Disney has officially entered the streaming wars with the launch of Disney+, the company’s streaming video service that launched with a catalog of more than 600 movies and series spanning the vaults of Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox.
The launch of Disney+ wasn’t without some problems, and as subscribers are discovering, the impressive catalog has some conspicuous omissions. Along with some surprisingly absent movies, Disney+ is also missing a few shows that would seem like a natural fit for the service. Here are the TV series that need to be added to the Disney+ lineup faster than you can say, “M-I-C … K-E-Y.”
Disney+ is well on its way to offering subscribers the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it won’t be complete until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is added to the mix. Now heading into its seventh and final season, the MCU spinoff has introduced a long list of Marvel Comics characters and concepts to the live-action universe, from Quake and Ghost Rider to lesser-known characters like Hive and Yo-Yo. The series follows the adventures of the eponymous international peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D., with MCU actor Clark Gregg making the leap from Marvel movies to TV as Agent Phil Coulson. Early episodes of the series featured multiple crossovers with the MCU, with Samuel Jackson and Cobie Smulders both reprising their roles as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Nick Fury and Maria Hill, respectively.
When it comes to the small-screen side of the MCU, few shows’ narratives were so closely intertwined with the events transpiring in Marvel’s movies. The show will likely join the Disney+ lineup after its licensing deal with Netflix expires, but until then, the service’s Marvel universe will have a S.H.I.E.L.D.-sized hole in it.
Inspired by the eponymous Marvel Comics duo, this two-season series set in the MCU followed New Orleans teenagers Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, who acquire powerful abilities during an explosive accident and discover that their seemingly opposing powers — one wields light, while the other’s power is steeped in darkness — become stronger when they’re together. The series aired on ABC’s Freeform network and even crossed over with another MCU series featuring a teenage cast — Hulu’s Runaways — during its two-season run. With the first season of Runaways on Disney+ along with so many other MCU projects currently available or forthcoming, it just makes sense to have Cloak & Dagger join the Marvel corner of the service, too.
Both the original Mickey Mouse Club from the 1950s and the animated Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series are available on Disney+, but the version of the show that a significant portion of Disney fans grew up with is nowhere to be found. Launched in 1989 and running through 1994, The All-New Mickey Mouse Club featured a modern, reimagined version of the popular Disney variety show that updated the songs, fashion, and format of the series for the Disney Channel, which had launched just a few years earlier. Not only did it bring the series into the age of color TV broadcasts, but it also featured a long list of “Mouseketeer” performers who went on to become global superstars. Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, JC Chasez, Keri Russell, and Rhona Bennett all began their careers as Mousketeers on the series, which combined musical performances and skits with Disney-themed segments. Given the high profile of the series’ cast members these days, it’s surprising to see the All-New Mickey Mouse Club not represented on Disney+ at the moment.
The Disney+ library offers no shortage of Muppet-related content, including both the original Muppet movies and modern reboots, as well as the recent, canceled The Muppets series and the more recent, animated Muppet Babies show. What the streaming service doesn’t give subscribers, however, is Jim Henson’s original, wonderfully absurd skit comedy series The Muppet Show. A 21-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time winner, The Muppet Show ran for five seasons from 1976 to 1982 and featured an impressive list of guest hosts interacting with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and the rest of the Muppets gang as they attempt to put together a weekly variety show that always seems in danger of falling apart (often literally) but somehow manages to come together in glorious ways from week to week. The series’ brilliance was recognized with both a Peabody Award the Television Award of Merit in 1978, and its theme song — appropriately titled The Muppet Show Theme — just might be the greatest show theme ever created. Why it’s missing from Disney+ is anyone’s guess (but likely has to do with licensing issues), but it could easily become the service’s most binge-friendly piece of content if and when it does arrive.
Although Disney+ offers subscribers the 1958 film The Sign of Zorro, it doesn’t provide the original series from which that film originated. It’s a peculiar omission, given that The Sign of Zorro was actually just a compilation of eight episodes of Disney’s 78-episode Zorro series edited together to create a theatrical feature. The classic serial-style adventure followed the unassuming scholar Diego de la Vega who masquerades as a sword-wielding vigilante to fight injustice during the early 1820s in the region that is now California. Airing from 1957 through 1959, the series left an indelible mark on pop culture over the years and inspired countless kids to don capes and masks — both real and fictional. Fun fact: In DC Comics lore, Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered after attending a theater screening of The Mark of Zorro, and it was his love of Zorro that played a role in him eventually donning Batman’s cape and cowl. One of Hollywood’s greatest costumed heroes, Zorro’s absence from the Disney+ library in his first and best-known TV incarnation is unfortunate.
- The 80 best movies on Hulu right now (September 2022)
- The best new shows to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more
- The best TV shows on Amazon Prime right now (September 2022)
- The 105 best shows on Hulu right now (September 2022)
- The 50 best movies on Netflix right now (September 2022)