The best Disney Plus TV shows you can watch right now


(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney Plus)

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One of Disney Plus’s biggest selling points when it launched in 2019 was its vast back catalogue of movies, yet its TV offering was unlikely to compete with the likes of Netflix. Nowadays, however, any selection of the best Disney Plus shows boasts an impressive array of animation, documentaries, superheroes, galaxies far, far away and more.

In fact, if you’re a fan of Star Wars or Marvel, you’re more likely to find the hottest new adventures on Disney Plus than on the big screen. As well as being among the best Disney Plus shows, The Mandalorian, Andor, WandaVision and She-Hulk are  just as important to their respective universes as the movies – in other words, if you don’t have Disney Plus, you’re going to miss out on essential storytelling.

And when it comes to classic TV, the jewel in Disney Plus’s crown is undoubtedly 33 seasons of The Simpsons. You can also hit some nostalgia buttons with cartoons like DuckTales and the classic X-Men animated series from the 1990s.

Throw in top documentaries Light & Magic and Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back and something tells us you’re not going to have a problem finding your next TV binge. We’ve sorted this list into sections on Marvel, Star Wars, animation, documentaries and more, to make it easier to find the best Disney Plus shows for you. 

(If you’re reading this outside the US, you have access to Star, which features many adult-oriented shows you won’t find on this list. Instead, we’ve stuck to shows universally available as part of a Disney Plus subscription, wherever you’re logging in.)

The best Disney Plus shows: Marvel



(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

The first Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show is also one of the best. WandaVision is an oddball show featuring Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), each reprising their roles from the Avengers movies. While the show is presented as a sitcom – or, rather, a series of sitcoms, with each episode riffing on the comedies of different decades – secrets about the true nature of the heroes’ new home lurk beneath the surface. It’s an unusual start for the MCU on the small screen, but a worthy and interesting effort to explore grief in an inventive way.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier


(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

The second MCU show to land on Disney Plus, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier follows Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in the turbulent aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, as the world picks itself up after the return of all the people who’d been disappeared by Thanos’s infamous finger snap. Will Sam take up the mantle of Captain America? That’s the big question at the center of this series, which is a little muddled in its plotting and overloads itself with villains, but is still well worth a watch – especially for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All six episodes are now available.



(Image credit: © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

One of the most popular villains/antiheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe embarks on his own adventures in space and time. In Loki, Thor’s brother is taken into custody by the Time Variance Authority – a bureaucratic organization on a mission to keep history playing out as it should – and ends up encountering multiple versions of himself. Mixing elements of Doctor Who with a mismatched cop comedy (Loki’s double act with Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius is wonderful), it takes the MCU to places it’s never been before – though you can’t help feeling that setting up future Marvel movies was a higher priority than continuing Loki’s own story.



(Image credit: Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © Marvel Studios 2021)

Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye always felt like a supporting player alongside Iron Man, Captain America and the other Avengers, so it was something of a surprise when solo standalone series turned out to be one of Marvel’s most accomplished TV adventures. 

Based around the classic old hook of a guy getting home to his family for Christmas, it sees Marvel’s master archer battling the ghosts of his checkered past as he reluctantly comes out of retirement. Hailee Steinfeld provides excellent support as Hawkeye’s eager protégé Kate Bishop, while the arrival of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (who debuted in Netflix’s non-MCU Daredevil show) ups the threat.

Moon Knight


(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

If anyone tries to argue that MCU movies and TV shows are too similar in tone, Moon Knight is the dark, brooding counterpoint. Where most superheroes have a single alter-ego, the eponymous Moon Knight has at least two, because mercenary Marc Spector (the ever-excellent Oscar Isaac) has dissociative identity disorder (DID). Spector’s condition is handled with sensitivity, alongside a creepy plot about feuding ancient Egyptian gods. 

Ethan Hawke proves to be one of Marvel’s most sinister villains as the power-hungry Arthur Harrow, and Amadeus Oscar-winner F Murray Abraham has a ball as the voice of Khonshu, the deity who supplies Moon Knight’s powers.

Ms Marvel


(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Where Moon Knight explores the more grown-up edges of the MCU, Ms Marvel is firmly targeted at a teen audience. Newcomer Iman Vellani is a revelation as Kamala Khan, Marvel’s first Muslim superhero, and this joyous six-part series has plenty of Spider-Man style fun as she tries to mix her school and family lives with her new-found superpowers. 

The story also takes in ancient Djinn, suspicious federal agents and an important history lesson about the formation of Pakistan, before culminating in a spectacular high school-set finale. And the good news for fans is that Ms Marvel will return – she’s back in action alongside Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers in 2023 big-screen outing The Marvels.



(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It’s hard to work out what’s more surprising about the MCU’s most recent TV offering: that Disney Plus greenlit a fourth wall-smashing legal comedy-drama, or that the show actually works. 

Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany is brilliant as both Jennifer Walters and her tall, green alter-ego She-Hulk – she gets her superpowers after her blood accidentally mixes with that of her cousin, Bruce “the Hulk” Banner. With self-aware asides to the camera and some wonderfully silly superpowered court cases, She-Hulk is the Marvel/Ally McBeal hybrid you never knew you wanted. It also features big-name cameos and an ingeniously meta finale.

What If…?


(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The clue’s in the title of this animated series exploring alternative timelines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Across its nine-episode run, the show alters pivotal events to show worlds where Peggy Carter takes the super-soldier serum, T’Challa becomes Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill and most of Earth’s mightiest heroes become zombies. 

As with any anthology series the quality is mixed but even so, the presence of omnipotent, non-interventionist observer the Watcher ensures a surprising level of continuity between the disparate tales.



(Image credit: Netflix)

Long before Disney Plus was a thing, Marvel’s now-defunct television division signed a deal with Netflix to make a selection of “street level” superhero shows – series which have now found their way onto Disney Plus. The line-up included Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher and Avengers-style team-up The Defenders, but Daredevil was unquestionably the best.

Charlie Cox is brilliant as Matt Murdock, the blind criminal lawyer who lives a double life, striving to clean up his Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as the vigilante Daredevil. Meanwhile, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk/Kingpin proves to be the ideal nemesis, a villain who can be menacing without the need for superpowers.

Although the former Netflix shows had only a loose connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both Daredevil and Kingpin have now moved over to the MCU.



(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Arguably the TV show that set Marvel on its path to big screen dominance, this long-running ’90s cartoon was pioneering in the way it took the serialized storytelling of comic books to kids’ TV. Loaded with familiar characters, surprisingly complex, and delivering new takes on classic X-storylines, it’s a true classic.

Ultimate Spider-Man


(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Whatever your vintage, Disney Plus will be Spider-heaven, as numerous incarnations of the Wallcrawler swing into action – including ’80s team-up Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, and the classic ’90s serial. This dimension-hopping 2012 series is arguably the pick of the bunch, however – not least because it brought newer Spidey Miles Morales into the mix. 

The best Disney Plus shows: Star Wars


(Image credit: Disney)

The Mandalorian was Disney Plus’s breakout hit, and deservedly so. Iron Man director Jon Favreau created this series, starring Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones’ Red Viper) as a mysterious bounty hunter wearing a box-of-tricks suit of armor, who forms an unlikely bond with a kid who looks a lot like Yoda. 

The show’s second season is particularly strong, offering high-end fan service alongside terrific new Star Wars stories – we called it the best TV show of 2020, and for good reason. Spin-off The Book of Boba Fett was comparatively disappointing, but hopes are high for The Mandalorian season 3, due on Disney Plus on March 1 2023.

Obi-Wan Kenobi


(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney Plus)

Ewan McGregor returns as the titular Jedi Master in a six-part series that bridges the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. A decade after abandoning Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar, Kenobi is utterly broken, hiding from the Empire while keeping a distant but watchful eye on the young Luke Skywalker. When a certain princess is kidnapped by sinister forces, however, he’s reluctantly drawn back into the fight, gradually rediscovering his mojo on his way to a rematch with his former apprentice, Darth Vader. 

Star Wars purists may bemoan the fact the show stretches canon almost to breaking point, but McGregor gets way more to do than in any of the prequels.



(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney Plus)

Undoubtedly the best of the Star Wars TV shows and arguably the highlight of Lucasfilm’s entire Disney era output, Andor reveals a side of George Lucas’s universe we’ve never seen before. Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor (one of the doomed heroes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) may be the title character, but showrunner Tony Gilroy expands the scope of this prequel series so much further, creating a complex, morally ambiguous exploration of the Rebel Alliance’s origins. 

With a synth-heavy, Blade Runner-esque score and cinematography that owes as much to the Bourne movies as Star Wars, this is sophisticated, adult-focused drama that just happens to be set in a galaxy far, away. The already-announced second season can’t come soon enough.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars


(Image credit: LucasFilm)

The Clone Wars is the show that kept Star Wars’ fire burning between the prequels and Disney’s Lucasfilm buyout, and even though it’s set in the prequel timeframe, it corrects everything those movies got wrong, with weighty stories and great characterization. It’s that galaxy far, far away at its best, action-driven and packed with enough Star Wars lore to fill a space cruiser. 

Star Wars Rebels


(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

This origin story for the Rebel Alliance – it overlaps with Andor in the Star Wars continuity – zooms in on the fertile time period leading up to A New Hope. With many of The Clone Wars’ creative team on board, it’s four seasons of fan heaven, with an epic storyline, beautiful spaceship designs, and some of the biggest players in the franchise (Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian) back in action.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch


(Image credit: Disney)

Picking up where The Clone Wars left off, The Bad Batch is the story of Clone Force 99, a team of elite but unconventional Troopers who debuted in the earlier show’s final season. After Order 66 turns the Clones against the Jedi, most of the Bad Batch remain unaffected, and are forced to stay under the radar in a galaxy quickly falling under the Empire’s control – all while protecting Omega, a young female Clone on the run from her creators. 

Despite its potentially dark subject matter, The Bad Batch is tonally similar to The Clone Wars – in other words, it’s suitable for younger viewers. It’s also just as beautifully animated. The Bad Batch season 2 debuts on January 4, 2022.

The best Disney Plus shows: animation and muppets

The Simpsons


(Image credit: Disney)

One of the crown jewels to come out of Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, all 33 complete seasons are available on Disney Plus. Springfield’s best days may be two decades behind it, but at its best (seasons 3-9, and some of 10), The Simpsons was as smart and brilliant as TV has ever been. 

The Simpsons hits the same nostalgic, comfort-viewing buttons as The Office does for Netflix and Friends does for HBO Max, so having Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie on the platform feels as vital to Disney Plus’s success as Star Wars and Marvel. And which other streaming service has steamed hams? The Simpsons Movie is also available.

The Muppet Show

As well as owning Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm, Disney also has Jim Henson’s felt creations on the payroll. That means Disney Plus is now home to the sensational, inspirational, celebrational variety show that brought “muppetational” into the English language – as well as turning Kermit, Miss Piggy and co into household names. 

The quality of the sketches varies massively but when they hit the mark (for example, in the now-legendary “Ma Na Ma Na”), laughter is pretty much guaranteed. The call sheet of human stars who guested on the show (including Sylvester Stallone, Mark Hamill, Elton John and Diana Ross) is like a weird guide to who was who in the 1970s, but you’re never in any doubt that it’s the Muppets themselves who are the stars.

The Muppets


(Image credit: Disney)

This 2015 series is a 30 Rock-style trip behind the scenes of fictional late-night chat show Up Late with Miss Piggy – with a crew staffed entirely by familiar felt faces. Slightly darker than the standard Muppet offering, but frequently extremely funny. 

Monsters at Work


(Image credit: Disney)

Star Wars and Marvel shows attract the biggest headlines, but the animation geniuses at Pixar are also producing exclusive new TV shows for Disney Plus. Monsters at Work is essentially a workplace sitcom – think The Office, but with bigger teeth – set after the events of the original Monsters, Inc. It’s centered on Tylor Tuskmon, a new recruit who topped his Scaring class at Monsters University, but now finds himself having to adapt after laughter takes over from frights as Monstropolis’s number one source of power. Monsters, Inc leads Mike and Sulley (Billy Crystal and John Goodman) reprise their roles.

Tron: Uprising


(Image credit: Disney)

2010 movie sequel Tron: Legacy didn’t quite set the box office on fire, but it did spawn this visually stunning animated series. Elijah Wood voices hero program Beck, battling to save the computer mainframe from malevolent software Clu, while Bruce Boxleitner (star of the original film) returns as Tron, protector of the Grid. 

Forky Asks a Question


(Image credit: Disney)

The reanimated spork who posed existential questions about the meaning of life in Toy Story 4 gets his own series. Up for discussion are topics as diverse as “What is a friend?”, “What is art?”, “What is time?” and – one of the biggest mysteries of our time – “What is cheese?”. Minds will be blown.



(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

From early groundbreakers like Luxo Jr right up to the present day, shorts have always been a big part of Pixar’s success story. It’s only fair, then, that the studio’s Disney Plus offering includes this series of experimental shorts from new filmmakers. Given Pixar’s track record in pushing the envelope, you’re in for something special.

And if you’re after something even shorter from the house Woody and Buzz built, Disney Plus is also home to Pixar Popcorn, a series that revisits the worlds of the studio’s biggest hits in bite-size form.



(Image credit: Disney)

In the ’80s, Disney had a habit of churning out cartoon series with indecently catchy theme tunes (see also Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip ’N Dale: Rescue Rangers). The ongoing adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie are the standout, however, especially as three seasons of the David Tennant-starring 2017 reboot are also available.

Gravity Falls


(Image credit: Disney)

If David Lynch ever made a kid-friendly version of Twin Peaks it might look something like Gravity Falls, as the bizarre Oregon town of the title plays host to a host of paranormal events and weird creatures. It’s nominally a children’s show, of course, but why should kids have all the fun?

Darkwing Duck


(Image credit: Disney)

A couple of decades before it got its hands on Marvel, Disney dabbled in superheroics with this avian superhero adventure. Elements of Batman, The Shadow, The Green Hornet and other classics are all thrown into the mix alongside plenty of comedy and slapstick, as Drake Mallard fights crime under his secret identity, Darkwing Duck.

Big Hero 6


(Image credit: Disney)

Disney never made a movie sequel to its brilliant 2014 Marvel adaptation Big Hero 6, but it didn’t need to, because this TV show did the job perfectly. Reuniting most of the original cast, this follow-up returns to San Fransokyo to pick up the adventures of teen hero Hiro Hamada and his impossibly cute robot sidekick Baymax. 

The best Disney Plus shows: documentaries

Light & Magic


(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

This brilliant six-part documentary reveals how Industrial Light & Magic, the company George Lucas founded to create visuals for Star Wars, became the most celebrated VFX house on the planet. Director Lawrence Kasdan (screenwriter of both The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark) assembles most of the key players to reminisce, while the impressive behind-the-scenes footage is the ultimate nostalgia rush. Mostly, however, it’s a celebration of a group of people who came together to repeatedly achieve the impossible – for anyone interested in the art of filmmaking, it’s inspiring stuff.

The Beatles: Get Back


(Image credit: Disney+)

The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson dives into the footage recorded for 1970 Beatles doc Let it Be, and the result is a stunning portrait of John, Paul, George and Ringo at work. Presented without narration (occasional title cards provide context), it’s nominally the story of sessions that culminated in the band’s famous final rooftop gig, but mostly this meandering three-part series makes you feel like you’ve been given an access all areas pass to watch the most famous band in history do their thing. And thanks to extensive clean-up work, Get Back looks and sounds like it was recorded yesterday.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum


(Image credit: Disney)

Jeff Goldblum could make reading a phone book sound riveting, so it’s hard to imagine a more charismatic host for a documentary series. Each themed instalment – early episodes are devoted to ice cream and sneakers – features a mix of science, history and unlikely connections, all served with a generous sprinkling of Goldblum. 

The Imagineering Story


(Image credit: Disney)

As if to prove its streaming service really is all-encompassing, Disney has found a way to bring its theme parks into the mix. The Imagineering Story is a six-hour documentary series delving into the history of the vast empire, while showing how some of Disney’s most iconic attractions are brought to life. 

The best Disney Plus shows: other live action

Boy Meets World


(Image credit: Disney)

Disney Plus goes back to school, with this long-running coming-of-age sitcom from the 1990s. Millions of viewers were glued to the onslaught of life lessons faced by teen Cory Matthews and his friends, and all seven seasons are on Disney Plus – along with 2014 spin-off Girl Meets World.

The Right Stuff


(Image credit: Disney Plus)

One of Disney Plus’s first shows for adults that isn’t just based on Star Wars or Marvel, this adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s non-fiction book is about NASA’s Mercury Seven crew attempting to go into outer space back in the ’60s. It stars a crew of regonizable faces, including Suits’ Patrick J Adams and Mad Men’s Aaron Staton. 

While this isn’t exactly prestige TV of the highest order (and you’re probably better off sticking with the classic 1983 version of the movie), The Right Stuff is entertaining enough, and we’re encouraged to see Disney experimenting with shows that aren’t just made for tweens or Marvel/Star Wars fans.

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    Richard Edwards

    Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard’s happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he’ll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard’s name was Winter.


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