There's more to Disney+ than just the movies you loved as a kid. At least a little bit more.
While Disney+ has no shortage of classic movie favorites and modern blockbuster films to enjoy, its TV library is decidedly more mixed and leans primarily on children's content. While you'll easily find something to distract a 6-year-old for half an hour, parents might be more likely to try Disney's other streaming service, Hulu, for something a little more mature.
But Disney+ is slowly adding more shows for grown-ups,
Other recent series include "WandaVision," its first new live-action Marvel series, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," "Loki" and "Hawkeye." And there's more to come from "Star Wars," including an Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Even the sternest of adults might warm to revisiting some series from their youth, including a treasure trove of Disney Channel series from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
So, from the obvious ("The Mandalorian") to the gems you didn't realize were streaming ("Agent Carter"), we picked the 20 best TV series available on Disney+ as of January 2022 (listed in alphabetical order).
1. “Agent Carter”
The advent of new Disney+ Marvel series marks a new chapter for the comic-book brand on TV, after a bumpy few years of experiments on ABC, Netflix, Hulu and Freeform. Among the stinkers (“Inhumans”) and also-ran superhero shows was this fantastic ABC series starring Hayley Atwell’s “Captain America” character, canceled far too soon after a mere 18 episodes. A spy series with a vintage flair, “Carter” relied on Atwell and her costars' chemistry and charm rather than a deep knowledge of Marvel lore, to terrific success.
2. "The Book of Boba Fett"
The sci-fi thriller follows bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand in their galactic quest to reclaim "the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate." Brooding and action-packed, the series seems like a perfect companion to "The Mandalorian." Star Wars alum and "Aquaman" star Temuera Morrison plays the title character.
3. “Boy Meets World”
Cory (Ben Savage), Topanga (Danielle Fishel), Shawn (Will Friedle) and Mr. Feeney (William Daniels) went through the ups and downs of growing up for seven seasons on ABC. One of the few series that followed its characters from childhood to college and adulthood, "Boy" packs an emotional punch.
4. “DuckTales” (2017)
Those without tiny people to entertain in their homes might have missed this Disney XD reboot of the classic cartoon. If so, they’ve missed out on one of the most sophisticated kids’ shows around. With a stellar voice cast, including David Tennant, Ben Schwartz, Bobby Moynihan and Danny Pudi, and jokes for kids and parents alike, it's one of the best new children's shows in recent years.
On this show, playing with your food is encouraged. In the debut season of this reality-competition series, talented artists use food – from veggies, to cheese, to fruit – to engineer Disney-inspired scenery and sculptures. Hosted by Emmy-winning actor Keke Palmer, the passion and meticulousness of these artists make their transformation of the edible into the enchanting a riveting must-watch.
6. “Girl Meets World”
Fans of "Boy" were delighted by Disney Channel's sequel, which follows Cory and Topanga’s daughter as she makes her own way in the world. It ran for just three seasons but had a charming young cast and updated issues for Cory and friends to deal with in the modern world.
7. “Gravity Falls”
Disney Channel's weird, silly, absurd animated series about twins who spend the summer at a quirky tourist trap in Oregon is a kids' show with an adult following. The series is hilarious and mature (but not too grown-up), with a voice cast that includes Jason Ritter, Linda Cardellini and Kristen Schaal.
8. “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”
Leaning into the silliness of its concept, this mockumentary starring chart-topper Olivia Rodrigo is the unsung (well, outside of its talented musical cast) hero of Disney+ originals. Funny, sweet and accurate in its representation of high school theater that Hollywood has attempted in recent years, “Musical” doesn’t feel like a soulless brand extension, but an innovative way to get good stories into existing franchises.
9. “Lizzie McGuire”
Although the millennial touchstone sitcom’s adult revival is officially dead, the comedy about a preteen girl remains one of Disney Channel’s best series. Hilary Duff stars as Lizzie, a middle-schooler yearning for popularity and a boy with great hair. The relatable storylines (shopping for your first bra, not being able to afford stylish new jeans) and Lizzie’s animated inner monologue elevates the series above its contemporaries.
Tom Hiddleston stars as everyone's favorite Marvel villain turned antihero in this genre-bending Disney+ original, in which the god of mischief is captured by an all-powerful group of time-travelers aimed at keeping the "sacred timeline" in order. The series is fun and zippy, reminiscent of the more casual and comedic Marvel films such as "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Ant-Man."
11. “The Mandalorian”
More than just Baby Yoda, the "Star Wars" drama, Disney+’s most prominent original series to date, is an old Western in space clothing. Pedro Pascal stars as the always-masked title character, a bounty hunter with a strict moral code and impressive fighting skills. After a safe, quiet first season, Season 2 is more ambitious and incorporates a bigger cast that brings new life to the series (and some familiar “Star Wars” characters).
12. “Once Upon a Time”
What started as a simple, what-if-fairy-tales-were-real story evolved on ABC into a promotional opportunity for Disney’s latest movies (the “Frozen” ladies eventually join) and a wildly complex genre show. The entire ride is a lot of fun, with a great, appealing cast and plenty of nostalgia.
13. “On Pointe”
This Disney+ documentary about students at the School of American Ballet will satisfy viewers who love rousing sports stories and beautiful dance practice. Quibble all you want about calling ballet a sport, but the dancers are incredibly athletic and the narrative is like all great underdog sports stories.
14. “The Right Stuff”
A Disney+ original from National Geographic, this space-race series is based on the 1983 film about the USA's first astronauts. Over eight episodes the Mercury Seven – the lucky seven pilots who made it to NASA – cope with training, media scrutiny and their private lives. "Suits" star Patrick J. Adams is among the charming team of astronauts.
15. “The Simpsons”
At a time when the quirky citizens of Springfield feel less odd than those in real life, Fox's (very) long-running animated comedy feels almost quaint in its rude humor and pop-culture parodies. But it’s comforting and satisfying nonetheless.
16. “So Weird”
Another Disney Channel series for the millennial crowd, this mystical series is akin to an "X-Files" for kids and has a loyal fan base despite only running for three seasons in the early 2000s. Fiona “Fi” Phillips (Cara DeLizia) travels to different towns with her musician mom (Mackenzie Phillips) and investigates supernatural phenomena. Her adventures are, in fact, so weird.
17. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
A superb animated series, which originally aired on Cartoon Network, is set between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith." George Lucas was ambitious and experimental in an animated format, and with returning characters from the prequels we love (and some, like Jar Jar, we love to hate), it’s familiar and new at the same time.
18. “Star Wars Rebels”
"Star Wars" animation is really some of the best work from Lucasfilm in recent years (and yes, that includes the new trilogy films). "Rebels" debuted on Disney XD in 2014 and takes place a few years before "A New Hope," following the early days of the rebellion. Its young hero, Ezra, is a refreshing protagonist for the franchise.
Marvel's first Disney+ original is a departure for the comics brand: a trippy, genre-bending take on the history of sitcoms. The series follows Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), a super-powered couple trapped in some kind of sitcom world. The best thing about "WandaVision" is the charming lead actors' ability to let loose. They're having fun and showing off their performance skills, which is not always possible in feature films with 15 other superheroes, fight sequences and villains.
20. "Welcome to Earth"
In this six-part limited series actor Will Smith embarks on an ambitious quest to "explore Earth’s greatest wonders" and uncover their "most hidden secrets," with the help of expert explorers. The magnificent sights and Smith's sheer enthusiasm for discovery make the series a must-watch for nature-lovers and jaded city dwellers alike.
Contributing: Edward Segarra
Have a different streaming service? Here are the shows worth checking out:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 20 best TV shows on Disney+ January 2022: 'The Book of Boba Fett'