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The Best Disney+ Original Shows Of 2022 So Far

Disney+ has become one of the biggest players in the world of streaming in a relatively short space of time. Despite launching just three years ago at the time of this writing in 2022, it is now a true rival to Netflix and is growing at an incredible rate, per Tech Crunch. Part of the appeal of the service is that it has such a huge back catalog of classic films and television shows that make perfect viewing for the whole family. Yet, another factor in its success is the way it has continued to expand its roster through a selection of original films and TV shows.

In 2021, several original shows from some of Disney's biggest franchises hit the streaming service. There was the animated series "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" along with several MCU releases. In 2022, subscribers were treated to a bigger spread in terms of television offerings, although you can still expect to see plenty of outstanding Marvel and Star Wars entries on this list. These are the very best original shows that dropped on Disney+ in 2022. Spoilers ahead.

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder

Acting as a soft reboot of the former Disney Channel animated series "The Proud Family," this 2022 release essentially modernizes the premise of its predecessor. Once again following Penny Proud and her family, the show sees the various relatives deal with modern life as they attempt to set their own paths. Featuring the return of most of the cast from the original show, including Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, and Jo Marie Payton, the show is helmed by original creator Bruce W. Smith and former executive producer Ralph Farquhar.

The original show was often cited as a ground-breaking series for the way it depicted a Black family in cartoon form. Speaking to Deadline, Farquhar explained how the team wanted to go further this time around, including more representation for other minority groups. They successfully managed to do just that, most notably with the addition of a gay couple as part of the main cast. Those changes, along with an updated art style and a new theme song, have largely been praised, with Bustle naming "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder" as one of the main reasons to have a Disney+ subscription.

Ms. Marvel

No article dealing with the best Disney+ original shows would be complete without featuring at least one MCU release. After all, it was shows such as "WandaVision” and "Loki" that really demonstrated the potential for quality releases on the streaming service. One of the main Marvel productions of 2022, "Ms. Marvel" is a miniseries based around the character Kamala Khan from Marvel Comics. The youngster is a school student who is a huge fan of the Avengers and suddenly finds that she has her own superpowers thanks to a mysterious bangle.

Achieving widespread critical acclaim upon its release, the show was a big hit for Disney. The performance of Iman Vellani was a highlight for many, with Paste magazine among the many outlets that heaped praise on the talented newcomer. Another aspect that was singled out for plaudits was the comedy, with Empire noting how funny some episodes were. "Ms. Marvel" also makes for essential viewing for those who are planning on watching further MCU films in the future: Khan will be a main character in "The Marvels" and this series essentially sets up her story.

Parallels

Not all of the shows on Disney+ are English. In fact, the streaming service has begun to produce more local content for some of its bigger territories, including a raft of European shows, per Deadline. One of those that arrived in 2022 was "Parallels," a science fiction series produced and set in France. As you might have guessed from the name, the narrative focuses on parallel worlds. Three schoolchildren are sent into alternate realities when a particle accelerator sets a chain of bizarre events in motion.

With an impressive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, fans have responded well to this new property. There's a dubbed version of the show, which has attracted some criticism from viewers: "The English dub, to put it mildly, seems very inadequate," Redditor u/HumanOrAlien wrote. The general consensus is that "Parallels" is far more satisfying when watched in its original form with English subtitles. Reviews have been largely positive, with Streamr comparing it to "Stranger Things" in tone and execution and Decider recommending that subscribers check it out.

Baymax!

Based on the heroic protagonist from "Big Hero 6," "Baymax!" is a spin-off series that follows the titular character as he helps the people of San Fransokyo. The original movie was successful enough to warrant a television show that ran for three seasons. In the new show, Baymax uses his skills to help everyday people, identifying problems that they have and doing his best to help solve them. For example, one episode sees the robotic figure helping a young girl as she goes through puberty and experiences her first period.

Winning praise from the vast majority of critics and attaining a Rotten Tomatoes approval score of 86% in the process, this is another animated hit for Disney. IGN has been particularly enthusiastic about the series, praising the way it provides a positive message for younger children and sensitively handles topics to teach compassion. Its short episodes also mean that "Baymax!" isn't a lot to take in and can be tackled in bite-size chunks, which works well for a show aimed at younger children.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

If you can get over the mouthful that is the name of this series, then you'll find a show that skilfully manages to continue the story of the "High School Musical" franchise in a way that doesn't feel stale. The premise is essentially that a new teacher has taken over the drama position at the high school where the "High School Musical" films were shot and decided to allow the students to put on a theatrical production of the story in honor of the movies.

The second season sees the same students take part in a production of "Beauty and the Beast" while the third season — which made its debut in 2022 — sees the group tackle "Frozen." Critics agree that the third installment is just as fun as the previous seasons and a delight for fans of shows such as "Glee." Paste magazine waxed lyrical about it, while Cultured Vultures was equally as effusive, calling Season 3 "lovely, fun and exciting" and commending the winking humor present in every episode.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" sees Ewan McGregor reprise the role of the titular Jedi, who he last portrayed in 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith." Set in between the events of that film and "A New Hope," the narrative focuses on the Jedi's isolation from the rest of the galaxy as one of the few remaining members of his Order. He is drawn out as part of a plot that involves the kidnapping of Princess Leia and ultimately confronts his former apprentice (Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader) one final time.

Some fans found the much-hyped series to be a little lacking, but critics were largely impressed, with the show earning a solid 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. It does a lot of things better than other Star Wars shows, especially in regard to the overall continuity with the rest of the franchise. The likes of IGN found that the series worked well to help fill in the gap between the prequel and original series in an effective and memorable way, and McGregor's measured performance received a lot of plaudits. If you're a fan of the actor and/or the main character, it's a must-see.

Ice Age: Scrat Tales

Scrat is a familiar figure to anyone who has watched any of Blue Sky Studios' work. First appearing in "Ice Age" in 2002, he quickly became the mascot of the animation studio, which has also worked on movies such as "Rio" and "Spies in Disguise." Best known for his attempts to collect an elusive acorn, which invariably put him in grave danger, the character finally got his own series in 2022 in the form of "Ice Age: Scrat Tales."

The series is made up of six episodes and follows Scrat as he discovers that he has a previously unknown son. The two soon develop a rivalry as they both attempt to get the acorn for themselves and encounter a variety of dangerous situations along the way. With an emotional farewell that sees the little squirrel finally get his acorn, it's a great send-off for the character. Decider is one of the many outlets that praised the show for its funny and family-friendly content.

The Book of Boba Fett

"Star Wars" has had a pretty strong showing when it comes to television shows in the last few years. In fact, the Disney+ releases have fared significantly better than the feature films, with the likes of "The Mandalorian" proving that the franchise still has plenty to offer. "The Book of Boba Fett" not only brought back a fan-favorite in the form of Temuera Morrison's infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, but it also tied into other series by featuring the likes of Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin. The show follows Fett and Fennec Shand as they set themselves up on Tatooine and take the reins of Jabba the Hutt's crumbling crime syndicate.

Technically making its debut in 2021 at the very end of December, "The Book of Boba Fett" largely aired in 2022 on the streaming service, with episodes arriving weekly. Unlike some of its sister shows, it was not a major critical hit and had its fair share of both good and bad moments. However, IGN was impressed with the performance of Morrison and felt that he largely carried the show with his sheer presence, while the AV Club found it enjoyable, saying "there were a lot of fun set pieces and cool monsters." There's still a lot to like here, and fans of the Star Wars franchise will no doubt love it.

Moon Knight

The MCU is now firmly established on Disney+, with "Moon Knight" being the sixth show to appear on the streaming service that is also part of the wider MCU. Based on the comic book character of the same name, it chronicles the origins of Marc Spector, a mercenary who has dissociative identity disorder and several different personalities. He becomes the avatar of Khonshu, an Egyptian god, and embarks on a bloody campaign to stop Arthur Harrow from resurrecting the Egyptian goddess known as Ammit.

Oscar Isaac stars as the titular character and the various identities he takes on, while Ethan Hawke portrays the primary antagonist. May Calamawy, F. Murray Abraham, and Khalid Abdalla all have major roles, each turning in great performances. While the hero is less well-known than most of his counterparts in the MCU films, "Moon Knight" proved to be a lot of fun and Isaac was celebrated for his eccentric portrayal. It often ends badly when non-British actors adopt an English accent, but critics on the other side of the Atlantic were full of praise of Isaac's performance. The actor "has great fun with the role," said The Guardian.

Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

"The Mighty Ducks" might not have been much of a critical success, but that didn't stop the film from becoming a hit with fans. It ended up being successful enough at the box office to spawn two sequels. After a long hiatus following the release of "Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series" and "D3: The Mighty Ducks" in 1996, Disney revived the franchise for its streaming service in 2021 in the form of "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers." Unlike the original movies, it was a critical success, earning an impressive 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Following a successful first season, the second collection of episodes arrived on Disney+ in 2022, continuing the story of the Don't Bothers as they now go by the name the Mighty Ducks, having defeated their rivals in the previous season. Not only will fans of the franchise enjoy the show, but it has something to offer newbies as well. The series has been applauded for not relying solely on nostalgia for the films and setting out on a unique path of its own.

Big Shot

Sports comedy dramas are all the rage at the moment. There's the critically acclaimed soccer show "Ted Lasso" and Netflix's karate-centric sequel series "Cobra Kai" to name but a couple. Not wanting to miss out on the trend, Disney+ came out with "Big Shot," a show about a hot-headed college basketball coach who takes over the team at an elite private girls' school. Counting John Stamos, Jessalyn Gilsig, and Yvette Nicole Brown among the cast, the series made its debut in 2021 and returned for a second season in 2022.

Where "Big Shot" stands out is that this is a female-centric series. The second season sees Westbrook School's basketball team attempting to qualify for the Division II Championship but facing hurdles from a new boys' team and opposition from some teachers and parents. With plenty of plot twists to keep things interesting and new ideas to keep the show from feeling stale, there's plenty to like about Season 2 of the show.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

"The Mysterious Benedict Society" is a mystery adventure series based on Trenton Lee Stewart's novels. Featuring a cast made up of Tony Hale, Kristen Schaal, and Ryan Hurst, the show aired its first season in 2021. "The Mysterious Benedict Society" returned with a second season in 2022, which carries on the story of Mr. Nicholas Benedict and the four children he has recruited to help stop the evil plans of Dr. Curtain, who is using children to plant wicked ideas in people's minds. The narrative of the second season largely follows the children as they try to rescue the kidnapped Benedict.

The first season of "The Mysterious Benedict Society" was well received so anyone who has seen that will likely want to jump back in to see what happens next. They won't be disappointed either, with Laughing Place highlighting the ongoing character development and the introduction of new locations and people as positive points. Similarly, Den of Geek lauded the show for the way it appeals to younger and older audiences simultaneously, something few shows manage to achieve with such aplomb. If you are tired of Star Wars shows and MCU releases, this might be the perfect antidote.

Love, Victor

"Love, Victor” was originally a Hulu teen drama that began airing in 2020. Inspired by the 2018 film "Love, Simon," and created by the same team of Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, it follows a young student who struggles not only with arriving at a new school, but also with coming to terms with his sexuality and how he will be perceived by his friends, family, and fellow students. The third and final season came to Disney+ in June and saw Victor and those closest to him start to think about the future and what they planned to do after school.

The critical consensus for the final act of the series was largely positive, with Rotten Tomatoes giving the season an approval rating of 88%. It should be noted that some reviews, notably from IGN, were critical of the way that the focus of the third season was too broad and didn't delve deeply into Victor's relationship with his family. However, the likes of The Review Geek praised the last season for adding new elements to the show with the introduction of characters such as Nick and for representing queer characters in such a positive way.

Tales of the Jedi

"Tales of the Jedi" is one of the most unique Star Wars shows to come out in the last few years. Instead of focusing on live-action, it's an entirely animated affair. It also doesn't follow an overarching narrative in the way that "The Bad Batch" does, with each episode focusing on a different Jedi from the time period of the prequel trilogy. Created by Star Wars legend and expert Dave Filoni, episodes feature characters such as Mace Windu, Darth Maul, and Qui-Gon Jinn interacting with both Count Dooku and Ahsoka Tano.

This series was highly anticipated almost as soon as it was announced, largely thanks to the fact that it was revealed that actors such as Liam Neeson and Ian McDiarmid would be returning to voice their iconic characters. Luckily, the show didn't disappoint, with critics almost universally agreeing on its high bar of quality. /Film praised the exceptional animation, the moving soundtrack, and the enthralling stories that gave new insight into characters that haven't always been the main feature.

Andor

One of several high-profile Star Wars releases in 2022, "Andor" is a series that is heavily associated with the critically acclaimed "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." In fact, it acts as a prequel to that film, showing how the Rebel Alliance was first formed and started its fight against the Galactic Empire. Much of the story focuses on Diego Luna's Cassian Andor — who appeared in a major role in the earlier movie — and his transformation from thief to hero.

Written by Tony Gilroy, who also worked on "Rogue One," the series first hit Disney+ in September 2022 and garnered a positive reception, especially for the way it offered a more adult take on the franchise. Upon its launch, "Andor" quickly became one of the best reviewed Star Wars releases and was particularly praised for its nuanced storytelling. Variety noted that it was a welcome change of pace from usual offerings in the franchise, which tend to focus on a select few individuals.

Light & Magic

Unlike the vast majority of impressive original releases on Disney+ in 2022, "Light & Magic” is not a fictional series but rather a documentary. As you may have guessed from the name, it charts the history of Industrial Light & Magic, from its humble beginnings through its rise to becoming one of the most famous special effects companies in the world. The series is helmed by Lawrence Kasdan, the director and writer who has worked on such films as "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Common Sense Media called the documentary "a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how movie magic is made" and it has been widely praised by a variety of other critics. Most of the positivity is centered on the way that it manages to tell an interesting story and keep the audience captivated as it details just how much hard work and technology is needed to create the effects of modern films. Anyone who wants to get some insight into the world of special effects will find "Light & Magic" an intriguing viewing experience.