• Loren Javier

Thoughts on Disney+


Photo: Disney

Wow. Just wow.


Yesterday, Disney had its Investor Day and so much news about its new upcoming streaming service Disney+ came out. I think it was more news than most people thought would be released. Most of the news had been coming out in dribs and drabs with some content being released here and there.


Now we know that Disney+ launches on November 12 for the very affordable price of $6.99 a month (or $69.99 a year). Disney said that it will "likely" bundle Disney+ with its other streaming services Hulu and ESPN+. I really hope this is true as I already subscribe and get my live TV through Hulu. Although, I do hope they offer different types of bundles where I don't have to also purchase ESPN+ because I am not a sports fan and wouldn't really watch that service.


There is so much programming I want to watch that I don't know if I'll ever leave my house.


I already knew that I was going to watch The Mandalorian coming from Lucasfilm, Loki from Marvel as well as the Lady and the Tramp remake. Those seemed to be the two confirmed projects for the last several months.


The Marvel line up had long been rumored, but now I'm glad that it is all confirmed. I am so excited about all the programs - Wanda Vision, starring Scarlett Witch and Vision, Falcon & The Winter Soldier, Loki and the animated What If? And its wonderful that all these series are being produced by Marvel Studios rather than Marvel Television. No offense to Marvel Television, but, Marvel Studios knows these characters and the continuity in which they live. I'd love to see a post-Infinity Crisis time period for Wanda Vision where Wanda is now fully and confidently in control of her powers. The same goes for Falcon & The Winter Soldier. But, for Loki, I'd love to see storytelling from different time periods from ancient to modern times and how he's spread mischief around the world.


I'm excited about the Cassian Andor show as I think there are some great stories that can come out of his adventures, but I hope they will eventually develop a program about Chirrut and Baze during their days as the Guardians of the Whills. I always thought they were the most fascinating characters to come out of Rogue One.


I'm very excited to see the Monsters, Inc. series Monsters At Work. I've always enjoyed these characters and am most of the primary cast is back. It will be also interesting to see how they handle the quality of the animation with this being an actual series. In the movies, they took such care with details such as Sulley's hair. Will Pixar challenge itself to keep up that kind of quality.


I am not so sure about the animated Toy Story series of shorts Forky Asks A Question. That's 10 shorts about him asking questions like what is love? and what is cheese? Maybe its because I don't really know this character yet and don't have a connection to him yet. But it sounds like something for very little children. That said, I think Pixar will work it out. But, I am all about the Bo Peep short film Lamp Life as I want to know what happened to her.


I'm very excited about the SparkShorts. If you haven't seen the three shorts currently online, they are quite wonderful. But, more so, they are a place where animators can really stretch their wings and play around with their storytelling. I credit Disney for allowing this kind of experimentation.


The non-fictions series all seem wonderful, particularly the documentary style series. I love the concept of Marvel 616. Its a working title, but I hope they keep it. For those not familiar with what 616 means, it is the number assigned to the universe in which all the Marvel characters as we know them in the comics live. When I was in college, I took this great class on how history impacts art and it had a profound effect on me in the way I see art and read books. Marvel has always tried to reflect the times ever since mutants became a discriminated against race in the pages of X-Men. We have seen the X-Men reflect on everything from racism to homophobia as the times changed. So, I think it will be fascinating seeing a show dedicated to the idea of looking at how Marvel has picked up om the zeitgeist of the day.


Disney was smart to have a cooking competition on Disney+ because there are lots of people, like me, who have crazy love for them. What I think is really enticing about Be Our Chef is that they will be choosing families from diverse backgrounds which means that I, hopefully, won't be watching families cook variations of their favorite pasta dish every episode. I'd love for them to get deep with cultural cuisine such as Thai or Ethiopian or Argentine.


The Disney historical documentary series Cinema Relics: Iconic Art Of The Movies, Ink & Paint and the Imagineering series are all ones that super excite me. I love history and live to hear how history was made at Disney. I'm especially excited to get a look into the world of the unsung Ink & Paint Girls who will, hopefully, get the credit they are due.


And being an animal fan, I can't wait to see The Magic of Animal Kingdom and Earthkeepers. Animal Kingdom is my favorite park at Walt Disney World because we get to see the animals up close in a way that feels like we are in their environment.


And The World According To Jeff Goldblum... Are you kidding me? That has to be an instant yes for me. I don't know who came up with that concept, but they deserve an award. I literally spend hours watching Jeff Goldblum talk about anything on YouTube. Now I get a whole show.


Finally, the original films I'm most excited about are Lady and the Tramp, Noelle and the Phineas and Ferb movie. I am a big dog lover and I love the fact that they will be doing the Lady and the Tramp film with actual dogs rather than the CGI versions of dogs. WIth Noelle, it sounds like a Hallmark Christmas film and I love Hallmark Christmas films. And, I was a huge fan of Phineas and Ferb. I was sad when it was cancelled because I always felt there were more stories they could tell. So, I'm glad they are getting a movie.


Now, what's interesting to me is what will be happening with the programming that doesn't fit under Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars or National Geographic. For example, in the first look of the Disney+ interface (see photo above), Free Solo appears. I'm assuming that the branded buttons are just for easier categorization and more content will be on there. They did mention programs such as The Sound of Music, The Simpsons and Malcolm In The Middle. So it must be more expansive than those brands.


And, what age range will Disney+ feature. Will something like Aliens or even the Shape of Water be available here? When Disney had Disney Movies Anywhere, they did not feature anything that wasn't Disney, Pixar, Marvel or Star Wars. So, films like Splash or even an animated film like Gnomeo & Juliet were not allowed. I'm assuming they will be allowed here. My hope is that they have parental controls similar to what they offer on both Netflix and Hulu to block whatever content parents deem inappropriate.


Regardless of what they do, there is enough here to make me a day one subscriber.


What shows are you most excited about?

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