Today, Disney launches a new part of its streaming service, Star. But what in the Mickey Mouse is it? Sam Brooks explains.
So what is Star?
Star is Disney’s “new entertainment brand” that launches today in multiple countries around the world, including New Zealand. In reality, it’s just another part of Disney+.
The service will bring with it not just new series, but television shows and films from Disney’s massive back catalogue, a result of them owning a lot of companies (including ABC, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel) and merging with Fox Studios. It will double the amount of content available on Disney+, with 155 TV series, 435 movies and four “Star Originals” at launch.
So I have to subscribe to another streaming service?
No! (Unless you’re not subscribed to Disney+, in which case yes.)
The idea behind it is that while Disney+ stays suitable for audiences of all ages, Star is full of shows and films that are intended for a more adult audience. (Within reason: if you wanna watch Game of Thrones, you can find that on Neon, ya rascal.)
Disney+ will also launch parental controls today, which will include the ability to set limits on what content specific profiles can access, and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content. Sorry, little Jessica, you’re gonna have to wait til you’re older to watch Ugly Betty.
How much does it cost?
If you’re already subscribed to Disney+: nothing! It’s included with your current $9.99 subscription.
However, there’s a slight catch: Disney+ is bumping up its subscription price from $9.99 to $12.99 as of today. If you’re already a subscriber, the price will remain at $9.99 for six months, and then bump up to $12.99. The changes will take place on August 22.
Wait, did you say Ugly Betty?
Hell yes I did.
The main attraction of Star is the huge amount of older films and TV series available on it. It’s what sets the tier apart from others, which are largely focused on new content, and trickles in older stuff to supplement. Arguably, this has been Disney+’s schtick since the very start: new content is the icing, all the archival stuff is the cake.
So what else is on the service?
There’s the aforementioned 155 series and 435 films, some of which, it’s worth noting, can be watched on other streaming services (eg Glee on Netflix, Desperate Housewives on TVNZ on Demand). Other series and films produced by companies owned by Disney (yay for capitalism) aren’t available on the service just yet, likely due to them already being exclusively licensed to other streaming services, such as The Handmaid’s Tale on Neon and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Amazon Prime Video.
You can find the full list here, and it’s bloody extensive.
A few of my personal highlights are below. My tastes are specific, apologies in advance:
- Moulin Rouge!
- All of the Aliens movies (but let’s be honest, they’re not all great)
- Ugly Betty
- The Devil Wears Prada
- Black Swan
- Season 18 only, somehow, of Family Guy
- Cougar Town
- Bob’s Burgers
- Under the Tuscan Sun
- Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion
- My Cousin Vinny
- Jennifer’s Body
What about new stuff?
The service will have its own originals (which are largely Hulu Originals, another streaming platform owned by Disney) which include Big Sky, Love Victor, Helstrom, Solar Opposites on launch, and Dopesick, The Dropout, The Last Man, and new shows from the Kardashians and the Jenners later in 2021.
You can subscribe to Disney+, and by proxy Star, here.
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