Now that Disney Plus has hit UK screens, the nation is inundated with choice when it comes to streaming services. The newest network overtook the earlier Disney Life in a new guise to join the likes of Netflix, Britbox, Amazon and more. Since then, the service has been both promising and delivering some seriously big things.
In addition to providing a full back catalogue of favourite Disney classics, the service has provided a host of original new series, which have been dropping onto the on-demand network. There’s also a supposed to be a load of Disney remakes upcoming – full list here – which fans are excitedly awaiting.
Capturing the attention of family viewers as well as sci-fi enthusiasts and superhero fans across the globe, Disney+ already has an impressive 50 million worldwide subscribers – and counting. Much of this is thanks to the combined power of networks including Pixar, National Geographic and Star Wars, with a string of Marvel TV shows coming to Disney+ as well.
With such a wealth of content to choose from, the selection process may feel a little daunting. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best TV shows on Disney Plus available now, to help make your decision that little bit easier.
OK, now you’re on Disney Plus, it’s time to start exploring the great TV shows at your fingertips. If you’re looking for film choices, check out our best Disney Plus movies (including the eagerly awaited Rise of the Skywalker and how to watch) because we’re concentrating on TV shows from here on in…
The breakout hit for Britain’s newest streaming service, The Mandalorian is a Star Wars live-action TV series from Jon Faverau – and what is more, it is well worth your attention. Starring Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian, it’s set in the Star Wars universe between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The show has plenty for hardcore Star Wars fans, but is far enough removed from the Skywalker Saga that it can be enjoyed by newcomers to the franchise… plus if you haven’t heard already, there’s a baby Yoda, which has become one of the most talked parts of the show – inspiring memes and conversation across the internet ever since “the child” first arrived from a galaxy, far, far, away.
Like many shows on Disney Plus, The Mandalorian has begun streaming episodically, with the first two episodes released at launch and subsequent episodes of the show landing on the pLatform every Friday. Look out for a host of guest stars and some seriously good slow-burn storytelling.
One of the most famous families in the world are one of the highlights of Disney Plus’s catalogue, with 30, yes you read that correctly, 30, full seasons of the fantastic animated show available in their entirety right now. Plus, a new The Simpsons special will also be available to stream on 10th April.
Over three decades Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa have become central to the lives of many generations of TV viewers and have certainly been on a lot of adventures along the way – and seen some pretty serious stars join them in Simpsons cameos from Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger to Stephen Hawking and Johnny Cash.
Depending on how old you are and when you started watching the show, everyone has a different era that they love, but one thing is for sure, if you’re looking for a laugh and some light relief from the real world, Springfield is definitely a go-to place for many. So why not indulge yourself and go back through the back catalogue to enjoy old favourites and discover new episodes that you never knew existed.
Adorable. That’s the best way to describe this special film from The Simpsons. It may be short, but, to be fair, so is its main character: the Springfield-set story focuses on Maggie Simpson, the youngest member of everyone’s favourite yellow family.
Originally played in cinemas before screenings of Onwards (by Pixar, which, like Simpsons studio 20th Century Fox, is owned by Disney), the special sees Maggie saved from a playground disaster by a heroic baby.
“After a blissful first playdate, Maggie can’t wait to see her new baby beau again the following day, but things don’t go exactly as planned,” a synopsis reads. “Will fate (or Homer) get in her way?”
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Wemet up with Hollywood royalty Jeff Goldblumrecently to have a chat about his new show and play a game called ‘According To’ – it gave us a little insight into the way the Jurassic Park star thinks. But if you really want to delve into the mind of Jeff Goldblum, this is the show for you. Don’t expect to fully comprehend the way this legend’s brain ticks over though – it’s a deliciously unique way of seeing the world.
The quirky and upbeat Hollywood star clearly enjoys every second of his documentary series, which see the actor deep diving into all the important things in life: we’re talking coffee, video games, trainers and ice cream. You’ll never look at a cornetto in the same way again after hearing Jeff’s unique hot take…
So come with Jeff on a journey of discovery in this hugely enjoyable show that will send your mind off in a million different directions.
The Good Place star Kristen Bell presents this genius reality show, which aims to reunite the casts of real life American high school musicals for one last performance. So imagine you played Rizzo in a slightly embarrassing sixth form production of Grease, and then Disney+ knocks on your door asking if you’d like to reprise the role – that’s exactly what’s happening here, and we’re amazed how many of them are keen to get back on the stage! It makes for great entertainment though.
The personal stories are really heart-warming – people who have been dealt cruel knocks in life and have been forced to give up their hopes of a singing career get the the chance to be in the spotlight one more time and it’s a moment to cherish. But it’s no mean feat getting amateurs ready for a big performance – will they remember the steps? Are their voices up to the challenge? At least Kristen has tonnes of Broadway experience to share with them.
Toy Story: Forky Asks a Question
The break-out superstar of Toy Story 4, Forky has been given his own show and it’s a total delight. In case you missed the film, Forky is Bonnie’s favourite toy, the homemade friend who upstaged Woody and stole everyone’s hearts. No mean feat when you have a spork body, pipecleaner arms and stick-on eyes.
The 10-part series of shorts has a very simple premise: Forky poses the questions that have been playing on his mind, ranging from the hilarious ‘What is Cheese?’ to the much-debated ‘What is Art?’ and the deep and meaningful ‘What is Time?’. If your child has asked you one of these questions recently it might be a relief to let Forky try to get the answer for them! Also featuring other Toy Story favourites like Rex and Hamm, the show is a welcome burst of joy in your day.
We just hope the fame doesn’t go to Forky’s weirdly shaped head…
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars fans already feel like it’s Christmas since Disney+ launched, with The Mandalorian streaming (we heart Baby Yoda) and most of the films available to re-watch on the platform. But it doesn’t stop there – 2008 series Star Wars Clone Wars also offers answers for anyone who ever wondered what happened between Star Wars Episode II and Episode III.
This animated addition to the space saga takes us right back there, delving into the story of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and more Jedi knights as they battle the evil Count Dooku and General Grievous. The series is also a great entry point for kids, an accessible way into the saga with new characters and stand-alone episodes to enjoy.
Despite attempts to wind down production in 2012, the show’s massive fan following means there are a lot of people keen to keep it on air – Netflix resurrected the show for one series in 2014, before Disney+ ordered a seventh season for this year.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Granted, the name is long-winded. But it’s deliberately tongue in cheek because the show itself is fairly high-concept.
You remember High School Musical, the film that launched Zac Efron’s career and gave us the song ‘We’re All in this Together’? It was like Grease for a new generation. Well, this fun mockumentary-style spin-off series takes us back to the original school where the film was shot, East High. The students there have never staged their own version of the musical, despite their close association with the film. Their drama teacher thinks this is a travesty, so auditions begin for the show… Who will get the parts and how will romances, rivalries and real life affect the production?
The important thing to get your head around is that this is fictional, even though it’s presented as a documentary – so the students are really actors and the show is scripted. Once you’ve sussed that, it’s quite fun!
Marvel’s Hero Project
This isn’t another group of fantasy comic book heroes for you to meet, instead Marvel is stepping into the real world to meet some of the young people making a difference – modern-day, real-life superheroes.
That might sound a bit twee, but this 20-part series is genuinely humbling and inspiring, from ‘Unstoppable Adonis’, the boy who won’t let his blindness stop him from becoming a top flight football player, to ‘Mighty Rebekah’, the 12-year old fighting for LGBTQ equality. These children won’t be held back by their age and they all want to prove that children have a powerful voice which, if used to its full capabilities, really can change the world. Not only is Marvel celebrating their stories, they are also turning each of the children into a Marvel hero with their own comic book, created by the company’s top editors. One of the best parts of the show is watching these brilliant kids’ faces as the surprise comics are revealed…
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A spin-off from the main Marvel movies, this series sees Clark Gregg reprising his role as Phil Coulson, an agent of organisation SHIELD (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division). Its mission? To investigate bizarre events and super-human sightings – this is a peace-keeping agency concentrating on surveillance while superheroes are saving lives around the world.
Season one follows Coulson (who previously died in The Avengers but is resurrected, are you keeping up?) as he assembles his special team of top agents to quietly investigate some weird goings-on. Alongside him is Skye, an inhuman agent who can create earthquakes, weapons expert Fitz, ace pilot May and black ops specialist Ward. You don’t need to have watched the movies to get into this series, but as with all things Marvel there are references that will reward loyal fans.
Six series have aired so far, with a seventh and final season on its way this year.
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
Before you ask, no, this cartoon isn’t set in the MCU. Focusing on the original Avengers team from the comics (Iron Man, Giant-Man, Hulk, Thor, and Wasp, who are later joined by the likes of Captain America and Black Panther), this animated series sees the superheroes team up to fight various supervillains and other threats in order to protect Earth. The series kicks off with 75 of the world’s most dangerous baddies being released at the same time – a nightmare day at the office for our heroes, but great fun for us as viewers.
Obviously this series doesn’t quite have the star power of the films, which starred Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and endless other Hollywood legends, but in the absence of more movie sequels this is a supremely entertaining series, which unsurprisingly was also accompanied by its own comic book. It only lasted two seasons before being replaced by Avengers Assemble, so it won’t take you long to catch up.
Pick of The Litter
Puppies. If you like them, you’re going to love this series, which follows a litter of six adorable doggies as they try to become certified guide dogs.
It’s as cute as it sounds, but it’s not all belly rubs and walkies. The criteria to become a guide dog are unbelievably strict, with good reason, and the families who have taken the pups in have to work incredibly hard with them. A guide dog needs to be completely reliable, difficult to distract and absolutely obedient – anybody who has spent an afternoon with a young puppy will know how tricky that is to achieve! There’s no guarantee that any of these six dogs will complete their training successfully, but you find yourself willing them on every step of the way.
By the way, if you think you’ve already seen this show on Netflix you haven’t – Netflix has the film, Pick of the Litter, which inspired the Disney+ TV series of the same name. If you enjoyed the film, you definitely don’t want to miss the TV version, which is the same idea, just following a brand new litter of gorgeous pups.
The Imagineering Story
When you visit Disney World you want the experience to be breath-taking and utterly magical. After all that’s why people save up to go, not just to meet Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses, but to explore a place like no other.
Of course a lot of effort goes into creating such an effortlessly wondrous world. Step forward the Disney Imagineers (that’s genuinely what they call their engineers, literally everything has fairy dust sprinkled over it at Disney!).
This is a rare opportunity to have a look behind the scenes and discover a few secrets too, as Walt Disney Imagineering throws its doors open. They are giving us an Access All Areas pass to see the incredible workshops where the rides are conceived, designed and tested, and it’s amazing. The series looks into how the company has developed theme park rides and attractions all over the world and while the show is clearly a big advert, we have to say it’s a completely fascinating insight too. So much thought, love and care goes into even the simplest little things.
Pixar: In Real Life
Some hidden camera shows can be a bit mean-spirited, but this is the most gloriously feelgood, well-intentioned prank series we have ever seen. The idea is that characters from the Pixar world are unleashed onto the streets of New York, making ordinary people do a double take and wonder what on earth is going on – it certainly would make you look up from your phone if you spotted Woody from Toy Story, wouldn’t it?
Imagine you’re wandering through the park and suddenly you stumble across the console to Inside Out. Or you’re at the aquarium and spot Hank the octopus trying to make an escape. While the adults are amused by these scenarios, children completely buy into them and it’s hilarious watching their faces as the drama unfolds. Our favourite episode is Wall-E’s as he gets some funny looks roaming the streets of New York, not least of all from an intrigued French Bulldog!
David Tennant has played some impressively high-profile roles in his time, from the Doctor to Hamlet, but admits he felt real pressure when it came to starring in a reboot of this beloved 1980s cartoon! The show is so important and nostalgic to so many, he didn’t want to mess it up.
David voices Scrooge McDuck, the estranged uncle of Donald Duck. The pair decide to get back in touch and before too long Scrooge finds himself babysitting his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie once again. Childcare and building bridges, all in one day! Delighted to be back in the family fold, Scrooge then goes one step further, inviting the four of them to move in with him, which is where the adventures really begin.
The cast needn’t have worried about how fans would react – the comeback went down a storm, with two seasons already available and a third on its way. If you fancy reliving the magic of one of the best Disney kids’ shows, we thoroughly recommend this fun series.
Diary of a Future President
Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez produces and appears in this family comedy about a 12 year-old girl who will one day grow up to be the President of the USA. Gina plays the grown up Elena, who discovers her old diary one day in the White House and starts to reminisce about her childhood. Of course even great leaders had to face school rivalries, growing pains and embarrassing teenage moments, all of which we go back and experience with Elena as she reads out her musings. We don’t see much of Gina after that, this is really the story of a little girl and the early days of her ambition, when she starts dreaming of America’s top job.
While Elena does face tough moments, like learning to accept her mum’s new partner, this is an angst-free, fun childhood adventure celebrating family and friendship. Sweet, inspiring and lovely to watch, it’s perfect viewing for the younger members of your family.
Be Our Chef
A couple of confusing things about this cooking competition. Firstly, despite the name sounding quite a lot like the song ‘Be our Guest’ from Beauty and the Beast, the show has nothing to do with Lumiere the singing candlestick. Immediately disappointing. Also, the series is hosted by Angela Kinsey, best known for her role in the US version of The Office, which, if you watched that show, might feel like quite an unexpected signing.
Once you’ve got your head round all that, this series is good fun, albeit a little saccharine. Five families compete, cooking dishes inspired by Disney movies and characters, which will then be judged by Disney chefs. There’s an amazing prize on offer too, as the winning family will have their dish served at, you guessed it, Alton Towers! We’re joking of course, it will be available to order at Disney World resorts. Which families will shine and which will end up with egg on their faces?
Disney Fairytale Weddings
Many brides dream of a ‘fairytale’ wedding, but few of them expect to get married somewhere as magical as Disneyland. Every year, couples get engaged, tie the knot and mark romantic milestones at Disney locations all over the world, and this reality series follows their stories. We had no idea that Disney will even help you have the full works for your big day – be it a glass carriage and footmen or a Mary Poppins themed bash with chimney sweeps leading your guests to the reception!
The biggest shock for us was how classy and romantic these weddings look – even those with Disney characters in attendance are tastefully done, and it’s impossible not to get swept up in the enchantment of the ceremonies. Actual fairytale weddings from the Disney films tend to be hastily jumped into after one night of dancing at a ball though, so let’s just hope the couples in this show have put more thought into their unions!
Gravity Falls in Oregon isn’t somewhere you’d like to go on holiday. The bleak, creepy (and often hilarious) resort is described in the trailer as ‘a mysterious town just north of normal where the unexplained will stay explained… or will it?’, which gives you a flavour of the place!
Dipper Pines (voiced by Jason Ritter) heads to Gravity Falls with his twin sister Mabel to visit their great uncle, Stan for the summer. However they instantly get the feeling something’s not right in this strange town, and with supernatural forces and strange creatures round every corner, it won’t be too long before they encounter something mysterious. These being cartoon kids they’re not easily scared – instead of running away they start their own investigations.
Alex Hirsch, who created the series, cites The Simpsons as a major inspiration, for showing him that animation wasn’t purely for kids and says the show was inspired by his own summer holidays with his twin.
That’s So Raven
Not a million miles away from Sabrina The Teenage Witch, this supernatural sitcom follows Raven Baxter, a teenager with psychic powers, who gets glimpses of her future, which she uses to get herself into and out of trouble! The problem is, although she can see forward in time she never gets the full picture and can’t ever seem to correctly interpret the things she is seeing. Hilarity ensues…
Raven’s not just defined by her visions though – she has a big personality, loves fashion and even designs clothes herself. She also has all of the usual teen problems to deal with, including annoying younger brother, Cory, and great friends to hang out with, especially Eddie and Chels.
This show has been hugely popular on the Disney Channel, running for four seasons and becoming the first show on the channel to reach 100 episodes. It is now available on Disney+ for the whole family to enjoy.
The first thing to figure out is that this isn’t a series that teaches you how to shop (we’re well versed in retail therapy already, thanks very much). In America ‘shop class’ is the term school kids use to refer to their woodwork lessons – so think less jostling in queues, more jigsawing planks of wood.
This fun series, hosted by actor Justin Long, welcomes 18 teams of three young builders, each of whom is assigned a teacher (health and safety!). Across eight rounds they grab their tools and build incredible creations from scratch in an attempt to be named champions. We’re not just talking about knocking up some photo frames or placemats though, oh no, this programme is on a much bigger scale – toy cars, mini golf courses and even bridges are all on the to-do list. Who knows, it might even inspire you to get your screwdriver set out and finally get some DIY done.
TV shows and movies coming soon to Disney+
Marvel shows on Disney+
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier:This live-action series from Marvel Studios will see Anthony Mackie return as Sam Wilson aka Falcon, while Sebastian Stan reprises his role as Winter Soldier. They are joined by a strong supporting cast of Daniel Bruehl, Emily VanCamp and Wyatt Russell to name a few. Set in the MCU, the series picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame when Sam is handed the responsibility of taking on Captain America’s legacy. Coming August 2020
WandaVision:Another live-action series from Marvel Studios, also a sequel to Avengers: Endgame. Elizabeth Olsen returns as Wanda Maximoff (AKA Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany is back as The Vision. The pair look like they’re living a dreamy, quiet suburban life, but that’s not going to last very long is it? Coming December 2020
Loki Yay, Tom Hiddleston is back! His Marvel character, Loki is getting his own MCU TV spin-off and we can’t wait to see it. Picking up after Avengers: Endgame, the series sees Loki using the Tesseract to travel through time, messing with human history as he goes. Most information about this show is being kept under wraps right now, but we can also tell you that Owen Wilson is in the cast, along with British rising star Sophia Di Martino. Richard E. Grant has signed up for a guest role. Loki TV series is coming early 2021
Marvel’s What If…?
Not to be confused with the brilliantly bizarre drama Renee Zelwegger did for Netflix called What/If – this is very different! It’s Marvel Studios first animated series since becoming their own production company, and it takes inspiration from the comic books of the same name. According to Disney, ‘each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.’ So we’re exploring alternate universes and discovering what the consequences may have been if things had turned out just a little differently. Exciting stuff. Marvel’s What If…? TV series is coming mid 2021
Marvel’s first Muslim superhero, Ms Marvel is getting her own Disney+ series. Written by Bisha K Ali (of Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral TV series), the series will focus on a Pakistani-American teenager named Kamela Kahn. Hailing from a religious family in New Jersey, she has the power of polymorphy – i.e. the ability to stretch and change shape. Kamela Khan is a devoted fangirl of Captain Marvel and hopes to follow her example. Ms Marvel is coming late 2021 or early 2022
Having made her debut back in February 1980 in Stan Lee and John Buscema’s Marvel comic Savage She-Hulk #1, this character is a lawyer and a cousin of Bruce Banner who got an emergency blood transfusion from him – a life-saving procedure which left her with Hulk-life qualities. We’re still awaiting She Hulk casting news, but GLOW star Alison Brie has been rumoured for the lead role. She-Hulk is expected in 2022
Bow and arrows are undeniably cool. Look at Robin Hood, check out Legolas Greenleaf. Now the expert archer in the Avengers crew will return in his own TV series, once again played by Jeremy Renner. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the series is set to feature character Kate Bishop who becomes Hawkeye’s successor. It is still unclear who will play Kate Bishop, but according to rumours Pitch Perfect star Hailee Steinfeld is in the frame. Hawkeye TV series is expected late 2021
Moon Knight, aka Marc Spector, is a former CIA agent whose life was saved by the Moon God Khonshu. After Marc killed his terrorist nemesis Bushman, he became “Moon Knight”. There are no casting details available for this show yet but apparently producers are looking for a ‘Zac Efron type’ for the lead role. Moon Knight TV show is expected in 2022
This is one for the hardcore Marvel fans. Details are scant at the moment but we know this is a documentary series that will delve into the cultural impact of Marvel comics, exploring the universe and its characters in greater detail. Read More about the Marvel TV shows on Disney+
Star Wars shows on Disney+
Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series
Ewan McGregor is back! Yes, after a long wait and many years of ‘we’ll see’, it’s finally happening: Ewan will reprise his role as the Jedi in an Obi-Wan Kenobi series set between Star Wars Episodes III and IV. We’re likely to see the character still reeling from the events of Revenge of the Sith.
Untitled Cassian Andor Star Wars series
The untitled Cassian Andor series starring Rogue One’s Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk (droid K-2SO) will be coming to Disney+. All we know is that it’s ‘a new spy series inspired by Rogue One’ so there’s not much more we can tell you yet. Except that we’re excited.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Fans of The Clone Wars, the 3D CGI animated TV series created by George Lucas, will be delighted Disney+ managed to secure a revival. The series will come back for a hotly anticipated seventh season consisting of 12 episodes, continuing to tell the story of what happened between Star Wars Episode II and Episode III.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian season 2
You know all about this show by now – Baby Yoda! – and the second series of the Jon Favreau Bounty Hunter drama started filming soon after the first season premiered. Because one series was never going to be enough, was it? Star Wars: The Mandalorian season 2 is expected in autumn 2020.
Pixar series and short films on Disney+
Monsters At Work
We’re thrilled there’s going to be more Sully and Mike on our screens, one of the best double acts in the biz. This Pixar series picks up six months after the end of the original Monsters Inc film, with John Goodman and Billy Crystal returning to voice our two heroes. It is set to premiere in 2020.
Toy Story: Lamp Life
If Marvel’s superheroes all get an origin story, then Toy Story’s kickass queen Bo Peep deserves one too. Sure enough, she is getting her very own Pixar short, Lamp Life, which looks into her back story and reveals the adventures she had between Toy Story 3 and 4, when she was separated from Woody.
This experimental collection of short films from Pixar is a real pick n mix selection of fantastic shorts, each one packed with the studio’s heart-warming glow. They are the result of an initiative by the company to allow employees six months and a small budget to make their own independent pieces and explore their creativity. SparkShorts will start streaming this month on Disney+.
Documentaries on Disney+
Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2
Imagine being responsible for making a follow up to Frozen, one of the most successful films of the century. That’s pressure! This documentary goes behind the scenes, showing ‘the hard work and imagination’ that has gone into making Frozen 2, in an attempt to live up to the hype of its predecessor while also being brilliant in its own right. Fascinating interviews with cast and crew will shed light on the creative process.
Magic of the Animal Kingdom
Disney continues to welcome us behind the scenes at their resorts. Following Disney Fairytale Weddings and The Imagineering Story, National Geographic is taking us behind closed doors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We meet highly respected animal-care experts, veterinarians and biologists at Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium to discover the work that goes into looking after the animals. Plus we’ll get to see a lot of cute, fluffy faces too.
Other big series to look out for on Disney+
Hilary Duff reprises her iconic role more than 15 years since the series ended. Last time we saw Lizzie she was a teenager trying to work out what to do with her life. Now she’s a 30-year-old New Yorker who seems to have it sussed. She’s climbing the career ladder as an interior designer, engaged to a successful restaurateur and everything looks rosy until big news takes her back to California.
There can never be enough Kermit and Miss Piggy content as far as we’re concerned. Showbiz legends The Muppets are back with a short-form unscripted series that will see Gonzo and friends up to all sorts. They’ll be interacting with celebrities, hosting cookery segments and even throwing in a game show item too. The details are still being ironed out but anything that gives the Muppets licence to be their anarchic, hilarious selves is good by us. Bring it on.
The Phineas and Ferb Movie
This is still a working title, but Disney Television Animation has lined up a new animated film featuring many of the voice cast from the original series which ran between 2007 and 2015.
Further projects that have already been announced include non-fiction series Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (working title), Earthkeepers (working title) and (Re)Connect, Rogue Trip.