10 Best Weird Deep Cuts on Disney+

If you have a Disney+ subscription, you could do what Disney WANTS you to do, like watching one of their Marvel or Star Wars properties or shelling out a few extra bucks for their Early Access theatrical releases.

But let’s be honest: you’re the strange, adventurous type, looking for something a little wilder and weirder. You’re probably wondering if there’s even anything strange on Disney+ to satisfy that strange craving.

Well, here are ten suggestions that should quench that oddball thirst of yours (unfortunately, Under Wraps isn’t one of them yet).

10) Unidentified Flying Oddball

Speaking of oddballs, this 1979 comedy is a fairly odd takeoff of Mark Twain’s classic science fiction/fantasy story A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

What makes this so weird? For starters, the film gives us an astronaut with a sidekick that is an Android who is an exact physical duplicate of himself. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also a jousting scene that has a beheading in it, and THAT’S NOT EVEN THE END OF THE JOUST.

Also, fun fact: the titular character is played by Dennis Dugan, who would star in The Howling two years later and later become more famous as the director of EIGHT Adam Sandler movies, including Happy Gilmore and the Grown Ups films.

9) Mr. Boogedy/Bride of Boogedy

Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy are family-friendly horror comedies from the 1980s era, when The Disney Sunday Movie was a television staple.

The movies are about a family who moves into a new house only to find out they are haunted by an ugly ghost with an old-timey cape and a spectral child who has had a cold for about 300 years. It doesn’t break a lot of new ground, but it’s enjoyably goofy, and it’s the rare horror film that people of basically any age can watch.

But the real surprise treat is the cast! Aside from the always reliable Richard Masur as the gag- and prop-loving father, the movies also boast Married with Children star David Faustino, Kristy Swanson, the ever-delightful John Astin, Vincent Schiavelli, and even Eugene Levy!

8) The Black Hole

Disney tried to get in on the high-concept science-fiction game after the success of Star Wars with The Black Hole, TRON, and a small handful of others. None of their attempts matched the success of George Lucas’ juggernaut, but they’re fun to look back on today.

The Black Hole, in particular, is an interesting amalgam of things: clear attempts to borrow successful Star Wars elements (robots B.O.B. And V.I.N.C.E.N.T.); astonishing special effects for the era; and a weird mixed cast including Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, and everyone’s favourite science-fiction staple, Ernest Borgnine.

7) The Absent-Minded Professor

Though it was eventually eclipsed by its big-budget, Robin Williams-starring remake, Flubber, the original The Absent-Minded Professor has the same plot but some weird and surprisingly dark plot points.

Fred MacMurray plays the crackpot scientist who invents “flying rubber,” which he uses in various questionable ways, like helping a basketball team cheat their way to victory and inventing a flying car so he can psychologically torture his love interest’s other suitor.

There are fun practical effects, a villainous performance from Keenan Wynn, and it’s probably the only Disney movie in which the main character is nearly blown out of the sky by artillery from the American military.

6) The Cat from Outer Space

Sure, I could explain the plot of The Cat from Outer Space to you. But don’t you already want to see it just based on the title? What if I told you that the titular alien feline had a collar that allowed him to communicate telepathically and also move things with his mind?

I don’t have to keep selling this movie, do I? Well, how about a shockingly awesome score by Lalo Schifrin? Or an appearance by Roddy McDowall?

How about the fact that this movie has roles for both Harry Morgan AND McLean Stevenson, the men who played the only two Colonels in charge of the camp in the TV show M*A*S*H? I think my work here is done.

5) Blackbeard’s Ghost

Exhibit one: the Disney stalwart Dean Jones, the likeable Everyman actor who played befuddled regular joes in over their heads in so many Disney titles like The Million Dollar Duck, That Darn Cat, and The Love Bug.

Exhibit two: Peter Ustinov, the charismatic English actor, brilliant in everything from dramas like Spartacus to comedies like The Great Muppet Caper.

Closing argument: Ustinov plays the ghost of Blackbeard, who haunts track coach Jones. There are invisible hijinks, a roulette scam, and Suzanne Pleshette. I rest my case.

4) Fuzzbucket

Before Mick Garris was everyone’s favourite chronicler of the horror world through his directing, producing, and podcasting, he worked on some fun family-friendly projects like Amazing Stories, Hocus Pocus, and this interesting oddity of a TV special.

The story revolves around a boy whose imaginary friend isn’t imaginary at all, he’s just a mysterious invisible creature from another race. So of course, he helps the boy adjust to life in junior high school in exchange for a potion that will make him visible again.

And he kind of looks like… the world’s smallest Sasquatch? Also, there’s an underground lair with a bunch of rat creatures or something. Trust me, just check it out.

3) James and the Giant Peach

In his follow-up to The Nightmare Before Christmas, director Henry Selick somehow found the weirdest and least commercial story to bring to the screen.

Check out this plot description: a boy abused by his aunts after his parents are killed (by a RHINOCEROS!) wants to escape his home life and visit the Empire State Building. So he uses a bag of magic crocodile tongues given to him by Pete Postlethwaite to travel across the ocean in a giant peach full of human-sized insects. This film is legitimately bananas, and deserving of rediscovery.

2) Darby O’Gill and the Little People

There was a time when I thought this movie was something I imagined in a fever dream: A local drunken laughingstock in a small Irish town dreams of capturing the king of the leprechauns and getting access to his wishes and gold.

He ends up captured by the leprechauns, but uses his wits to get some wishes. Then, some crazy shit happens and there are big dance numbers and a death coach that comes to take away his sick daughter and a seriously terrifying Banshee.

And then, in the strangest part of my dream (which it turns out wasn’t a dream, but in fact, a movie that Disney actually made for some reason), they cast famed Scotsman Sean Connery as a man from Dublin, and then give him a song to perform.

Please never let me wake up from this fascinatingly weird dream.

1) The Strongest Man in the World/The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

Everyone loves Kurt Russell, and now you can go back to where it all started with his early Disney films. In both these films, he plays Dexter Reilly, a student at Medfield College who keeps finding himself in odd situations where he gets super-strength or the intelligence of a supercomputer.

There is a third entry in the series, called Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, where he invents an invisibility formula, but it isn’t currently available on the streamer. But these two are a lot of fun, with high concept family-friendly sci-fi adventures and great supporting performances from comedy actors like Joe Flynn, Phil Silvers, and Cesar Romero.

Also, the coolest fact of all: The Absent-Minded Professor and its sequel ALSO take place at Medfield College, which means that these movies were one of the first shared universes in the Disney movie world. I can’t wait for the new relaunch of the Medfield Cinematic Universe!

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