Sam Brooks gives you the lowdown on Disney+, the exhaustive streaming service launching today.
What on this good green world is Disney+?
Disney+ is a streaming service run by, as you might expect, Disney. If you need someone to explain what Disney is to you, then this service probably isn’t for you. Stick to whatever culture you currently consume, you wild person living in a cave.
What’s on it?
Over 600 films and 7000 episodes of television, with more being added in the future.
That’s a lot!
It is, and the breadth of it is the main selling point. Not only does it include almost every Disney film ever made, it includes a huge amount of the content made by the companies that Disney now owns.
So, you know. Fox, the people who make The Simpsons–
Holy shit, so I can watch every episode of The Simpsons?
Well, you can watch whatever they haven’t accidentally cropped out. But I’m not finished.
Disney also own Marvel. And Pixar. And National Geographic. And Star Wars. So a great deal of the film and television made by those companies is coming to Disney+ too. Later this week, we’ll have a list of the best and weirdest stuff coming to the service.
How much is it?
It’s $9.99 a month or $99 for a year, which is objectively a lot of content for not a lot of money. There’s a seven day trial as well, in case you’re not convinced to shell over the amount of money it costs for one and a half cups of coffee.
Implausibly, I already own all 600 films and 7000 episodes of television that will be on Disney+. What’s the point of me subscribing?
Hello, implausible person! Well, you’ll be delighted to know that Disney+ is also releasing original content, with a lot available upon release (that is, right now) and more rolling out in the coming years.
Okay, so what’s that original content?
The original stuff available upon release includes:
The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spin-off set between Episode VI and Episode VII, revolving around a Mandalorian bounty hunter. We review the series here.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, an absolutely bonkers idea for a show, set at the real-life school where the original Disney Channel film was shot, following that school doing their first ever production of ‘High School Musical’. It’s meta, and looks to be wild.
Lady and the Tramp, one of those CGI reboots (they’re not bloody live action, you philistines) that nobody asked for.
Forky Asks a Question, ten short films revolving around the breakout spork from Toy Story 4.
Encore!, a show where Kristen Bell brings together former castmates of a high school musical (not to be confused with High School Musical) and tasks them to re-create their original performance in what promises to be absolute catnip to your musical theatre nerd friends.
Noelle, a Holiday comedy that revovles around Kris Kringle’s daughter. Bill Hader and Anna Kendrick star.
There’s also Spark Shorts (a cool new short film series from more experimental animators), Marvel’s Hero Project (a branded feel-good show about what changes kids are making in communities), The Imagineering Story (a documentary chronicling the 65+ history of Walt Disney, probably sans anti-semitism) and The World According to Jeff Goldblum (Goldblum asks complicated questions about basic things like sneakers).
I’m not convinced! What’s coming in the future?
Okay, you asked for it. A bunch of spinoffs of The Avengers, including Loki (starring Loki), WandaVision (Scarlet Witch and The Vision), The Falcon and the Winter Solider (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) and Hawkeye (Hawkeye). These are not imaginatively titled TV shows.
The things that I’m most excited about are: Lizzie McGuire (a reboot-sequel of the Disney Channel classic featuring all of the original cast sans Gordo), Love Simon (a sequel to the Jennifer Garner sobfest of 2018) and Diary of a Female President (a feel-good Gina Rodriguez-produced show about a Cuban Girl who dreams of being President).
There’s also a bunch of animated stuff your kids will love, including Chip and Dale (not to be mistaken for Chip and Dale), and a new season of the Clone Wars show.
I’m kind of a nerd about this stuff – what kind of functionality does the service have?
Hello, nerd! A subscription to Disney+ enables you to stream on four devices simultaneously, should you want to watch every Marvel movie featuring Gwyneth Paltrow at the same time, which is the only reason I can fathom wanting to do so.
It also allows downloads on up to TEN devices, which range from the device you are reading this on to your actual television screen. On that note, the app is also available on pretty much every device you can watch video on.
There are also, obviously, no commercials. Remember that way that television networks used to support their revenue? What a crazy concept!
Can I watch The Avengers on it?
No, you cannot watch the 60s show featuring Diana Rigg on it. I’m sorry.
I meant the Marvel one.
Oh, yeah. All those films are on it. Go wild.
You can sign up to Disney+ right here.