If you've been on social media, or watched "Good Morning America," or been anywhere on the internet recently, you've probably seen people talking about Disney+. The service, which launched yesterday, has gotten a lot of people buzzing, and with the similarly named (but not related) Apple TV+ having launched last week, the so-called "streaming wars" have seemingly begun in full force. So let's answer some basic questions (before things get REALLY complicated with HBO Max and Peacock joining the streaming fray soon).
What is Disney+?
Simply put, Disney+ is Netflix but for Disney. It's a streaming service launched by Disney as a competitor to Netflix and Apple TV+, but not Hulu. (More on that later ... )
What's on Disney+?
Nearly every theatrically released Disney film, starting with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and onward. Additionally, 5,000 episodes of Disney Channel original programming, eight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, many Disney Channel original movies and content from National Geographic will be on the service as well. Not only that, but original programming has been created for Disney+, like the highly anticipated "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian," "High School Musical: The Musical: The Show," a live-action remake of "Lady and the Tramp" and the Christmas movie "Noelle," starring Anna Kendrick. Also, every episode of the first 30 seasons of "The Simpsons" is available for streaming.
What's coming soon to Disney+?
Movies that have been released recently, like the live-action "Aladdin" remake, or movies that are still in theaters, like "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," are not on the service at launch, though they will be added in the future. The same can be said for the Marvel movies not included at launch. The streaming rights for those are currently held by Netflix, so until those rights revert back to the House of Mouse in 2020, Netflix is the home for "Thor: Ragnarok" and three other MCU movies. Also being added in the future will be animated classics like "Tarzan" (rights currently held by Netflix), "Coco" (likewise held by Netflix), and new original films and television series.
What's not on Disney+?
If you're looking for a place to watch "The Mighty Ducks," you're going to need to keep looking. Likewise for "Angels in the Outfield," "Son of Flubber," "John Carter" and other live-action Disney films. Those films are not a part of the streaming service, and as of now, there are no announced plans to include them. Additionally, some scenes have been cut from content. The Siamese Cat Song, which has been widely derided as a racist, offensive song from The Lady and the Tramp, has been removed from the new live-action remake. (The scene remains in the original, but that and many other early Disney animated features comes with a disclaimer pointing out that it may "contain outdated cultural depictions.") One Disney film, "Song of the South," has not been shown since the 1970s due to offensive content, and that film, likewise, is not on the service.
What's the deal with Disney+ and Hulu?
In March of 2019, Disney purchased 21st Century Fox from News Corp. for $71.3 billion. With that purchase, Disney gained controlling stakes in several properties, including Hulu, National Geographic and others. With that, Disney has created a subscription option where consumers are able to subscribe to Disney+, Hulu with ads (where Disney plans to put its more adult-oriented movies and TV shows) and ESPN+ at the same time.
Is this the same as Apple TV+?
No. Despite having extremely similar names, Disney + and Apple TV+ are two competing streaming services. If you're looking for programming like "The Morning Show" or "Snoopy in Space," head to Apple TV+. "Star Wars" and Mickey Mouse? That's Disney+.
How much does Disney+ cost?
There are different subscriptions options for the service. If you're looking to pay month by month, it will be $6.99 per month. There's a slight discount if you pay for a whole year up front, with that option costing $69.99 total. If you want to bundle Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, that plan will cost you $12.99, which is about $4 cheaper than purchasing each service separately.
With this information, you should be more than prepared to confront the Streaming Wars with confidence. And while lots of information has come out about the service, there's no further word on when the Giannis Antetokounmpo biopic will be on the service, much less filming. Here's hoping it's soon!