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More and more, people are getting their TV and movie content exclusively from streaming sources. While Netflix is clearly the undisputed king of the various streamers, several companies have begun to take their slice of the pie, and one of the most promising of those is the new service coming from the Walt Disney Company, simply titled Disney+.
With one of the most extensive catalogs of content, dating back almost 100 years, Disney has the potential to bring a lot of muscle to its new streaming service. Is it going to be worth it for you to add it to your existing options, or possibly even replace another service with it? Here's everything we know about Disney+ to help you make that decision.
When Will Disney+ Launch And What Will It Cost?
Back in August of 2017 we first learned that Disney was planning to launch its own streaming service. From day one we knew that Disney was expecting a 2019 launch and as we moved closer to that date, we were told the service would come near the end of the calendar year. The service was also given an official name at the end of 2018, Disney+, a name that made sense considering that Disney's ESPN SVOD service used the same nomenclature. That was as much as we knew until a special Disney Investor's Day event in April of 2019, which finally gave us two key pieces of information.
Disney+ will launch in the U.S. on November 12, 2019. Disney seemed to use U.S. and North America interchangeably during the announcement, so it looks like Canada will be getting the service at the same time. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial by using this link.
Western Europe will get Disney+ during a roll out that will start at the end of 2019 and go into early 2020. The Asia Pacific region will see Disney+ starting at the end of this year, but is expected to take into 2020 to fully complete. Eastern Europe and Latin America will begin to see Disney+ near the end of 2020.
The most exciting piece of information about Disney+ is the price. It will go for $6.99 a month, with an option to purchase a full year in advance for $69.99. That will make Disney+ about half the price of what Netflix now goes for, and it will be only one dollar more a month than what Hulu costs with ad support, and Disney+ will be ad free.
Following its purchase of Fox, Disney went forward and purchased the shares of streaming service Hulu that were owned by the other broadcast companies. This has allowed Disney to also offer a bundle option that will include Disney+, ESPN+, and ad-supported Hulu, for $12.99. This shakes out to basically getting one of the three services for free.
How Can I Watch Disney+?
During Disney's Investor Day, the company made it clear that it wants Disney+ to have as wide a device footprint as possible, so that people using the service will have access to it on whatever device they want to use. The image above was used during the presentation and makes it clear that whether you have a Smart TV, a game console, or any other video streaming device, Disney wants the new service available on it.
At Disney's unveiling event, the company only confirmed that Roku TV, and Sony's PlayStation 4, were set to have the app. However, since then more devices were confirmed. The entire suite of Apple and Android products will include the app, including Chromecast. The Xbox One will also have access. The one major device that appears to not yet be confirmed is the Amazon Fire.
Of course, you'll also be able to watch on your home computer.
How Will Disney+ Work?
If you're familiar with most existing streaming video apps, Disney+ doesn't look all that different. The app divides the content into five main categories, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. You can select any one of them to be able to see a wider section of options in that category, but you can also view by genre or search for a specific title in order to find what you're looking for.
Over time, the service will learn your preferences based on what you watch, and so it will automatically recommend movies and shows you might want to see. To that end, multiple profiles can be created by different family members, which means each person will get their own set of recommendations.
On the technical side, content will be available in 4K HDR for those with compatible screens for viewing.
Another very cool feature is that the entire library of content will be available to download to your mobile device with no restrictions or limitations. This means if you're jumping on a plane or are going to be someplace else where you won't have wi-fi, you can download everything you need to keep watching while you're offline.
What Can I Watch On Disney+?
The short answer to that question is, a lot. With almost 100 years of material to draw from across multiple divisions, in movies and on television, Disney+ promises to launch with an incredible amount of timeless content, and continue adding to that as time goes on. Here's a breakdown of what we know is coming to the service.
Walt Disney released the studios first hand drawn animated feature in 1937, and ever since then, Disney has defined theatrical animation for generations. With the upcoming Frozen II, Disney will have its 58th theatrically released animated film, and 39 of those films will be available to watch on Disney+ on day one. This includes every movie in the "Disney vault," which are films that see their home releases routinely pulled from circulation before re-releasing a few years later.
In addition to the films that will be available on day one, more will be added over time, including Frozen II which was confirmed to hit the service in the summer of 2020.
Here's the complete list of confirmed Disney animated material that will be available on day one.
In addition to the theatrically animated movies, a selection in the Disney+ app demonstration shown included an option to watch Mickey Mouse short films. Many of Disney's shorts will likely be included in the service, though we don't know what will be available day one and what will be coming later.
Finally, one brand new series related to Disney animation will be a documentary series titled Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II. No specific date was given for the series, but it was seen as part of the "Coming Soon" portion of the Disney app, which means it likely won't be a day one product. Though, since Frozen II is set to release shortly after Disney+ launches, we probably won't have too long to wait.
Pixar is a much younger company that Walt Disney Animation, but it's just as loved by fans. Toy Story 4 marks the 21st Pixar animated feature. Pixar CCO Pete Doctor confirmed that the first 18 Pixar films will be day one releases for Disney+. Only Coco, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 won't be available to view when Disney+ launches, but all three will be available by the end of the service's first year.
In addition to theatrical films, many of Pixar's shorts will also be available on the service. It appears that all of Pixar's theatrically released shorts, along with Red's Dream, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. and Tin Toy, which were never put in theaters, will all be on the service on day one.
Several brand new Pixar projects were also announced for Disney+. Forky Asks a Question will see the newest member of the Toy Story crew, Forky, voiced by Tony Hale, coming to terms with his new existence as a toy. Each episode will see Forky ask the other toys in Bonnie's room about life's most difficult questions, such as, What is love? What is Time? and What is Cheese? Ten short episodes have been created and the series will be a day one addition to Disney+.
Bo Peep, the Toy Story character who returned to the fold in Toy Story 4 will be getting a Disney+ original short film. Lamp Life will tell the story of what happened to the character prior to the events of Toy Story 4.
Monsters at Work will be a new series dedicated to the world of Monsters Inc. Both Billy Crystal and John Goodman will reprise their roles as Mike and Sully for the show. The series will follow the new Monsters Inc. after the events of the original film, as the monsters continue to gather their power needs by utilizing the Laugh Floor.
Finally, an unscripted series that takes a look behind the scenes of Pixar was also announced. It sounds to be a similar documentary project to the Frozen II series. No official title was given, but episodes will begin to arrive sometime in the first year and are expected to continue to be released into the future. Here's everything that you can watch on day one.
One of the most exciting things about Disney+ could be the idea that the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe might be available in one place. Being able to watch the entire story from Iron Man through Avengers: Endgame is the cinematic equivalent of spending your weekend reading comic books and drinking soda. However, it looks like the MCU won't be complete on Disney+, at least not early on.
Through the end of 2019 there will be a total of 24 movies that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of those 24, only seven will be available on day one, and only eight more are currently scheduled to be added within the first year. Here's the complete list of day one material...
If this is truly the entire list of MCU films set for the first year, it leaves half of the films out for that time period. There may be existing licensing deals in place that will keep the films off Disney+, though it's always possible the company might continue working to make these movies available sooner than is currently announced. One also wonders if the two Spider-Man films will ever appear on Disney+, considering that they're actually Sony movies.
Several exclusive Marvel shows have also been confirmed for the service. Marvel Hero Project will follow young people who are trying to be real life heroes by affecting positive change in their communities. Marvel's 616 is an anthology documentary series that will explore Marvel's history of superhero characters and the historical, cultural, and societal context in which those heroes were created.
While several TV shows have been created over the years that had ties to the MCU, Disney+ will be the home of the first series specifically designed to extend the the story of several characters from the films. Three series have been officially announced. WandaVision will star Elizabeth Olson and Paul Bettany and follow the story of Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Falcon and the Winter Solder will see Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes team up. The third confirmed series will center on Loki, who will be played by a returning Tom Hiddleston.
Another MCU related series will be What If...? This new animated series will explore how the MCU could have turned out differently if events had played out in other ways. The first episode has been confirmed to explore what would have happened if Peggy Carter had been given the Super Soldier Serum, and Steve Rogers had instead fought in World War II inside an armored suit created by Howard Stark. It sounds like in most, if not all cases, the MCU actors will return to voice their animated counterparts.
Marvel Hero Project will hit the service on day one, Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set for sometime in late 2020, and WandaVision and Loki are currently set for early 2021 release dates. What If...? is expected in mid-2021.
While the Star Wars film franchise predates Marvel movies by several decades, it was much slower to grow, and as such, the brand doesn't have quite as much legacy content to go on Disney+. The good news, however, is basically all of it will be on Disney+ within the first year. The original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will all be day one releases. The other three films, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will all be on Disney+ by the end of the first year.
Two original Star Wars series have been announced for Disney+ as well. The Mandalorian will be a day one series which will star Pedro Pascal as a gun for hire in a period about five years after the events of Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. Another, as yet untitled, series will act as a prequel to Rogue One and star Diego Luna, reprising his role of Cassian Andor, along with the voice of Alan Tudyk returning to give life to K-2SO.
The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will debut a brand new season on Disney+ in February 2020. All previous seasons, as well as Lucasfilm's other animated series, Star Wars Rebels, are also confirmed for the platform and will arrive on day one.
Several nonfiction Star Wars series will also be coming to Disney+, and will, apparently, focus on the people who have helped bring the galaxy far, far away to life, such as those responsible for creating the sets and props. One documentary film, Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy, will also be on the service on day one. Here's the complete Lucasfilm day one list, as there will be one non-Star Wars related item on day one as well.
Disney Live Action
Disney may have gotten its start as an animation studio but the company's live-action history is just as distinguished. Whether you're a fan of Disney's classic era or more focused on the more recent family adventures, a slate of over 30 live-action films were confirmed for the Disney+ launch, with several more, including some of this year's theatrical releases, set for the first year of the service.
There are classics here like Mary Poppins but there are also some less than blockbuster flicks. It's almost nice to see The Haunted Mansion and Muppets Most Wanted on here. They might not be everybody's favorite, but they're probably somebody's favorite, and it's good that Disney isn't trying to bury them. Here's everything that was confirmed for day one.
In addition to the back catalog, several DIsney+ original live-action movies were confirmed for the first year of the service. Noelle will star Anna Kendrick as the daughter of Santa Claus. When her brother, the heir to Santa, goes missing, she'll go into the real world to find him. The movie is confirmed for "soon" after the launch of Disney+, and considering it's a holiday movie, may be the first addition to the launch lineup.
Timmy Failure is a new movie based on a series of children's books that's being directed by Spotlight director Tom McCarthy. Stargirl is based on a New York Times best selling YA novel that will star America's Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal. Neither of these films was given a launch window, so they may be a ways out.
Togo will follow the Alaskan diptheria outbreak of the 1920s and the chain of sled dogs that raced medication to the effected area. Disney Studios President Sean Bailey said this one was set for "a little after launch." Willem Dafoe stars.
The latest Disney live-action remake will be Lady and the Tramp. Using live actors combined with the same CGI animation that brought the new Lion King to life, this one promises to be special for Disney fans. The film will be available at launch.
Encore! will be executive produced by Kristen Bell and will be an unscripted series where she helps reunite old classmates who used to perform together in high school. The Imagineering Story will be a documentary series from Leslie Iwerks, the granddaughter of Disney Legend Ub Iwerks, which looks at the people who help bring Disney theme park attractions to life. Its first episode will debut on day one.
National Geographic has a history that actually predates Disney, but with the acquisition of Fox, the brand is now the property of the Walt Disney Company, and with it comes hundreds of hours of material to bolster Disney+.
There's an extensive list of National Geographic content coming to the service. Exactly which of these series and films will be available day one was not made clear, but here's what you'll find after the service launches
In addition, two brand new Disney+ original shows were confirmed. The World According to Jeff Goldblum will follow the insatiably curious actor as he investigates seemingly mundane objects to find the history and science behind them. It will debut on Disney+ on day one. The second series is titled Magic of the Animal Kingdom, and it will follow the biologists, veterinarians, and other animal care experts who work at Disney's Animal Kingdom at the Sea Base Aquarium at Epcot.
The Disney Channel
The Disney Channel has been around for over 30 years and in that time it has created an impressive number of original series and movies. At launch, it may be largest single segment of content on the site, as over 5,000 episodes of series and over 100 original movies will debut on Disney+. Here's what's confirmed for just the first day.
In addition to seeing every episode of the Phineas and Ferb animated series on day one, a brand new Phineas and Ferb movie was also announced. It will see the brothers attempt to rescue their sister Candice, who has been abducted by space aliens.
The most meta new series coming to Disney+ has to be High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Rather than being a sequel or a straight remake of the original High School Musical, the new series will follow kids at the high school where the High School Musical movies were filmed, as they attempt to put on a performance of High School Musical: The Musical. It hopes to bring together fans of the original films and new fans as well. The first episode will hit Disney+ on day one.
While not being a separate section of the Disney+ app, Several TV series and movies that were purchased along with 21st Century Fox are also confirmed for the service. It would seem these will all be considered Disney shows and movies going forward, at least as far as the app menu is concerned.
The biggest announcement was the fact that 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be viewable on Disney+ on day one. The complete list of day one confirmed titles of both TV and movies is:
By the end of the first year Disney+ expects to have 7,500 episodes of current and library television and over 500 theatrically released films, in addition to all the original content being made for the service. That means there's a lot more on the way than what has been confirmed so far. While that's still a far cry from the size of the library that a competitor like Netflix has, Disney+ looks to have a level of quality in that library that may be impossible to beat.
Be sure to bookmark this guide, as we'll be keeping it updated with new information about Disney+ as it becomes available!
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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