disney gallery the mandalorian review

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian/Lucasfilm

The best originals and exclusives on Disney+

Disney's got a long history of creating great original content, and Disney Plus is following suit.

Jul 5, 2020, 8:47 pm*

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Phil West

  • Though Disney+ is relatively new to streaming, it’s already produced some excellent original shows, including The Mandalorian, High School Musical, and Diary Of A Future President.
  • Disney+ has also created series like Forky Asks a Question and Pixar in Real Life that spin off from popular Pixar movies.
  • Disney+ has also teamed with entertainment giants like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Beyoncé to bring Hamilton and the forthcoming Black Is King respectively as Disney+ streaming exclusives.
  • Disney+ is available for $6.99 a month, but you can bundle your subscription with Hulu and ESPN+ for only $12.99.

The best Disney+ original shows

The Mandalorian

Chances are if you jumped in on Disney+ on Day One, it was because you wanted in on the new Star Wars series, best described as a spaghetti western in space. You don’t need to have Wookiepedia levels of knowledge of George Lucas canon to understand or enjoy this show. It’s also the only place you can get your Baby Yoda fix. —Jamie Carrillo

watch the mandalorian
YouTube TV
  • Launched: November 12, 2019
  • Genre: Science Fiction/Western
  • Starring: Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, Werner Herzog as The Client, Omar Abtahi as Dr. Pershing
  • Seasons: 1
  • Status: Renewed for season 2 (starting October 2020)

The Mandalorian reviews

What the critics are saying

“Taking place about five years after Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian—Lucasfilm’s first live-action Star Wars TV series—is far removed from the galaxy-wide struggle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebellion. But as we meet the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and are introduced to his world, it’s evident that the scars of war are still fresh in a slow but fascinating premiere … scene after scene of The Mandalorian’s first chapter feels like it’s even more out of a western than previous Star Wars stories.” —Michelle Jaworski, the Daily Dot

“This is Star Wars as we saw it in the first act of A New Hope – a Western-esque world of scum and villainy. The influence of Western and samurai movies is embodied in the eponymous hero; seemingly nameless and faceless, this Mandalorian merc travels from planet to planet, working for hire and collecting bounties … While these adventures, understandably, don’t have the epic battles you’d expect from a big-screen Star Wars movie, each episode is a fast and action-packed slice of TV.” —Kieron Moore, Starburst


High School Musical: The Series

Before Hamilton, before Frozen, and even before Tangled, theater kids were spreading the ear-worms belted out by Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Effron from the High School Musical movie series. The new series is a bit of a show-within-a-show, with a drama teacher and her students putting on a production of High School Musical. Like the movies, students must navigate interpersonal relationships, overcome challenges, and perhaps even fall in love. —J.C.

disney plus high school musical the series review
Disney+/Fred Hayes
  • Launched: November 12, 2019 (previewed November 8, 2019 on ABC/Disney Channel/Freeform)
  • Genre: Teen drama/musical
  • Starring: Olivia Rodrigo as Nini Salazar-Robert, Joshua Bassett as Ricky Bowen, Matt Cornett as E. J. Caswell, Sofia Wylie as Gina Porter, Larry Saperstein as Big Red
  • Seasons: 1
  • Status: Renewed for season 2

High School Musical reviews

What the critics are saying

The best part about the series is its efforts to not lean too heavily in its predecessors. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series might take place in the same high school and be a musical about the musical, but its characters have their own unique issues and personalities. It’s definitely not a rip-off of the original and it does not feel repetitive. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series does, however, maintain the same uplifting and fun spirit of High School Musical and the belief that if we believe in ourselves we can all easily Bop to the Top.” —Tess Cagle, the Daily Dot


Diary of a Future President

Elena Cañero-Reed has dreams of one day becoming the leader of our nation …. and one day, that’s exactly what happens. But her road to the Presidency wasn’t without its hiccups. The show jumps between her present adolescence and her future in the White House, giving a peek at how the many lessons she learned in her formidable years helped shape her political perspective. —J.C.

  • Launched: January 17, 2020
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Starring: Tess Romero as Elena Cañero-Reed, Gina Rodriguez as Future Elena Cañero-Reed, Selenis Leyva as Gabriela “Gabi” Cañero-Reed, Charlie Bushnell as Roberto “Bobby” Cañero-Reed, Michael Weaver as Sam Faber
  • Seasons: 1
  • Status: Renewed for season 2

Diary of a Future President reviews

What the critics are saying

“There’s so much to like about Diary of a Future President, like its long list of women (of all ages and colors) who are smart, or the way every episode breezes its way to a unifying lesson. It’s even exciting to watch a show that starts with a woman like Elena as president (played by Gina Rodriguez), and is then about retracing the steps—a series of goofy mishaps that become learning experiences, all with a happy ending. Diary of a Future President is as likely to make you laugh, as it is to give you a sense of hope. —Nick Allen, rogerebert.com

“The show’s honesty in dealing with issues like difficult emotions, stress, and troublesome people raises worthy talking points for families … This feel-good series features a diverse cast, a strong family unit, and a hardworking, self-assured tween who aspires to — and eventually achieves — great things.” —Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media


The World According to Jeff Goldblum

Among celebrities, Jeff Goldblum may be the most curious cat of all. In this “educational” series, Goldblum explores the world, asks questions, and occasionally gets answers. What does he explore? Everything from BBQ to RVs and even ice cream. —J.C.

the world according to jeff goldblum review
Disney+
  • Launched: November 12, 2019
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Starring: Jeff Goldblum as himself
  • Seasons: 1
  • Status: Renewed for season 2

The World According to Jeff Goldblum reviews

What the critics are saying

“It is 30-minute chunks of programming designed to fill airwaves pleasingly and harmlessly. Goldblum is his ever-charming self. The guests are generally interesting. The visuals are competent. But, all of it is in service of something that lacks vision, coherence, or even earnest curiosity about the subject matter. Who is this show for? The ideal audience for The World According to Jeff Goldblum is probably a curious 12-year-old who is interested in one of the given topics and isn’t sure what books to look for. But, beyond that hyper-specific instance, this is a series for people that want to hang out with Goldblum. —Brenden Gallagher, the Daily Dot

“Goldblum seems very much in life the talkative eccentric hepcat he is in pictures—it’s impossible to tell when he’s on script or just telling you what he knows. I would subscribe just to watch more of this.” —Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times


Forky Asks a Question

Toy Story 4 had a breakout character: The hilariously homemade toy Forky. Considering Forky is still new to this whole existence thing, he’s got plenty of questions about the world. Each of these shorts explores concepts like money, art, computers, and even cheese. Tony Hale (best known as Buster Bluth from Arrested Development and Gary Walsh from Veep) voices the show’s lead utensil, esteemed playwright and character actor Wallace Shawn plays a toy T-Rex, and TV legend Carol Burnett plays a chair named (of course) Chairol Burnett.

disney plus best shows dorky asks a question
  • Launched: November 12, 2019
  • Genre: Animated series
  • Starring: Tony Hale as Forky, John Ratzenberger as Hamm, Wallace Shawn as Rex, Kristen Schaal as Trixie, Carol Burnett as Chairol Burnett
  • Seasons: 1
  • Status: Pending

Forky Asks a Question reviews

What the critics are saying

Forky Asks a Question is obviously aimed at a younger audience with a definite short and sweet approach to each episode, and is fun enough to hold and capture their attention throughout with plenty of bonkers slapstick comedy from Hale. Featuring a fantastic mix of cameos from old and new toys, with most notably Pixar veterans Bob Peterson and John Ratzenberger lending their voices to the series, the mix should keep each generation of Toy Story fans happy.” —Nicola Austin, We Have a Hulk

“Fans of Toy Story 4 will enjoy the very brief Forky Asks a Question series, which feature the anxious spork in a 10-episode series of 2-3-minute shorts. They’re clever little bursts of entertainment, featuring voice work by Tony Hale and John Ratzenberger.” —Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com


Pixar In Real Life

This innovative show, featuring the talents of Improv Everywhere, takes iconic scenes from Pixar movies and recreates them (or, at least, draws inspiration from them) in and around New York City. That includes trying to capture laugh energy a la Monsters Inc., the aquarium escape from Finding Dory, and Brave‘s Merida at an archery range.

Pixar In Real Life
JoBlo Animated Videos/YouTube
  • Launched: November 12, 2019
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Starring: Improv Everywhere
  • Seasons: 1
  • Status: Pending

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Best Disney+ exclusives

Hamilton

Hamilton, for the uninitiated, is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s American-history-meets-hip-hop tour de force Broadway show that debuted in 2015 and has been beloved ever since. Save for a few f-bombs that had to be sacrificed to keep a PG-13 rating, the movie version fully captures an original Broadway production show from July 2016, with Miranda himself in the title role. Fans who want the next best thing to being in the room where it happened are going to be thrilled.

  • Premiered: July 3, 2020
  • Channel: Disney+
  • Genre: Musical
  • Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds, Jonathan Groff as King George III
Hamilton play
Disney+

Hamilton Reviews

What the critics are saying:

“Hamilton is a product of its time, conceived and crafted during Barack Obama’s presidency—one of the earliest performances took place at the White House in 2009—but also couldn’t be more timely … Hamilton brings the original Broadway cast album to life and, thanks to [director Thomas] Kail and cinematographer Declan Quinn, gives you the best seat in the house, showing you the nuances that the vocals alone can’t convey in its most accessible form yet.”—Michelle Jaworski, the Daily Dot

“Would it have been better to be in the room where it happened? Sure, the magic of watching excellent musical theater happening in front of you is impossible to re-create. But as the recent “Cats” movie proved, sometimes veering too off-course from the stage production isn’t great, either, so why not embrace a filmed version of this spectacular thing? “Hamilton” is an amazing look at our country, how immigrants get the job done, where we’ve been and where we might be going – all portrayed by a mostly non-white cast – that resonates as we celebrate independence during a time when things outside can look a little bleak.” —Brian Truitt, USA Today

Black Is King

A new Beyoncé visual album’s landing by the end of July, and it’s on Disney Plus for a reason. Namely, it draws from The Lion King: The Gift, which Beyonce worked on last year. But from the looks of it, it’s a big, ambitious, visually rich project that meets the moment. As the press statement from Disney and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, it speaks to “today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns” in particular.

Black Is King on Disney Plus July 31

Muppets Now

This new series from the Muppets Studio is its first original for Disney+ as well as its first unscripted series. It’s six episodes long and it features a rather meta plotline: Scooter rushes to make his delivery deadlines and upload the brand-new Muppet series for streaming. It includes plenty of characters and bits from the beloved show, including Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker’s verging-on-slapstick experiments and lifestyle tips from Miss Piggy.

Muppets Now

Disney+$6.99
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DISNEY+ GUIDE

Disney+ offers one of the most beloved libraries of streaming content online Namely, 500 Walt Disney Studios movies and 7,000 episodes of Walt Disney Television. It also includes selections from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, all being members of the Disney family, as well as 30 seasons of The Simpsons. Plus, like any streaming service worth its salt, there are exclusive original productions including Lady and the Tramp, Wandvision, Monsters at Work, and The Mandalorian. One subscription works on up to four devices, and you can even download content directly to your device to watch anytime.


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*First Published: Jul 5, 2020, 8:41 pm