17 Disney+ Original Series to Watch

Damarys Ocaña Perez | Dec 2, 2019 TV
17 Disney+ Original Series to Watch
Image: Disney+

Pedro Pascal and Horatio Sanz in The Mandalorian (2019)
Disney+

In case ya haven't noticed, Disney+ is instantly addictive, for everything new and rewatchable that it offers. That's exciting for those of us who like to camp out in the couch for entire weekends at a time. But it's not exactly a big shocker, since just about everything the enormous company has ever created -- or anything a company that it bought has ever created -- is on the brand-new streaming service. That's probably half of everything we love to watch, ranging from Marvel superhero movies and kid favorite series (love The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), to a movie vault containing sketchy early movies -- like Peter Pan which Disney included in an effort to be transparent about the stereotypical way it portrayed ethnic characters in the past. 

But there are plenty of new shows as well, many of which are spin-offs from favorite movies or feature pop culture icons that Disney hopes will keep viewers paying the bargain-basement subscription fee of $7 per month to see.

In its effort to give rival streaming service Netflix a run for its money, the new shows on Disney+ offer a wide variety, with something sure to please just about anyone, regardless of age.

Favorite characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies take center stage in their own shows, becoming must-sees as they build on to the fantastical worlds they came from. (And because, Baby Yoda, y'all -- squee!)

Disney+ also has documentary series that go deep into the history of Disney and Marvel to show us just how they create the magic that has made them such a dominant part of our culture. Family-friendly, unscripted shows are like all the basic TV lifestyle channels rolled up in one. There are cooking competition shows, shows that hit the road across the country to cover food and pop culture, and music. 

So, will Disney+ replace Netflix as our go-to for original shows? We think there's no need to choose as we have the brain cells to handle it all. But we do the need to invest in more loungewear for more nights in, because we're definitely adding the following 17 new Disney+ original series to our must-watch list. (All shows are available now on Disney+, unless otherwise noted). 

Still don't have Disney+? There's still time to sign up for a subscription!

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  • 'Forky Asks a Question'

    1

    Forky, the loopy spork introduced in Toy Story 4, has his own show. In each episode of the short-film series, he asks a different friend to help him answer one of life's big questions, including "What Is Money?" "What Is Cheese?" and "What Is Time?" Forky Asks a Question is a funny and fresh way to teach kids important info without making them feel overwhelmed.

  • 'The Mandalorian'

    2

    Squee! The Mandalorian is the first ever live-action Star Wars series. Set after the fall of the Empire but decades before the founding of the First Order, the show stars Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones and Narcos) as a lone bounty hunter working the far reaches of the galaxy. The series didn't skimp on special effects, making this a must-see.

  • 'Marvel's Hero Project'

    3

    Real-life kids making a difference in their communities through acts of bravery and kindness is the focus of this 20-episode series. The kids are working on solutions for issues, including climate change, accessibility for disabled kids, and child abuse. One episode features a remarkable boy who hasn't let blindness stop him from being a football star.  

  • 'Encore!'

    4

    In each episode of this reality show, produced and hosted by increasingly indispensable Kristen Bell, cast members of a high school musical are reunited and asked to reprise their roles. The results are funny, heartwarming, and unexpected -- just like Bell herself. Musicals include Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and The Sound of Music.

  • 'The Imagineering Story'

    5

    In this six-episode documentary series, viewers get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at how the Disney theme parks and some of its biggest attractions were built, as well as the moves the company made to expand in the past decade. Sure, it's a bit self-congratulatory, but it's also so cool to see how Disney, a company that wields its enormous cultural influence, got that way. 

  • 'SparkShorts'

    6

    Pixar has different ways in which it looks for new filmmaking talent to create films. SparkShorts is a series of short films developed by employees given a short amount of time and a small budget. The result: Stories, based on the filmmakers' personal experiences, that feel fresh. The short films were originally posted on YouTube but have a new home on Disney's streaming service. 

  • 'Pixar in Real Life'

    7

    Let's imagine what would happen if everyone's favorite Pixar characters and scenes came to life while we were minding our own business sitting on a park bench. Wall-E walking down a sidewalk, trying to interact with pedestrians. Dash from The Incredibles asking bystanders to time him while he runs around the block.

     We've just imagined the fun featured in Pixar in Real Life.

  • 'The World According to Jeff Goldblum'

    8

    We're OK with more Jeff Goldblum, the sexy "old guy" madman among actors. In this documentary series, he does a deep dive into seemingly familiar topics in order to illuminate different facets about them that will surprise viewers. Episodes center around tattoos, sneakers, barbecue, and more.     

  • 'High School Musical: The Musical -- The Series'

    9

    In a very meta move, this confusingly named series is about students from the high school where the High School Musical movies were filmed, who put on a musical based on the movie. OK, then. Dare we hope that season two features Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens as teachers? No? Think it's too much?

  • 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier'

    10

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    Having somehow survived Avengers: Endgame while the central superheroes perished, Sam Wilson (The Falcon), has taken up the mantle of Capt. America, and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier), now have to deal with the aftermath. This is a six-episode mini-series is part of a larger effort to showcase Marvel's other heroes.

  • 'Lamp Life'

    11

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    Bo Peep has some explaining to do. The sheep-herder with no sheep made a big comeback in Toy Story 4, but for all of Toy Story 3, we didn't know where she was. Lamp Life, a short film that will premiere on Disney+, will answer that pressing question, including how she got to the antique shop. 

  • 'Monsters at Work'

    12

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon 

    This series is a sequel to 2001 hit Monsters and is set six months after the events of the movie, when the transformed city of Monstropolis is fueled with laughter rather than fear. It focuses on Tylor Tuskmon, a mechanic on the facilities team, whose goal is to work alongside Mike and Sulley.

  • 'Diary of a Female President'

    13
    gina rodriguez and tess romero of diary of a female president
    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    How are leaders made? In this series, the answer is by dealing with middle school drama. Elena may be a future president of the United States, but at the moment, she's a tween student navigating life and writing about it for her diary. Produced by Gina Torres, Diary of a Female President stars newcomer Tess Romero.

  • 'Be Our Chef'

    14
    angela kinsey on watch what happens live
    Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    Cooking competition shows have not been terribly successful, but Disney will give it a go anyway with a show starring The Office's Angela Kinsey. On the show, families will compete against each other by cooking their traditional food, with a Disney twist ...

  • 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'

    15

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    It started as a film released in theaters, then continued as a series on the Cartoon Network. And now, the cult favorite will run a final season of 12 episodes on Disney+. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is set during the years between the films Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. 

  • 'Marvel's 616'

    16
    Attendees watch Marvel Studios visual at the Disney+ booth
    ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    The Marvel universe has become ubiquitous in the past few years, thanks largely to a slew of blockbuster movies and Netflix series. That's earned Marvel cultural influence with global reach. That phenomenon is exactly what this documentary series examines, starting with an episode about the trailblazing women of Marvel. 

  • 'Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2'

    17

    Premiere Date: Coming Soon

    Frozen 2 broke all kinds of records when it debuted November 22, and it's no surprise given its breathtaking trailers and, well, kids obsession with the first flick. In this documentary, viewers can see exactly how Disney achieved the groundbreaking animation and storytelling that instantly took the genre to a new level.  

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