When Disney+ rolled out last year, every Disney fan jumped for joy at the thought of endless Disney movies and television shows at our fingertips. However, I don’t think any of us could have predicted just how vital this service would be when the world turned upside down this year.
2020 has called for much Disney binge-watching.
It’s all too easy to turn on Hamilton, The Mandalorian, and Frozen 2, some of the most popular and renowned programs on Disney+. We also have the mounting excitement for the debut of Disney’s live-action Mulan.
But there’s a great, big, beautiful plethora of amazing programming on Disney Plus, as vast and expansive as Belle’s library. Here are some hidden gems that are one hundred percent worth the watch:
1. TANGLED: THE SERIES
The show is set between the events of Tangled, and before Tangled Ever After, the short film that centers on Rapunzel and Eugene’s (aka Flynn Rider) wedding.
In the series, Rapunzel adjusts to her new life as a royal, and ponders, “Is this life after happily ever after?”
Having grown up in a tower, Rapunzel is having a few struggles being a Princess. When her shortened brown hair unexpectedly grows back to those long, golden locks, Rapunzel gets tangled up in a whole mess of other problems.
Luckily, her friends are there to help her on her journey (Pascal, Maximus, and Flynn from the original movie, and a few new characters too!)
The main cast of Tangled have reprised their roles on the show, and many episodes have with great new songs, written by Disney Legend, Alan Menken. I’ve watched all three seasons, and would highly recommend Tangled: The Series.
In the credits of Beauty and the Beast (my favorite movie of all time), a tribute appears on the screen, saying: “To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a Beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.”
Howard Ashman, Disney Legend and lyricist, is one of the people we have to thank for the Disney Renaissance period. Sadly, he didn’t live to see the premiere of Beauty and the Beast.
This documentary follows Howard Ashman’s short, but remarkable life, and his contributions to some of the most well-known songs in Disney history.
Two days after receiving the Academy Award with Alan Menken for the song Under the Sea, Ashman revealed to Menken that he was seriously sick, and was HIV positive.
Ashman passed from AIDS in March 1991. In the documentary, Alan Menken, recalls how some of the most iconic songs from Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin were recorded on a keyboard he had brought into Ashman’s hospital room.
Illness or not, nothing was going to stop them from creating magic together. I suggest having tissues handy for intimate, poignant, and beautiful film, in case you get a little misty as I did.
It’s the circle of life: Disneynature has a catalog of vibrant and educational documentaries, following some of our favorite animal friends. Think of it as riding Kilimanjaro Safaris, but longer, and in the comfort of your own home, so break out the snacks and get comfy with the whole family!
Disneynature’s most recent documentary, Elephant, was released only a few months ago on April 3rd. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, narrated it, so I suppose you could say she’s a Disney Princess now!
Elephant takes you on an epic journey through South Africa’s Kalahari Desert, following the elephants that are beginning to migrate. Their home in the Delta is drying up, and they must go in search of a new home where they have better access to food and water.
One look at these adorable elephants playing in the water, and I immediately had the biggest smile across my face! I’m sure you will too. Keep an eye out for Jomo … he was my favorite!
4. A GOOFY MOVIE
Gosh, I lived for the music in this movie as a kid. (OK, fine, I still live for the music in this movie, and yes, half the soundtrack is on my Morning Happy Jams playlist!) Not to mention, this is the film that gave us the leaning tower of Cheeza.
This often forgotten classic brings back so much nostalgia and is still as epic in 2020 as it was in 1995. The story centers on love, friendship, and, most importantly, family.
As you might suspect from the title, our main characters are Goofy and his son Max, who’s now a teenager and more concerned with looking cool and having a shot with his crush Roxanne, than he is with going on a wacky road trip with his dad.
It’s interesting watching this movie again years later as an adult. As a kid, I always thought, “Ugh, Goofy, let up on Max and let him be cool, he’s gotta get to that Powerline concert and impress Roxanne!”
Now I watch it and think, “Come on, Max, your dear old dad just wants to spend time with you because he loves you so much.”
5. ALL THE ORIGINAL MICKEY MOUSE CARTOONS
Most of us aren’t getting to ride that glorious Magical Express to and from Orlando International Airport.
But every time I do get to ride it, I love starting (and ending) my vacation on Disney’s Magical Express while they show some of these classic 1940s Mickey Mouse cartoons! It’s such a fun way to enjoy the trip, reminding us of Walt’s words … “It was all started by a mouse.”
I may not be able to ride Disney’s Magical Express right now, but these cartoons are always worth a watch, and they’re each about six to nine minutes in length so that you can binge-watch them all in less than an hour. Not to mention, it’s always fun seeing the Fab Five together on screen.
So now the question is, which of these will you watch first? And what are some of YOUR favorite hidden gems on Disney+? Tell us in the comments on our Facebook page!