10 Critical But Popular Disney Shows

Disney is known for its great selection of family content that has truly defined many people’s childhoods over the years. However, even if some shows seem to resonate very well with audiences, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will always be critically acclaimed.

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That being said, Disney has created plenty of TV shows in the past that have all made their mark in one way or another, but some of its most iconic shows are ones that were hugely popular while being criticized.

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The Proud Family (2001 – 2005)


Trudy kisses Penny in front of Oscar The Proud Family

The proud family tells the story of Penny Proud as she tries to navigate the world of tweens and her family who are very involved in her life. It was one of the few Disney shows to be represented, which is extremely important for children.

This show definitely made an impression, but one of the biggest remarks from critics is that it gives in to too many stereotypes and exaggerates all the characters in the show to such an extent that it becomes difficult to watch. The good news is that there are new shows like The proud family which are even better to watch now.

Cory in the House (2007-2008)


Cory at home is the sequel to It’s so raven, which follows Raven’s younger brother, Cory, and their father, who became the head of the White House. This show was resourceful, and fans of the show have nothing but kind things to say about a show that has healthy family dynamics and great characters.


Critics have found, however, that Cory at home was often too predictable and some of the friendships between Cory and her friends seemed really forced or awkward. Fans also still have burning questions that Cory at home left unanswered.

Ant Farm (2011-2014)


The cast of ANT Farm tell spooky stories

Anthill follows musical prodigy, Chyna Parks, as she is accepted into her school’s Advanced Natural Talents program, which is aimed at gifted students. China Anne McClain brought everything to this role and sang so many songs that many young adults today will recognize.

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With that in mind, the series is a title with secondary characters who are all overshadowed by Chyna in every scene. It has its goofy and fun moments, but it lacks the kind of nuance that more sophisticated audiences want.


Dog with a blog (2012-2015)


dog with a blog follows a family and their adorable puppy who they quickly realize can read and write. The dog launches his own blog and chronicles his adventures with his caring new family.

The main complaint from critics of this show is that this talking dog trope is way over the top and this show doesn’t add enough to it to make it interesting enough to stick around as more than the pilot.

So random! (2011-2012)


So random! succeed for a while because it was the show that sonny with a chance was based around. It’s basically a comedy sketch show for kids that’s full of silly songs, skits, and generally some kind of overall message.


That being said, the show doesn’t feature Demi Lovato as a main cast member, and she tries way too hard to be as awesome as The Amanda Show been. It was popular, but it just didn’t have that extra layer of critical appeal.

Jonas (2009-2010)


Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas

Jonah follows Nick, Joe and Kevin, the famous boy band of brothers, as they navigate teenage life and stardom. Upon its release, it gave audiences a better understanding of their personalities and revealed secrets about the Jonas Brothers.

The main complaint about this show is that it can be a bit too cliched even though it has some cute comedy in it. The series’ only female character also lacks some of the depth of the stars.


Hanna Montana (2006-2010)


Hannah Montana Miley Cyrus

Hannah Montana, though it hasn’t aged well, was one of the most memorable shows in Disney’s 2000s lineup. It follows a teenage girl who is secretly a pop star, constantly trying to grow up and hide her true identity from her classmates.

The main problem with this show is that because it ran much longer than most Disney shows, it got really repetitive. Not to mention that while Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus’ singing chops were great, their acting isn’t quite as good.

Bizaardvark (2016-2019)


Bizaardvark teens play a game together

Bizaardvarkwhich stars the now hugely popular Olivia Rodrigo, follows friends Frankie and Paige, who make music videos on their blog that show off their personalities and skills with creative expression.

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The biggest problem with this show is that its premise is too similar to Nickelodeon’s. iCarly. One of the other big issues is that it tends to lean very heavily towards influencer culture, which, in turn, makes Bizaardvark seem to be highly complacent.

Shake It Up (2010 – 2013)


shake it follows dancers Rocky and CeCe as they face the challenges of balancing school and dancing on television in their spare time. Although this show had an interesting concept and big stars that are still very popular today, it was not high enough for the reviews.

This show is all about dancing and friendship, but it mostly contained awkward acting, clashing clothing choices, and one-liners that need a laugh track. All in all, it was still iconic, and it helped make Zendaya a big star.

Hooks (2010 – 2014)


Fish hooks

Fish hooks was a great show about high school kids going to school and living in an aquarium. They handle the stress of growing up and have a great time. As a kid, this show stood out because it was full of different dynamic characters.

While that’s very true for fans of the show, critics didn’t feel the same way as many episodes simply followed the generic formula that comes with this type of content. This show is a new concept for the age range it’s aimed at, but after watching a few similar shows, it’s pretty lackluster to the critics.


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