On November 12th, Disney launched Disney+ in USA, Canada, and the Netherlands, with Australia and New Zealand getting it a week later. 10 million people signed up on the first day alone. By the end of 2020, Disney hopes to launch in all remaining territories, including Europe and South America.
Disney fans, Marvel fans, Star Wars fans (and pretty much fans of everything – Disney is winning the long game of monopoly) collectively held their breath and are now enjoying Disney plus exclusives. Below, we'll tell you all there is to know about the upcoming Disney streaming service and what to expect from it.
The first part of the article was written before the service launched, please scroll down for updates.
So, What Do We Know about Disney+?
Image courtesy of Disney
We're not really sure if we're allowed to share in-website screenshots with you, you'll need an account to browse their goodies (and trust us, there's enough binge-worthy material in there to keep you occupied for a while).
Back in April, Bob Iger tweeted this, giving some insight into the user interface:
Image Source: Robert Iger on Twitter
At D23 2019 we were treated to a Disney Plus trailer, showcasing all that is on offer. You can watch this below.
We know that Disney ended its 2016 deal with Netflix and has already started pulling content from Netflix in preparation. By the end of 2020, no Disney-owned content will be available to stream on Netflix and all new content will only be available on Disney+.
Also at D23 2019, the annual conference in which Disney makes any new announcements, we got an even bigger insight into the new streaming platform.
For starters, for the one monthly price (keep reading to find out the details of the price below), subscribers can create 7 user profiles, will be able to stream across 4 devices, and have access to 4K and HDR content. Netflix charges around $16 for the same High-Definition privilege.
All major devices are supported, except Amazon devices. This has sparked rumors of Disney refusing Amazon users access, which I think is ridiculous, as they have already stated they want all major devices and platforms to be able to support Disney Plus.
These are the devices/platforms that are currently supported:
- Roku's boxes, sticks, and TVs.
- Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad.
- Phones and TVs running on Android operating systems, as well as Chromecast streamers.
- Xbox One.
- PlayStation 4.
Disney Streaming Service: Price – Updated
I know what you’re thinking: How am I supposed to afford another $10 a month on top of Netflix ($9 for their basic SD package), Prime ($12.99 for their standard package, which does include 2-day shipping amongst other benefits), Hulu ($11.99 for their standard package without ads) and many others?
Well, Disney+ will be launched with the price of $6.99.
And you can get an even cheaper deal if you buy the annual subscription for $69.99. That's $5.83 per month.
I’ll wait while you pick up your jaw from the floor.
There, that’s better; where was I? Oh yes!
At $6.99, Disney+ is the lowest priced streaming service on the market (and with arguably the best and most content, but we’ll get to that later).
What Will Happen to Disney Life?
To readers who are unfamiliar, Disney Life is a streaming service set up by Disney in 2015, and it is exclusive to the UK. It is essentially a trial version of what Disney+ will eventually be, except without all the original content and Fox shows (I know, we’ll get to the content soon). Now, the question is, what is Disney going to do with Disney Life?
As I see it, there are two options:
- Nothing. Just leave it as it is and have two separate streaming services with the same content. This could be problematic in terms of promoting and marketing.
- Rebrand it as Disney Plus. This seems like the best option and probably the most likely. Everything will stay the same, just under a different name.
Something for Disney to think about, I’m sure.
It seems that Disney Life will be taken over by Disney+ sometimes in the future. We'll come back with more info when Disney will share more details on the matter.
Hi Damien, you will continue to be able to enjoy DisneyLife for some time. We will of course update you when there is more information to share on the local availability of Disney+ and you can sign up for further updates here https://t.co/9zC9IUVbks. Have a lovely day!
— DisneyLife UK & IRE (@DisneyLifeUK) October 14, 2019
Disney Streaming Service Content
To those of you who just scrolled to this section because you’re only interested in the pie and not the ingredients that make said pie, then you’re out of luck because I have decided to skip this section.
Seriously, there’s nothing here…amscray! Skidaddle!
Still there? Okay then, I suppose I can talk a little bit about all the fantastic new, classic, and original content that will be available…you twisted my arm.
There will be a plethora of varied content. 7000 TV episodes from hundreds of shows and approximately 500 movies will be available at launch, and Disney wants to add to that within a year of launching to accommodate the estimated 90 million subscribers in the first year.
We already knew about many of the shows that Disney will make available to stream on their on-demand service, but at the recent D23, we learned of many more, and we also…wait for it…GOT TRAILERS!!
I’ll break this section down into content with trailers, content without trailers, and newly announced content…stick around for the last one; it’s a doozy.
1. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2020)
Image courtesy of Disney
Not much is known about this series other than the man behind hit TV show Empire, Malcolm Spellman, is attached as a writer/producer. Also, along with Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie who reprise their titular characters, Daniel Bruhl will return as Zemo and Emily VanCamp is back as Peggy’s granddaughter, Sharon Carter.
With this series officially being part of the MCU, it will be very interesting which direction they will take this in…one to keep your eyes on.
2. The Mandalorian (2019)
WOW! 3 seconds in and I am already sold. The first ever live-action Star Wars series comes exclusively to Disney+ in the form of The Mandalorian. Set after the fall of the Empire – about 5 years after Return of the Jedi – and just before the emergence of the First Order, the story follows a lone gunfighter on his travels in the outer galaxy, beyond the reach of the New Republic.
Jon Favreau is the brainchild behind the series and also serves as a producer. Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones and Narcos fame will play the titular character, alongside a varied cast including Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring, Breaking Bad & Better Call Saul), Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed, Rocky series) and Taika Waititi (Korg/director, Thor: Ragnarok), who will also serve as director for an episode.
As a gigantic Star Wars fan, these are exciting times!
Update: Baby Yoda has taken over the internet. So, I guess The Mandalorian can be considered a success. Well, that and the incredible writing.
3. WandaVision (mid-to-late 2020)
Image courtesy of Disney
Yes, you guessed it, Vision and Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) are getting their own spin-off as well, with both Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen reprising their roles.
Not much is known about the script or the plot, but rumors circulating are just about confirming that the show will be set and take place in the 1950s.
Which makes sense (SPOILERS AHEAD) as Vision never recovered after Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from his head. As the months tick by, I expect more information to be released.
4. Loki (2020/2021)
One of the MCU’s most beloved characters – even if he is a trickster and hell-bent on world/s domination – is getting his own TV show.
Michael Waldron (writer/producer of the upcoming season of Rick and Morty, amongst other works) is rumored to be serving as the show’s creator and executive producer, as well as writing the first episode. Nothing is known about the plot, although a still concept image released at an investor day leaves me full of intrigue.
Image Source: Fandom on Twitter
From here, it looks like Loki is sauntering through what looks like Times Square in the 1970s, as is evident from the fact that we can see Jaws being shown at the cinema behind him.
Again, like WandaVision, more information will be released as the launch gets closer.
5. The Simpsons (available at launch)
With Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, many fans were left salivating at the possibility of Wolverine and the Fantastic 4 entering the MCU. But what I am even more excited for is my favorite show being available with the launch of Disney+.
Image Source: Disney on Twitter
Springfield’s favorite dysfunctional family will be exclusively available to stream from launch date. Yep, you heard me right. The longest running sitcom in TV history will have all 30 seasons for you to binge on. God… there are weeks I’ll never get back, oh well!
6. Lady and the Tramp (available at launch)
Aww, a childhood favourite reimagined in the real world, here is the first exclusive Disney Plus movie, Lady and the Tramp.
Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie in the MCU and M.I.B International) plays the erudite cocker spaniel owned by Jim Dear and Darling, and long-established actor, writer, producer, Justin Theroux (Girl on the Train and Tropic Thunder, screenplay and story) plays the loveable mutt Tramp. A great cast supports including Yvette Nicole Brown, Benedict Wong, and Sam Elliot.
Before watching the trailer I was a bit skeptical. I am not a fan of this current trend of remaking every Disney animated classic into a live-action film, and thought “here we go again”. But, watching it, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. The way it is filmed is reminiscent of another childhood classic, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.
I will definitely be watching this as soon as I can!
7. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (available at launch)
“We’re soaring, flying, there’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach.” 13 years old those lyrics are…feel old yet?
Well, you may do, but you may also feel nostalgic, and this show will be just what you need. A 10 episode scripted series, filmed in a documentary style, this brings the characters of Gabriella, Troy, Sharpay, Zeke…and others, back to life. One of the men behind 2017 hit Ferdinand, Tim Federle, developed this, and it looks like it's going to be another hit.
The trailer makes it look like a lot of fun, and although I may not be in the demographic this show is aimed at, I can’t wait to go back to East High.
8. Encore! (available at launch)
Following on from the last one, this is a real documentary, hosted by Kristen Bell (Frozen & Frozen 2), in which people are reunited to perform the high school musical that they originally performed in high school.
The trailer confirms what you may already be thinking: a run-of-the-mill reality show, focusing in on real people and real stories for dramatic and emotional effect.
I have mixed feelings about this one, as I’m not a fan of reality shows like this, but as far as original content, it’s a decent addition to the catalog.
9. Noelle (available at launch)
Santa’s daughter is full of Christmas spirit but wishes she could do something “important” like her brother Nick, who will take over from their father this Christmas. When Nick begins to crack from the holiday season pressure, Noelle suggests that he takes a break and get away for the weekend…
This looks Christmassy, funny, and heartwarming. With a cast including Bill Hader (Superbad, Saturday Night Live), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Trolls), Billy Eichner (The Lion King, Billy on the Street) and Hollywood legend Shirley MacClaine (Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment), I am sure I will not be disappointed.
Newly Announced Content
1. Obi-Wan Kenobi Series
Yes…you are reading that correctly. When Disney first announced they were expanding the Star Wars saga, an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off movie was announced, then time went on and it seemed it was subsequently shelved.
But, at D23, Kathleen Kennedy, President of LucasFilm, officially confirmed all the scripts have been written. Ewan McGregor also confirmed he will be reprising his role as the eponymous Jedi Master.
“Yes,” said McGregor. “I am playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. It feels so nice to say.”
2. Monsters at Work
This Monsters Inc. spin-off series will pick up just as the aforementioned Pixar movie. Tylor (Ben Feldman, Superstore; Silicon Valley) has just graduated from Monsters University and is ready to step into the Monster world. Unfortunately, he arrives on the very day that they switch from using scare technology, to using laugh technology.
A supporting cast that includes Aisha Tyler (Archer; Who’s Line is it Anyway?), Henry Winkler (Happy Days, The Waterboy) and with cameos of Monsters Inc alumni like: John Goodman as Sully (now CEO of Monsters Inc.), Billy Crystal as Mike, John Ratzenburger as Yeti, and Jennifer Tilly as Mike’s girlfriend, Cecilia.
This one is going to be a lot of fun.
3. Lizzie McGuire Revival Series
“Hey now, hey now, this is what dreams are made of…”
You’re damn right!
Lizzie McGuire is back, with Disney announcing a new series will begin production soon. Hillary Duff will return to play the character that made her famous and shaped a lot of childhoods, except this time, she’s in her 30s. Not much else has been released about this, so watch this space for any updates.
We are finally seeing the bad-ass superwoman that is She-Hulk, as Disney announced a brand new series coming to Disney Plus. In the comics, She-Hulk is the cousin of Bruce Banner, Jennifer. After an illness, she receives a blood transfusion from Bruce which gives her a smaller dosage of gamma radiation, turning her into the titular character.
I’m really excited for this one, especially as it ties into the MCU, and with Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight each getting their own series as well, getting over Tony Stark and Cap leaving will be much easier.
5. Muppets Now
Again, like a few of this newly announced shows, not much, if anything, is known about this show, other than it will be an unscripted short-form series, featuring special guests.
Kermit the Frog tweeted this (yes, I know what I just typed!):
That’s all we have at the moment until Joe the Legal Weasel says so! No firm release date; no news on special guests. All we know is it will be produced by Muppets Studios, (it was rumored that a new Muppets show was being developed by Josh Gad of Frozen fame, and Once Upon a Time showrunners Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis. Disney has declined to comment on this show, which has/had the working title, Muppets Live Another Day).
6. The World According To Jeff Goldblum
Jeff Goldblum, everyone’s favorite wacky eccentric, who you may know better as Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park) or The Grandmaster (MCU), takes us on a journey through his own world as he explores subjects as diverse as ice cream and sneakers. We find out how they feature in his world and how they are made in this hilarious and highly interesting documentary series.
I think this could be a masterstroke from Disney, and may even end up being their most popular addition.
Disney has really thrown their hat in the streaming ring with the Disney streaming service, and I think it will probably have the likes of Netflix and Amazon a little worried.
The fact that Disney has monopolized a large chunk of Hollywood means that its content will attract tons of people from all walks of life…I mean, it will be the only place to stream Marvel shows and films, as well as exclusive Disney movies and shows.
I myself am super-excited and cannot wait for November 12th to get here.
If reading this article doesn’t turn you into “that Philip J. Fry meme” then I give up…but I know, if you’re like me, you’ll have the launch date marked in your calendar already.
For more information on the Disney streaming service Disney Plus, make sure to follow us on our social media, where we'll be keeping you updated.
From Skywalkers to superheroes; from a Gunslinger to Gollum; From a time travelling police box to a time travelling delorean, my obsession with everything fantastical and geeky began when I was around 6, aboard the USS Enterprise, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard at the helm.
Now, being 6 seems like a lifetime ago, and a lot has changed in my life but my love for all things geeky remains a constant.