The Best Disney TV Shows Based On Movies

Let’s take a wander down memory lane and look at the greatest TV spin-offs of Disney’s animated movies…


5. Timon & Pumbaa (1995-99)

Everyone loved the meerkat/warthog double act Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King so it made total sense for Disney to spin them off into their own self-titled cartoon show. Unlike the film which aimed for emotional depth, the series utlised the characters’ comic talents to make a more Looney Tunes-style show about the duo’s slapstick hijinks and escapades. They also regularly found themselves in the human world, contrasting with the movie’s all-animal cast.


4. The Legend of Tarzan (2001-03)

Seeing as Edgar Rice Burrows wrote a whopping 24 novels about the ape-man, Tarzan was ripe for a TV show after the 1999 Disney movie. With Jane and Professor Porter now living with him and the gorillas, the show followed Tarzan as the self-proclaimed protector of the jungle – like a scantily-clad Batman. It also added in some supernatural elements, particularly in the form of ancient witch queen La as Tarzan’s new arch-nemesis.


3. Hercules (1998-99)

While Legend of Tarzan neatly fits in right after the film ends, Hercules places itself in a hitherto unknown period of the original movie – where teen Herc attended the Prometheus Academy as part of his training to become a hero. Much like the film, there was lot of fun to be had with references to Greek Mythology. Plus, it earns kudos for getting James Woods back as the scene-stealing Hades, who turned up in practically every episode.


2. Aladdin (1994-95)

With Aladdin‘s Genie a master of the madcap humour that marks the best cartoon characters, the Aladdin animated series was a must-watch for any Disney loving child in the 90s. Even though Robin Williams was no longer in the role, Homer Simpson himself Dan Castellaneta did a great job in his stead. The show was so successful it spawned two movies – Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (the second of which saw Williams back as Genie).


1. Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-01)

How do you do a cartoon of Toy Story without using all that expensive CGI? Simple – make a show based around the Buzz Lightyear character rather than the toy. Funnily enough, it was a lot like Tim Allen’s Galaxy Quest as the show was largely a spoof of Star Trek, with some Star Wars thrown in (particularly the portrayal of Emperor Zurg as a comedy Darth Vader type). Everyone loves Buzz, which means this one has to take the top spot.

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