The brand new streaming service Disney+ has finally arrived in the UK, and along with it come a slew of classic TV shows you probably haven’t thought about in years.
And let’s face it, with so many of us stuck indoors and feeling a little but glum about it, it probably couldn’t be a better time to launch a streaming platform so geared towards giving us a nostalgia kick.
Much has been made about the fact the service boasts all of your favourite classic Disney film – not to mention every episode of The Simpsons – but there’s also a long list of shows that debuted on the Disney Channel in the 1990s and early 2000s just waiting to cheer you up.
Here are our 11 top picks...
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1. Hannah Montana
Before she was the sledgehammer-licking, vagina-dentata-sporting, always-On-A-Roll singer and activist we know today, Miley Cyrus was best known as Hannah Montana, the biggest pop star in the world who somehow managed to keep her identity a secret from her school friends by sporting a blonde wig.
Hannah Montana is probably not a show we’d recommend if you skipped it first time round (although Miley’s godmother Dolly Parton is in one episode, which is quite something), but if you were a fan of the original, this could well be a much-needed dose of nostalgia and escapism.
2. Kim Possible
The Disney Channel sure loved a “regular teenage girl by day, something fantastic and extraordinary by night” narrative, huh?
Unlike Hannah Montana, Kim Possible was not a pop star, despite having her own iconic theme tune – performed by Christina Milian of Dip It Low and AM To PM fame, no less – but a secret agent. She completely blew James Bond out of the water, too, with more impressive gadgets, scarier nemeses, cooler sidekicks (big up Rufus the mole rat) and, quite frankly, better hair.
The gang for whom the term #SquadGoals were invented. Who didn’t spend their days in the 90s wanting to boot a red kickball around with TJ and the gang, learn an important lesson from liberal queen Miss Grotke or go boot shopping with Spinelli (alright, maybe that last one was just us).
And even though she was billed as the villain of the show, a quick rewatch as an adult will prove Miss Finster was actually all kinds of fabulous, and deserves respect on her name.
4. Lizzie McGuire
The second best thing Hilary Duff ever lent her name to (top of the list being the 2015 cult classic Sparks), Lizzie McGuire follows the titular teenager as she navigates the cringiest aspects of adolescence, from bra-shopping with your mother to handling an all-consuming crush.
A reboot centring around Lizzie in her 30s was supposed to have been in the works for Disney+, but this was been put on hold, seemingly due to conflicting ideas about how “adult” the show’s themes should be. Still, at least we have The Lizzie McGuire Movie – also streaming on Disney+ – in which our heroine takes a trip to Rome and meets her doppelganger, who just happens to be Italy’s biggest pop star.
We’re going to be honest, we don’t actually remember all that much about Gargoyles, other than it was a bit dark and a bit weird, and we were probably a tiny bit scared of it when it was originally on TV. So obviously, we’re very much looking forward to revisiting it.
6. Goof Troop
A question you never thought would ever have been explored – how would Goofy handle life as a single dad? – gets an actually rather satisfying answer in Goof Troop, which introduces the classic Disney character’s son Max (you know he’s cool, because he skateboards).
And before you ask, the extremely good spin-off films A Goofy Movie and A Very Goofy Movie are also on Disney+, ready for a lazy Sunday double-feature at your earliest leisure.
Goof Troop but... with ducks? The show centres around Donald Duck’s uncle Scrooge McDuck, who – after Donald joins the US navy (!?!?) – ends up caring for his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Weirdly, it’s mostly about the family jetting off around the globe and solving mysteries in an Indiana Jones-esque fashion. Let’s face it, though, even in the 90s we weren’t watching it for the story, we were watching it for the theme tune (which, by the way, still slaps).
8. The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody
We still can’t quite believe someone came up with the idea for a TV show about a pair of twins who basically cause chaos in a hotel that they live in (where their mum is also the singer), but somehow it worked. And when it was decided the show needed freshening up… off they went on a cruise ship instead! Because why not?
If nothing else, it’s worth putting on so you can tell whoever happens to be in the room, “you know that’s Cole Sprouse from Riverdale?”.
9. The Little Mermaid
Over the years, Disney tried out spin-off TV series for loads of their classic films, including Aladdin, The Lion King, Lilo And Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove – and most of them are available on Disney+.
We’ve singled out the Little Mermaid prequel series here because they actually managed to introduce some cool new characters and explore Ariel’s back story and family a little more in-depth… as well as giving the Ursula a second villainous musical number almost (but not quite) as camp as Poor Unfortunate Souls.
10. That’s So Raven
Raven-Symoné takes the lead in this sitcom about a teenage girl who discovers she has psychic abilities, a bit like a much less intense Stranger Things, but with more catchphrases and catchier opening titles.
As you may recall, the lead character (helpfully also named Raven) often wound up in scrapes thanks to her psychic visions, which usually only told her half of the real story. She can now be seen exploring motherhood in yet another sequel, Raven’s Home, the first two seasons of which are also on Disney+.
11. Boy Meets World
The Disney Channel OG, surely? Running for seven seasons, the show followed Cory Matthews throughout all the key moments of his life. A lot changed for Cory in that time – he went from middle school to college, lost friends and made new ones and even gained a baby brother as it all went on. Bizarrely, he somehow ended up having the same teacher – who was also, coincidentally, his next door neighbour – through it all.
The good news is, once you’ve binged all seven series (don’t even pretend you’re not going to) there’s also the short-lived spin-off Girl Meets World, which tells new stories from Cory and Topanga’s daughter’s perspective.
Disney+ is available now. HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. .