Disney+ Sci-Fi Crime Comedy Revives Fan-Favorite 80s Franchise

By April Ryder | Published

The live-action Inspector Gadget movie is now available for streaming on Disney+ for subscribers to the channel. The film stars Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) in the leading role, Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding) as the main antagonist Dr. Claw, Michelle Trachtenberg (EuroTrip) as Penny, and Dabney Coleman (The Beverly Hillbillies, 1993) as Chief Quimby. 

Inspector Gadget

If you’re a child of the 80s, you probably watched the original animated series starring the voice of Don Adams as Inspector Gadget.

The cartoon series only ran for two seasons, 1983-1985, but the 86 episodes of those two seasons aired in syndication into the late 1990s.

Inspector Gadget was a great success, with two live-action movies following its creation and a renewal series in 2015. 

Character Origin Story

The first live-action Inspector Gadget movie was released in theaters by Walt Disney Pictures in July of 1999.

The film gives more information on the origin story of Inspector Gadget, like how he got all those gadgets in the first place and what he did before he was a zany crime-fighting, robot man. 

Matthew Broderick As Inspector Gadget

inspector gadget

Inspector Gadget all begins with a guy named John Brown (Matthew Broderick) who lives with his niece Penny and her dog, a beagle named Brain. John does security work for the Bradford robotics laboratory, but dreams of one day becoming a police officer. 

His work at the laboratory is important, though, as Artemus Bradford and his daughter are designing a lifelike robotic foot as part of the “Gadget Program” in hopes of eventually adding androids to the local police force. 

The Story And Hijinks

inspector gadget

The story of Inspector Gadget continues when a tycoon named Sanford Scolex breaks into the top-secret facility using a robotic tank.

He steals the robotic foot (killing Artemus along the way) intending to use it to build an army of androids. When John Brown chases after Scolex’s limo, the two end up in a collision with a billboard. 

Scolex uses dynamite to finish off John but crushes his hand as a result. John Brown is eventually put back together by Brenda and the Gadget Program, giving him a unique second shot at life. Scolex receives a robotic claw in place of his missing hand and takes on the antagonistic alias, Dr. Claw. 

An Enjoyable Movie

inspector gadget

Though Inspector Gadget received negative reviews when it was released and lost the production studio around $30 million once it was all said and done, the film landed well with fans of the cartoon series.

It was witty, funny, and enjoyable to see some of the silliest gadgets from the original cartoon come to life. 

Inspector Gadget On Disney+

inspector gadget

In 2003, a straight-to-video sequel Inspector Gadget 2 was released. This time, French Stewart (Clockstoppers) took the title role.

The sequel movie features another Gadget-like creation, but this time it’s a woman called G2. When Dr. Claw exits prison, Inspector Gadget, Penny, Brain, and G2 must work together to stop his evil plan to rob the United States Treasury.

If you want to start your journey with the first live-action film, Inspector Gadget is now streaming on Disney+ with a subscription to the channel. The film carries a ‘PG’ rating and has about an hour and a half runtime.