Disney+ has tons of hidden gems, with plenty of iconic animated shows across four decades. From Marvel cartoons like X-Men and The Incredible Hulk to Darkwing Duck, there’s plenty of classic Disney shows on the service. With the launch of Star, there’s now also a bunch of great modern hits like Bob’s Burgers and Futurama.
Here’s all the best animated shows currently streaming on Disney+.
The Incredible Hulk (1996-1997)
The Incredible Hulk was a rare show that delved into the darker side of superhero cartoons. While modern Hulk-starring shows like The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Agents of S.M.A.S.H. focused purely on the Hulk side of Bruce Banner’s personality, this show explored Banner’s damaged psyche and how his personality disorder created two distinct Hulk personas in his mind (Grey and Green).
The show adapts some of the best comic plotlines from the mid-80s and 90s comics, and it’s still well worth a look today. It’s rare Bruce Banner gets the spotlight, but this show proved exactly why he deserves it.
Sadly, it only had a short run — but there’s some fantastic, deep episodes in this show.
The Mighty Ducks (1996-1997)
The Mighty Ducks animated TV show is so underrated you can only find weird, pixelated shots of it online — but it is on Disney+ in much better quality, and it’s well worth a look.
To be clear: this is an adaptation of the Emilio Estevez-starring Mighty Ducks film. Yes, the one about kids playing ice hockey. The cartoon is about space ducks coming down from space to play ice hockey. And also to fight aliens. It’s great stuff, and perfect for a nostalgia-filled night.
Solar Opposites (2020- )
Solar Opposites, from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, started life as a Hulu Original. What that meant to Aussies is they couldn’t access the cartoon locally. A real shame, because it told an absolutely hilarious tale about aliens trying to ‘fit in’ in American suburbia.
Thankfully, it’s been brought to Disney+ as part of the Star lineup, so everyone can dive in with this show. It shares its self-effacing humour with Rick & Morty, but also shows off a charm that R&M often lacks. There’s plenty to love about Solar Opposites and if you’re in the mood for a solid cartoon sitcom, you’re in luck.
X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997)
Admit it, you just got the theme song stuck in your head.
X-Men: The Animated Series is an absolutely iconic show, and one of Marvel’s flagship cartoons from the mid-90s. It almost single-handedly transformed an entire generation of kids into superhero fanatics, and paved the way for the modern Marvel obsession. Beyond that, it was just plain fun. Every episode is a blast.
If you’re more in the mood for some modern ‘edgy’ X-Men, the hit 2000-2003 show X-Men Evolution is also streaming on Disney+. It’s a bit less classic than X-Men: TAS but it’s held up a lot better. It’s also got one of the best interpretations of Rogue in X-Men history and features the X-Men as they should be: wild kids getting up to wilder antics.
Bob’s Burgers (2011- )
Bob’s Burgers is one of the most sincere and heartwarming family comedies on air, and the best part about it is it never punches down. The Belcher family is a pure delight, and the writing is sharp and funny enough to deliver constant laughs while giving every character the chance to shine.
With the inclusion of Star on Disney+ the series is finally available for streaming in Australia. If you’ve never checked it out before, now’s the time to dive in. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with the wild antics of the Belcher’s.
Darkwing Duck (1991-1992)
Let’s get dangerous.
Darkwing Duck is one of Disney’s most underrated cartoons, and there’s a good reason why the character has maintained a cult following since his DuckTales spin-off aired. Sure, it’s basically a thinly veiled parody of Batman, but that’s what makes Darkwing Duck so enjoyable. It’s silly, over-the-top and absolutely classic.
Every episode is a wild, crime-filled caper and Darkwing himself is a fantastic character. The show itself is just good, slapstick fun.
Futurama is a better written, more emotional and more imaginative show than The Simpsons. It’s controversial, but somebody has to say it. For whatever reason, the show always seems to get buried by the popularity of Matt Groenig’s original cartoon, but it deserves just as much mainstream attention as The Simpsons usually gets.
It’s equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, and features an ensemble cast that shines in every situation. Whether it’s getting into high-tech robotic hijinks or just having a laugh onboard the Planet Express, there’s always great moments to be had in Futurama.
Just don’t watch Jurassic Bark. For your own sanity and sense of happiness, please skip this episode.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2020)
The Clone Wars franchise had a rocky start, with its critically-panned spin-off film being labelled one of the worst parts of modern Star Wars lore. Luckily, the franchise weathered the storm by the time the first season of the TV adaptation kicked off thanks to great writing and the impressive character development of Ahsoka Tano.
Over seven seasons, the show told stories the Star Wars films weren’t able to. It dived into the personal history of Anakin and Obi-Wan, and expanded the story of Darth Maul and his people. There were so many standout Star Wars characters introduced in the show that some of them even wound up becoming part of the live action universe.
This is one spin-off well worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of The Mandalorian or the extended Star Wars universe. Not every episode is a must-see masterpiece, but there’s certainly some incredible stories here.
Gravity Falls (2012-2016)
Gravity Falls was a cultural phenomenon in the early 2010s, particularly if you were a Tumblr user. While that type of popularity may have turned some people off when the cartoon originally aired, it’s well worth a revisit now.
Gravity Falls is just a great adventure show, and features plenty of fun easter eggs, references and codes to crack along the way.
If you’re a fan of Twin Peaks, cryptids or anything supernatural-adjacent, you’ll love the wild adventures of Dipper and Mabel. Throughout its 40-episode run, the show told a tight and always intriguing tale about growing up in the woods, and the dark things lurking inside. It’s one of those shows that would’ve been right at home in the peak-cartoon era of the the 90s.
If you’ve got a childhood favourite, it’s probably streaming on Disney+ now. There’s plenty of other fantastic hits where these came from, and a near-bottomless library of nostalgia.
While the price of the service recently jumped to $11.99, there’s plenty of new content available to justify the leap. To find out more, head to the Disney+ hub.