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Disney on Television

Entry updated 10 January 2022. Tagged: Community, TV.

Aside from a one-off special in 1950 to promote Alice in Wonderland (1951), the Walt Disney Company's involvement with Television was initially to fund and advertise Disneyland – whose opening ceremony would be broadcast on ABC, watched by 70 million people. ABC had helped fund the park in return for a television series, Walt Disney's Disneyland (1954-1958), which was followed by Walt Disney Presents (1958-1961). Similar shows would run each year on ABC, NBC or CBS until 1983. These shows could comprise theatrical shorts, live-action historical dramas or documentaries (the latter sometimes animated), along with interstitials. This format returned to network television in 1986, with a series most years – thanks to the purchase of ABC, the current show, The Wonderful World of Disney, has been on that channel since 1996. Others were The Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959; 1977-1978, 1989-1994) and The Disney Afternoon (1990-1997) which included previously released material.

Aside from the above, Disney produced original television films and series that were broadcast on ABC, NBC or CBS and then, increasingly since 1983, the company's own channels. Those first shown on terrestrial (broadcast or free to view) television are discussed in section 1; those for Disney's own channels are discussed in section 2. Section 3 is a short overview of Disney's television shows. For the sake of brevity, this entry does not include the television series produced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Star Wars franchise after their purchase by Disney (but they are mentioned in those entries).

1. Disney on traditional Terrestrial/Broadcast Television.

The Walt Disney's Disneyland documentaries, when not nature focused, were often tied to Disneyland or forthcoming films, but could promote science and space exploration (see Space Flight) – these Tomorrowland Space Documentaries and related 1950s programmes are discussed in the Ward Kimball and Walt Disney Company entries. After the death of Walt Disney (1901-1966) the coverage of science decreased and the company produced very little original television sf before the 1980s. Nevertheless, the first episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1961-1969) introduced Ludwig Von Drake ("our self-appointed expert on everything"), who was Donald's uncle (apparently Donald's real surname is Von Drake, but he took his mother's name on going into show business). He would lecture on a wide variety of topics – colour, outer space (including footage from Kimball's Tomorrowland films), manned flight (space travel is discussed), stop motion animation and nursery rhymes.

(i) Sf television films – live action:

Prior to the 1980s, the nearest approach of Disney's television films (live-action or animated) to sf content seems to be The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974) and The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper (1976), based on the novels by Clifford B Hicks about a boy inventor and his friends who foil criminals; in the second he builds a working Robot that plays the role of the Frankenstein Monster in a play. However, from the 1980s sf films are reasonably common: Beyond Witch Mountain (1982), the sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) (see Alexander Key); I-Man (1986) about a man going to the aid of a crashed NASA van who is caught in the blast when it explodes – his third-degree burns quickly heal because the van carried a canister containing a mysterious gas from a recovered space probe that had been missing for seven years: he can now Regenerate from any injury and is essentially Immortal (like many of these films, this was a pilot for a series that was never commissioned). Hero in the Family (1986) has a crystalline ring discovered encircling the Earth, which might be "non-evolved matter left over from the Big Bang" (see Cosmology); the human and chimp astronauts sent to collect a sample swap minds (see Identity Exchange) when they touch the crystals. Bigfoot (1987) is about two dating single parents, each with a child, who go camping and whose children get lost but are found and cared for by a Bigfoot (see Lost Races) couple who have lost their own child; released the same year as Harry and the Hendersons (1987), this is more a drama than a sentimental comedy. Not Quite Human (1987) is based on the Seth McEvoy novel series of that title: a scientist builds a teenage Android, Chip, whom he treats as his son; however, a former employer insists Chip is their property. Sequels were Not Quite Human II (1989) and Still Not Quite Human (1992), the latter first broadcast on the Disney Channel. Earth Star Voyager (1988) was a two-part film (each over 90 minutes) about a Starship's mission to check out the planet Demeter, 18.7 light years away, for possible colonization (see Colonization of Other Worlds), as the Earth is Polluted; the voyage will take 26 years, so all the crew except the captain are teenagers. They discover the remains of a previous expedition and people who have been turned into Cyborgs by the "Outlaw Technology Zone" (similar to but predating Star Trek: The Next Generation's Borg), which turns out to be a front for an Earth faction that wants only an elite few to colonize Demeter. In 14 Going on 30 (1988) 14-year-old Danny has a crush on his teacher, so uses his nerdish friend's Invention, a growth accelerator, to make him physically 30; the friend eventually invents a machine to return him to 14 ... but the teacher has fallen in love with adult Danny so has herself turned 14 too (see Identity, Rejuvenation). The Absent Minded Professor (1988) was a remake of The Absent Minded Professor(1961) and had a sequel, The Absent-Minded Professor: Trading Places (1989), whose title refers to a job rather than body swap; The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1995) was a remake of a 1969 film (see Walt Disney Company); Escape to Witch Mountain (1995) was a remake of the 1975 film of the same name; Encino Woman (1996) offers the obvious spin on Encino Man (1992); Dinotopia (2002) is a mini-series of three films (each over 80 minutes) based on the first two Hugo-winning Dinotopia art books by James Gurney; A Wrinkle in Time (2003) is based on A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle, who commented, "I expected it to be bad, and it is." (Disney also made a financially unsuccessful theatrical film of the novel in 2018, to mixed reviews.)

(ii) Sf television films – animated.

Fluppy Dogs (1986) starred cute Dimension-travelling dog-like creatures who find themselves on Earth, whereupon they are put in a dog pound. There were three Ducktales (see [iv] below) television films: The Treasure of the Golden Suns (1987), Time Is Money (1988) (which features Time Travel) and Super DuckTales (1989) (which includes a giant robot and, with the introduction of Gizmoduck, Powered Armour), each subsequently broken up into five episodes of the tv series. Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers to the Rescue (1989) features a Mad Scientist who transports an iceberg to beneath a City and turns it into a giant jelly, so its quivering causes an earthquake, thus breaking open the floor of the Global Gold Reserve; this likewise became five episodes of the series Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers (1989-1990) (see below).

(iii) Sf television series – live-action.

The earliest was Small & Frye (1983), about two private detectives: following a laboratory accident, one – Frye – is liable to shrink down to six inches without notice (see Miniaturization). Next came Dinosaurs (1991-1994), then Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (1997-2000), a spin-off from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). Also of note was Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993-1996), an influential science show for kids.

(iv) Sf television series – animated.

The first Disney animated television series were The Wuzzles (1985) and Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991), both fantasies about cute fluffy creatures. Their popularity encouraged Disney to make their first memorable series, Ducktales (1987-1990) (see DuckTales [2017-2021]) and its spin-off Darkwing Duck (1991-1992). Raw Toonage (1992) was a sketch show with a few sf items such as Ludwig Von Drake talking about cartoon Physics, characters employed to clean Spaceships, the self-explanatory "Cro-Magnum PI" (see Prehistoric SF) and "Badly Animated Man", a Parody of cheaply animated Superhero shows. Gargoyles (1994-1997; vt Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles) was an atypically dark Disney series whose opening narration explains, "One thousand years ago ... It was a world of fear. It was the age of gargoyles. Stone by day, warriors by night, We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect, frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years." After moving from Scotland to New York City, the spell is broken "and we live again!"; now once again the Gargoyles defend humanity from Supernatural Creatures. Quack Pack (1996) featured Donald and his now teenaged nephews, some of their adventures being genre – such as meeting a Mad Scientist, Aliens kidnapping Donald, and a plot to overheat the Earth using a magnifying glass in space. Mighty Ducks (1996-1997) is about six ice-hockey-playing (see Games and Sports) anthropomorphized ducks from Puckworld, an ice-covered planet in another universe; in the past their planet was invaded by the Dinosaur-like Saurians who were defeated and imprisoned in a dimensional limbo, but some escape and seek revenge (there is an internal dispute as to whether they should use Magic or Technology, their leader preferring the latter, as being what freed them from their prison), having Puckworld enslaved by giant robots until seven heroes defeat the Saurians, who flee through a dimensional portal – the heroes follow, though one is lost on the way, and both groups arrive on Earth: their fight continues, the ducks also becoming a successful ice hockey team. Mickey Mouse Works (1999-2000) is another sketch show, some genre, including several Ludwig Von Drake inventions, such as a Time Machine and a Teleportation device – as well as Pluto being abducted by Aliens. Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-2001), is a Toy Story (1995) spin-off, where the titular astronaut is a space ranger in the future: there are many Space Opera and Planetary Romance tropes – planet destroyers, galactic Politics, Prison planets, mutant vegetables, a space mummy, an Alternate World with an evil Buzz ... Lloyd in Space (2001-2004) concerns the adventures of a thirteen-year-old alien boy and his friends (one human) who live on a Space Station. Teamo Supremo (2002-2004) is about three child Superheroes.

2. Disney on its own channels (excluding ABC)

This section covers shows on Disney's own channels: (The) Disney Channel, Disney+, Playhouse Disney, Toon Disney, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Jetix. These are variously pay-television, digital cable, satellite and subscription streaming channels, the first having been launched in 1983. Those ABC shows broadcast after Disney's purchase in 1995 are included in the previous section, as they were free to view.

(i) Sf television films – live action.

These include Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999), set in 2049, in which a girl living on a Space Station is punished for bad behaviour by being sent to live on Earth with an aunt: here she discovers a plot to crash the space station for the insurance money; sequels were Zenon: The Zequel (2001) and Zenon: Z3 (2004). Halfway through Can of Worms (1999) the alienated teenaged protagonist, believing he is not from this world, broadcasts a request for help through a satellite dish: Aliens duly arrive – including a social worker, lawyer, showbiz agent and zoo specimen hunter – to help, exploit or hinder him. Smart House (1999) has a motherless family moving into an AI-controlled house; one son's meddling turns the Computer's personality into that of an old-fashioned sitcom housewife – and she eventually projects herself as a human hologram. Up, Up and Away (2000) is about a boy without Superpowers, despite his family all being Superheroes: the Villains are environmental activists who create a CD-ROM that brainwashes kids into behaviour to save the planet (see Ecology); however, one activist adjusts the programme so the kids commit crimes for him. In Stepsister from Planet Weird (2000) a teenager discovers that her divorced mother's boyfriend and his daughter are Aliens: the latter's boyfriend is the son of their planet's dictator, whom the father opposed and was forced to flee. In The Other Me (2000) an underachieving pupil sees an ad for "Ocean Pups" in a magazine (recalling the old "Sea Monkeys" ad that turned out to be brine shrimp) and decides to use them for his science project – however, the laboratory where they are packaged is being used by two employees for their own experiments in "hyper-cloning" and a mix-up means their formula gets into the pupil's delivery: using his comb to stir the mixture, he ends up with an intelligent Clone of himself. The Poof Point (2001) has a middle-aged Scientist couple attempting to build a Time Machine; but instead it starts to de-age them (see Rejuvenation) – to 21, then 14 and so on, leaving their teenaged kids to rectify the situation before they vanish. In Pixel Perfect (2004) a teenager uses his father's equipment to create a glamorous AI hologram to spruce up his girlfriend's rock band; this proves a success but causes conflict with his girlfriend – who later falls into a coma; the hologram enters her mind – even though this is a one-way journey – to have a heart-to-heart: the girlfriend recovers, but allows the hologram to experience a physical body before she dissipates – though we see her later as a ghost-like figure, singing harmony. Issues of Identity and the hologram's right to autonomy are also discussed. In Minutemen (2008) a high-schooler invents a Time Machine: he and two friends use it in attempts to rectify problems at school, but their meddling creates a Black Hole.

The Suite Life Movie (2011) – a spin off of a non-genre tv series about a pair of twins – concerns a Mad Scientist's experiments to have a group of twins share experiences, turning them into Hive Minds and to eventually merge into one. Girl vs. Monster (2012) reveals everyone has a personal Monster who feeds on their fear, and teenager Skylar discovers her family hunts these monsters. In Zapped (2014) a mobile phone's dog-training app gets damaged and teenager Zoey discovers it now works on boys (this being Disney, she mainly uses it to make them more civilized). In How to Build a Better Boy (2014), when her best friend Mae lies that she has a boyfriend, Gabby uses her father's work equipment to create a virtual one for her – however, unbeknownst to Gabby, the Technology actually creates the software for Robots, and the robot boyfriend duly turns up at school the next day; as, later, do interested terrorists. Invisible Sister (2015) has an accident with a school science experiment leading to Cleo concocting an Invisibility formula, turning a moth invisible – which then falls into her sister's drink, rendering her invisible; Cleo needs to find an antidote within 24 hours, otherwise her sister's condition becomes permanent. Zombies (2018) is set in Seabrook, which had been a "perfect community" – but 50 years ago a power plant accident turned half the town into Zombies. Fortunately bracelets were designed to subdue their brain-eating inclinations, so eventually teenage zombies are allowed to attend human High School (the Principal: "We are thrilled to be forced to have you here."); nonetheless love blossoms between Zed, zombie football player, and Addison, human cheerleader. Aside from bigotry and romance, plot elements include the discovery that the wristbands can be hacked, making Zed a stronger player or, when an enemy gets hold of the hacking device, reverting him into killer zombie mode; meanwhile Addison hides the shameful secret the she is something no one else in the town is ... a blonde. A sequel, Zombies 2 (2020), followed, adding Werewolves to the mix. Zombies 3 was in production during 2021. Kim Possible (2020) is a live-action film of the Kim Possible (2002-2007) animated series.

(ii) Sf television films – animated.

The only examples are linked to television series: Kim Possible: A Stitch in Time (2003) and Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama (2005), based on Kim Possible; and Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension (2011) and Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe (2020), from Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015).

(iii) Sf television series – live-action.

Lab Rats (2012-2016; vt Lab Rats: Bionic Island): Leo discovers his new step-dad, a billionaire Scientist, has three Bionic Superhero children; he persuades him to allow them to attend school and engage with the outside world. Sf adventures ensue, including Robots, Colonization of Other Worlds, increasing Intelligence, Space Elevators, Aliens, memory erasure (see Memory Edit) and Parallel Worlds. Mighty Med (2013-2016) is about two Comic book fans who discover the local hospital has a secret ward for injured Superheroes – they end up with jobs there. In K.C. Undercover (2015-2018) a Mathematics prodigy helps her secret-agent parents in their work; she also has a Robot sister. Lab Rats: Elite Force (2016) is a spin-off from both Lab Rats and Mighty Med, with a superhero team including characters from both shows.

The production of some original live-action shows is outsourced by Disney to other companies. Examples include So Weird (1999-2001), whose first two seasons have a teenager on tour with her musician mother; the daughter's attempts to contact her dead father lead to numerous odd encounters – mainly paranormal, but including Aliens, Vampires, Werewolves, Time Distortion and Time Travel (the lead actress left at the end of the second season, with the third and final one having a new protagonist and being lighter in mood); needless to say, an X-Files (1993-2002; 2016-2018) influence can be detected. Phil of the Future (2004-2006) is about an early twenty-second-century family who get stuck in the present when their Time Machine malfunctions: the siblings end up attending H G Wells High School. Aaron Stone (2009-2010) features a teenage boy whose skill at a Videogame means he is selected to becomes the real life version of its hero; stories include Time Machines, Cyborgs and Androids. In Mech-X4 (2017-2018), due to a Scientist experimenting on his parents, teenager Ryan is able to control Machines, in particular a giant Robot created by the scientist: this proves useful when monsters (intended to cleanse Polluting humanity from the Earth) attack the city; Japanese Mecha shows were clearly an influence. Fast Layne (2019) has a teenager discovering a talking car in her aunt's shed: it was built by her parents, who are government Scientists. Gabby Duran & the Unsittables (2019-2021) is about a teenager who babysits alien kids whose parents live on our planet. Earth to Ned (2020-2021), concerns Ned, an alien sent to invade Earth; instead he prefers to abducts celebrities and interview them in the style of a talk show host; the Jim Henson Company is a co-producer, the aliens being puppets. Secrets of Sulphur Springs (2021-current): when his family move into an abandoned hotel, teenager Griffin is told it is haunted by Savannah, a girl who disappeared many years ago; with a new schoolfriend, Harper, he discovers a Time Gate that links the present to the hotel 30 years ago, when Savannah was alive. They try to find what happened to her – season one's penultimate episode revealing the portal had taken her to 1960; in the season finale Savannah uses the gate to travel to the present, having found a photograph taken in 1930 of a girl that looks just like Harper.

(iv) Sf television series – animated.

Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers (1989-1990), about two chipmunk private detectives, had some sf elements including Aliens, Shapeshifting, Space Flight and a regular antagonist who is a Mad Scientist; Kim Possible (2002-2007); Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006) – see Lilo & Stitch (2002); Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! (2004-2006) has a boy on the planet Shuggazoom discovering an abandoned super Robot on the outskirts of the city: entering through a door in its foot, he pulls a switch that awakens five robot monkeys and is made their leader by a mysterious force called the Power Primate, their quest being to "Save Shuggazoom City from the evils of the Skeleton King", though they also have adventures in space and on other planets; the show is indebted to Anime and the Super Sentai franchise, whilst the Power Primate recalls the Force in Star Wars. Little Einsteins (2005-2010) was an interactive, educational series with four bright young children having gentle adventures: for example, when one of the rings of Saturn (see Outer Planets) visits the Earth, they travel to Saturn in their Rocket ship to return it home; in another story, the meet Music Robot from Planet Robot, helping him recover his lost batteries. Each episode prominently features at least one work of art (usually a painting) and one piece of classical Music. Get Ed (2005) has couriers fighting crime in a futuristic City; their leader, Genetically Engineered using alien science, discovers and uses alien Technology during his adventures. In The Replacements (2006-2009) two orphans obtain mobile phones that can replace people they do not like with people they do – lessons are learnt ("Hate to admit it, but we need places for work as much as places for play".). Shorty McShorts' Shorts (2006-2007) was an anthology series, four – perhaps more, depending on interpretation – segments being sf, including one where adults look like children and children look like adults; as the theme song explains, "In a world that's much like Earth, growing up is in reverse." (see Time in Reverse). For Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015) see the entry.

There followed a lull in new sf animated shows, until Motorcity (2012-2013), where, in the future, a billionaire builds a new City, Detroit Deluxe, over the old one – which is lawless and called Motorcity – and plans to take it over, but is frustrated by a gang of hot-rod teens. Tron: Uprising (2012-2013) is a spin-off from the Tron franchise. Others are Gravity Falls (2012-2016); Wander over Yonder (2013-2016); Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (2014-2017), where after his parents go missing, a teenager takes over their job of travelling to other Dimensions to be a part-time hero – his appearance changes to suit the world he is in, whether as a gingerbread man or Mecha – and the worlds can be sf, Fantasy or other (such as a Sitcom dimension); Star vs the Forces of Evil (2015-2019); in Future-Worm! (2016-2018) young Danny joins a caped, bearded, macho worm from the future as they have adventures in time using Danny's Time Machine lunch box. In Milo Murphy's Law (2016-2019), Milo is a descendant of the coiner of Murphy's Law – "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." – and this applies to his life, though nevertheless he remains cheerful and resourceful; the series is set in the same universe as (and shares creators with) Phineas and Ferb (there is a crossover episode, whilst Dr Doofenshmirtz becomes a semi-regular character in season 2); it has regular sf content including time travellers (see Time Travel), Aliens, Robots, Space Flight and suchlike. There is also an in-show series called "The Doctor Zone Files", nodding to Doctor Who in particular, but also The Twilight Zone and The X-Files,. Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer (2017): after one of his experiments goes awry, science-minded schoolboy Billy and his friends are trapped in Subterranea-Tania, a prehistoric-seeming land sited at the Earth's core (see Lost Worlds; Underground). DuckTales (2017-2021); Big Hero 6: The Series (2017-2021), a spin-off of the film Big Hero 6 (2014) (see The Walt Disney Company), which was based on the Marvel Comic of that name. The Rocketeer (2019-2020) is a spin-off from The Rocketeer (1991), but here the Rocketeer is the seven-year-old great-granddaughter of the original hero. Big City Greens (2018-current) is the normally nonfantastic but slightly surreal tale of a farming family who move to the city; one occasional antagonist is the vaguely well-meaning Mad Scientist Gwendolyn Zapp, whose futuristic Inventions tend to go haywire, and who ends up with a laboratory on Mars. Amphibia (2019-current); The Owl House (2020-current); Monsters at Work (2021-current), a spin-off of the Monsters, Inc. franchise; Spidey and His Amazing Friends (2021-current), a spin-off of the Spiderman franchise (see Marvel Comics; Spider-Man; Superheroes) in which Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy are children; The Ghost and Molly McGee (2021-current): when Molly's family moves into a new house they find it is haunted – but to the horror of the ghost (see Supernatural Creatures), Molly is delighted.

The production of some original animated shows was outsourced to other companies: these shows included A.T.O.M. (2005-2007; vt A.T.O.M.: Alpha Teens on Machines; vt Action Man: A.T.O.M.), where, after winning a gruelling competition, five teens are employed by Janus Lee of Lee Industries to work at his R&D Lab, testing their new Weapons – however they are soon using them to combat Villains; meanwhile, Lee – living up to his first name – proves to be two-faced, using Genetic Engineering to combine the teens' DNA with different animals to create a new super race. Stitch! (2008-2015) was an Anime spin-off of Lilo & Stitch, the first two seasons animated by Madhouse; Miles from Tomorrowland (2015-2018; vt Miles from Tomorrow; vt Mission Force One) is set in 2501; Miles Callisto's parents map galactic highway routes for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA), which connects the universe, a job which leads to Miles having adventures in many places. In season 3 (now re-named Mission Force One) "a dangerous power is rising" and the TTA creates a "team of extraordinary heroes" named Mission Force One, which includes Miles and his sister. As the show's name (a reference to Disneyland's Tomorrowland) suggests, the show has an educational element, whilst there are several nods to sf and Scientists – one episode is called "The Hitchhiker's Ride Through the Galaxy" (see Douglas Adams; The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy), whilst the Callistos' two-headed boss is called Watson and Crick. Stitch & Ai (2017; vt Ān líng yǔ shǐ dí qí) is a spin-off of Lilo & Stitch made in China.

3. Overview

Disney's live action television works tend to be unremarkable: those aimed at families are usually fairly bland; those whose intended audience are teenagers or children are livelier but can grate more, if only from an adult perspective; those who watched them as the target demographic will likely have fonder memories. Dinosaurs (1991-1994) is genuinely good; Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993-1996) is considered a classic of science education for children and won 19 Emmys. The better other works include the solid Smart House (1999); whilst Dinotopia (2002) is often visually impressive and Zombies (2018) is silly but fun. Otherwise, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999), Lab Rats (2012-2016), So Weird (1999-2001), Mech-X4 (2017-2018) and Secrets of Sulphur Springs (2021-current) are good examples of their type – and the latter half of Can of Worms (1999) is notably ridiculous.

Disney's animated television includes several classic genre shows. Whilst live action productions seem to worry about confusing or alarming the young, animation is more likely to place a greater trust in their audience (or perhaps the creators are more focused on amusing themselves); additionally, the freedom arising from their work being perceived as "only a cartoon" may allow them the option to be darker than their live action equivalents. Ducktales (1987-1990) and Darkwing Duck (1991-1992) are the most important early series, though Gargoyles (1994-1997) is also fondly remembered. The next series to stand out were Kim Possible (2002-2007) and Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015); but Gravity Falls (2012-2017) was Disney's most important sf television show (animated or live action, series or film). Amphibia (2019-current) and The Owl House (2020-current) are also excellent – whilst Star vs the Forces of Evil (2015-2019) and the rebooted DuckTales (2017-2021) are but a short step behind: they all show Gravity Falls's influence in terms of story arcs, Humour and a fondness for detailed backstory, as well as attracting fans from outside the target demographic: though Gravity Falls had very high ratings amongst 6-14 year olds, at least half its audience were older. During this era, Wander over Yonder (2013-2016) and Milo Murphy's Law (2016-2019) were also good, as is the very occasionally genre Big City Greens (2018-current); meanwhile The Ghost and Molly McGee (2021-current) is promising to be Disney's next stand-out show. [SP]

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