classic movies that have been lost to the annals of time. But that’s why we’re here — to help you get your watchlist in order so that you’re not missing out on the best shows and movies on the streaming service! So go ahead and login to your Disney+ account and get ready to hit that “add” button!
One of the most underrated animated shows in Disney history might just be Gargoyles, which originally aired from 1994 through 1997. The series is about creatures known as gargoyles who finally wake up after thousands of years of being stone — in modern day New York. There, they take on the role as the city’s secret night-time protectors. Seriously, what’s not to love?
At times, the show was dark (much darker than most of Disney’s animated offerings), and even Shakespearean in tone. It also featured a voice cast straight out of Star Trek royalty, including Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Kate Mulgrew, Nichelle Nichols, and more. This makes it a hit with the Trek set, as well as adults who grew up with the series.
If you’re an animal lover, Animal ER, is a MUST! You can watch the stellar team of veterinarians at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston work on cases with animals. Their patients range from cats and dogs to more exotic species such as pythons, anteaters, and even tigers!
This one is a MUST for those who loved The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom or for those who always head to the Veterinary Center at Animal Kingdom to watch the vets there work on animals. It’s full of thrills and drama as vets rush to save these animals’ lives. It’s TOTALLY addictive, too, so you’ll want to binge-watch it.
Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure
In case you didn’t know, Rapunzel’s adventures continued well after the movie Tangled. In Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, Rapunzel’s long hair mysteriously returns, and she and Cassandra, her lady in waiting and ferociously loyal best friend, must figure out exactly WHY her hair is back and if the magic that made it happen is nefarious or not.
Don’t worry, though — there are plenty of stories about Flynn, too, particularly dealing with how he earns the trust of Rapunzel’s family as he continues to grow and become a better person. This one is often a lot of fun, but also suspenseful at times. Not only will the kids like it, but Punzie’s adult fans are going to dig it, too.
Once Upon A Time
The live-action Once Upon A Time tells the stories of some of Disney’s most famous princesses and villains in an entirely new way! Meet Emma Swan, a bounty hunter who gets quite the surprise when a young boy arrives at her door and tells her he’s her son and that she is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. AWHAT?! It’s a little over the top, but in a great Disney way.
This series will change your mind about some of the most iconic Disney characters of all time, including the Evil Queen, Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Belle, The Beast, and more! This is a treasure trove of Disney easter eggs that big-time Disney fans (raises hand) will have a blast watching. See if you can find all the little nods to obscure Disney content! It’s both thrilling and magical and a MUST-SEE for Disney fans!
So Weird was Disney Channel’s answer to Are You Afraid of the Dark? And if you love supernaturally-inspired shows, this is one you shouldn’t miss! The first two seasons follow a teenage girl, Fiona, who tours the world with her rock star mom, all the while encountering paranormal activity.
This spooky series has it all — time travel, aliens, ghosts, and more! And it only got spookier with each passing season as it introduced new characters and stories. If you love a good supernatural drama, be sure to check it out!
X-Men: The Animated Series
Many Marvel fans will argue that the absolute best X-Men stories came out of the 1992-1997 cartoon that ran on Fox Network known as X-Men: The Animated Series. This was primo Saturday morning cartoon content, guys. And now with Disney possibly rebooting the X-Men universe now that it owns the rights to all things X-Men, this is the PERFECT time to learn more about the mutants (and you will learn SO much more than the live-action movies ever got into).
This series shows the characters we all know and love in a way that’s much more in line with their comic book counterparts, so if you’re a Wolverine fan, or you just love Rogue or adore Storm or any of the other mutants, you’re going to fall in love with them all over again thanks to this series. You’re welcome (also, good luck getting the theme song out of your head!).
Hello! We’re here to take you back to your childhood. If you didn’t obsessively watch Goof Troop back in the day, here’s your chance! The story follows Goofy as he navigates moving back to his hometown as a single father to his son, Max.
This is a MUST for Max fans, obviously, but Goofy fans are going to love this take on Goofy’s life as a father. And for the curious, this series was actually the basis for A Goofy Movie, which takes place only a few years after the show ends. So here’s your chance to see where it all started.
Here’s another flashback to our childhood — imagine Batman as a duck, and that’s almost the exact premise of Darkwing Duck. Except Gotham is now called St. Canard, but it still has its share of wacky villains that our superhero, known as Darkwing Duck, must face and defeat. Joining him is Launchpad McQuack (yes, the same character from Ducktales).
The heart of the show is about how Drake Mallard (Darkwing Duck’s non-superhero alias) navigates life as a superhero while also being a father to his adopted daughter Gosalyn. And if you happened to miss this incredible series when it originally aired in the 1990s, it’s available now on Disney+. And honestly, you might be amazed at how ahead of its time it really was. “Let’s. Get. Dangerous.”
If you’ve never sang along with “Conjunction junction, what’s your function” during Saturday morning cartoons or understood how a bill becomes a law, or learned about the importance of science, history, and math through song, you might have been missing out. (Also, this was teachers’ FAVORITE content to show on the roll-in school TV if they wanted an easy day in school!) But you don’t have to miss out now because EVERY single Schoolhouse Rock short is now on Disney+.
This educational series of shorts ran from 1973 through 2009, so there are a LOT of them to watch, but if you’ve got kids, it’s a fun way to teach them about a huge variety of educational subjects. And you’ll definitely catch yourself singing along, too.
The Pre-Opening Report From Disneyland
So there used to be a Disneyland TV show where Walt himself would give Disney fans updates on Disneyland! The Pre-Opening Report From Disneyland is the episode that takes place just days away from the opening of Disneyland, so Walt gives construction updates — and it’s amazing to see just how excited he is about seeing his dream become a reality!
Disney history buffs? This one’s for you — but there’s a treat during the second half. It’s dedicated entirely to Mickey Mouse, the mouse who started it all.
The Cat From Outer Space
If you love cats and haven’t yet seen The Cat From Outer Space, you are in for a real treat! This 1978 movie is a sci-fi comedy about an alien who looks a lot like a cat — and this was WAY before we knew what a Flerken was! This is no ordinary cat, though — he wears a collar that gives him telekinetic and telepathic powers, and yes, that is a little terrifying to think about!
But this cat just wants to repair his crashed spaceship so he can return home. Obviously, many hijinks follow with inept army officials and foreign spies, making this a fun watch for the whole family. It’s a classic and for a reason!
One of the most underrated Disney movies just might be Melody Time, which was Disney’s 10th theatrically-released animated feature. This movie was meant to be the pop music version of Fantasia, and featured unrelated scenes set to the popular music of the time, including a song performed by the Andrews Sisters.
Many film critics would argue that this one wasn’t quite as creatively artistic as Fantasia, but it also gave us animated versions of stories for Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, and Little Toot. It’s a must-see for fans of Disney animation.
Return to Oz
Walt Disney decided to revisit the world seen in the classic The Wizard of Oz with Return To Oz, which turned out to be a lot darker than its predecessor. It takes place shortly after the first movie, with Dorothy being taken to a doctor to get shock treatment (yeah, it went there) because her family thinks she’s crazy after telling them about her adventures.
Just before Dorothy is to receive her treatment, though, she escapes and finds herself journeying to Oz once again, only to find that the Yellow Road and Emerald City are in ruins. Like we said — DARK. So, although this might not be one for the young kiddos, it should be added for those who like a little bit of a spookier story.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
You want a story about a magical bed that can travel to the most fantastical places you’ve ever dreamed of? Then you need to watch the 1971 musical Bedknobs and Broomsticks, in which Angela Lansbury plays a newbie witch who wants to use her spells to help the British defeat the Nazis during World War II.
She eventually befriends three orphaned children, and together, they travel EVERYWHERE imaginable — including under the ocean — ON A BED so that the witch can find a long lost spell to complete her witch education. It’s whimsical, fun, and there are loads of great songs! The film uses a combination of live-action and animation, too — similar to Mary Poppins.
Swiss Family Robinson
Most Disney fans are most familiar with Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse as a walkthrough attraction at several Disney Parks, but many might not know about the film that inspired it! The movie, Swiss Family Robinson, tells the story of a family shipwrecked on an island (and no, they don’t talk to a soccer ball).
It’s based on a novel, which is — get this — based on real life! A family from Switzerland really did get shipwrecked on an island in the East Indies. The Disney movie follows the family as they learn to live in the wild (eep!), have a variety of adventures, and eventually build a gigantic treehouse to live in. So think Tarzan’s parents at the beginning of Tarzan (that’s why it fit to retheme the Disneyland treehouse to a Tarzan theme!).
In 1991, Disney introduced a new superhero to the world — The Rocketeer. The film was inspired by the pulp comics and 1930s Hollywood, so there are a lot of Nazi spies, gangsters, and folks obsessed with aviation. When young pilot Cliff Secord finds a top-secret rocket pack, he becomes a new hero called The Rocketeer.
It’s up to Cliff to not only save the girl, but the world, from the Nazis that would destroy it. If you love old Hollywood stories AND superheroes, add this to your watchlist now!
10 Things I Hate About You
We love modern movies that retell Shakespeare, and 10 Things I Hate About You brought The Taming of the Shrew into a modern-day high school. Here Kat, a strong-willed teenage girl, is preventing her younger sister from dating because her parents have a rule that the younger girl can’t date until Kat does. And Kat does NOT want to date!
The tables are turned, though, when Kat meets a boy at school, Patrick, who wins her over despite her fighting it every step of the way. It’s a fun romantic teen comedy that’s funny AND charming.
So if you’re a hardcore fantasy fan, you’ve probably already seen Willow, but if not, let us tell you about an absolutely fantastic movie about an aspiring sorcerer who finds a human baby. This leads him on a quest across a mythical realm where he must face enemies, both big and small.
If you’re not sold yet, let us tell you this — it’s a Lucasfilm movie directed by Ron Howard. And it’s so completely underrated, but Disney seems to think it’s a timeless tale — the company is currently working on a Willow Disney+ series!
Just goes to show you that a deep dive into the depths of Disney+ titles can unearth some real gems! With Falcon and the Winter Soldier ending, we need something to fill our Friday night void! We hope you’re enjoying Disney+ as much as we are — happy watching!
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What’s your favorite thing to watch on Disney+? Did we miss any must-watch shows or movies? Let us know in the comments!