Each month, I’ll be be bringing you my list of the best Disney+ Original programming, which include series and movies from across Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and Pixar.
Here is the “What’s On Disney Plus” Top Disney+ Originals for April 2020:
35) Forky Asks A Question
Forky, from Disney and Pixar’s TOY STORY 4, is a craft project created from trash, so he has important questions about how the world works, such as: What is love? What is time? And of course, the deepest question of all, What is cheese? He explores all of these questions and more in a collection of 10 shorts called“Forky Asks A Question”, exclusively on Disney +.
34) DisneyNature Elephant
Disneynature’s Elephant follows African elephant Shani and her spirited son Jomo as their herd make an epic journey hundreds of miles across the vast Kalahari Desert. Led by their great matriarch, Gaia, the family faces brutal heat, dwindling resources and persistent predators, as they follow in their ancestors’ footsteps on a quest to reach a lush, green paradise.
33) Disney Insider
This docuseries taking fans behind the curtain of The Walt Disney Company. The series peels back the curtain of The Walt Disney Company like never before. Tune in each week as the series takes fans behind movies, theme parks, destinations, music, toys, and more. Each episode offers three unique stories that capture the magical moments and heartfelt storytelling that is Disney.
32) In The Footsteps Of Elephants
In the Footsteps of Elephant” follows filmmakers as they capture the epic journey of African elephants across the Kalahari desert for Disneynature’s “Elephant.” The team faces extreme weather, inaccessible terrain, crocodile-infested waters and close encounters with lions in order to shine a light on these remarkable creatures and their ancient migrations. Filming the world’s largest terrestrial animal is no easy task. To embark on their 1,000-mile, round-trip adventure, the Disneynature team must first transport the crew, along with five tons of camera gear, to the heart of the Okavango Delta, a remote oasis where elephants gather annually. Their next challenge is finding elephants. And despite their incredible size, locating an elephant in an area that’s nearly 4,000 square miles is like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately for filmmakers, a local biologist who tracks elephant populations lends a hand. The team identifies its herd and it’s off the races … literally.
31) Penguins – Life Of The Edge
“Penguins: Life on the Edge” follows the witty and tenacious team of filmmakers behind Disneynature’s “Penguins,” a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve. To fulfill their mission, the elite cinematographers must brave the brutal Antarctic, pushing through temperatures of -40 degrees, hurricane-strength winds and the overwhelming aroma of one million penguins.
30) Diving With Dolphins
Diving With Dolphins chronicles the making of Disneynature’s Dolphin Reef, the story of a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin named Echo. From wave surfing with dolphins in South Africa to dancing with humpback whales in Hawaii, filmmakers go to great lengths – and depths – to shed new light on the ocean’s mysteries. To locate and “cast” their lead and supporting characters, Disneynature filmmakers partner with marine life experts and scientists, traveling to stunning locations such as the Red Sea, French Polynesia, Sipadan Island in Malaysia and the islands of Palau. On their global aquatic journey, the team captures remarkable bottlenose dolphin behaviors rarely seen in the wild, including a little-known ritual involving gorgonian coral, synchronized swimming while sleeping, and a fascinating, cooperative hunting strategy called mud ringing.
They take one last trip, not featured in the final film, which illustrates how humans can positively impact our oceans and their incredible inhabitants long into the future. Explorer Céline Cousteau narrates the English-language version.
29) Marvel Hero Project
This 20-episode Disney+ series shares the remarkable, positive change several young heroes are making in their own communities across the country. These inspiring kids have dedicated their lives to selfless acts of bravery and kindness, and now, Marvel celebrates them as the true Super Heroes they are by welcoming them into Marvel’s Hero Project.
28) Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
This Disney+ Original movie is based on the best-selling book of the same name, follows the hilarious exploits of our quirky, deadpan hero, Timmy Failure, who, along with his 1,500-pound polar bear partner Total, operates Total Failure Inc., a Portland detective agency. An elementary school oddball, the clueless but confident Timmy must navigate the world of adults around him, including his overburdened mother, her well-meaning boyfriend his teacher/nemesis and a school-mandated guidance counselor, all in his quest to become the best detective in the world. Well worth checking out!
27) DisneyNature Dolphin Reef
Echo is a youngster who can’t quite decide if it’s time to grow up and take on new responsibilities-or give in to her silly side and just have fun. Dolphin society is tricky, and the coral reef that Echo and his family call home depends on all of its inhabitants to keep it healthy. But Echo has a tough time resisting the many adventures the ocean has to offer.
26) Be Our Chef
“Be Our Chef,” a new Disney inspired cooking competition series, invites five diverse food-loving families to create themed dishes, all inspired by the magic of Disney. The families will compete for a once in a lifetime opportunity to present their very own Disney signature dish to be served at Disney Parks. In each episode, hosted by “The Office” star Angela Kinsey, two of the five families go head-to-head in a themed cook-off challenge, using family traditions and learned skills, all while representing their family through the Disney lens. The two families with the most wins make it to the spectacular finale, where they compete for the grand prize. The winner’s magical food creation will then become a signature dish or treat served at Walt Disney World.
The series is hosted by “The Office,” star Angela Kinsey and will feature five diverse families and Disney World Chefs.
“Stargirl” from Disney+ is a tender and offbeat coming-of-age story based on the critically-acclaimed, New York Times’ best-selling young adult novel about an unassuming high schooler who finds himself inexplicably drawn to the free-spirited new girl, whose unconventional ways change how they see themselves…and their world.
Leo Borlock (Graham Verchere) is an average student at Mica High School. He gets decent grades, is a member of the school’s marching band and has always been content flying under the radar. But all that changes when he meets Stargirl Caraway (Grace VanderWaal), a confident and colorful new student with a penchant for the ukulele, who stands out in a crowd. She is kind, finds magic in the mundane and touches the lives of others with the simplest of gestures. Her eccentricities and infectious personality charm Leo and the student body, and she quickly goes from being ignored and ridiculed to accepted and praised, then back again, sending Leo on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
24) Diary Of A Future President
In this Disney+ series “Diary of a Future President,” we see the origin story of a future leader. Told using the narration of 12-year-old Cuban American girl Elena’s diary, this new family comedy follows her journey through the ups and downs of middle school, which set her on the path to becoming the president of the United States. It’s a good family friendly series, though you might need to give it a few episodes to see if it clicks with you.
23) A Celebration of the Music from Coco
“A Celebration of the Music from Coco,” is the reimagined live-to-film concert experience recorded at the legendary Hollywood Bowl. Bringing to life performances from the spectacular Disney-Pixar film “Coco,” this magical celebration of the Day of the Dead includes performances and appearances by: Benjamin Bratt, Jaime Camil, Felipe Fernández del Paso, Alex Gonzalez, Sarah Hicks, Natalia Jiménez, Eva Longoria, Rudy Mancuso, Mariachi Divas, Luis Gerardo Méndez, Miguel, Carlos Rivera, Alanna Ubach; and featuring Lee Unkrich, the film’s director.
“A Celebration of the Music from Coco” features a full 60-piece orchestra. Watch performances of the Academy Award®-winning Original Song “Remember Me,” plus “Un Poco Loco,” “The World Es Mi Familia,” “Proud Corazón,” as well as some fan favorites from the Latin-American soundtrack, including “La Bikina,” “Bésame Mucho,” “Recuérdame” and many more.
This charming series sees Kristen Bell giving many different high school musical cast from 20 years ago the chance for a nationally televised Encore! This reality TV show shares the trials and tribulations of each class, how they’ve dealt with their time after leaving High School, what issues still trouble them and picking up friendships that have been gone for years.
21) Smash & Grab
After years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive, two antiquated robots will risk everything for freedom and for each other. This Sparkshort is a lovely addition to the program and very enjoyable, it’s very “Pixar” and is worth watching more than once.
In Float, a father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight—but when his son’s ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. And check out the extras on this short, it will really help you understand the short by knowing the creator behind it.
Loop tells the story of two kids at canoe camp find themselves adrift on a lake, unable to move forward until they find a new way to connect and see the world through each other’s eyes. This film breaks new ground by featuring Pixar’s first non-verbal autistic character. This is a very interesting and unique short that helps give more insight into autism.
18) Lamp Life
Bo Peep makes a big come back in Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and she leads the way in Pixar’s all-new animated short film, Lamp Life. Lamp Life answers the question of what happened to Bo since we last we saw her in Toy Story 2. Join Woody and Giggle McDimples as Bo recounts her wild adventures. If you love the Toy Story movies, you should check this one out.
17) Pixar In Real Life
This live action series brings iconic characters and moments from Pixar films into the real world. Filmed on location, where we get to see people’s reaction to these moments being re-created. It’s a fun little series, with a new episode each month, covering Wall-E, Up, Brave and more.
Purl was the first Sparkshort released and it showed a different side of Pixar, with a stronger political tone that sparked lots of interest on the internet. An earnest ball of yarn named Purl gets a job at a fast-paced, high energy, male centric start-up. Things start to unravel as she tries to fit in with this close knit group. Purl must ask herself how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for and in the end is it worth it?
Kitbull is my favourite Sparkshort from Pixar and tells the story of an unlikely connection sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time. For animal lovers, this one is gonna make you cry. It was also nominated for an Oscar!
14) Short Circuit Vol 1
Short Circuit is an experimental program where anyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios can pitch an idea and potentially be selected to create an original, innovative short film with the support of the studio and their fellow artists. The goal of the program is to take risks, surface new and diverse storytelling voices at the Studio and experiment with new technical innovation in the film-making process. Each short is only about 2 minutes long, with my personal favourites from this collection include Fetch, Lucky Toupee, Cycles and Elephant In The Room.
13) Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings
Having moved from Freeform to Disney+, this series featuring all new couples, surprise musical performances, unexpected appearances, captivating celebrations, and of course, lots of Disney magic. From epic hidden camera engagements to romantic fairy tale weddings, each episode will showcase enchanting stories and spectacular settings from Disney destinations around the globe. It’s super glossy, a bit cheesy but it’s so lovely to see these couples on a special day in their life. It’s one of my guilty secret shows that usually makes me tear up each episode.
12) Pick Of The Litter
A docu-series based on the film of the same name, featuring the stories of service animals, their trainers, and their human companions. Follow the six loveable dogs ; Paco, Pacino, Tulane, Raffi, Amara, and Tartan as they embark on a fascinating and suspenseful quest to become Guide Dogs For the Blind, the ultimate canine career. As someone who has done Guide Dog Puppy Walking as a kid, I’ve found this series to be very educational, plus it’s got lots of cute puppies, so that gives it a bonus point!
11) One Day At Disney
This hour long documentary gives us an insight into a specific Disney Cast Member, who drive creativity and innovation at The Walt Disney Company. There is also over additional 50 shorts, that are being released weekly, both the short and full length documentary Cast Members at Shanghai Disneyland, to ESPN to Pixar and even from the set of Modern Family. Some of the Cast Members are more interesting than others but there will be something for everyone.
10) Maggie Simpson In “Playdate with Destiny”
The film begins on a day that seemed like just another day at the park for Maggie Simpson. But when Maggie faces playground peril, a heroic young baby whisks her from danger — and steals her heart. After a blissful first playdate, Maggie can’t wait to see her new baby beau again the following day, but things don’t go exactly as planned. Will fate (or Homer) get in her way?
9) The World According To Jeff Goldblum
Through the prism of Jeff Goldblum’s always inquisitive and highly entertaining mind, nothing is as it seems. Each episode is centered around something we all love — like sneakers or ice cream — as Jeff pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels a wonderful world of astonishing connections, fascinating science and history, amazing people, and a whole lot of surprising big ideas and insights. You will only find this show on Disney+ and for fans of Jeff Goldblum, this is an intriguing series that will help you get to know the enigma that is Jeff Goldblum.
8) Lady & The Tramp
This adorable live-action retelling of the animated classic from the 1950’s tells the love story between a pampered Cocker Spaniel named Lady and a streetwise mongrel named Tramp. “Lady and the Tramp” is a lovely family friendly movie, it’s simple, but effective. It’s not anything groundbreaking or original, it might not have worked at the cinema, but it’s the perfect Disney+ movie, as it’s a fun enjoyable film to sit down at home, grab some snacks, pull the blanket over, since its fun, full of cute dogs and has a simple love story.
7) Shop Class
A new competition series featuring teams of young builders, who are tasked with designing, building, and testing unique creations. In each episode, a panel of experts will evaluate and test their work based on design creativity, and build functionality. In the finale episode, one team will be named “Shop Class” Champs. A fun competition series the whole family can watch together.
6) Legend Of The Three Caballeros
This animated series featuring Donald Duck, Jóse Carioca and Panchito Pistoles is only available on Disney+. The trio find themselves inheritors of a heroic legacy, and resume their ancestors’ quest with the aid of a valiant Greek goddess. While this series technically isn’t a Disney+ Original, the only place you can see it is on Disney+
5) Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The 7th season of the show is a Disney+ exclusive and fills in the story between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge Of The Sith”, where Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and other Jedi Knights lead the Grand Army of the Republic against the droid army of the Separatists. Plus there are over a hundred episodes from previous seasons, making this one of the most binge worthy shows on Disney+.
4) Imagineering Story
Easily my favourite series on Disney+. Explore the past, present and future of Walt Disney Imagineering with noted filmmaker Leslie Iwerks. Ms. Iwerks comes from a family with deep Disney history — her grandfather was an early Disney animator and her father is a former Imagineer — and her previous work includes profiles of Pixar Animation Studios and visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic. The entire series is now available on Disney+ and is a must for any Disney theme park fan.
3) High School Musical: The Series
A group of East High students countdown to the opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” Showmances blossom; friendships are tested while new ones are made; rivalries flare and lives are changed forever as these young people discover the transformative power that only a high school drama club can provide. This is one series not to skip.
“Togo” is the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 that takes you across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra for an exhilarating and uplifting adventure that will test the strength, courage and determination of one man, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo. This is easily my favourite Disney+ Original movie and will certainly give your heartstrings a tug, you might need some tissues, I did!
1) Star Wars: The Mandalorian
This is without doubt the most popular Disney+ Original and one of the main reasons people have subscribed to Disney+ is for Star Wars: The Mandalorian. This is the first live action Star Wars series and is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, we follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic. The entire first season is now available on Disney+, so it’s a perfect time to sit back and find out what all the fuss is about regarding “Baby Yoda”!
What Disney+ Original is your favourite?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.