Thursday, September 14, 2023

7 Favorite Disney TV Movies

When my sister and I decided to write a post about our 7 Favorite Disney TV movies, I didn't realize just how many television films Walt Disney Studios had made....or how many I enjoy!  A good sign of a "favorite" is how often you watch the movie so, using that criteria, we picked the films we watch the most frequently and enjoy the most when we do see them. We also ranked them in order from 1st to 7th place. So let's begin with the Number One favorite....The London Connection!

1. The London Connection (1979)

Jeffrey Byron stars as Luther Starling, a young agent for a CIA-like organization. He's on holiday in London but when an old scientist slips a gold ring in his pocket, he decides to delve into a mysterious kidnapping led by the group known as Omega. 

This film was actually released in theaters first (as a double-bill with The Aristocats) but it aired on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color soon after and has always been shown on television since under the title The Omega Connection....hence, the reason we are including it. What makes this deserve the top-spot on our list? Well, it's a family favorite that we have been watching every summer for the past fifteen years but it also has a great blend of action and comedy hi-jinks. In other words, it is just an all-around fun family film to watch!  

You can read our full review here

2. Bejewelled (1991)

Another summertime family favorite. This one is more for the kiddies because it has a lot of corny humor, but we never tire of it anyway! Emma Samms stars as an American woman who is transporting a set of valuable jewelry to England for a museum exhibition. While disembarking at the airport, the hatbox she was carrying the jewels in gets lost in a shuffle and she then has to spend a frantic weekend traveling all over London trying to retrieve the jewels. Aiding her in her endeavor is Denis Lawson and two children whom he is chaperoning. 

Like The London Connection, I think it is the English setting that draws us back to this film so often. Bejewelled boasts a great cast of British/America actors (Jean Marsh, Jerry Hall, et al ) and, even though the humor is geared for little ones, it still makes us laugh every time we watch it.

You can read our full review here. 

3. Diamonds on Wheels (1973)

Another fun mystery/suspense film! This one is about a group of teenagers who enter their MG sports car in a treasure-hunting road rally and quickly discover they are being chased by crooks for the diamonds that were hidden in their car (unbeknownst to them). A young Peter Firth stars as the driver of the car and Spencer Banks plays his navigator. Banks was a popular British TV child star. You'll also spot a bevy of familiar actors from British television in supporting parts, namely Patrick Allen, George Sewell, and Edwin Richfield. 

You can read our full review here. 

4. The Secret of Boyne Castle (1969)

The Secret of Boyne Castle was a three-part television movie that aired in February 1969. Kurt Russell and Patrick Dawson star as two Hardy-Boys-like teens who buzz all over Ireland trying to avoid capture by a Russian agent, all the while also trying to aid American spy Glenn Corbett (Russell's older brother in the film). This movie features one of the cleverest crooks to be found in any Disney film: Kersner. This man is a master of disguise and always seems to be one step ahead of the boys, who are constantly in danger of being killed. The film was shot on location in and around the Emerald Isle and is just a wonderful way to spend a few days (I'd recommend breaking it into 1-hour segments over 3 days....ideally, the week of St. Patrick's Day).

You can read our full review here. 

5. Child of Glass (1978)

This has been a longtime favorite Saturday afternoon flick...especially on a rainy fall day. If you like ghosts and legends and the old South, then you'll enjoy this one. Steve Shaw stars as Alex, a young boy with psychic powers. He and his family recently moved into an old Georgian manor once owned by a sea captain. Alex sees the glowing ghost of Captain Tremaine's daughter in the attic one afternoon and she pleads with him to help her solve a riddle so that she could be freed from her state of limbo. The movie isn't packed with excitement, but it holds your interest. Fans of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory will recognize Denise Nickerson as Alex's sister. 

You can read our full review here.

6. Escapade in Florence (1962)

Tommy Kirk was not only busy starring in films for Walt Disney Studios but on the small screen as well. This film, which was released on the heels of The Horsemaster, reunited Annette Funicello with Kirk. They play students abroad in Florence, Italy, who get mixed up in mystery and suspense when they get unexpectedly involved in an art forgery operation. The movie was filmed in Italy and features many colorful locations, including a chase sequence during the famous Palio horse race in Sienna. It also features some playful Italian-esque tunes by the Sherman Brothers, most of which are performed by Annette. 

7. The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974)

This was the first of two television films that were made about Alvin Fernald, a wonderful character from the imagination of writer Clifford B. Hicks. Alvin was a child inventor who liked to tinker with gadgets every chance he had. Most of the summer he spends in his basement laboratory/workshop but this summer, he and his friend Shooey discover a case of corruption in their town of Riverton and Alvin decides to put his inventions to use as they try and solve the mystery. Tagging along is his little sister Daphne, played by Kim Richards. 

This film has a lot going for it. Not only does it boast a great cast of character actors (including Edward Andrews as the mayor of Riverton), but the children are perfectly cast and are a delight to watch. I wish Disney had developed the Alvin Fernald stories into a television series instead of just two films. 

Well, that wraps up our list of favorite Disney TV movies. Do you have any memories of watching these films? Or do you have any Disney TV movies you would pick as favorites? 


  1. These are all marvelous choices! However, it's hard to separate Disney "TV movies" from the "limited series." I'm not sure which category is appropriate for The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, but it's a delight from start to end.

    1. Dr. Syn aka The Scarerow is a great series! It's especially wonderful to watch at this time of the year, too (especially during Halloween). Yes, I wasn't sure whether to include The Secret of Boyne Castle because it was aired in 3-parts but I never see it being referred to as a tv series, so I tossed that in. I think a good rule of thumb would be to call a series anything that airs in 4-5 segments or more.

  2. Not heard of any of these movies, so thanks for the splendid introduction...

  3. I haven't heard of any of these movies except for the "Whiz Kid" one, so this was fascinating.