Yesterday during their 2019 ‘Investor Day’ in Burbank, California, Disney finally revealed a surprising amount of details on their new streaming platform called “Disney+” (Disney Plus). If anyone who wondered if this new direction for Disney was a wise one, well I’m about to highlight some of the game-changing news.
Disney+’s initial focus will be on the following brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Due to existing licensing deals with other platforms (Netflix, Amazon, etc), not all of the films will be available at launch. Within the next two years, the catalog will continue to expand as those licenses expire. If you read that carefully, that means those other platforms will be without their Disney library within the next two years.
Launching in North America on Nov. 12, 2019, with a price point of $6.99 per month. There will be an optional annual plan available for $69.99 per year, which brings it down to $5.83 monthly.
To put that in perspective:
HBO is $14.99 a month.
Netflix’s standard plan is $12.99.
DC Universe is $74.99 a year, or $7.99 a month
Hulu’s basic plan (with commercials) is $5.99
Disney+ $6.99 monthly (commercial free) or 5.83 if paid annually.
That’s right, it will be the cheapest of all the options as well as less than half of Netflix’s standard.
How about the rest of the world?
Asia-Pacific will get Disney+ between fall 2019 and fall 2020, Europe is scheduled between late 2019 to early 2020 and Latin America is set for fall 2020. By the end of 2021, Disney+ should be fully available worldwide.
The true strength of the platform is the ability to produce original content. Sure enough, Disney+ has quite a bit planned in that department.
Here are some of the highlights…
“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”
The 10-episode scripted series, set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed, follows a group of students as they countdown to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” a modern take on the “classic” from 15 years ago.
“The Mandalorian”, available November 12th.
Disney and Lucasfilm’s first (of many) live-action Star Wars television series based in the universe a far far away. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1 & 2, Jungle Book and the upcoming Lion King), the series takes place between the events of Episode 6 and 7.
“The Clone Wars”, the last season of a popular animated series finally makes its long-awaited return.
Also announced, at least three TV series based in the Marvel Universe.
“Falcon & Winter Soldier”, with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.
“WandaVision”, a series focusing on the characters of Scarlet Witch and Vision with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.
A “Loki” series starring Tom Hiddleston and an animated “What if?” series telling out-of-continuity stories, starting with an episode about Peggy Carter becoming a super soldier.
While many will have questions including the timeline of the TV Series, I say let’s sit back and wait.
Untitled Walt Disney Imagineering Documentary Series
The documentary series chronicles the 65+ year history of Walt Disney Imagineering with parallel storylines of the people, the craft, and the business.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
A Show hosted by, you guested it taking viewers behind the scenes with the highly respected animal-care experts, veterinarians, and biologists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium.
The above is one of 25 original series that will be released on Disney+ in its first year.
Not to be outdone, there are many live-action features expected as well. The first is a live-action adaptation of the classic animated feature, “Lady and the Tramp” featuring the voice talents of Tessa Thomson and Justin Theroux.
“Noelle”, a variation on the “Santa Claus in the real world” genre starring Anna Kendrick as Kris Kringle’s daughter.
Is it worth it?
With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox complete, Disney has instantly expanded its TV and Movie Library content in a mind-blowingly way. Before I get too ahead of myself, let’s get into a little more detail of what will be available and when.
Star Wars Episodes 1 through 7, and the spinoffs added by the end of 2020
All Pixar films by the end of 2020
All Pixar theatrical shorts from launch
Most Marvel films (Hulk is still with Universal, Spiderman with Sony), including Captain Marvel (at launch)
The entire 13-film Signature collection, including Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Beauty and the Beast
An extensive movie library that includes the likes of Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Sound of Music, and Malcolm in the Middle
Over 250 hours of content from National Geographic, including the Academy Award winner Free Solo
5,000 episodes of Disney Channel content and 100 Disney Channel movies will be available on launch.
To keep things interesting, Disney+ will also offer a download option. This will allow users to watch TV shows and movies offline, without an internet connection.
It’s pretty difficult to argue the value behind the Disney+ service. Personally, I’m looking forward to accessing Disney TV shows, Movies, and National Geographic documentaries on a whim.
Disney+ (Disney Plus) launches in North America on November 12th, 2019.