The 16 Best Disney+ Original Series That Aren’t Just for Kids

Mar 11, 2022

Category: Entertainment

Since hitting the scene in late 2019, Disney+ has provided households with entertainment coming from just about every corner of the House of Mouse. By mixing an abundance of classic films from the Vault, a surfeit of old-school cartoons, and even everyone’s favorite dysfunctional family in The Simpsons, Disney has managed to put together quite an impressive service fit for anybody. With such a sprawling catalog of content across the board, it’s practically impossible for the international media company to have disappointed in the slightest, and the same applies to Disney’s broad array of original programs — which, by the way, are not just for kids.

Whether you’re a Star Wars junkie, a fan of fauna, or a connoisseur of the classics, the streaming service has ultimately proven itself to deliver on a wide variety of worthwhile exclusives that appeal to adults, making Disney+ that rare service that is truly for the whole family. And seeing as we could all use a touch of magic in our lives, we decided to narrow down the 16 best Disney+ original shows that aren’t just for kids (though if you have kids, they can probably watch all of these with you, too).

Photo: Disney

The Beatles: Get Back

Kicking this list off is perhaps Disney+’s most adult-targedt offering, given that most youngsters may not understand the magnitude of this epic musical journey until they’re a bit older. Peter Jackson’s tireless compilation of session footage almost feels as if you’re eavesdropping on the Fab Four’s every move in their waning days as a band, as instances of brilliance, outrage, and hilarity accumulate throughout a trio of two-and-a-half-hour-plus episodes filled with some of the Beatles’ most beloved tracks and never-before-heard conversations.

Creator(s): Peter Jackson
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Behind the Attraction

Disney+ has done a great job of delivering shows that document the enriching history of its parent company’s illustrious parks, and Behind the Attraction is the most lighthearted, fun-loving of all these options. Produced by none other than The Rock in all his ubiquity, this series deep-dives into world-famous rides like The Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise, as well as shines a light on how each of Disney Parks’ magnificent, awe-inspiring castles were built. This show is worth watching from start to finish, whether you’re an annual passholder or someone who just enjoys watching how stuff is built.

Creator(s): Brian Volk-Weiss
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Growing Up Animal

One of the many perks that come alongside a Disney+ subscription is its sprawling collection of National Geographic shows and documentaries. Growing Up Animal serves as one of this section’s greatest standouts, showcasing the intimate, unimaginable upbringings of baby animals in the wild. From an undeniably adorable bear cub’s first steps to a young elephant’s stomp-filled journey for food, this show is ideal for nature lovers.

Creator(s): Jeremy Dear, Dominic Weston, and Pamela Caragol
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

The Imagineering Story

If you’re looking for a deeper examination of how Disney’s beloved theme parks came to shape, then this limited docuseries is an incredible, intricately detailed must-watch. This informative series comes courtesy of Oscar-nominated director Leslie Iwerks, daughter of former Disney executive Don Iwerks and granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, the man who assisted Walt in designing Mickey and the world-famous mouse’s oft-forgotten predecessor, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. It’s clear that the woman who brings this to life has been embedded in the Disney community for decades, and that’s made evident throughout The Imagineering Story, which touches on everything from the 1964 World’s Fair to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy Edge.

Creator(s): Leslie Iwerks
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Inside Pixar

As one of the more renowned bands of animators in the world for well over two decades, this short-term docuseries serves as a great behind-the-scenes look at Pixar’s world-class techniques. It touches on the lives and creative processes of individual employees, going to show that everyone at the studio has a helping hand in concocting the next Academy Award-winning animated film — and while it isn’t the main goal that comes alongside every new project, it’s often safe to assume that whatever Pixar is putting together is bound to go home with the gold.

Creator(s): Erica Milsom and Tony Kaplan
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Loki

Thanks to each of its films being made available on Disney+, fans of the bewilderingly expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe already have enough content to bask in as it is. Nevertheless, a handful of extra storylines could never hurt, and Loki just so happens to be one of the additional stories that stands out among the rest. Based around the cunning, adoptive brother of Thor himself, this show takes place directly following the events of Avengers: Endgame, in which an alternate version of Loki finds himself in an altered timeline and eventually uncovers a multiverse-spanning conspiracy that could take down all of reality.

Creator(s): Michael Waldron
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest park in its expansive portfolio, with much of its grandiose size being a result of the Kilamanjaro Safari, an incredible, 22-minute attraction that spans 800 square miles of land filled with authentic exotic wildlife. As one could imagine, this takes a whole lot of maintenance, which is why it serves us right for National Geographic to provide a full-on, backstage look at how the most immersive experience in all of Disney Parks comes to fruition. With each episode revolving around a different animal within the facility, this is as close as you’ll get to seeing how this massive operation takes shape up close.

Creator(s): Ashley Hoppin
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

The Mandalorian

It’s safe to say that The Mandalorian sits in the pantheon of Disney+’s catalog, having garnered other-worldly praise from people who aren’t even too keen on Star Wars. The space western is the brainchild of Jon Favreau, esteemed director and Star Wars fanatic, and revolves around an intergalactic bounty hunter who makes his way around a tumultuous galaxy following the fall of the Galactic Empire. The fact that Baby Yoda (yes, we know his name is Grogu and we don’t care) has grown to be a prominent figure in pop culture should go to show you the chokehold this show has on the world. But it’s not all hype, either, as the series is a legitimately great watch and is arguably the best that Disney+ has to offer.

Creator(s): Jon Favreau
Number of Seasons: 2

Photo: Disney

Monsters at Work

As one of Pixar’s more overlooked franchises, the renowned studio’s pair of Monsters Inc. movies are some of the most clever in its lengthy filmography, and that same brand of humor is brought back to light with this lighthearted exclusive series. Thanks to John Goodman and Billy Crystal reprising their original roles of Sully and Mike Wazowski, Monsters at Work provides an authentic, full-circle outcome for the bizarre duo of characters, as they have now been selected to oversee the entire factory.

Creator(s): Bobs Gannaway
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Muppets Now

To the chagrin of many, the Muppets may have fallen out of the public eye in recent years, but the beloved characters’ rehashing has gradually been coming to fruition courtesy of Disney’s streaming service. This variety show has already been graced by famous guest stars like Seth Rogen, Aubrey Plaza, and even Danny Trejo, as this trio and many more have shared the stage with the likes of one Mr. Kermit the Frog and his iconic crew. Plus, if you’re looking to deep dive into the Henson archives, you can also find The Muppet Show nearly in its entirety on here, too.

Creator(s): Andrew Williams, Bill Barretta, and Sabrina Wind
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Prop Culture

Speaking of the Muppets, it takes a whole lot of work to be a great puppeteer. Countless elements conjoin to bring some of our favorite movies to life, but very few stick with us as much as the various props that show up throughout each and every one. With that in mind, this show takes you backstage to revisit the most notable production details from Disney’s expansive filmography, including the intricate practice and hand coordination it took to create The Muppet Movie, as well as the meticulous detail and plethora of makeup that came together to craft the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Creator(s): Jason C. Henry
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

More of a deep cut than The Mandalorian, this animated Star Wars series has quickly become a favorite among the franchise faithful. Serving as a spin-off of the iconic Clone Wars series, The Bad Batch is an animated series revolving around a unique band of characters that may not fall along the line of household names like Luke Skywalker and Yoda, but still manage to add some high-quality lore to an illustrious franchise that is already chock-full of it.

Creator(s): Dave Filoni
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

WandaVision

As one of the more unabashedly unique shows that Disney+ has to offer, WandaVision serves as a standout choice that you don’t even need to be a superhero fan to appreciate. The show revolves around the suburban, ’50s sitcom-adjacent lives of, you guessed it, Wanda and Vision, as they gradually get a sense that they find themselves trapped in an odd time-shifting (and sitcom style-shifting) situation. With events taking place less than a month removed from the events of Endgame, Marvel fans and theorists can use this show as another piece of the larger MCU puzzle, while your average watcher will be able to take enjoyment in its entertaining proceedings without all the added trivia.

Creator(s): Jac Schaeffer
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

Welcome to Earth

Who better to travel the world with than the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith? Welcome to Earth takes viewers on a journey from one uncharted location to the next, practically morphing the world-renowned actor into a Nathan Drake of sorts. From remote islands along the Pacific to the dead center of an Icelandic glacier, there is no shortage of adventure that this show provides, and truly few hosts could manage to pull such treacherous adventures off with the bravado of Smith.

Creator(s): Ari Handel, Darren Aronofsky, and Jane Root
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

What If…?

Marvel enthusiasts are no strangers to leaving things up to their imaginations, especially with the countless scenarios that have come to light in the MCU. The debut season of Marvel Studios’ first-ever animated series surely managed to live up to the hype, bringing to light bizarre instances that you never would’ve expected to see in the franchise’s high-octane blockbuster films. Like, imagine how things would have gone down had Kilmonger come to save Tony Stark upon crashing in Afghanistan? You may already be asking yourself now… what if he did? That scenario and others are all played out in this imaginative series that promises to have lasting effects on the larger MCU, too.

Creator(s): A.C. Bradley
Number of Seasons: 1

Photo: Disney

The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse

This would not be a sufficient, Disney-centric list if we weren’t closing things out with the company’s iconic mascot. Although The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse is produced and written with kids in mind, even the most heartless grown-up can appreciate this timeless brand of characters. Through the show’s brand of zany, old-timey animation and an endless number of cameos from iconic members in Disney history, including Cheshire Cat and Bambi, this show is just wacky enough to work for people of all ages — especially if you’re able to appreciate the fact that Disney is still putting Mickey Mouse to work.

Creator(s): Paul Rudish
Number of Seasons: 2

40 Best Animated Movies Ever Made

If you’re a Disney+ subscriber, you’d be remiss to overlook the countless array of iconic movies it has to offer, many of which appear on our expansive list of the 40 best animated films ever made.

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