Disney+’s Witch Mountain sounds a lot like Stranger Things

Disney+’s Witch Mountain sounds a lot like Stranger Things

The Disney+ Witch Mountain series sounds like it’s in the shadow of Netflix’s Stranger Things, but those similarities could give the show a marketing edge.

Disney reinvents another classic property by reviving it Escape to Witch Mountain as a Disney+ series. The show is set to be a lot different from the film series that came before it, according to the synopsis that focuses on super-powered teenagers. However, the aforementioned storyline could make it close to being one of streaming TV’s most popular shows.

Stranger Things helped put Netflix on the map, and there have been few streaming programs that rival its popularity. The new Witch Mountain the series seems to be made in the same mold due to its focus on a small town. While this may put it in “ripoff” territory in some viewers’ eyes, it may also attract enough of a curious audience to give Disney+ a hit outside Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Disney+’s Witch Mountain turns the film series into stranger things

Stranger Things season 4 poster with Netflix logo in the middle

The premise for Witch Mountain involves two teenagers living in the area near the eponymous mountain who develop incredible powers and abilities. Such abilities mean that the teenagers are probably updates of the children from Alexander Key’s books and the Disney movies. This is made stronger by the female main role being played Star Wars Actor/director Bryce Dallas Howard’s name is Tia — a name shared with the female protagonist from the source material. Between psychic powers, a small town filled with secrets and a protective widow/single mother, the similarities to Stranger Things is quite easy to see.

The Netflix series had all these elements due to it being a love letter to 1980s horror and science fiction, as well as the works of Stephen King. The original Escape to Witch Mountain novel and film preceded these trends, having been published in 1968 and 1975 respectively. But the creative DNA shared with Stranger Things is still quite obvious. Although the immediate response of some viewers would be to notice Witch Mountain a fraud,” Stranger Things‘ popularity could rub off and persuade fans of the Netflix series to check out the Disney+ show.

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Disney+ needs a hit series beyond Star Wars and Marvel

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The biggest selling points for Disney+ are series related Star Wars and the MCU. The Star Wars precursor Andor was 2022’s best series, but outside of Marvel and Star Wars, the rest of the content on Disney+ may be a little too family-friendly or youth-skewed to attract those who aren’t already fans of the company. Having recently launched an ad-supported tier, Disney+ is clearly looking to expand its viewer base beyond its flagship franchises.

It is doubtful Witch Mountain gets pretty much as dark as Stranger Things given where it is streamed. Still, being able to hit the same target audience will do wonders for Disney+, especially if the quality of the two programs is comparable. It would provide a series that older teens and adults would enjoy – and the potential for a wider franchise and tie-in material, much like what’s been done with Stranger Things. Emulating the Netflix hit, Witch Mountain could race to achieve similar popularity.

Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix. Witch Mountain is in development for Disney+.

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