‘Gravity Falls,’ ‘Owl House,’ and ‘Doctor Who’ Keep Disney Weird

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Three panels featuring cartoon characters and an actor: Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls on Disney+, an actor in a striped shirt walking confidently, and characters Connie and Peridot from Steven Universe.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney+ offers a wealth of material for fans to enjoy, ranging from traditional animated classics to more contemporary films and TV shows. However, many fans can certainly attest that sometimes it’s better when Disney gets weird and lets its freak flag fly.

Disney+ logo with Iron Man, Darth Vader, Elastigirl, Moana
Credit: Disney+

The House of Mouse will always be a pioneer of the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t mean Walt Disney and his team of artists, animators, and Imagineers didn’t know how to keep things interesting by experimenting with new art forms, ideas, and storytelling methods. That said, Disney has gone through a season of misfires and flops that feel more like it’s trying to fit a mold than trying something new and exciting.

Related: Alex Hirsch Announces ‘Gravity Falls’ Sequel

A certain train of thought suggests the company has become too terrified of backlash to take a risk or try something new. However, some of the most popular shows on Disney+ are also some of the strangest, and we might be looking at the precipice of a rejuvenation of the strange and unusual, especially with some of the platform’s newest acquisitions.

Disney+ Gets Weird

(left to right) Soos Ramirez, Dipper Pines, Grunkle Stan, Mabel Pines, Wendy Corduroy, from Gravity Falls
Credit: Disney

With shows like Amphibia, The Owl House, and the ridiculously popular Gravity FallsDisney has proven time and time again that strangeness often works in the studio’s favor. Even at the time of writing, the company has welcomed sci-fi icons Doctor Who and Planet of the Apes into its repertoire, and those are just the newest examples.

Disney has also ventured into more supernatural programming onto Disney+, such as the new Goosebumps series and the historical fantasy Renegade Nell. While most of the studio’s recent releases have been met with lukewarm results at the theaters, its streaming offerings have certainly been the spice of life.

Related: New Campaign Continues Disney’s History of Violence

It also doesn’t hurt that Disney also has access to two of the most experimental franchises out there. The Star Wars galaxy and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have allowed the brand to truly expand into new mediums, genres, and perspectives. Remember, projects like Werewolf by Night and Tales of the Empire are both definitively out of Disney’s typical wheelhouse, yet they wear the studio’s seal of approval.

Why It Works

The Doctor with his companion, Ruby Sunday.
Credit: BBC/BadWolf

The beloved studio will always have its regular crop of viewers who enjoy princesses, superheroes, and Animated rodents. However, it also knows how to play with an alternative audience as well. Why else would movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) have such a big following? It’s also the reason that Bill Cypher is getting his own Gravity Falls spinoff in The Book of Bill.

Related: Disney+ Cans Tim Burton’s Passion Project

As the company undergoes serious restructuring in the wake of its recent “Flop Era,” it might also take some time to revisit some of the more esoteric titles. The studio does weird well; why not embrace it even more?

What’s your favorite strange Disney show? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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