The most nostalgic Disney+ shows to stream

·8-min read

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We are living through difficult times, but how better to forget our current nightmare than to revisit a different age completely? Step back in time to the rose-tinted era of yesteryear.

These shows will bring back a lot of memories. (Disney+)
These shows will bring back a lot of memories. (Disney+)

When Disney+ launches in the UK on the 24th of March, you'll be able to get stuck into a whole heap of classic TV boxsets featuring beloved animated series and live-action favourites from your childhood.

Don't look out the window! Stay looking at the TV! Don't look out the window.


David Tennant voicing Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales TV reboot
David Tennant voicing Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales TV reboot

You're singing the theme tune right now, aren't you? You're still wondering what it would be like to dive into a swimming pool full of money, aren't you? The original DuckTales series is pure, concentrated nostalgia, containing childhood memories so vivid they are capable of transporting you back to a more innocent age.

Read more: The best ever Simpsons episodes

It's so much more than just a catchy intro: there are over 100 timeless DuckTales episodic adventures to enjoy, featuring warring billionaire ducks, mischievous antics, insane robots, time-travel, aliens and buckets of buried treasure. You're going to want to watch the theme tune in full on every episode. Go on, indulge yourself. Woo-oo!

Adventures Of The Gummi Bears

Gummi bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere. (Disney)
Gummi bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere. (Disney)

A staple of early morning weekends for countless men and women of a certain age, Disney's Adventures Of The Gummi Bears is another show that has an ear-worm theme tune which acts as a portal back to your younger years. Dashing, daring, courageous and caring (or so the intro says), the Gummi Bears are an odd bunch who have a powerful craving for the suspiciously crack-like 'Gummi Berry juice' and who solve all their problems by butt-stomping things, but with six seasons available and a relentless, technicolour energy, Adventures Of The Gummi Bears is a valuable asset in the war against boredom.

Darkwing Duck

A still from Disney's Darkwing Duck. (Disney)
A still from Disney's Darkwing Duck. (Disney)

Mickey is the mascot, but it's the Disney ducks who get the job done time and time again. Set in a separate-but-not-really universe from DuckTales (they share some characters), Darkwing Duck was one of Disney's first superheroes, who fights crime in the city of St. Canard while attempting to raise his adopted daughter. What, you thought characters in kids' cartoons couldn't be complex? Darkwing Duck is a beguiling mix of action, adventure and slapstick comedy, with persistently inventive escapades and another inescapable theme song ("When there's trouble you call DW!"). It's often forgotten in favour of Scrooge McDuck, but Darkwing is a duck to remember.


A still from Disney's Gargoyles. (Disney)
A still from Disney's Gargoyles. (Disney)

Here we have an older-skewed Disney TV show which is about as mature as Disney animation gets - it's not exactly South Park, but it's not for little kids, either. The action starts in Scotland in 994 AD with a group of gargoyles who are cursed to sleep for a thousand years; when they wake up in the modern day, their castle has been transported to New York City, where they team up with the NYPD to fight crime and solve mysteries.

Read more: Everything on Disney+ at launch

It sounds mad as a bag of cats, and it is, but it's that rare Disney animation that has a proper narrative over multiple seasons, rather than an 'adventure of the week' style format. It's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the fantasy genre.


A still from the 1990s X-Men cartoon. (Disney)
A still from the 1990s X-Men cartoon. (Disney)

What is it with shows that were made in the 1990s and incredible theme songs? For many superhero fans, the X-Men animated series was their first introduction to the Marvel universe, and despite the big-budget whizz-bang of the live-action Fox movies (which are also available on Disney+), the show is still arguably the definitive version of the comic-book characters you know and love.

As well as your standard roster of X-Men, there's a rogues gallery of villains to boo and hiss, including Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants, Mr Sinister, Apocalypse and Juggernaut in his iconic meme iteration. I repeat: there is no shame in settling in for a massive animated X-Men sesh - it's what Stan Lee would have wanted.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Strap yourselves in because we're going way back in time to revisit this seminal 1981 animated show, which is actually closer to Spider-Man's first comic-book appearance than we are to it. It's a fascinating watch from a time capsule point of view: several Spider-Men have come and gone over the years, but there's something wholesome about Spidey's original cartoon adventures and the quaint 'banter' he shares with amazing friends Iceman and Firestar. You won't get quite the thrills you'll get from more recent Spidey movies or shows, but there's no denying it's a classic.

Hannah Montana

HANNAH MONTANA - "We Are Family - Now Get Me Some Water!" - When Miley tries to help Jackson get a raise at his job, her plan backfires and Rico fires Jackson. Feeling extremely guilty, Miley gives Jackson a job as Hannah Montana's assistant - but Jackson seems to do everything wrong. Miley doesn't want to fire Jackson (again) so she tries to reason with Rico to rehire Jackson but he will only do so if Miley will be his ballroom dancing partner in a local competition, on "Hannah Montana," airing on SUNDAY, JANUARY 7 (7:00-7:30 p.m., ET/PT) on the Disney Channel. (DISNEY CHANNEL/DEAN HENDLER) MILEY CYRUS - BEHIND THE SCENES

Disney Channel stars have to be preserved in amber, because they grow up fast. Take Miley Cyrus: nowadays she's thought of an envelope-pushing, rule-breaking star who knows her way around a decent pop hook; Disney's Hannah Montana series, however, captured her as a child, all dayglo hairclips, gummy teeth and mega-watt smile.

The show, which ran for four seasons from 2006, tells the story of Miley Stewart, who lives a double-life as both an unassuming kid and pop star Hannah Montana. It's full of some great tunes, thanks to Executive Producer/father Billy Ray Cyrus, but it's got heart too - for many of today's modern young women, Hannah Montana-era Miley was their moral centre.

Boy Meets World

BOY MEETS WORLD - Gallery - Shoot Date: July 29, 1993. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) L-R: BETSY RANDLE;RIDER STRONG;LILY NICKSAY;WILLIAM RUSS;BEN SAVAGE;WILL FRIEDLE;WILLIAM DANIELS
BOY MEETS WORLD L-R: BETSY RANDLE;RIDER STRONG;LILY NICKSAY;WILLIAM RUSS;BEN SAVAGE;WILL FRIEDLE;WILLIAM DANIELS, 1993. (Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

Boy Meets World was a show which didn't feel the need to overwork its young cast before they grew up - instead, the show aged with them and became something altogether more mature. We first meet Corey (Ben Savage, younger brother of The Wonder Years' Fred) as an adolescent 11-year old, but Boy Meets World stuck with him and his friends through thick and thin for seven years. Later seasons featured Corey's wedding to his teenage sweetheart Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and touched on some pretty important issues like alcoholism, divorce and even death. The characters were eventually reprised for Disney Channel series Girl Meets World, featuring Corey and Topanga's daughter.

Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers

Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney)
Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney)

Rescue Rangers is the definitive iteration of Ch-ch-ch-Chip and Dale, even though the adorable critters have been knocking about since 1943. It's the show that has everything: adventurous chipmunks, cheese-loving mice, gadgets, gizmos and crime-fighting galore. Chip 'n' Dale Fun Fact #1: Chip is modelled after Indiana Jones (hence the jacket) and Dale is modelled after Magnum P.I. (hence the hawaiian shirt). Chip 'n' Dale Fun Fact #2: Chip was so named because he has a small dark nose shaped like a chocolate chip. Chip 'n' Dale Fun Fact #3: a team-up show, which was to connect the mouse-based universes of Rescue Rangers, Basil the Great Mouse Detective and The Rescuers, was proposed but never got off the ground, because we can't have nice things.


A still from Doug (Nickelodeon)
A still from Doug (Nickelodeon)

Doug started out life on Nickelodeon in 1991, but - like most things - ended up being acquired by Disney, where he went on to enjoy three more seasons and a spin-off movie. A rough approximation of creator Jim Jinkins' childhood growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Doug Finnie is your typical teenager, in that he often wishes that the world would open up and swallow him whole, but nonetheless he has to continue navigating life as a young man, with all the trials and tribulations that entails. Jinkins insisted that every episode had a solid moral at heart, so while Doug doesn't get into as many wild adventures as some of his Disney counterparts, he is way more relatable as a result. Plus: banging theme tune!

Pre-Order Disney+

Disney+ subscription | £49.99 a year for a limited time only

Disney+ will land in the UK on 24 March. There’s a monthly subscription fee of £5.99 a month, or an annual charge of £59.99. If you pre-order before 23 March, Disney is offering a year’s subscription for £49.99.

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