Disney+ is coming November 12, 2019, and it is going to be quite competitively priced and featured. We'd all seen much speculation and rumor churning around the upcoming service, and at Disney Investor Day, that speculation turned into promises that we'll be taking as facts between now and the platform's actual launch.
The presentation was over 3 hours and was focused mostly on Disney+, so here's everything we learned in as compact a format as we can squeeze it!
Here's everything you need to know about Disney+.
The latest news
May 21, 2019 - Falcon and Winter Soldier miniseries is coming in 2020
Slowly and surely we're learning more information about the upcoming Falcon and Winter Soldier Disney+ miniseries. According to Deadline, the miniseries has landed Kari Skogland as its director and is set to come out in August 2020.
The new Marvel miniseries will focus on Falcon and Winter Soldier after the events in Avengers: Endgame that saw Captain America hand over his shield to Falcon. There's still no word on if Falcon will become the new Captain America.
Besides Anthony Macki (Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Daniel Bruhl (Zemo) and Emily Van Camp (Sharon Carter) are also in talks to join the Marvel miniseries.
The last bit of news we got is that Falcon and Winter Soldier will span six episodes, which seems to be the length of the Marvel Disney+ miniseries. A few weeks ago Elizabeth Olsen confirmed WandaVision will also be six episodes long.
May 8, 2019 - Here's when you can begin streaming Avengers: Endgame
Disney just confirmed when its biggest movie of the year, Avengers: Endgame, will arrive on Disney+ and it's sooner than you think. The announcement came during Disney's earnings call per Reuters.
The date is December 11, to be exact. That will be just over eight months after it first arrived in theaters shattering all kinds of records. We imagine it'll see a similar performance on Disney+, which bodes well for the service. Disney wants to build up this new platform and offering exclusive movies like Avengers: Endgame will be a great way to get people interested in signing up for yet another streaming platform.
April 11, 2019 - Disney drops some major updates for Disney+
Disney finally gave us some real insight into its upcoming Disney+ streaming platform, including the official launch date and pricing. Fans will be able to subscribe to the service when it launches on November 12 for $7 per month; an annual subscription of $70 will be offered.
During the presentation, Disney said the streaming platform will also "likely" come bundled with Disney's other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, and that the streaming system is built to withstand 10 million concurrent viewers. It'll also offer unlimited downloads for offline use to subscribers.
As for content, Disney announced several new shows:
- Falcon & Winter Soldier
- The Sandlot
- Forkey Asks A Question
- The Phineas and Ferb Movie
- Lady and the Tramp
- High School Musical The Series
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum
The new announcements are on top of The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a Cassian Andor Rogue One series, and a few other series we already knew about.
The two primary MCU spin-off series, Falcon & Winter Soldier and WandaVision, are the most intriguing. The former will focus on the titular characters, Falcon and Winter Soldier, and the latter will focus on the story between Scarlett Witch and Vision. We have to admit, the title is not the best, but the series has potential. It shows Marvel playing a much bigger role than we anticipated in the Disney+ content.
Besides Marvel and Star Wars stuff, one of Disney's most beloved movies will be adapted into a TV show for Disney+, according to Variety.
The Sandlot TV show will take place in 1984 and feature the kids of the original characters. The 1993 movie, which featured an epic summer of kids playing baseball, took place in 1962,
Many of the original movie's cast are expected to return, Variety said, as will the original co-writer and director. Hopefully, that means the tone will be kept in tact once the show becomes available.
It's unclear how the TV show will differ from the original movie. No doubt, it will deal with the legend of The Beast and that faithful summer when the kid got into the biggest pickle ever.
April 10, 2019 - Hawkeye TV series on the way for Disney+
Disney is said to be developing a TV series about Hawkeye for Disney+—with a twist. The show will apparently feature Jeremy Renner in the title role, but he will later hand off the Hawkeye mantle to Kate Bishop, who has played Hawkeye in the comics.
The show will be part of the MCU, so there's always potential for Kate Bishop's version to appear in a future Marvel movie. For now, Renner's Hawkeye is gearing up to take on the Ronin persona in Avengers: Endgame, after he sat out Avengers: Infinity War.
The Hawkeye series for Disney+ is reportedly in the early stages of development, which means we likely won't see the show debut until 2020 at the earliest.
March 12, 2019 - Marvel developing What If? animated TV series for Disney+
Marvel Studios is reportedly developing a new animated TV series for Disney+ based on the What If? comic book series, according to Slash Film. Kevin Feige, who has overseen the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will allegedly act as the upcoming show's executive producer, though the stories won't be part of the MCU.
The world of What If? explores important moments in the history of Marvel comics and imagines what would happen if things were different. For example, Slash Film claims one idea Marvel may explore is, "What if Loki had found the hammer of Thor?"
The idea is that they could potentially have some of the main actors from the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe movies reprise their roles in the animated series, which would imagine alternate possibilities from another dimension. The time commitment for voice acting is a whole lot less than for live-action productions, which could accommodate some of the biggest Marvel talent. The series would function as an anthology, just like the comic book series, with each episode tackling a different premise.
No official announcement has been made, but Slash Film claims we could hear official details as early as April.
All the big details
When and where is Disney+ coming?
Disney announced both the Day One launch specifics of Disney+ as well as the broad international plans for the service:
Disney+ is launching in the United States on November 12, 2019.
The global roadmap tentatively has Disney+ launching in:
- North America in Q1 Fiscal 2020
- Note: This indicates the US launch but does not specify when Canada or Mexico could see Disney+
- Western Europe in the first half of 2020
- Eastern Europe in the first half of 2021
- Asia and Pacific country launches throughout 2020 and 2021
- Latin America in the first half of 2021
Apart from the US release, Disney would not commit to dates for Disney+'s release in any other country as there are still deals to be made and roadblocks to overcome. As such, these generalized dates are subject to change and should be taken lightly at this time.
How much will Disney+ cost and can I bundle it with Disney's other subscription services?
Disney+ will cost $7/month or $70/year for a multi-profile account.
In the presentation, a family account with three profiles was shown, but we do not yet know how many profiles will be allowed under a single account.
As for bundling, during Investor Day it was stated Disney+ will be available as add-on for Hulu subscribers and that bundles of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu would be available in the future, but company executives refused to give exact pricing during the Investor Day Q&A session.
Disney+ will feature parental controls and unlimited downloads
As Disney+ is a family service, and as such parental and data controls are paramount. We know that Disney+ will have profile-based parental controls to help keep children out of some of the service's more mature content. The parental control settings were not shown in the preview, but an age-restricted profile was shown in the slides.
"Disney+ will allow unlimited downloads of all content".
This was said repeatedly during Investor Day and bears repeating some more because it is super-duper important. Since Disney+'s video content can eat data like nobody's business, being able to download your child's favorite shows and films for offline viewing on trips or daily errands is important.
That there will be no restrictions on downloading content on mobile devices beats Netflix — which only allows downloading of some content — and Hulu — which is still working on allowing downloads at all, and even beats some purchased movie systems like Google Play Movies, which only allows downloads on 5 devices per account at a time.
What will Disney+ look like?
Today we got out first look at the UI for Disney+ and if any of you know me, you know what makes me happiest here: it's got a dark theme! Anywho, the layout looks fairly standard, you can browse by studio, content type, year, and Disney+ exclusives can be browsed in a dedicated tab, and you can curate content through your Watchlist.
You can swap between profiles and manage children's content settings through the app. There's also a Downloads section for easily accessing and managing your offline content. We saw examples of the app on a smart TV, tablet, and phone, and the layout seems quite responsive between platforms.
What platforms will Disney+ be available on?
While we're still months from launch and there are still deals that need to be made for some platforms, executives confirmed that Disney+ will be available on:
- Android and iOS devices
- Smart TVs and set-top devices, namely powered by Roku
- PS4 consoles
This was the slide detailing Disney+'s platform availability, and those pictured but not expressly confirmed were:
These platforms might not be finalized yet or they just didn't make a sweet enough deal to warrant a shout-out in the presentation the way PS4 and Roku did.
Does Disney+ include the ENTIRE Disney catalog?
The short answer is no, Disney is not putting ever piece of video its ever made on its new streaming service. Disney+ is going to have three kinds of gaps in it:
- Theatrical/Home Release — Before theatrical movies appear on Disney+, they have to pass through their full theatrical and home release windows. You wonder why Beauty and the Beast appeared on Netflix like 5 months after it came out on DVD? That's why. And Disney is not condensing the home release window to let movies appear on Disney+ faster, so expect to wait a few months for new titles.
- Rights complications — You might think that Disney has the rights to stream everything they've ever made, but media rights aren't always that clear-cut, especially since they differ by country. Remember that Disney's made a lot of films and TV shows under a lot of production houses and not all of them have always been owned by Disney. There will be films and TV shows that Disney+ cannot secure streaming rights for at the moment, especially for content that was under one of the brands Disney acquired from Fox.
- Editorial withholdings — Disney is choosing to not have Song of the South or the Jim Crow scene from Dumbo on Disney+, likely due to the racially-charged nature of these particular pieces of content. What we do not know right now is how many of the other short films from earlier in the company's history will be withheld from Disney+ for similar content concerns.
What content will Disney+ have?
In Year 1 (2020) alone, Disney+ will feature about 7,500 episodes of off-air and on-air TV episodes and over 400 feature films, swelling to 10,000 episodes and 500 movies by Year 5 (2024).
The following content breakdown is classified by studio so that franchise fans can hunt down their desired content more easily.
Year One content is italicized. Day One content will be bolded.
Walt Disney Animation Studios
The "Disney Classics" collection will be available Day One, and much of the recent Disney films will as well. This includes:
- 101 Dalmatians
- Alice in Wonderland
- The Aristocats
- Beauty and the Beast
- Big Hero 6
- Chicken Little
- The Emperor's New Groove
- Fantasia 2000
- The Fox and the Hound
- Frozen II
- The Great Mouse Detective
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- The Jungle Book
- Lady and the Tramp
- Lilo & Stitch
- The Lion King
- The Little Mermaid
- Meet the Robinsons
- Peter Pan
- Princess and the Frog
- Sleeping Beauty
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
- The Sword in the Stone
- Winnie the Pooh
- Wreck-it Ralph
There will also be a documentary series Into the Unknown which will showcase the making of Frozen II. Episode 1 will be available Day One with weekly episodes to follow. Numerous WDAS shorts will be included as well, including classic and new Mickey Mouse shorts.
All of Pixar's current films and short films will be available on Disney+ Year One, with all but three films available Day One:
- A Bug's Life
- Cars 2
- Cars 3
- Finding Nemo
- Finding Dory
- The Good Dinosaur
- The Incredibles
- Incredibles 2
- Inside Out
- Monsters Inc.
- Monsters University
- Toy Story
- Toy Story 2
- Toy Story 3
- Toy Story 4
Pixar is debuting a series a shorts that tie into Toy Story 4 — Forky Asks a Question — as well as a new animated series in the Monsters Inc. world called Monsters at Work.
Marvel's Year One lineup still seems incomplete, or Marvel is holding back more of its feature film catalog than the rest of the studios:
- Thor: the Dark World
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
- Black Panther
- Captain Marvel
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel gets more exciting on the TV side, with numerous series in the works as Disney+ exclusives:
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier — a live-action series with Falcon and Winter Soldier
- WandaVision — a live-action series with Scarlet Witch and The Vision
- Marvel's What If... — an animated series from the comic series of the same name
- Marvel 616 — a documentary series around the cultural inspirations and impact of Marvel characters
- Loki — a live-action series starring Tom Hiddleston as the popular trickster god
All of Star Wars' feature films will be available on Disney+ in Year One, with most of its films available Day One:
- Star Wars Episode I
- Star Wars Episode II
- Star Wars Episode III
- Star Wars Episode IV
- Star Wars Episode V
- Star Wars Episode VI
- Star Wars Episode VII
- Star Wars Episode VIII
- Star Wars Episode IX
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
There's a bit more on the television side to report, but also more uncertainty. We know the Disney+ exclusives from Star Wars, but not when all of the existing Star Wars content will be arriving on the platform:
- The Mandalorian — a live-action series focused on a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. You can read more about the series here.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars — new season of the CG animated series
- Untitiled Cassian Andor series — a live-action series focused on Rogue One's Cassian Andor with K-2SO
NatGeo is one of the more recent acquisitions Disney made — it was part of the Fox purchase — and only 250 hours of content will be available on Day One from National Geographic. The Disney+ exclusives highlighted during Investor Day were:
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum — a documentary series hosted and driven by the actor as he explores the history and science behind familiar objects
- Magic of the Animal Kingdom — a documentary series that goes behind the scenes at Walt Disney World to show how devoted cast members at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot's SeaBase
Walt Disney Studios
There are a lot of catalog films to cover — just look at all those posters — and I need time to dig through them all. In the meantime, new films and series exclusive to Disney+ include:
- Noelle — a live-action Christmas comedy feature film starring Anna Kendrick as Santa Claus's daughter
- Timmy Failure — a live-action adaptation of the book series of the same name
- Stargirl — a live-action adaptation of the book of the same name
- Lady and the Tramp — a live-action adaptation of the classic animated film
- Diary of a Female President — a live-action series executive produced by Gina Rodriguez
- Be Our Chef — a reality family cooking competition
- The Sandlot — live action series featuring the kids of the characters from the classic film
There are over 5,000 episodes of Disney Channel shows that will be available Day One on Disney+ — the majority of that 7,500 catalog episodes slated for Year One — and that's a lot of shows to dig through. The new Disney Channel projects highlighted during Investor Day were:
- A Phineas and Ferb Movie — Candace get kidnapped by aliens and her ever-inventive kid brothers have to go rescue her
- High School Musical: The Musical: The Series — a new musical series about the high school where HSM was originally films putting on High School Musical: The Musical
There's still likely some rights management and streaming agreements to work through for many Fox-owned films, but there will be at least a couple on Disney+ Day One — including some true classics like The Sound of Music and The Princess Bride — but the real headline from the Fox content library is:
What our Disney-loving Ara thinks about Disney+
There was a lot to digest today, but the biggest takeaways in my Disney-loving mind from Investor Days many headline-worthy announcements were the news that the service will allow unlimited downloads for all active accounts, as well as the sheer scope of the Year One content. Disney's various properties have a literal mountain of content, and while not everything could be available Day One, the amount that will be is pretty impressive — well, except Marvel, that slate seems a bit light.
The amount of exclusive content springing up around Disney+ — content borne of a $1 billion investment by Disney — is impressive, but the aggressive marketing and pricing strategy are proof positive that Disney may be late to the game, but they intend to win.
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