It’s been over a month since Disney+ launched, and by now you’ve binged The Mandalorian and The World According to Jeff Goldblum a few times and caught up on classic films you only had on VHS. But here is so much more to Disney+ than these stellar new shows and old classics!
With an app so chock full of other great content, you don’t have to go far to find something to watch.
For those who enjoy a deep dive on Disney content, go past the princesses and Marvel blockbusters and head way into the back of the Disney vault for these hidden gems.
Can of Worms – 1999
DCOM’s were our childhood! For those not in the know, a DCOM is a Disney Channel Original Movie. There were tons of classic DCOM’s, from Cadet Kelly and Johhny Tsunami to Zenon and Eddie’s Million Dollar Cookoff. There is even a DCOM section on Disney+, and deep in there is a lesser-known film called Can of Worms.
Can of Worms is the story of Mike Pilsbury, a boy who doesn’t fit in on Earth who sends a signal into space looking for intelligent life. Mike gets more than he bargains for when a ton of aliens start showing up in his backyard, and not all of them are friendly. This movie is jam-packed with late 90’s special effects and weird alien puppets. There is even a dog with a talking translator collar, similar to Dug from Up!. Definitely sit back with some Sunny D and Dunkaroos and revel in all of Can of Worms 90’s sci-fi glory.
Treasure of Matecumbe – 1976
When most people think of Disney, they think of the classic animated fairy tales, but there are a ton of forgotten live-action films from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Treasure of Matecumbe is one of those forgotten films.
Treasure of Matecumbe takes place in a post Civil War south (and has some outdated cultural depictions) and follows a small boy and his friend on a race for a buried treasure before a murderous gang can get to it. Along the way, they gather a team of outcasts to help them on their journey. The story feels like one part Tom Sawyer, one part Wizard of Oz, and one part Treasure Island. If you enjoy those classics, you’ll get a kick out of Treasure of Matecumbe.
Blackbeard’s Ghost – 1968
Blackbeard’s Ghost is another weird and wonderful older Disney film, where a track coach in New England is haunted by the pirate Blackbeard’s ghost. So, you know, pretty normal 1960s stuff. 😉
Blackbeard is trapped in limbo and can’t pass on until he completes a set number of good deeds. Blackbeard tries to help Steve Walker (the track coach) with his struggling track team, but how good can a pirate be at track and field sports? The answer might surprise you.
The Black Cauldron – 1985
The Black Cauldron is one of the greatest animated films of all time and too often people have never even heard of it. Based on a classic fantasy novel series by Lloyd Alexander, The Black Cauldron follows an assistant pig keeper named Taran and a stranded princess on their journey to protect a pig who can see the future.
Along the way, they meet a bard and a furry, perpetually hungry forest creature named Gurgi. What really makes this movie is the villainous Horned King. He is truly terrifying! We know this sounds like a Dungeons and Dragons fever dream, but it is a fantastic movie and a fantastic book series.
The Lone Ranger – 2013
When The Lone Ranger came out, it got terrible reviews and no one saw it. We saw it, and they were all wrong. The Lone Ranger is a classic pulp hero who was in popular radio shows, films, and tv shows for decades. The film is a fun western filled with action and humor that follows the Lone Ranger and Tanto on their first adventure. The Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver, often steals the show with his un-horse like antics. If you enjoy a good adventure movie or a good old cowboy movie, give The Lone Ranger a try.
The Rocketeer – 1991
There are a million comic book movies now, and most of them are on Disney+, but in the early 90’s some lesser-known comic heroes got feature films. One of those heroes is the Rocketeer. Cliff Secord was a stunt pilot with an airshow when he discovered a top-secret jetpack and had to keep it safe from Nazi spies.
And how better to keep it safe than to put it on and fight crime! There is nothing like a hero with a jetpack punching Nazis in 40’s era Hollywood. The Rocketeer stands the test of time and would fit in right next to Captain America. There is even a new animated series following a new Rocketeer on Disney Junior that just started.
The Legend of The Three Caballeros -2017
The Three Caballeros are a musical trio of adventurers that were first introduced in 1942’s Saludos Amigos. They consist of Panchito Pistoles a cowboy rooster from Mexico, Jose Carioca a dapper parrot from Brazil, and the irascible Donald Duck. The trio appeared in two films together and even have an attraction in Epcot. The Three Caballeros finally got their own animated series back in 2017, but it was only available in the Philippines on an app called DisneyLife. Now thanks to Disney+, everyone else finally has access to this fun series. In The Legend of The Three Caballeros, the trio gets a magic atlas and with the help of the goddess of adventure they travel the world and fight mythical monsters. Myths, heroes, and Donald Duck. Who could ask for more?
Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series – 1996
There were so many good animated series on Disney in the 80’s and 90’s that people still love today, but Mighty Ducks flew under the radar. Borrowing its name from the great hockey trilogy, this series follows a team of space alien ducks who come to Earth to fight evil dragon/dinosaur aliens. They are also a hockey team in their spare time.
The series was extremely toyetic; everything in the show was made to look like it could be made into a toy. Unlike most of the 90’s animated series, there was a large action figure line with all the duck-shaped hockey spaceships you could ever want. Honestly, the series was just okay, but it is important to remember that something this weird actually existed.
Mickey Mouse Club – 1955
Before there were Ducktales or Rescue Rangers, there were Mouseketeers. The original Mickey Mouse Club from the 50’s was a variety show that followed a group of cheerful children called the Mouseketeers. In addition to the singing and dancing Mouseketeers, there were animated segments following Mickey and his friends and educational segments about children around the world.
Mickey Mouse Club is a little dated but has the same idealistic charm as Main Street, USA, iat Disney World. It even gave us that extremely catch theme song!
Out of The Box – 1998
Long before everything on Disney Junior was computer animated and overly cute, there was a series about imagination. Out of The Box followed a group of children and their two babysitters in a giant cardboard box playroom. We all know the magic that a cardboard box holds. In their bigger on the inside cardboard castle, the children would sing and dance and do crafts using recycled materials.
In our modern world, where everything is “smart” and disposable it is nice to see that you can have much more fun with some imagination and a cardboard box. If you have a little one, definitely check out Out of The Box.
So Weird – 1998
There has never been a more aptly named show than So Weird. In this extremely late 90’s-feeling show, we follow Fiona Phillips as she tours the country in a bus with her rock star mom. Along the way, she uncovers supernatural mysteries and tries to solve her father’s death. Fiona posts about all these mysteries on her website called So Weird. The series has a darker tone than most Disney series and is often compared to The X-Files.
In the coming months, Disney will undoubtedly be adding some other gems to Disney+. Fingers crossed they add some classics like The Famous Jett Jackson, The Jersey, and the very first DCOM, Under Wraps.
What is your favorite content on Disney+? Let us know in the comments.
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