Disney has officially entered the streaming wars. The studio that includes the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, Star Wars, and animated classics like The Lion King and The Little Mermaid launched its own digital streaming service, Disney+ (Disney Plus), on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The new streaming platform includes Disney's sizable media archive as well as original programming. Thanks to the strength of its sprawling library, which features everything from beloved animated classics to buzzy Marvel and Star Wars movies, Disney's new service won't be going too heavy on original shows and movies at the start — as CEO Bob Iger put it, it is aiming to "not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game" — but fans can still expect to see a few key franchises revived in new forms. (Yes, that means new Star Wars and Marvel shows are on the way.)
Here's everything we know about Disney's streaming service so far.
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It is now up and running. The service launched Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 9 a.m. ET.
It's cheaper than most other streaming services. Disney+ costs subscribers just $6.99 per month. There is also an annual purchase option for $69.99. Sign up here.
There is a Hulu and ESPN+ bundle available too. There is such a thing as too many different streaming service subscriptions, so Disney+ is making it a little bit easier on all of us. A bundle with Hulu (ad-supported) and ESPN+ is available for the incredibly reasonable price of $12.99/month. Presumably, options without ads and the addition of live TV will eventually become available, but there's no information about that just yet.
There's no Rated R allowed. This joint is kid-friendly, so you won't find any R-rated movies.
Everything is downloadable. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon allow you to download some content for offline viewing, but Disney+ lets you download any and all content from the service so you can watch even when you're without wi-fi — and you can keep the downloaded content for an unlimited time as long as you are a subscriber. You can also watch on up to 10 mobile or tablet devices, with no limits as to the number of times a title can be downloaded per year.
Episodes arrive weekly. Disney+ differentiates itself from some of the other streaming services by releasing episodes weekly, instead of delivering its original series all at once for peak binge-ability. Clear room on your calendars accordingly!
You can stream on multiple devices at the same time. A single Disney+ account can have up to seven different profiles, and subscribers can concurrently stream content on up to four registered devices with no extra cost.
Disney+ is the streaming home for everything Marvel now. Although Netflix's cancellation of its Marvel shows, including Daredevil and The Punisher, might have seemed a bit draconian, Netflix is winding down its relationship with Disney as a whole — to the point that Disney will give up about $300 million a year in licensing fees from Netflix. In addition to pulling Disney's animated and live-action films from Netflix, the company is migrating all Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to Disney+. Nearly all of the 23 current films, including Captain Marvel, Iron Man, andAvengers: Endgame, are available to stream now. Other titles, including Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Ant-Man and the Wasp, will be available within year one of the launch.
The MCU's Phase Four will continue on Disney+. During San Diego Comic-Con, Disney and Marvel unveiled their grand plan for Phase Four of the MCU, which sees movies and television shows coexisting together in the same phase for the first time ever.
The limited series coming to the streaming service include The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (fall 2020, find out more about the series here), WandaVision (spring 2021, find out more about the series here), Loki (spring 2021, find out more about the series here), What If...? (summer 2021, find out more about the series here), and Hawkeye (fall 2021, find out more about the series here). At Disney's D23 Expo 2019, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige also announced three additional series: Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight.
Major MCU stars are set to return for these limited series too; Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner, Kat Dennings, Emily VanCamp, and Randall Park have all been confirmed to be reprising their roles on the small screen. For What If..? -- which will be the MCU's first animated series — many of the actors will reprise their roles to voice their animated counterparts, including Chris Hemsworth, Hayley Atwell, and Paul Rudd, among others.
Actors joining the MCU as part of Disney+ shows include Teyonah Parris, who is set to play the adult version of Monica Rambeau, first introduced in Captain Marvel, in WandaVision; Wyatt Russell, who'll appear as John Walker in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; and Kathryn Hahn, who'll appear as a "nosy neighbor" in WandaVision.
Unlike in the past, where the MCU movies have existed separately from what was happening on television, these series will directly play into moving everything forward into Phase Five. The best example of this is that WandaVision and Loki will tie directly into Doctor Strange's sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Olsen is confirmed to co-star in the movie alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.
Your beloved Star Wars films are also on Disney+. A subscription to the streaming service allows you to watch all the Star Wars films you like — yes, even the prequels, if that's your thing (no judgment).
The Mandalorian marks an all-new Star Wars debut. One of the most exciting things to come out of Disney+ is the introduction of some all-new Star Wars properties — the first of which is a live-action show called The Mandalorian. Jon Favreau is executive-producing the series, which will have eight episodes in its first season. It centers on a galaxy not so far away, as far as fans are concerned: "After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic."
The Mandalorian, which has already been renewed for a second season, debuted on Nov. 12, the day of the Disney+ launch. Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal stars as the eponymous bounty hunter alongside Nick Nolte, Gina Carano (Deadpool), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Emily Swallow (Supernatural), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Omid Abtahi (American Gods), Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), and Ming-Na Wen (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Meanwhile, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), who served as a director on the series, voices a droid. (Watch a trailer / Find out more about the series here.)
A Rogue One prequel series is in the works. Disney has unveiled its plans to revive Diego Luna's Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for a prequel series that will follow the Rebel spy before his time on that fateful final mission. According to the description of the new series, which begins filming in 2020, "The rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire." And yes, Alan Tudyk will be back as K-2SO. (Find out more about the series here.)
An Obi-Wan series is coming too. Ewan McGregor confirmed at Disney's D23 Expo 2019 that he is returning to the Star Wars universe to once again play Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new Disney+ series. McGregor played Obi-Wan in the three Star Wars prequel films; the character was first played by Sir Alec Guinness. Very little is known about the show right now, but it will begin filming in 2020. (Find out more about the series here.)
The Clone Wars is also coming back. The popular animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars will be making a comeback on Disney+ as well. After its fifth season concluded its run on the Cartoon Network, the series enjoyed a sixth season on Netflix, but it ended it a cliffhanger. There haven't been any new episodes since 2014. The new season will premiere in Feb. 2020.
Disney+ is the new home for your old favorites. All the great animated films from the Disney vault are available on the service. Recent classics like Moana and Frozen are there — and Frozen II will also live on the platform after its theatrical release and home entertainment release, the latter of which is in 2020. Disney+ also hosts a number of the company's live-action films, Disney Channel series, every single Disney Channel Original Movie, and the entire Pixar library. A searchable list of content is available at Disney's D23 site.
It is also the exclusive streaming home of all future Disney theatrical releases. That means Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Artemis Fowl, and more films will all land on Disney+ after their theatrical and home entertainment releases.
The live-action Lady and the Tramp debuted exclusively on the streaming service. Disney's live-action/CGI reboot trend continues with a new look for Lady and the Tramp, which features the vocal talents of Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux in the title roles. Unlike Cinderella, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast before it, though, this Lady and the Tramp film skipped a theatrical bow altogether and headed straight for Disney+. Another throwback Disney favorite that's expected to be rebooted for the service is The Sword and the Stone. (Watch a trailer for Lady and the Tramp)
Additional movies are coming to Disney+, too. The studio has reserved a few films that were originally expected to hit theaters for debut on the streaming service, including Magic Camp and Noelle. The latter stars stars Anna Kendrick as Santa's Christmas-loving daughter who wishes she could do something more important like her brother, Nick, played by Bill Hader, who will take over for their dad this Christmas. But when Nick goes missing under the stress of it all, Noelle has to track him down (Watch a trailer).
If that's not enough, other titles that are coming to Disney+ post launch include Togo, which will debut in December; Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, coming in early 2020; and Stargirl, a coming-of-age film based on the New York Times' best-selling young adult novel, which will stream in early 2020.
Meanwhile, there are reportedly conversations about Don Quixote, The Paper Magician, and 3 Men and a Baby. In other words, while Disney+ supposedly won't be focused on quantity, they've got a whole lot of original shows and film plans on deck already.
Some old favorites will get extensions. In addition to the new Marvel and Star Wars series, Disney also plans to introduce a new series based on Monsters, Inc. called Monsters at Work, which will feature the returning voice talents of John Goodman and Billy Crystal as Sulley and Mike. Meanwhile, Forky Asks a Question finds Toy Story 4's breakout character, voiced by Tony Hale, asking life's most important questions, like: What is love? What is time? And what is money?
The Disney Channel's hit series High School Musical is also getting some new life by way of a very meta documentary-style series called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The show, which premiered Nov. 12, stars Joshua Bassett as a junior named Ricky, who attempts to win over his ex-girlfriend by starring alongside her in their school's production of High School Musical. (Watch a trailer)
The popular Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire, which ran from 2001 to 2004, is also being revived for the streaming service, with star Hilary Duff reprising the eponymous role. (Find out more about the series here)
Gina Rodriguez will executive-produce a series called Diary of a Female President. Premiering in January, the 10-episode series is about a 12-year-old Cuban-American girl in middle school and her journey to becoming the future president of the United States.
John Stamos is headlining a new original series. The 10-episode hourlong dramedy Big Shot follows Stamos' temperamental college basketball coach after he is fired from his job and has to take on a teaching and coaching job at an elite all-girls private high school.
The Simpsons will join Disney+: In the wake of the Disney and Fox merger, the streaming service will be the exclusive SVOD home for all 30 seasons of The Simpsons.
Kristin Chenoweth will headline and executive-produce a new comedy called The Biggest Star in Appleton. Chenoweth will play Carol Dannhauser, a devoted Wisconsin mom, wife, and waitress who finds her deepest satisfaction as the star of local community theater. But her status is threatened when a struggling New York chorus girl moves back to Appleton with dreams of her own.
National Geographic programs will be available, too. The animal kingdom will get some major love on Disney+, as the streaming service features some key National Geographic content. Over 250 films and documentaries from National Geographic — including the Academy Award-winning Free Solo — are now available.
The lineup includes original series created specifically for the streaming service. Jeff Goldblum hosts The World According to Jeff Goldblum, in which the beloved actor explores mysteries close to his heart (Watch a trailer). The second series is Magic of the Animal Kingdom, which goes behind the scenes of Disney's Animal Kingdom park and the Epcot aquarium at Disney World to show what goes into caring for the animals at the world's most iconic theme park.
Disney is bringing you a ton of unscripted original programming. According to Variety, documentary experts Supper Club, the trio behind Chef's Table and 13th, will create original content for the streaming platform, including a series centered on culture called Marvel's 616 (working title) and the wildlife conservation-based Earthkeepers (working title).
Plus, Kristen Bell executive-produced the unscripted series Encore!, which reunites former castmates of a high school musical production to re-create their original performance with help from Broadway greats (Watch a trailer). Meanwhile, Be Our Chef adds a unique spin to cooking competitions by recruiting families from diverse cultural backgrounds to create Disney-themed dishes on location at Walt Disney World. The winner will receive a special treat: seeing their dish served at the theme park.
Additional nonfiction series on the slate include (Re)Connect, which enlists a specialist to help splintered families work through their issues; Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies, an anthology series that takes a unique look at beloved movie props and costumes through interviews with artists and the actors that used them on screen; Rogue Trip, a guide to often overlooked vacation spots all over the globe; Shop Class, a competition series in which student engineers build unique contraptions in the hopes of being declared the champion; and an untitled Walt Disney Imagineering docuseries, which chronicles the six-decade history of Walt Disney's inventive Imagineers.
The Muppets are back! During Disney's D23 Expo 2019, Kermit revealed that the Muppets are back, and they are bringing a new kind of mayhem and laughter to Disney+ with their first-ever unscripted short-form series, titled Muppets Now. (However, the streaming service will not move forward with Muppets Live Another Day, a series sequel to Muppets Take Manhattan that would have been written and executive-produced by Josh Gad and Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis. Gad said in a statement that the series was scrapped due to "creative differences.")
An alien puppet is getting a talk show. Jim Henson Co. is also teaming up with Disney+ for an unscripted puppet show without Muppet characters, Deadline reports. The series, titled Earth to Ned, is a comedic half-hour talk show in which real celebrities are interviewed by Ned, a blue-skinned alien, and his lieutenant, Cornelius. The two "were sent to scout Earth for an eventual invasion — but instead became obsessed with popular culture. Now, they host a talk show, broadcast from the bridge of their spaceship hidden deep underground, where they interview our most precious commodity — celebrities — to talk about Ned's current pop culture obsessions."
A Love, Simon TV series is in the works. Variety first reported that Disney+ was developing a TV series based on the box office hit Love, Simon, which told the story of a gay teen struggling to come out to his friends and family. Details on the plot of the series are scarce, but instead of TV goliath Greg Berlanti, who executive-produced the movie, helming the TV show, This Is Us executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger are overseeing the project.
The Sandlot is also getting turned in a series. Disney+ is in the early development stages of turning the fan favorite baseball film The Sandlot into a series, and Deadline reports it will star the original cast as adults. The series will be set in 1984, when the gang all have children of their own, but it's unclear as of now how many of the original cast members have officially signed on to star.
More familiar stories are being reimagined. In August, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed the studio's plans to reboot and/or reimagine family films like Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Cheaper By the Dozen for the streaming service. In December, casting news came out for Home Alone. According to Variety, the remake will star Archie Yates (Jojo Rabbit) as the youngster, though the role is not going to be Kevin McCallister, and Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney will appear not as his parents but potentially as another couple in the film.
In addition, a TV reboot of The Mighty Ducks could potentially find its way to the streaming service. Disney has reportedly eyed additional reboots of Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Disney+ launched Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 9 a.m. ET.
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