It’s no secret that one of the driving factors behind the early success of Disney+ is nostalgia. As the new Disney+ streaming service launched on November 12th, there was at least as much social media buzz by people rediscovering the Disney of their youth as there was over new titles like The Mandalorian and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. So many were reliving their youth while enjoying Even Stevens or Hannah Montana or Disney Channel Original Movies like Brink (which I’ve now seen – it’s pretty good).
But this nostalgia didn’t really connect with me. I did not grow up a Disney fan and I was already too old for the Wizards of Waverly Place and other such shows in their first run. But that’s not to say I don’t have nostalgia for shows associated with the Disney Company. Below are three series that I’d love to see brought to Disney+. While not all are Disney branded, all are heavily related to Disney-owned properties, and therefore could hopefully someday make their way home to the mothership of streaming services – Disney+.
ABC After School Specials
ABC After School Specials aired from 1972 until 1997. Who among us (other than young whippersnappers) doesn’t remember coming home from school, flipping on the television, and learning valuable lessons like:
- Girls can play baseball (Rookie of the Year – with Jodie Foster!)
- Don’t pick on the new kid (The Horrible Honchos – with Kim Richards!)
- Eat healthy (Dinky Hocker)
- Drunk driving is bad (Over the Limit)
- Where babies come from (My Mom’s Having a Baby)
Sarcasm aside, I have very fond memories of these shows and actually did find them educational. I’m also surprised, as I read through them on Wikipedia, how many are not “very special episodes,” but were just entertainment. ABC After School Specials were also highly acclaimed earning 51 daytime Emmys. I would love to see them come to Disney+ so I can experience them with my son. I would hope ABC, being owned by Disney, would have at least some claim to streaming these titles (they were released by a different company on DVD 15 years ago).
But I do have the feeling my memory has lost some of the details and they’d need to have this dreaded warning attached….
Despite the incredibly hilarious Forky Asks a Question, there’s actually not a lot of educational programming on Disney+. So I nominate Schoolhouse Rock to fill that void. Schoolhouse Rock started as a part of ABC’s children’s programming in 1973. And as a result of all my Saturday morning cartoon watching, I now know:
- How a bill becomes a law (“I’m Just a Bill”)
- The difference between an adjective and an adverb (“Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here”)
- Some numbers have special powers (“Three Is a Magic Number”)
- How to react if I’m happy, sad, frightened or mad: (“Interjections!”)
- How to start a revolution (“The Shot Heard Round the World”)
I think anyone of my generation has an incredible fondness for Schoolhouse Rock. Disney did put out a 30th anniversary DVD set in 2002, so hopefully they already have the rights and can get this on Disney+ fast! That would make me very excited…
Walt Disney World Inside Out
While I don’t have any real nostalgia for the scripted Disney Channel shows of the 90s, 1995 is the year I became a fan of Disneyland. I went to Disneyland on Memorial Day 1995 and got addicted. I went multiple times per week to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World (where I moved in 2003) until 2013 when I took a job in Northern California. Right around that time Walt Disney World Inside Out (1994 to 1997) was airing on the Disney Channel.
This thinly-disguised advertisement for Walt Disney World (and occasionally Disneyland) was my favorite show of the week. At the time I’d never been to Disney World and I couldn’t wait to see which resort, restaurant, or even theme park J.D. Roth and Brianne Leary showed me that I could only dream about visiting someday. The show also featured heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman because, why not?
The show’s original host was Scott Herriot and I know many people for whom that’s the only real host. But my version was Brianne and J.D. Once, while filming the Disneyland edition of the show, I got to get their autographs in between shots. Then, the next day I saw them again and said hi, and they remembered my name. They remembered my name!!!
Presumably there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of Disney putting this classic show on Disney+ other than the effort to remaster it, so let’s hope it’s just a matter of (very little) time.
Those are my choices. What would you like to see come to Disney+?
Doobie is the co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a “hardcore” Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he’s visited them literally thousands of times.