What to Binge on Disney Plus

For the young and young at heart.

Disney+’s original Marvel series are all slated for release in the upcoming months/years, but there are still plenty of shows to keep you (or your kids) occupied.

Live Action Series

Agent Carter
On this list because it deserves a rewatch, dammit. Find our full coverage of the series here.

The Mandalorian
I don’t Star War but…Baby Yoda. ’Nuff said.

What’s New

Tangled the Series
So…it’s a slow burn. Starts off pretty childishly but if you have the patience to stick it out, it turns into an Avatar the Last Airbender-esque adventure, rife with mystery. If your big problem with Tangled the movie was the lack of mythology, (Whence the golden flower? How did Mother Gothel know to sing to it?) then tune in. My biggest complaint of the series (besides the slow start) was that, clearly trying to appeal to kids not into the lovey dovey stuff, Rapunzel and Eugene do not really act like they’re in a relationship, which bothers my hopelessly romantic heart. The series expands existing characters like Rapunzel’s parents and the ruffians and thugs of The Snuggly Duckling and adds Cassandra, daughter of the captain of the guards and Rapunzel’s new bestie/bodyguard/lady in waiting. Note: if you’re interested in the series, start with the movie Tangled: Before Ever After, which kicks the whole thing off and sets up the mystery. The final season of the series comes to Disney+ April 23rd!

Ducktales (2017)
Okay. I’m going to try not to gush. The update of the beloved series surpasses its original material thanks to serialized (but not too serialized) storytelling, characterization (the nephews are no longer interchangeable!), and world building. The first season revolves around the mystery of how the boys’ mother disappeared, and the second season…well, that would be telling. Season three premieres in early April but likely won’t be on Disney+ for months. Unless they decide to go the Frozen II route and take pity on us poor, homebound Disneyphiles. Important note: the early episodes of season one are out of order on Disney+. Find their original air order here.

Relive A Millennial’s Childhood

Ducktales (1987)
Woo-oo! The classic series, minted in the same year as yours truly, has aged…decently well. Reaganomics are definitely at play. Watch as Scrooge brings capitalism to undiscovered civilizations and plunders…pretty much everyone. They throw in the fact that Scrooge loves his nephews more than his money every now and again…but I’m not sure I believe it. Still, it’s a classic for a reason. And very rewatchable.

Darkwing Duck
In this reviewer’s humble opinion, the crème de la crème of Disney Afternoon television. It wasn’t as great as I remembered to be perfectly honest, but it’s still pretty great. A lot more cartoon-y than the other shows mentioned (DW gets turned into a walking pancake pretty much every episode). It’s also, in my mom’s opinion, too violent for young children. She was overprotective. It’s fine. Darkwing has a gas gun and she didn’t like that. But of course, not being allowed to watch it made it all the better to 7 year old me. Darkwing Duck and Ducktales share the same universe, with Launchpad being the biggest character in common.

Talespin
Based on Baloo, Louie, and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, only now they wear clothes. Baloo has an air cargo freight business that he’s terrible at running. It’s quickly taken over by Rebecca Cunningham, businesswoman and single mom extraordinaire. Along for the ride is orphan Kit Cloudkicker. Found family trope anyone? Louie owns a nightclub and Shere Khan is a cutthroat businessman and rocks, I mean totally ROCKS, a suit. My favorite character is Don Karnage, the deliciously over the top air pirate (it’s like a pirate…but in the sky…you get it).

The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Yeah, this is a show for kindergartners. Yeah, I watch it sometimes when I’m not feeling good and need a little gentle humor and cuteness. So sue me. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is…what it sounds like. Winnie the Pooh and friends go on sweet little adventures like camping and putting on a play and solve problems like the salmon are flooding Gopher’s tunnels! and Owl may be losing his feathers! The stakes are as low as you could possibly imagine and this is a great choice if you have young ones.

Chip ’N Dale Rescue Rangers
Donald Duck’s cutest nemeses get new life as they form The Rescue Rangers. Along with friends Monterey Jack, Gadget, and Zipper, Chip and Dale solve crimes and save the day, in their own rodent-sized way.

Also available: Bonkers and The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, neither of which I have rewatched in adulthood. I did give Bonkers one episode, but it really annoyed me.

sunbunny

4 comments:

CoramDeo said...

Great list! I may check some of this stuff out! Particularly Agent Carter, which I missed in its first season and only caught during the second.

I'll plug Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which I binged the moment I got Disney+. If you're unfamiliar, imagine what would've happened if the MCU was developed as a twenty-minute cartoon series instead of a cinematic universe, and you'll get an idea. It's just as serialized, and it does a whole lot of things as well as the MCU, if not better. Plus, it covers the Marvel universe in a very different way, so you'll rarely get the sense that you're watching MCU Lite. As a tip, skip the two-part episode 'Breakout' that starts the series on Disney+ until you've watched the five that deal with individual heroes. It was aired that way, and it makes a ton more sense. And then if you like you can check out the inferior Avengers Assemble, which studio heads replaced it with because they wanted it to reflect the movies more.

sunbunny said...

CoramDeo - Thanks for your addition! And the first season of Agent Carter was MUCH better than the second.

Chris said...

This post has great timing since Disney+ is available in Germany since yesterday :-D Love the list. Sadly, Talespin seems to be missing on German Disney+ for whatever reason. But I'm so looking forward to rewatching all of my other childhood classics. Darkwing was my favorite too! And yes Bonkers is supremely annoying and hasn't aged well in comparison.

Watching Agent Carter has been on my To-Do List since forever!

Also, everybody, watch Gargoyles if you haven't done so already. It's surprisingly mature and somber for a Disney cartoon and filled with amazing Shakespearean mythology. It's first two seasons are truly amazing, way ahead of its time. The last season, not so much.

And since cartoon wise, this list mostly covers great nostalgia shows from the late 80ies/early 90ies and very recent stuff like the Ducktales reboot, I want to give a shoutout to some very fun cartoons that premiered in the 00's: Kim Possible and Phineas and Ferb. Kim Possible is basically the cartoon version of Buffy, only with a young heroine that battles crime instead of vampires in her spare time. Also, way less angst. Phineas and Ferb contains a lot of very random but very brilliant humor. Despite every episode following pretty much the exact same plot structure, the show manages to never get stale. Underneath its extreme zaniness, it has some great messages (Be creative! Seize the Day! Summer rocks!) and even greater songs in almost every single episode that cover basically every musical genre and every random topic imaginable (one song celebrates the aglet, the little plastic part at the end of your shoelace).

sunbunny said...

Hey Chris! I'm just a TINY bit too old to have watched Kim Possible. I think I caught an episode here and there. There's tons of other stuff I just wasn't the right age for like Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana. Guys, get Disney Plus and relive your childhoods no matter what your age! Pretend the world is not on fire!

Gargoyles I never watched and never heard of until adulthood. Maybe I was too young for that one. Or maybe it looked too scary. I don't remember it, in any case.