Disney aims to keep its magic going with new streaming content come November



Among the many original video content that Disney+ will make available Nov. 12 is a 10-episode spin-off starring Bonnie’s toy spork from “Toy Story 4,” which was released over the summer. Image posted with permission from Disney.

Hope Li, Opinion Editor

Disney will release its own streaming service, Disney+, on Nov. 12 that will feature original content from Disney, National Geographic, Marvel and Star Wars. 

Companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Sony streaming outlets will also begin to provide the Disney+ entertainment service, according to an April 19 Walt Disney press release.

Disney+’s $6.99 monthly or $69.99 yearly subscription fee will compete against other companies that produce their own original content for streaming. For example, a Netflix monthly subscription costs $8.99 per month, while YouTube TV’s is much higher at $49.99 a month because it also offers viewers access to more than 70 live TV channels.

Normally, ESPN+ and Hulu charge $4.99 and $5.99 monthly, respectively, but since they are Disney subsidiaries, Disney will offer a streaming service package including ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99 a month, according to theverge.com.

The more affordable price makes it appealing but convenient, especially to science teacher Alexander Hua, a Star Wars and Marvel fan.

“Since there’s so many services, having it cheaper lets people keep multiple services without feeling bad, but as a direct competitor, it’s a smart move for [Disney] to do that,” said Hua, who already pays for Netflix and plans to take Disney+’s $12.99 bundle offer since he already has a Hulu subscription.
The teacher said he’s especially looking forward to Disney+’s first Star Wars series taking place after “Return of the Jedi” and before “The Force Awakens.” Called “The Mandalorian,” the eight-episode, live-action series about a bounty hunter from the planet Mandalore will be available for streaming Nov. 12.

“Anything official Star Wars I’m all in pretty much,” Hua said. “Whether it’d be an Obi-Wan show or something else, it’s just always been this rumor of like, ‘We’re going to have a cool Star Wars TV show now that Disney owns it.’ It’s cool that this is finally happening that there’s going to be a Star Wars TV show.”

Joining “The Mandalorian” on Disney+’s official release day will be five original series such as “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and “Forky Asks a Question,” a 10-episode, spin-off starring Bonnie’s toy spork from “Toy Story 4.” 

“I feel like it’d be really silly and fun because I really like Forky’s personality,” said freshman Jamila Abdelkarim, who plans to opt in on Disney+ while keeping her family’s Netflix subscription. “I saw ‘Toy Story 4’ in theaters, and [Forky] definitely made me laugh a lot.”

Disney has also announced three behind-the-scenes/documentary series: “One Day at Disney,” a look into Disney Park workers’ responsibilities to be released Dec. 3 and “Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2” and “Magic of the Animal Kingdom,” one of National Geographic’s contributions to Disney+, to be released within Disney+’s first year.

“I also want to check out the [series] that are behind the scenes and focus on costuming and stuff,” Abdelkarim said. “Standouts for me include the ‘Frozen 2’ one and some episodes of ‘One Day at Disney.’ ”

Disney+ plans to produce five Marvel Cinematic Universe series though the earliest one —  “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” — to be released won’t arrive until the fall of 2021, according to Deadline’s D23 Expo overview. “WandaVision” (Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany as The Vision) and “Loki” (Tom Hiddleston) will become available for streaming in the spring of 2021.

Even though it’s two years away, Hua said he’s willing to stick with Disney+ to watch these original shows.

“I feel [Disney is] really going to push the interconnectivity between the Marvel TV shows and movies,” Hua said. “One way I like to think of it [is] basically we get a six- to 10-hour movie involving these characters, so we get much more screen time than just a regular movie.”

Senior Dylan Nguyen, a member of Hua’s Comic Book Club and also a Marvel enthusiast, wants to know how “WandaVision” will play out.

“I don’t really know how that’s going to happen because Vision, he’s already gone [in the final Avengers movie], so I don’t know if [it’s] going to take place in the future,” said Nguyen, a Netflix subscriber who’s not sure if his parents will pay for DIsney+. “Maybe it’s supposed to take place in the past and since it’s tied to Doctor Strange, maybe he went back in time and brought the past one to [the present].”

Besides its Marvel franchise, Disney is also creating other projects: movie adaptations of the novel Stargirl and the Timmy Failure book series scheduled for release on Disney+ in early 2020.

With such a wave of original content coming this fall and beyond, not all students are eager to switch over from Netflix to Disney+ or add a new streaming service subscription to their parents’ bills.

“Disney shows are not very impressive in my opinion, and Netflix has a good amount of decent [shows],” junior Rosalind McDonald said. “Disney+ stuff will probably be uploaded on Youtube, anyways.”