A look at new streaming service Disney+


In an era where the supremacy of the streaming service has risen to new heights, the recent launch of Disney+ is the newest example of just how significant the competition for content at your fingertips has become. As the Walt Disney Company’s first endeavor into an already-crowded field, only time will tell if the service can truly rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.


What does make Disney+ great is its expansive library. From every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to National Geographic documentaries, to the Walt Disney Animation Studios classics, there’s something for everyone– as well as many originals. More original series, such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, based on Marvel characters Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, and one centered around Star Wars fan-favorite Obi-Wan Kenobi, are currently in production.


One of the most anticipated shows among Disney+’s current original content is The Mandalorian. Having attended the panel for this show at Star Wars Celebration in April, the concept of seeing the journey of a bounty hunter post-Return of the Jedi was immediately fascinating. In The Mandalorian’s first two episodes, it does (mostly) live up to expectations. If you just look at the production design, the show is stunning; with a budget of $15 million per episode, it definitely feels like the Star Wars world, complete with a more modern soundtrack by Ludwig Göransson, who won an Academy Award winner for Best Original Score for his work in Black Panther. Although it does fall flat of the spectacle of the original films, it is still a worthwhile watch, although some concepts and callbacks may be a bit confusing for one more unfamiliar with the world of Star Wars.


But the greatest reason that would lead subscribers to click “Sign Up” won’t be the wide range of content itself, or the promise of every single episode of The Simpsons— it will be that shared experience that means so much to so many people. Nostalgia is apparent in so much of what Disney+ offers, including titles like the original Lion King, The Parent Trap, High School Musical, and even old-timey Mickey Mouse cartoons.


“I think the tagline of Disney+, ‘The best stories in the world, all in one place,’ well captures the aspect of the shared experience that the streaming service provides,” reflected English and journalism teacher Mandy Byron, a lifelong Disney fan. “Its offerings are intergenerational… I can sit with my three-year-old and easily stream the brand new Fancy Nancy, but then pop over to classic Disney shorts from even before my time, and watch Donald attempting to trim his Christmas tree while Chip and Dale make havoc. These are the stories that we loved, enjoyed, that made us, and now it’s bringing us all together again.”


What’s still unknown is how soon upcoming movies that will be first released in theaters- like Frozen II, The Rise of Skywalker, or Black Widow- will be added to the service. Yet it isn’t just the Disney vault that’s being opened for the first time: the streaming wars have just begun. Many movies currently on Netflix due to deals between the streaming service and Disney, such as Avengers: Infinity War, Coco, and Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, will likely be pulled from Netflix later on for Disney’s own service. And the world of streaming is just about to become much more complicated with the arrival of Apple TV+, as well as the planned release of HBO Max and Peacock by NBCUniversal in 2020. We’ll just have to wait and see if Disney+ can really live up to promise.