Disney Heats up Battle Between Streaming Services

Photo Credit/ Yaasmeen Piper Disney's new streaming service has its ups and downs, but it overall has a wide variety of films and shows to binge for fun.

Jazmin Cole

Social Media Manager

The Streaming Wars wage on as a new kingdom, a magical one, has entered the battle.

Just when we thought Disney couldn’t come up with a new way to make money, they’ve entered the streaming wars—and we’re kind of here for it.

The entertainment conglomerate, Walt Disney Company has created new streaming service, Disney+.

Disney+ enters guns blazing as the service is jampacked full of content from some of the franchise’s branches: Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars (Lucasfilm), National Geographic as well content from Disney, itself.

If you are still on the fence about whether or not you want to take the leap and shovel more money into Disney’s pockets here are some things to consider.

Upon hearing about the service, my first thoughts which might be shared by many others is price. How much will yet another streaming service cost me?

Surprisingly, Disney+ is only around $7 a month, considering that viewers get access to about 500 films and 7,500 episodes of shows all in HD which is very affordable compared to Netflix where their vast library of content can also be watched in HD but you would have to shell out an extra $6 making it around $13 a month for their most popular plan.

However, Disney+ can cost some $13 a month as well but it may be completely worth it as the streaming service offers Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN as a bundle. If you decide to start out with Disney+ alone and later decide to upgrade to the bundle the option is available in account settings. The bundle might be a better choice for those who want more adult shows which will be what Hulu is for.

A 7-day free trial is available for all first-time Disney+ members; however, Verizon customers who have unlimited services or Verizon Fios do get a year of Disney+ for free. This is a huge pro for customers who have these services with Verizon but on the other hand is a major con for Verizon customers who do not as well as those who have a different phone carrier.

Now, content.

As said before, Disney+ has stocked their library with options from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and National Geographic. Essentially, there is something for everyone.

For those looking for something new, Disney+ has some original content exclusive to the app that are worthy of a watch. The app’s new exclusive Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” (2019-) has many singing its high praises. So far there are only three episodes out and it has a 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with 95 percent audience rating. Another original show worth a watch is the “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (2019-) which only has three episodes so far as well. At first, I was very skeptical and was very hesitant but after an internal debate, I pressed play and I do not regret it—yet. I have hope for it if it continues to develop the way it began.

For the nostalgic Disney Channel kid, classic back in the day shows like “Hannah Montana” (2006-2011), “Kim Possible” (2002-2007),  “Gargoyles” (1994-1997), and “That’s So Raven” (2003-2007). Also, among the long list of throwbacks are all the iconic Disney Channel Original Movies; “Twitches”(2005), “High School Musical” (2006) and of course “The Cheetah Girls” (2003) just to name a few of the oldies that might make you die a little.

For those who love the revolutionary cinematic genius that was Star Wars or have never seen any of the films, you will be more than pleased with the Star Wars tab. The original Star Wars trilogy is available, as well as, the two standalone anthology films, the three movie prequel trilogy, two of the three sequel trilogy films and plenty of Star Wars animated content to enjoy for the first time or in reminisce.

For the curious with an ever-wondering mind, the National Geographic tab is where you might spend most of your time. This section of Disney+ is full of interesting documentary films and docuseries that vary from animals and nature to religion and science.

For the family or the child at heart, Disney and Pixar. I shouldn’t have to say much here besides that if you think of it it’s probably there. “Aladdin” (1992), “The Sword in the Stone” (1963), “Finding Nemo” (2003), “Toy Story” (1995), “Monsters Inc” (2001) are just the beginning. The 2019 live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp” (1955) is unlike it’s live-action predecessors. Quite a few things are changed in the film making it not just a live version of the animated film and these little details make the film all the more enjoyable.

Lastly, for the OG or the newbie Marvel fan. There is a categorized library for old and new Marvel animated series for a real blast from the past like “Spider-Woman” (1979-1980), “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2015-2019) and “Avengers Assemble” (2013-2019). Although there is a lot of animation, many may flock to the Marvel section for their 23 live-action films. However, much to mine and many others disappointment Disney+ has only 16 of them.

This revelation might be quite disheartening for those who wanted to watch all the films in order on the app and it is understandable that all the films are not all there. Before Disney+ rolled out, other companies like Netflix signed contracts for the rights for some of the films making Disney unable to show them because Netflix and other companies own them right now. Of course, when the contracts are up Disney+ will get the missing films, however, this brings up the next topic: Cons.

As much as I would like to say that Disney’s new streaming service is flawless, it simply is not as most things aren’t.

I could not help but feel extremely annoyed that Disney+ is missing some things that they should definitely be on there.

On release day, the app crashed because of all the unexpected traffic it received, however, after the crash I was a little disappointed by the fact that quite a few of the shows from my childhood that I tried to search were not on the app.

One of my searches was of course, “The Proud Family” (2001-2005) which is one of if not the most diverse animated shows Disney had put on the air. “The Proud Family” which followed an African American family, mainly teen daughter, Penny; portrayed and celebrated a mix of different ethnicities and cultures making it a staple Disney classic that should have been on the app upon release. “The Proud Family Movie” is featured which was interesting considering the series that inspired it was missing.

Some other shows left off of the release, Demi Lovato’s Disney show, “Sonny with a Chance” (2009-2011), “So Random” (2011-2012) “Brandy and Mr. Whiskers” (2004-2006),  as well as the many shows that used to be on Disney’s old program Jetix.

Going back to some of the missing Marvel films, some of them are advertised on the Disney+ app, however, if you click on them you cannot watch them. For example, “Black Panther” is searchable on the app, but once clicked on in bright yellow a sentence appears that informs you that the film will not be available until March 2020.

“Black Panther” (2018)  is currently available to watch on Netflix, but at first, confusion on why it would be listed on Disney+ if you cannot watch might be an immediate reaction, so personally, I think they should only advertise what is actually coming soon and not four to five months away like “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017) which will be released on Disney+ December 5th, 2019.

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man lovers, this might be a hard pill to swallow. Marvel’s new Spider-Man movies that almost had to leave the Marvel Universe is not on Disney+ as well and may never be. It is true that Sony still owns the rights to Spider-Man so “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019) might not be on Disney+ at all. While this a big letdown at this point, we can only hope it’ll be included in the future.

So, taking all things into consideration, is Disney+ worth it? Definitely.

If it’s in your budget, you like most of the content it has to offer, or you are obsessed with Disney—it’s a win-win and a must. It is most definitely not perfect but for being released for only two weeks so far, it is doing pretty well and is off to a great start.

However, would I tell you to get rid of your Netflix account and replace it with Disney+? NO.

Disney+ is comprised of just Disney and its branches content while Netflix has a wide range of all most everything. Netflix also recently just signed a massive 200-million-dollar deal with Nickelodeon so that will be interesting to see what they have in store and I have no doubt that Netflix will be getting some of Nickelodeon’s hit shows.

Overall, if you can afford both Netflix and Disney+, I’d say go for it. If not, it really comes down to what you watch more of. Netflix does have an $8 plan that may be affordable for some than their $13 or $17 plans depending on the viewers’ needs.

Disney+ made a smooth entrance into the streaming wars and now we’re waiting to see if they will survive and who will enter next?

Email Jazmin at:

jcole17@live.esu.edu

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