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Opinion: Disney Plus’ library isn’t as deep as it looks

Disney Plus has finally launched in the UK, and fans are understandably pretty excited about it. However, in terms of the quantity there’s plenty of ‘filler’ content in the Disney Plus library. 

First things first, we’re big fans of the classics – of which there are plenty. The whole Pixar collection is available, as is access to the trove of Disney’s animated films (Beauty and the Beast in 4K), and live action adventures such as Star Wars, The Avengers and newer content in The Mandalorian. All great stuff.

Related: This is the best way to browse all of Disney Plus’ movies and TV shows

The drawback, however, is that the library is littered with more unloved sequels and spin-offs than you can shake a stick at.

Examples that typify this include Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!, threequel Honey We Shrunk Ourselves and George of the Jungle 2 – a film we had no idea existed (or erased from our memories) until we glanced at it on Disney Plus.

There are many more examples that fall into that category – leaving us wondering whether Disney really wants all this to be out in the open for everyone to easily stream.

The trailer of the worst offender is below if you have a strong stomach for intolerably bad films.

Related: Here’s the full Disney Plus content list for the UK

To further that feeling of ‘filler’, The Mandalorian – of which the first two episodes are available – appears four times on the homepage. Right at the top, in the Originals section, Recommended For You and Action Adventure. It doesn’t really speak to a wide variety of content.

That said, it’s not as if Netflix or Amazon Prime Video aren’t filled with schlocky and odd stuff. But aside from the big-hitters and nostalgic blasts, a look through Disney’s library at present leaves the impression of a library that’s been padded out with direct-to-video sequels, spin-offs and films that don’t look particularly great, like the 1975 western/comedy The Apple Dumpling Gang.

Admittedly though, that’s a trend within the film industry at large and the blame for this can’t be laid solely at Disney’s door. However, Disney’s role as a both streaming service and content producer means its back catalogue is shaping the company’s modern streaming offering in good ways and bad.

Netflix shares this dual-role, but has obviously been making its own ‘Netflix Original’ films and shows for far more time and hence its library feels more curated by comparison, rather than informed by what the company already owned rights to.

Related: Disney Plus vs Netflix

In fairness, there’s plenty of reason to be confident in Disney. It has the resources and the know-how to remedy library imbalances going forward – although it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing any of the company’s more mature content on the service, such as The Rock or Armageddon.

So, things aren’t perfect, but the platform is still in its infancy and there are plenty of good signs to encourage Disney fans. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Disney Plus library evolves over time and whether the platform can keep adults engaged and impact on the dominant positions of some of its competitors. Watch this space for more on Disney Plus.

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