From spaceships and superheroes to rock docs and rollercoasters, here’s our latest guide to the best original series on Disney+ and why each one is a must-watch.
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There's no shortage of exciting original series on Disney+ right now. The streamer boasts an overwhelming library of new shows that the whole family can enjoy. Whether you prefer space fantasy, superheroes, or behind-the-scenes looks at the company's creative process, there's something on Disney+ for everyone. Here's a guide to some of the platform's best original series from a variety of genres.

The Mandalorian
Credit: Francois Duhamel/Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Mandalorian

Though other projects like Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett have premiered in its wake, The Mandalorian remains Disney's strongest live-action Star Wars show to date, combining inspiration from George Lucas' original roots — cowboy movies, samurai stories, and episodic sci-fi serials. Set five years after Return of the Jedi, the series follows the titular dogmatic bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) as he explores a galaxy far, far away. During his adventures, Mando encounters a wide array of new and familiar faces, including Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Kuiil (Nick Nolte), and Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). 

One of the series' greatest strengths is the commanding physical presence of the central character — he's cool, sympathetic, and expressive despite wearing a helmet for 95% of his scenes. But Pascal isn't the only one in the suit… he has a massive assist from his doubles, Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder. "It's been a collaborative process from the beginning," Pascal told EW. "I was given the opportunity to establish physical specificity in some ways at the start of the show, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't observing and picking up from what they're doing and handing over so much of it as well. They do the heavy lifting."

If you liked The Mandalorian, you might also enjoy: Firefly, streaming on Hulu.

WTW
Credit: Apple Corps

The Beatles: Get Back

Peter Jackson's stunning three-part documentary shows the world's biggest band falling apart at the peak of their powers. After a string of meticulously-produced albums and a long touring hiatus, the Beatles circa 1969 return to their roots by making a record the old-fashioned way: four lads sitting in a room together until enough songs materialize to form an album. Despite their global acclaim and unparalleled commercial success, the band finds itself an underdog backed into a corner –– they must write, produce, and perform a new album in just a few short weeks in time for a televised concert special. The result would eventually become Let It Be and the now-legendary rooftop performance, but as Get Back reveals, high art doesn't come easy, even for the greatest band in the world. 

Jackson narrowed nearly 60 hours of outtakes of Michael Lindsay-Hogg's 1970 Let It Be documentary into about eight hours of crisply-restored footage. "My understanding of what were called 'The Get Back Sessions' was that it had been a period of depression and gloom," Jackson told EW.  "But the hours of unseen footage revealed a different story. It wasn't doom and gloom. I found myself laughing…a lot. It was so much funnier than I expected, and it just got funnier as it went along." The series is incredibly amusing, especially for hard-core fans who see the sublime in the Beatles' quirks, but the real juice of the show comes from the unspoken care and connection between the four men that reverberates in each of their silly bits and angry outbursts. That, and there's nothing more magical than seeing Paul McCartney summon "Get Back" out of thin air. 

If you liked The Beatles: Get Back, you might also enjoy: George Harrison: Living in the Material World, streaming on HBO Max.

HAWKEYE
Credit: Mary Cybulski/Marvel Studios

Hawkeye

Marvel's oft-forgotten original Avenger Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) teams up with ambitious young archer Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to take down a New York crime organization at Christmas time. The show is one of Disney's few superhero series that viewers can appreciate even if they're not well-versed in the ever-expanding universe of Marvel lore. Though it features connections to Black Widow and a certain Netflix series (warning: spoilers at the link), Hawkeye stands well on its own because it focuses so intentionally on new characters like Bishop and antagonist Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), that latter of which will be headlining a spin-off show in 2023.

While its high-flying peers WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier don't quite stick the landing, EW's Chancellor Agard asserts that Hawkeye is Marvel's "most consistent on an episode-by-episode basis" because it's unusually grounded for the franchise. The characters get a lot of down time between missions to hang out, eat mac and cheese, and have charming conversations about what it means to be a hero. Oh, and the action is some of the best you'll see in a Marvel TV project, with trick arrows and car chases galore.

If you liked Hawkeye, you might also enjoy: Daredevil, streaming on Disney+.

Muppets Now
Credit: Disney+

Muppets Now

The Muppets leap into the digital era with a new format that targets kids who might prefer YouTube over standard old TV. The six-episode series updates the variety show structure of the original Muppet Show for modern times: instead of straightforward sketches and performances, each episode consists of several loosely connected, individualized segments that imagine each Muppet as the star of their own web series. As is age-old Muppet tradition, the series boasts an impressive lineup of human guest stars, including Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Danny Trejo, Roy Choi, and Aubrey Plaza.

Each web series assignment kindly highlights the personal strength of its respective star — Miss Piggy is a fashion and pseudo-wellness guru, the Swedish Chef has a cooking program, Honeydew and Beaker blow stuff up, and Statler and Waldorf judge the whole thing via a digital focus group. The series is so frenetic and chaotic that it threatens to become overwhelming, but it "delivers a continuous barrage of information — some educational, some silly, and all entertaining," writes EW critic Kristen Baldwin. It's a unique experiment that playfully lampoons the norms of the social media age with classic characters and timeless charm.

If you liked Muppets Now, you might also enjoy: The Muppet Show, streaming on Disney+.

Prop Culture
Credit: Disney+/Mitch Haaseth

Prop Culture

In this charming, nostalgic docuseries, host Dan Lanigan explores classic Disney movies through a unique lens: tracking down iconic props and reuniting them with the films' creators. In episodes focusing on Mary Poppins, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and other Disney hits, Lanigan enthusiastically demonstrates the unique power of tactile cinematic objects — once-disposable items that have taken on more historical, cultural, and relational value than their designers ever imagined. Guests include Christopher Lloyd, Danny Elfman, Jason Schwartzman, and even the ever-elusive Rick Moranis.

Prop Culture's approach is a refreshing perspective on film history that highlights the often-overlooked importance of physical artistry in filmmaking. "I felt like there were a lot of people that did a lot of amazing work that weren't getting the light shined on them," Lanigan explained in an interview with EW. "I thought wouldn't it be great to do a show that celebrated them. Even though the show is called Prop Culture and our way into the show are these artifacts, it's really about the people that are behind them." 

The host makes a point to tell each artist how much their work means to him and the moviegoing public at large, which encourages the guests to thoughtfully reflect on the legacy of their efforts. "It's emotional when you meet these people, people that have given life to these movies that you love," he told EW. "For them to be appreciated and then be reconnected with some objects of their past that they never thought that they would see again, that helped define who they were, at least publicly, it's a powerful moment."

If you liked Prop Culture, you might also enjoy: Disney Insider, streaming on Disney+.

Light and Magic
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Light & Magic

What do X-wings, melting Nazis, flying bicycles, a liquid metal robot, and a charging T. Rex all have in common? They're some of Hollywood's most iconic special effects — and they were all created by a small group of innovators at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the special effects division of Lucasfilm. Lawrence Kasdan's six-part documentary tracks the rapid evolution of the entertainment industry through the illustrious work of this one company, featuring interviews with massive filmmakers like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Barry Jenkins, and Ron Howard.

Though ILM's technological achievements are stunning to behold, the documentary's real joy comes from uncovering the passionate personalities that have quietly revolutionized the film industry. We see their old experimental home movies, their playful trial-and-error processes, their casual side projects (including PhotoShop and Pixar), and, most of all, their loving kinship. "You can see there's a real affection in these people for each other, for their experience," Kasdan said in an interview with EW. "That's kind of amazing that they could work together and do hard work for so long and really feel that this is a friendship that will last forever. I love that feeling, generosity of affection between them."

If you liked Light & Magic, you might also enjoy: Inside Pixar, streaming on Disney+.

Ms. Marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Ms. Marvel

Like Shazam! and Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ms. Marvel is a teenage coming-of-age comedy first and a superhero story second. The series follows Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a bubbly Captain Marvel superfan who obtains superpowers of her own, as she faces challenges at her Jersey City high school and at home with her tight-knit Pakistani-American family. 

Before their Batgirl film was unceremoniously canceled, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah helmed Ms. Marvel's pilot –– and made it the most creative episode of Marvel TV to date. Boasting a similar aesthetic to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the first episode of the series features many more visual flourishes than we're used to seeing in the MCU. Colorful animated sketches visualize Kamala's thoughts and text messages seamlessly integrate into the background of numerous scenes. 

"All those elements were not in the script," Fallah told EW. "So first, we needed to convince [Marvel] to allow us to do that. When they said okay, we had to be creative and try to design all these shots because you cannot improvise them…we wanted this MCU show to look different than all the other MCU movies and shows that came prior to that." Let's just say they succeeded and then some.

If you liked Ms. Marvel, you might also enjoy: Never Have I Ever, streaming on Netflix.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Credit: Susannah Wilkinson/National Geographic

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

National Geographic capitalized on the Jurassic Park star's well-meaning weirdness by giving him his own reality show. In each episode, the actor investigates an object or activity we take for granted — ice cream, denim, gaming — and discovers the simple pleasures and hidden treasures of each topic. 

Professionals and enthusiasts explain the details of their respective passions to Goldblum, who in turn waxes poetic about each one in his warm, unpredictable cadence — even if he doesn't have a great experience during the episode. "I seem to be nothing if not open-minded, and open-hearted, and open-spirited," the actor told PeopleTV upon learning about the show's first Emmy nomination. His enthusiasm and childlike curiosity are infectious. Regardless of your interest in the topic at hand, Goldblum and the creative team can make you see the fun and beauty in ordinary things.

If you liked The World According to Jeff Goldblum, you might also enjoy: Explained, streaming on Netflix.

The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse
Credit: disney+

The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognizable characters in entertainment history, but most modern audiences are more familiar with him as a corporate logo than as a worthwhile entertainer. The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse is a 2020 cartoon with old-fashioned flair that reinvigorates the iconic rodent by bringing him back to his roots. 

The series sees Mickey and friends through brisk, unconnected nine-minute adventures that can be viewed in any order. While other recent manifestations of the mouse sand off his edges to the point of overwhelming dullness (looking at you, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), this series isn't afraid to evoke the rougher sensibilities of Mickey's earlier appearances, harkening back to the olden Steamboat Willie days when he'd torture other characters for laughs. 

Each episode is full of kid-friendly slapstick violence and mean-spirited comedy, giving the series more in common with Looney Tunes and Tex Avery than with squeaky-clean Disney fare. It's also a loving tribute to the era of traditional animation, with retro designs and brief guest appearances from classic Disney characters, including Dumbo, Cinderella, and Ursula (voiced by the late Pat Carroll in her final role).

If you liked The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse, you might also enjoy: Looney Tunes Cartoons, streaming on HBO Max.

The Imagineering Story
Credit: Disney

The Imagineering Story

Disney+ has an immense collection of Disney-focused documentaries, and this six-part series about the company's theme parks is undoubtedly one of the best. Narrated by Angela Bassett and directed by Leslie Iwerks of The Pixar Story, the series follows the evolution of the Disney parks from Walt Disney's earliest ideas to their newest additions, like Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The Imagineering Story highlights the corporate drama, the engineering ingenuity, and, most importantly, the creative collaboration that shaped the Disney Parks into global behemoths.

The docuseries features unprecedented access to the "happiest place on Earth," taking us into the legendary rec room inside the Matterhorn and the vast network of underground tunnels that provides infrastructural support. Later episodes include interviews with contemporary creative partners like James Cameron and Danny Elfman, but the heart of the series comes from the Imagineers' nostalgic testimonies of the parks' early days. It should come as no surprise that Iwerks was the one to finally bring cameras to peek behind the magic curtain — her grandfather Ub Iwerks was among Walt Disney's most important animators, and her father Don Iwerks is one of the most significant Disney Parks leaders seen in the documentary.

If you liked The Imagineering Story, you might also enjoy: Behind the Attraction, streaming on Disney+.

Moon Knight
Credit: Marvel Studios

Moon Knight

While there's not a ton of action in this Marvel miniseries, the show instead combines elements from psychological thrillers and globetrotting treasure hunts (think Memento meets National Treasure with a supernatural twist). Oscar Isaac stars as Steven Grant, a mild-mannered ancient history nerd who gets sucked into a deadly quest involving the Egyptian gods and the mysterious Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke). 

Hawke told EW that "the event of Moon Knight is Oscar's performance," which is an apt summation of what makes the series so unique in the Marvel pantheon. Isaac's character suffers from dissociative identity disorder, which gives the actor the opportunity to switch between multiple distinct personas, often in the same scene. 

"I had reservations and hesitations about going into this world because I didn't know what to expect," Isaac told EW, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige quelled the actor's fears by encouraging him to create "something that really meant something to me emotionally as an actor and a storyteller." Isaac's passion comes through — he emphatically jumps between hilarious politeness, genuine terror, and badass stoicism in the blink of an eye.

If you liked Moon Knight, you might also enjoy: Legion, streaming on Hulu.

STAR WARS: VISIONS
Credit: Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Star Wars: Visions

Animated anthology series are all the rage on streaming (hello, Love, Death & Robots), and for good reason — they allow a wide array of artists to flex their boundless creativity in short bursts that wouldn't have a place in theaters or on traditional television. With Star Wars: Visions, Lucasfilm enlisted seven Japanese animation studios to produce whatever short stories they wanted in a galaxy far, far away. Every episode has a distinct art style, and the voice cast includes Henry Golding, Lucy Liu, David Harbour, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt among others.

The nine-episode series isn't restricted by the main series canon — instead, each episode tells a wholly original story while drawing from the ideas, designs, and sounds that make Star Wars so unique. Some of the best installments are the ones that are furthest from typical Star Wars conventions: "The Duel" imagines a Jedi-Sith faceoff in the style of feudal Japan, while "T0-B1" follows a kid droid (who looks a lot like Astro Boy) on the path to becoming a Jedi himself. 

If you liked Star Wars: Visions, you might also enjoy: What If?, streaming on Disney+.

BIG SHOT
Credit: Gilles Mingasson/Disney+

Big Shot

After a gametime outburst costs him his career in NCAA men's basketball, volatile coach Marvyn Korn (John Stamos) reluctantly takes the only option he has left: motivating and molding the struggling team at a private girls' high school in San Diego. On his quest to get back on top of the basketball world, Korn faces challenges with the school's teachers, parents, administrators (including an excellent Yvette Nicole Brown), and even his own daughter. The series was created by David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies), Dean Lorey (Harley Quinn), and Brad Garrett (star of Everybody Loves Raymond).

The premise makes the show sound like it's destined to be a marathon of tired cliches, but Big Shot quickly reveals itself as a lovely piece of inspirational sports entertainment, full of snappy dialogue, likable characters, and massive heart-on-its-sleeve enthusiasm. In EW's original review, Kristen Baldwin explains how Stamos plays to the series' strengths. "It would be foolish to hire professional dreamboat John Stamos only to keep his charm under a bushel," she writes. "The actor makes for a likable grump opposite an engaging young ensemble…Stamos is the ultimate utility player, capable of delivering dry wit and sweet sentiment in equal measure." It's a funny, multifaceted performance that makes a good show even better.

If you liked Big Shot, you might also enjoy: Ted Lasso, streaming on Apple TV+.

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