On Tuesday, Disney will debut Disney+, the entertainment mammoth's new streaming service.
Disney+ will have more than 600 titles on its launch day, from classics dating back to the '40s like "Miracle on 34th Street" to brand new titles like the fresh Star Wars series "The Mandalorian." Disney announced the lineup in a massive Twitter thread, which the Verge compiled here.
While Disney is ubiquitous in popular culture, it's likely the titles that interest you will vary greatly per generation. So, we've gathered four staffers of different ages, from millennial to baby boomer, to weigh in on the initial list of titles.
Here, we share what our first picks would be if we subscribed to the service, and what titles we feel are glaring omissions on the initial list. (All hope is not lost, though: Disney promises to continually add titles to the service, and in some cases, Disney has to wait out contracts its titles have with other streaming services.)
Disney+ is $6.99 a month or $69.99 for a year. For more information, visit disneyplus.com.
Staffer: Jenelle Janci
My first watch: “Smart House” (1999)
Long before Siri, Alexa and widespread privacy concerns, Disney introduced us to Pat: a computerized house (voiced by Katey Sagal) that could make smoothies, do chores and even provide motherly emotional support. The movie tugs on your heartstrings as Ben, the 13-year-old who won Pat for his family through a contest, tries to use Pat to fill the emotional hole left from his late mother.
My formative years were rich with Disney Channel Original Movies, and “Smart House” is undoubtedly one of the best. And in an age when we’re taping over our webcams and wondering how much our phone is spying on us, it makes me wish I heeded the film’s warning about putting too much trust in technology.
Other picks: “The Color of Friendship,” “Halloweentown,” “A Goofy Movie,” “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.”
What I wish were included: “Model Behavior” (2000)
Another great Disney Channel Original Movie,“Model Behavior” takes the classic trope of making one actor play two roles a la “The Parent Trap.” Bookish teen Alex (Maggie Lawson) meets Janine (also Lawson), a model who inexplicably looks identical to her. Both girls could use a change of pace, so they swap roles. The cherry on top of this cinematic sundae is a supporting role by a young Justin Timberlake, who plays Janine (and therefore Alex’s) love interest.
Others I wish were included: “Life Size,” “The Brave Little Toaster."
“OREGON TRAIL" GENERATION (between Millennials and Gen X)
Staffer: Erin Negley
My first watch: “Adventures of the Gummi Bears” (1985-1991)
Cable didn’t come to my home town until I was a teenager, so my strongest childhood Disney memories are watching the classic movies as they were re-released in theaters.
There is one exception. The “Gummi Bears” were part of my original TV binge: Saturday morning cartoons. I vaguely remember the series was set in medieval times. The characters gained magical powers from something called “gummiberry juice.” I am not claiming the writing is sharp or the stories hold up, but boy is that theme song catchy. It’s been stuck in my head since the 1980s and I would like to watch a few episodes to see if the show is as good as the song.
Other picks: “Fantasia,” “Duck Tales,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Little Mermaid.”
What I wish were included: “The Muppet Show” (original series, 1976-1981)
Disney Plus surprisingly has Muppet films, including “The Muppet Movie” and “The Great Muppet Caper” as well as the new Muppets TV series. I’d rather have the original “Muppet Show.”
The show was off the air by the time I started watching as a child, but I loved the few re-runs I could find. Here was a hilarious show that was packed with music and whip-smart. There were plans for a new scripted Muppet series just for Disney+, but that is no longer happening. I’ll settle for the original.
Others I wish were included: “Enchanted.”
Staffer: Jed Reinert
My first watch: "The Mandalorian" (2019)
I don't have a list of Disney films I loved as a kid. The 1970s and early 1980s were not the era of Disney’s greatest work, and watching the earlier classics on home video wasn’t an option until I was older. I do remember seeing at least two Disney films in the theater as a child: “The Cat From Outer Space” (1978) and “The Shaggy D.A.” (1976), neither of which was very good. (But both are available on Disney+ at launch, so help yourself, I guess.)
What I did love as a kid – and still love today – was the Star Wars series. Like most kids my age, the original trilogy was timed perfectly for my growing up. I was 7, 10 and 13 for “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” and I can’t imagine a more perfect story arc to provide a backdrop for the complicated task of moving from childhood to adolescence.
I’ve since enjoyed most all of the Star Wars films and TV series, and I’m especially excited about “The Mandalorian.” No idea what it’ll be about, beyond the barest outline, but a big-budget live-action Star Wars TV series is enough to sell me on Disney+, even by itself.
Other picks: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Tron,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”
What I wish were included: "Dave the Barbarian" (2004)
Throughout the 2000s, I worked odd hours and ended up watching TV at strange times of the day. It was during that period that I discovered a bunch of B-list Disney animated series, the best of which by far was this surprisingly smart series set in a medieval fantasy world and focusing on a teenage barbarian who’d rather be a chef. My wife and I still quote this show in conversation, and it really provided a great blend of Gen X tropes (absent parents; smart, snarky kids; satire and sarcasm aplenty) and Disney-style wholesomeness and heart. A victim of the classic “high praise from critics but terrible ratings” curse, it only lasted one season.
Others I wish were included: “The Muppet Show,” “The Star Wars Holiday Special."
Staffer: Mary Ellen Wright
My first watch: “Old Yeller” (1957).
For many of us boomers, this movie marks the first time we sobbed out loud in a movie theater (unless we had already seen what happened to Bambi’s mom). Produced the year I was born, this film makes a canine hero out of a "lop-eared mongrel" who saves his pioneer family from a bear and fights a rabid wolf — an act with fatal consequences. Yeller was truly (sing it with me, kids) “the best doggone dog in the West.”
Fess Parker, Dorothy Maguire and even that old rifleman himself, Chuck Connors, are strong, empathetic adults that made us kids dream of roughing it out in the middle of post-Civil War Texas. The film also introduced us to kids who would become two of Disney’s most popular 1960s child actors: Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran as brothers Travis and Arliss.
Original (2019) Disney+ shows I’m looking forward to: “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” in which the quirky actor/musician travels around and records his experiences surrounding popular items such as ice cream and sneakers; “Encore!” in which Kristen Bell reunites the casts of high school musicals decades after graduation — and they all put on a show!
Other picks: The original “Mickey Mouse Club” (1955-59), “Sammy the Way-Out Seal” (1962); “Greyfriars Bobby” (1961); “Pollyanna” (1960); “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (1969); “Spin and Marty” (1955-57).
What I wish were included: A couple of shows made for the Sunday night Disney anthology series, “The Wonderful World of Color” (1961-69), including “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” (1963). With a theme song I remember vividly from my childhood, this three-part adventure features Dr. Christopher Syn, an English country priest, taking on the alter ego of The Scarecrow. Masked and cackling, The Scarecrow fights King George III’s abuses against the citizenry. “The Adventures of Gallegher” (1965) features a 19th-century newspaper copy boy and amateur sleuth who strives to make his dream of becoming a reporter a reality.
Others I wish were included: “The Three Lives of Thomasina” (1963); “Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus” (1960), “Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates” (1962). “The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure” (1956).