Ok, school’s out for the summer. You love your kids, and you’re thrilled to have them around.
However, there’s a real chance that you’re working from home now. So, we need to be realists. You need a babysitter.
In 2022, you’ll never find a cheaper one than a Disney+ subscription. So, here’s what you have your kids watch, some of which you can watch with them!
I’ll lean toward the series this time, and I’ll tell you right now that I won’t include recent ones from Marvel or the MCU.
Your child may be too young for some of the content in the Jessica Jones/Daredevil part, and I’d call Child Services if you showed them some What If…? episodes.
Instead, let’s focus on series that work like projects, preferably upbeat stuff that will keep your kids looking forward to something for a while.
Big Shot stars Disney superfan John Stamos as a John Calipari-esque basketball coach who goes too far and Bobby Knights his way out of men’s hoops.
So, the coach decides to reunite with his daughter and coach a local women’s high school team.
I’ve watched every episode of this, and I’m really looking forward to season two. It’s a David E. Kelley production of the highest quality for teen fare.
You may not know who Olivia Rodrigo is, but I can assure you that your kids do.
So, this 2016 series embodies something Disney has done better than anybody else going back to the 1950s.
Nobody casts child actors better than the Mouse. Many of its choices have turned into megastars like Ryan Gosling and Zendaya.
With Bizaardvark, Disney spotted Rodrigo several years before she became a pop diva. For this reason, your kids will watch Bizaardvark with stars in their eyes.
I have never watched a second of Bluey, but I’ve talked about it a lot on my media podcast. That’s because this thing is a streaming ratings juggernaut.
Seriously, the three most consistent performers on Disney+ are The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Bluey.
The weird thing about Bluey is that it’s not a Disney animated project. Instead, the Mouse licensed this show from an Australian company.
In fact, for reasons passing understanding, Bluey’s licensing rights belong to BBC Studios. So, it’s a remarkably international production.
Your kid won’t care about anything other than that the blue puppy is adorable and has a terrific accent.
My one word of warning about Bluey is that once you press play for the first time, your child may never stop watching.
Bluey could define your entire summer. I’m not even joking. Between this and Cocomelon on YouTube/Netflix, kids will never willingly put down their second screens.
Doogie Kamealoha MD
Speaking of David E. Kelley, one of the producer’s first megahits was Doogie Howser, MD
Decades later, Disney+ rebooted the series with a marvelous concept. Now, the teen medical prodigy in question is a Hawaiian female who works for her mom.
So, we have a teenager dealing with life problems like a first boyfriend and with the problem of keeping sick patients alive.
The first season does have some adult concepts, as Doogie tries to save one patient who literally places his heart in her hands at one point.
This show is more intelligent and poignant than most of the other fare here. So, it’s for kids of a more advanced age, but I highly recommend it.
Plus, Jason Scott Lee is in it, and we always need more of him on Disney+. Speaking of which…
Lilo & Stitch: The Series
Actually, I swerved you a bit there. When Disney Channel brought back Lilo & Stich as an animated series, most of the cast returned.
The series had Daveigh Chase and Chris Sanders in the title roles and Tia Carrere as Nani. But Nani’s boyfriend, David, didn’t return.
Instead, this series focused on the other failed scientific experiments that came before and after Experiment 626.
Stitch thinks of all these adorable abominations as his cousins and tries to save them from whatever menacing they accidentally do.
You may not know it, but Disney created 66 episodes of this series plus multiple spinoff movies.
Roughly 20 years ago, the Stitch brand was strong on television, and my wife remains devout in the belief that he’ll come back again soon.
Disney has started working on a Stitch reboot for either movie theaters or Disney+. So, this series will work as an introduction to the characters for your kids.
Of course, if you haven’t shown them Lilo & Stitch by now, that should be the first thing you do this summer. It’s my favorite Disney film of the 21stSt centuries.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers
When you’re young, you’re not as worried about whether something is good or not. That’s important here because The Mighty Ducks TV series is…fine.
I’ve watched every episode, just like I’d watched all the movies. They’re all about the same.
Plucky underdogs band together, form friendships, and win the big game.
Thankfully, the television series adds a bit more storytelling, although a lot of it involves adult characters. So, your kid may like those parts less than you do.
Still, Game Changers is a fun sports show that feels summery in nature, even though it’s about hockey.
Phineas & Ferb
I’m sure I’ve recommended this before, possibly even multiple times. Even so, I’m doing it again because nothing says summer vacation like Phineas & Ferb.
After all, that’s the premise of the entire series. Two brothers work together to pass the time during summer vacation.
Of course, they’re not playing in the sandbox or hitting wiffle balls or anything.
No, they’re building spaceships and time machines and all sorts of other stuff from the field of Mad Sciences.
Thankfully, the boys are so well intended that you’d never once think they were up to anything other than entertaining their friends.
I’m not sure any Disney children’s programming has ever done more to spark the imaginations of children than Phineas & Ferb. It’s in the conversation for the best thing on Disney+.
Obi Wan Kenobi
At some point, you’ll want your kids to know what you were like as a kid. You can start the bonding by showing them the latest Star Wars series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi fills in the blanks in what happened with Ben Kenobi between the prequels and the Holy Trilogy. So, it’s a must for Star Wars fans.
For kids, it’s still an engrossing sci-fi series where grown-ups hit each other with glow sticks. That’s a concept that appeals to everyone.
I didn’t even like Star Wars as a kid, but I vividly remember clubbing people with my plastic lightsaber.
On a seemingly unrelated note, if your child watches this show and then asks for a lightsaber, you should probably say no.
X-Men: The Animated Series
Here’s the best summer vacation project on this list. Your kids undoubtedly already know about the Avengers, but they may not know about the X-Men.
Well, the Mutants are coming to the MCU, and your children can jump ahead of the curve by watching this 1992 Fox Kids series.
This program was light years ahead of its time, telling serial stories lifted straight from the comics.
Some of the story arcs last six episodes or more. That’s not unusual for children’s programming today, but it definitely was at the time.
So, you can use X-Men: The Animated Series to show your kids what Rogue did to Carol Danvers or why Cable hates Apocalypse.
Most importantly, you can show them the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix sagas. That’ll get them hooked on Marvel storytelling for sure!
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