Disney’s answer to Netflix has officially landed in the US, although not yet in the UK, with the Android app appearing on the Android and Apple stores.
Disney’s move to video streaming brings together programming from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and 20th Century Fox in one place and streamed straight to your home.
- What is it? – A video streaming platform with content from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and 20th Century Fox.
- When does it launch? – March 31st, 2020 in the UK. November 12th, 2019 in the US.
- How much does it cost? – $6.99 a month in the US. Likely £6 a month in the UK
- How can I get it? – Register here for UK updates
What’s the price?
In the US, Disney Plus costs $6.99/month ($69.99 per year); for Canada its $8.99 ($89.99 a year). Dutch subscribers pay €6.99/month (€69.99 per year), while for viewers in Australia and New Zealand its A$8.99 (A$89.99 per year) and NZ$9.99 (NZ$99.99).
In the UK that’s about £6 a month (probably £60/year).
Disney confirmed that customers can stream in 4K HDR streams, so we we can look forward to watching content in HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR (for those with compatible TVs), as well in Dolby Atmos audio.
US customers will be able to pick a bundle that includes access to Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu (with ads) for $12.99. Rights issues, and the fact Hulu is a US service, means that’s unlikely to come to the UK.
When does it launch in the UK?
Disney Plus rolled out in the US, Canada and Netherlands on November 12th. It arrives in Australia and New Zealand exactly one week later on the 19th. It launches in the UK on March 31st, 2020. That’s the same day as Germany, France, Italy and Spain too.
For those signed up to DisneyLife which is available in the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany, the service continues, but will likely be retired as soon as Disney Plus appears,
Related: Best VPN
Which platforms is Disney Plus available on?
Since the service’s announcement, Disney has been negotiating agreements with streaming platforms and the list of confirmed platforms stands at Apple TV, Android mobile and OS TV; Chromecast, iPad, iPhone, PS4, Roku streaming players and Xbox One.
Offline download privileges are also expected for everything in the Disney Plus library, much in the same way as it does on DisneyLife.
What can you watch?
Disney has already listed everything that’s coming to the service for its U.S launch, which you can watch in the video below. It has said that content may differ from territory to territory (presumably because of existing deals in those areas). JustWatch has put together a detailed, easy to browse, library of what’s available.
In the first year, Disney aims to launch 25 original episodic series and more than 10 movie specials. Over 7500 TV episodes are available to view, with more than 400 films, 100 of which will be recent titles.
We know that The Mandalorian is being delivered in weekly doses, so it’s probable Disney’s release schedule is on series-by-series basis.
Disney Plus and Marvel Studios
Marvel is throwing its weight with a number of ‘original’ series. The first will be Falcon and the Winter Soldier in 2020 which is shooting now. WandaVision and Loki have been pencilled in for 2021.
Episodes are expected to be six to eight episodes long, with hefty budgets between $100 and $150 million.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up the threads from Civil War and Endgame, with Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo returning and Anthony Mackie taking on the mantle of Captain America.
Despite dying in Infinity War, Loki returns following his appearance in the alternative timeline seen in Avengers: Endgame, where Loki is in the possession of the Tesseract.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles as Wanda and Vision in WandaVision. They’re backed by a cast that includes Kathryn Hahn, Randall Park (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Emily VanCamp (Civil War) and Teyonah Paris. The events of WandaVision will factor into 2021’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Other projects revealed include a What If? animated series with several MCU stalwarts actors returning to voice characters. Michael B Jordan, Josh Brolin, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Samuel L Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Rooker, Hayley Atwell have been announced as part of the voice cast.
Jeremy Renner is set to star in Hawkeye, which will provide background to his Ronin character from Endgame. Speculation has suggested Kate Bishop will feature, possibly by Hailee Steinfeld, a character who eventually shared the Hawkeye mantle with Clint Barton.
Other Marvel shows announced include Ms Marvel, Moon Knight and She Hulk, though no release dates have been announced yet.
Disney Plus and Star Wars
The Mandalorian is the first litmus test for the service as it’s the first ever Star Wars live action series. Iron Man and The Lion King remake director Jon Favreau is behind it, with Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Waititi taking turns directing episodes.
Pedro Pascal stars in the title role, playing a gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy and… that’s all we know about the story. It also takes place five years after the end of Return of the Jedi.
Alan Tudyk and Diego Luna are going to reprise their Rogue One roles as Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor and snarky droid K-2SO in the currently Untitled Star Wars Cassian Andor series.
In more exciting news, Ewan McGregor is coming back as Obi Wan Kenobi. Production begins in 2020 – the assumption is it takes place after Revenge of the Sith and around the same time as Solo: A Star Wars Story.
A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, plus The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith have been confirmed for the service. We await to see if they’ll be in 4K HDR, with rumours persisting they’ll be coming to 4K Blu-ray as part of a giant box set once The Rise of the Skywalker is on home video.
Disney, Pixar & National Geographic
A chunk of Disney’s library and shows from National Geographic are available from the first day. A brief selection includes:
- Bugs Life
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Jungle Book
- The Lion King
- The Little Mermaid
- Finding Nemo
- Free Solo
- Gordon Ramsay Uncharted
- Monsters Inc
- Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum
- The Incredibles
- The Muppets
- Toy Story
- Toy Story 2
- Toy Story 3
- Tron Legacy
An investment call suggested Disney was stopping its Vault policy, which rotated certain films in and out of retail channels. With an ongoing digital platform, there’d be no reason to hold content back, but it appears the Vault policy is alive and well but affecting showings of older films, in particular those from 20th Century Fox.
There’s a new live action film of Lady and the Tramp with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux voicing characters, and there’ll be content from National Geographic, such as Gordon Ramsay’s Uncharted and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. We can’t wait to see the latter…
Disney Plus and 20th Century Fox
We know Avatar, The Princess Bride and all episodes of the The Simpsons are on the service, but there has been no mention of mature films such as Deadpool, Die Hard and Logan. In the US these films will stream on Hulu (which Disney owns part of). What that means for countries where Hulu is not available is still unknown.
Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, revealed that some of Fox’s bigger hits of the past few decades will be getting straight-to-service sequels. That includes Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.