Disney+: One Year Later

When Disney+ was originally announced, I was excited to see the live-action Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe shows that were more closely tied together with the films. Having access to Disney’s vast vault of original classic movies and series was an added bonus that made the service seem like it would stand out among the rest. Once the streaming service finally launched in November 2019, things started off great in terms of content. They launched with The Mandalorian, one of the most exciting shows in recent years, as well as a large library of content, unlike other streaming services like Apple+ and CBS All Access that launched with smaller amounts. However, once The Mandalorian‘s first season came to an end, the streaming service quickly began losing steam and soon became one of the more disappointing services out there.

Bland Original Content

With the exception of The Mandalorian, Disney+’s original content has been quite poor. While I haven’t seen all of their original content, from the good chunk that I have watched, the content has fallen between mediocre to terrible. Movies like Artemis Fowl, the live-action Lady and the Tramp, and Noelle have turned out to be awful, with movies like The One and Only Ivan being more bland than good. Their original films and television feel like the worst Disney Channel originals from the early 2000s, almost like they were the rejects for theatrical releases. 

Promised content getting delayed

Due to the coronavirus pandemic interfering with the scheduling of many projects, Disney wasn’t able to release some of their originals this year as intended. Some of their main series that have been delayed are their Marvel shows, which were originally slated to release this year. However, the pandemic interfered with filming shows like Falcon and Winter Soldier, which ultimately caused them to delay the series into next year. Despite the pandemic interfering with some of Disney’s plans, they didn’t have any noteworthy originals coming to the service after The Mandalorian dropped. The finale season of Clone Wars was a nice addition back in February, but with Falcon and Winter Soldier originally scheduled for this August, that would have been five months without any noteworthy titles coming to the service. Sure, Disney+ has many nostalgic movies and television shows, but that’s basically all they’re relying on. Practically all of their films and television pander to younger viewers, not really making it worth keeping the service around just to stop by every once in a while for a quick nostalgic kick. 

Now, I understand that Disney+ will probably never drop anything R rated on the streaming service; the fact that all of their original content focuses on kids and families makes the service feel worthless for those without kids. Being in college, I don’t have a kid I have to entertain, which is what Disney+ feels like it’s meant for, and I don’t really spend time rewatching kids’ shows and movies from my childhood. The Mandalorian did a great job of being appropriate for younger viewers, while also entertaining older audiences. Their live action Star Wars and Marvel series are truly the only content at the moment appealing to older audiences, making the service feel like it’s alienating a large percent of audiences. 

Confusing standards

One of the first controversies coming from Disney+ came from Splash. When Splash dropped on Disney+, some viewers were angry that they removed a quick butt shot. This wouldn’t be an odd move since Disney seems to want their service to be kid-friendly, and removing any form of nudity that didn’t fit their code isn’t outrageous. However, Disney has dropped X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men Apocalypse, and left both the nudity and cursing that they’ve removed from other films. So where does Disney hold their standards? They altered scenes from one film claiming it didn’t fall in line with what they considered wholesome for their service, but left it in another movie. 

A more recent controversy comes from the release of Mulan. Originally, they dropped this movie on their service with a $30 charge to view it, with the movie eventually being available to all subscribers. Then, only a few weeks later, Disney released the movie to all streaming services, such as iTunes and Google Play, with the same $30 price tag. However, consumers were able to own the film on these services, unlike Disney+ subscribers who can only view the movie as long as they keep their account. Those who purchase the film on other services also get added special features that aren’t available when you get the film through Disney+. Although this feels like a desperate move from Disney to try to make up for lost revenue for not having a theatrical release, it seems like Disney is cheating their subscribers. By not giving subscribers special privileges besides being able to see the movie a few weeks early, it causes the service to feel more pointless, since you aren’t getting anything special from being a subscriber. There is still a shred of hope for Disney+ to be one of the better services, but only if they can get over these few hiccups. 

Sources: DeadlineMobileSyrupVanity Fair

Featured Image: TechHive

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