Review: Disney+ Is All Shiny But Not New


Photo courtesy by Chesnot/Getty Images

Disney Plus on a Samsung tablet.

Joshua Letona, News Editor

Disney+ has been on the market for a month now, which has given the new streaming service some time to find its footing. Despite some missteps such as day-one service failures and forgetting to add a “Continue Watching” section, the streaming service is now at a place that can be recommended for families at just $6.99 a month.

 As the name suggests, Disney+ carries almost everything under the Disney umbrella, including National Geographic. However, heavy hitters from various blockbuster studios are the main draw: Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Some 20th Century Fox films are also on the service such as “Avatar.”

Unfortunately, some films are still unavailable due to deals with other streaming services like Netflix. Pixar’s “Coco” wasn’t added to the service until just last week with many more on the way like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in December. 

One neat feature is that many of these films have several of their special features included, some not available outside the streaming service. “Avengers: Endgame” has more deleted scenes and alternate takes than its Blu-ray release.

Those feeling nostalgic can access a wide array of Disney Channel’s original films and television shows. “Hannah Montana,” “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and “Lizzie McGuire” all live on the service. However, this can be extremely limiting to the kind of demographic Disney may be hoping to get in the future.

Unless you’re someone looking to revisit old shows or access to Marvel and Star Wars films in one place, the only other content available is the Disney+ originals.

So far, the biggest properties have been the Star Wars show, “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” and a live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp.” To varying degrees, each one plays to its target demographic. 

“The Mandalorian” feels a little more adult, while “High School Musical” can capture a young teen audience. The original films certainly feel made for the service, but proves Disney can send some of its smaller properties to the small screen.

There’s some extra material like Pixar shorts and a show where actor Jeff Goldbum goes around the world trying out different ice creams and getting custom made sneakers, but this feels like just padding to the real content audiences may be craving.

Disney+ releases new content every Friday, which at least makes it feel fresh every week. Though the content is quick to burn through once it is released. The product so far has been easy to navigate with curated sections. One can view content by studio or what’s trending which makes it quick to find something to watch.

Ultimately, Disney+ is for families and children, but harder sell for older teens or young adults unless they’re looking to revisit properties from their childhood. At $6.99 a month though, it isn’t a bad deal.