Disney+ went live on Tuesday, signaling the dawn of a new era for the streaming world. But while critics have given the platform mixed reviews for its lack of new content, others have praised it for making Disney’s vast and expansive library of shows and movies easily accessible in one place—all for the low price of $6.99/month, and even less if you commit to a full year at a time.
For those of you that are excited about the launch, the massive library of content is a sensation overload right off the bat. Below we’ve come up with a list of our top five must-see titles on Disney+ to mark your first dive into the platform, so you’re not stuck scrolling for 20 minutes like you already do on Netflix.
The Imagineering Story (2019)
With all eyes turned toward the other new content that came with the arrival of Disney+ (The Mandalorian, Lady and the Tramp), we thought we would turn your attention toward Disney’s new docu-series that deserves a look as well. The 6-part series, which launched its first episode alongside the Disney+ launch today, tells the story of Walt Disney and his team of Imagineers, the engineers that create and work on Disney Park attractions around the world to this day.
Starting from the beginning, the series tells the story of how Walt took the idea for a Disney theme-park and turned it into one of the most iconic attractions in world history, touching on everything from the urban legend of the basketball court inside the Matterhorn roller coaster to the sociological reasoning behind the park’s layout and the development of animatronic robots—which were cutting edge at one point in time.
Lizzie McGuire (2001-2004)
Obviously if you were into Disney Channel shows when you were younger any one of them would be worth a binge-watch now that they’re accessible with the touch of a button thanks to Disney+. However, Lizzie McGuire should be fast-tracked to the top of your watchlist thanks to its reboot that will arrive on Disney+ sometime in 2020.
The new Lizzie McGuire picks up where Lizzie would be right now—navigating her early 30’s in New York City. The best part? Disney didn’t have to re-cast any of her family, as the original cast of the show has already been confirmed to return to the new show. Hilary Duff, who will reprise her iconic role, has been posting about the show nonstop on her Instagram since its initial announcement at a D23 convention over the summer.
I watched an episode this morning, and honestly I can’t tell the difference between the show—having taken place in the early 2000’s—and the Doll’s Kill website, which likely gets updated with new heinous throwback items each day.
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
What makes Disney+ stand out against other streaming platforms (aside from its vast library of Disney Channel Original Movies) is the fact that it grants access to very old movies under the Disney franchise that were previously inaccessible unless you dusted off your parents’ VHS collection. Among those titles are things like Swiss Family Robinson, a movie about a family that has to live in the wild after their ship wrecks on a deserted island.
Smart House (1999)
Quite a few of the ancient Disney Channel Original Movies have been easily accessible on streaming platforms like Netflix for years now. Halloweentown, for example, has been aired on cable networks annually as part of the seasonal cycle. But not every title has remained as popular throughout the 2010’s, though they easily could have been.
Smart House, the dystopian thriller about a picturesque American family that moves into a would-be dream home, is one of them. After winning a contest to live in the first-ever smart home, the family soon realizes that they’ve moved in to a personal hell when their house’s smart assistant becomes sentient and tries to become a living, breathing, 1950’s house wife—complete with the smock.
We basically have all of these luxuries today, save for the evil cyber-mom and the ability to just toss trash on the floor and watch it dissolve into thin air (why don’t we have that one?).
The Aristocats (1970)
Speaking of the hard to find classics, Disney has been slowly but surely removing its content from every other streaming platform over the last year or so. While many of the original cartoon movies have succumb to less-than-perfect live-action remakes, The Aristocats has been left alone for years now. But, it is available on Disney+, where you can stream the cute cartoon about a family of wealthy European cats that learn about the real world.