In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are the five best Irish-themed movies and television episodes now streaming on Disney+.
“The Hound of Ulster” (1996)
Gargoyles is well-known for incorporating real-world myths and legends into its story arcs. The series’ 45th episode “The House of Ulster” was no exception. Set in Ireland, the episodes follows Goliath (voiced by Keith David) and the gang during their “Avalon World Tour”. When the powerful and manipulative Banshee (voiced by Sheena Easton) catches wind of the Manhattan Clan’s arrival, she imprisons them for interrogation.
“The Last Leprechaun” (1989)
The Rescue Rangers are known for their wacky and fun adventures, which is why things become especially entertaining when the Ranger Plane crash lands in Ireland. Once on the Emerald Isle, the Rangers assist the King of the Leprechauns and free his people from their enslavement by the Queen of the Banshees. As you can tell, banshees are regularly featured in these kinds of things because of their popularity in Irish folklore.
Lucky Toupée (2021)
Released as a part of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Short Circuit series, Lucky Toupée has everything you could ask for in an Irish-themed short film. From a gangster leprechaun to a charming romance, it’s the kind of quirky and kinetic story that makes the entire Short Circuit series fun to watch.
Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)
It’s not a St. Patrick’s Day movie marathon without the inclusion of Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Starring Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery and Jimmy O’Dea, the film is a holiday classic directed by Disney legend Robert Stevenson. It follows the tale of an aging groundskeeper and his longstanding battle of wits against the King of the Leprechauns. Released in 1959, the film is notable for its special effects and bringing Sean Connery to the attention of James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli.
The Luck of the Irish (2001)
Last but not least, The Luck of the Irish is as important to Disney’s Irish-themed content as Darby O’Gill. While it does not feature cutting edge special effects or an early performance by the best 007, it is peak DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie) material. Twenty years later, The Luck of the Irish is exactly the kind of nostalgic made-for-television fantasy film that makes the Disney+ price of admission worth it for millennials and zoomers alike.