The Amazing Things I’m Watching on Disney+
I don’t know about you, but I’ve torn through Disney+ content over the past few weeks. I’ve devoured a staggering amount of it, enough to make me feel guilty about all the weight I would have lost if I’d been exercising instead. But I’ll make a New Year’s resolution to diet instead. For now, I. Must. Consume. All. Disney+. Programming. Here’s what I’m watching on Disney+.
Disney Animated Shorts
Have you watched Kitbull yet? Pixar posted this animated short on its YouTube page earlier in the year. I fought back the tears then, and not much changed on second viewing.
The glory of Disney+ is that the Disney Vault has opened, allowing me to watch animated shorts whenever I want. Instant classics like La Luna, Piper, and For the Birds have given me a quick pick-me-up as needed. My favorite, Feast, doesn’t seem to be available yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Girl Meets World
In terms of target demographics, we would wreck some Disney statistician’s day. We never watched Boy Meets World and are a childless couple. So, we had absolutely no reason to watch this, but TiVo Suggestions caught it one day.
We gave the series a chance and immediately fell in love. My wife and I have watched every episode and are hopeful that the series will make its triumphant return in a few years. Until then, I’ll watch all of the Will Friedle episodes again. That dude’s hysterical.
The Imagineering Story
Some people ride Space Mountain and think, “That was cool.” When I ride Space Mountain, I wonder, “How does a ride that goes only 28 miles per hour make me feel like I’m approaching the speed of light?”
Anyone who likes to know how the sausage gets made will adore this series. It takes you behind the curtain at Disney’s most famous attractions to show how Imagineers managed the impossible.
I am not a Star Wars guy per se, but my wife loves the original trilogy and has tolerated the other five films. When she pulled up the show, I was on the fence until the final moments of the first episode.
Once Baby Yoda appeared, we both bought in and have watched each episode that followed within 24 hours of its release. What can I say? We’re pet lovers and fans of all things Kawaii. Baby Yoda checks both of those boxes for us.
USA! USA! I never get tired of watching this movie, particularly the grueling practice scene when Herb Brooks shouts, “Again!”
If a coach tried anything like that in modern sports, they’d get fired within 24 hours, but this sort of brutal discipline aided Team USA in winning the gold medal. And Kurt Russell is sublime as Hall of Fame coach Herb Brooks.
I adore a movie that you probably don’t know called Whale Rider. Writer/director Niki Caro has since won the honor of directing the live-action remake of Mulan. Still, Disney clearly used Whale Rider as the inspiration for Moana.
In fact, the aunt from the 2004 movie plays the grandmother in the animated film. The connections between the two projects are readily apparent, and I simply cannot get enough of Moana. Plus, the soundtrack rivals Frozen in terms of catchy tunes that I sing incessantly.
PIXAR in Real Life
Okay, so there’s only one of these thus far, and it only takes six minutes to watch. Still, the idea of a real-life version of the emotion controller in Inside Out takes my breath away.
In this short film, unknowing citizens encounter the device and watch live actors play out whichever emotion that the person chooses. This little social experiment is fascinating to watch, and the outcome restores my faith in humanity. Apparently, people just want strangers to be happy in the end.
All Pixar films fall somewhere between good and phenomenal. Everyone has a favorite, usually either a Toy Story movie, Up!, or Finding Nemo. I go off the beaten path, though.
The Pixar movie that I’ve re-watched the most is Ratatouille. I’ve discovered that it works perfectly for my needs, as I like to have movies playing in the background while I write.
The dialogue in Ratatouille is so earnestly optimistic that it improves my mood while I work. Plus, the kitchen chase scene always entertains. I just can’t wait for the attraction to open at the France pavilion. I’ll ride it at least 25 times, I swear.
Season three is just around the corner. So, I’ve caught up on season two, which strayed a bit too far from the comic book for my taste. From the sound of it, season three is going to ignore the comics even more.
Thankfully, the production team knew that Runaways was canceled before the season began. So, they’ve had time to build to a satisfying conclusion to a series that deserves a better fate. Season one of Runaways is must-watch television. At some point, Disney really needs to turn this story into a movie.
Odds are pretty good that should you ever visit my home, The Simpsons will be playing on my television. I’ve been addicted to this series since it debuted during the final week of 1989 (30th anniversary in two weeks!), and that obsession will never die.
There’s no television series that I’ve watched more over the years than The Simpsons. Disney+ simply makes it easier for me to consume dozens of episodes in a week. However, I do have a minority opinion on the subject.
I firmly believe that season 25 (!) is the best one. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who will argue in favor of any season after the first eight. Those people are wrong, and I’m right. Come at me, internet!
X-Men: The Animated Series
The most serendipitous part of Disney’s Fox purchase is this animated superhero saga. While I’m dating myself by mentioning it, I religiously watched the Fox animated series every morning. I found the stories captivating, especially for the early 1990s, when subtext and subtlety weren’t in vogue.
Plus, the multi-episode story arcs were wildly unusual for the time, particularly for a cartoon. In a way, X-Men: The Animated Series prophesied the eventual success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I’ve been happily re-watching The Phoenix Saga.
Five Things I Plan to Watch Next
Thanks to the shiny Watchlist feature, I’ve already lined up my next batch of programs. Here’s what I have in the queue.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
While I’ve ridden the original Submarine Voyage at Disneyland and have watched more than 5,000 movies in my life, I’m not sure that I’ve ever caught this one.
I plan to check it out to decide whether I’ve just forgotten it or somehow missed it for all of these years. PS: With Kirk Douglas, James Mason, and Peter Lorre in the cast, it’s got to be worth a look, right?
The Cat from Outer Space
I’ve actually watched this movie recently on Vudu, as I own it there. However, I added it to my Disney+ queue so that I can re-watch one of my favorite movie scenes ever.
The sequence wherein Dean Jones tries to win a game of pool against a hustler is Pure Disney. It’s implausible, absurd, overacted, corny, and just plain wonderful.
Escape from Witch Mountain
Along with The Apple Dumpling Game and some ghost movie where a little girl sang Frere Jacques (Child of Glass…look it up!), the Witch Mountain titles are the Disney films of my youth. While I’ve never watched an episode of Real Housewives of…anything, my understanding is that Kim Richards is kind of a trainwreck now.
However, to me, she’ll always be some combination of this character and the one from Tuff Turf (don’t ask, I’m not proud of it).
PS: Disney, where’s Child of Glass???
The Entire MCU
Okay, so I couldn’t decide where to slot this one. In truth, I’ve already torn through Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War.
However, that’s only a quarter of the MCU to date. I’ve still got a lot of work to do to watch it all. And some of that work isn’t pleasant. I’m looking at you, Thor: The Dark World.
Forky Asks a Question
I’m a bit embarrassed that I haven’t watched these short clips yet. They’re only three minutes each, and Disney’s only posted four of them thus far. I’ll probably knock them out in the next day or two. But I’m incredibly excited about the concept.
Forky innately understanding that he’s garbage is the second-funniest recurring bit in Toy Story 4, just behind Bunny and Ducky’s violent tendencies.
Okay, that’s my list. What are you watching on Disney+, MickeyBlog readers?