What is Disney+? | Digital Trends

There are few entertainment empires as prominent as Disney. Operating sizeable sectors of the entertainment industry, from movies and TV show production to merchandising and theme parks, Mickey’s reign knows no end. It only makes sense that Disney would enter the realm of at-home streaming content. Disney+, the company’s subscription streaming platform, has been around for more than a year now. Featuring a massive library of Disney, ABC, Fox, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic movies and TV shows, Disney is constantly adding new content to the rotation, making it one of the most popular streaming services available today.

Is Disney+ a Netflix killer? Not quite yet, but Disney+ is rapidly increasing its user base and is already one of the top streaming services. But in such a crowded streaming landscape, is Disney+ the right choice for you? Read on, as we go over everything you need to know about Disney+.

More Disney+ guides

How much does Disney+ cost?

Disney+ is currently priced at $7.99 a month. Subscribers can opt to pay for a year upfront, which goes for $79.99. Disney also offers a $13.99 monthly bundle that includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+; the same bundle with ad-free Hulu for $19.99; and yearly versions of the bundles for $72.99 (Hulu with ads) and $79.99 (Hulu without ads). Make no mistake about it: Disney intends to win the streaming wars. And at these prices, it just might. Disney wanted to quickly build up its subscriber base, and that strategy seems to be working. In April, Disney+ had close to 100 million subscribers worldwide.

What is Disney+?

What do you need to watch Disney+?

It’s not hard to find a Disney+ viewing option. It’s already available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV devices, AppleTV, Chromecast, LG TV, and Roku. PC and Mac computer owners can stream Disney+ online via the official site. The Disney+ app is also available on Amazon Fire Tablets, Android phones and tablets, iPhone, and iPad, as well as the Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One gaming consoles.

Which movies are included on Disney+?

A better question might be, “Which Disney movies aren’t on Disney+?” There aren’t many that didn’t make the cut. Of the classic full-length Disney animated movies, only Make Mine Music has been excluded. Everything else, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Frozen II, is currently available on Disney+. Similarly, the complete lineup of Pixar animated movies from Toy Story to Onward is also included. Pixar’s award-winning animated shorts have been added to Disney+ as well.

All nine main Star Wars movies are among the prime attractions on Disney+. Spinoff movies Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story round out Lucasfilm’s cinematic offerings on Disney+. The franchise is also featured in two feature-length documentaries on Disney+: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — Adventure Awaits and Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.

Avengers Endgame on Disney+

Nearly every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently available on Disney+. The lone exceptions are Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Spider-Man: Far From Home because Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures retain their respective rights for those films. Regardless, all of the other MCU movies, from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame, make up another powerful block on Disney+.

Recently, Disney+ began adding 21st Century Fox’s Marvel movies. That means X-Men, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Fantastic Four (2015) are currently in the lineup, along with the original Fantastic Four (2005).

But the 21st Century Fox acquisition was about more than just getting more Marvel movies for Disney+. The completion of that merger paved the way for Fox films like Miracle on 34th Street, The Sound of Music, Willow, Home Alone, Doctor Dolittle (1998), The Simpsons Movie, Avatar, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Never Been Kissed, The Sandlot, Ice Age: Collision Course, The Peanuts Movie, and more to join the Disney family.

Outside of its animated films, Disney has also made Disney+ the home for the vast majority of its live-action movies. Modern hits like the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Alice in Wonderland, TRON: Legacy, Race To Witch Mountain, The BFG, and Pete’s Dragon have been placed alongside classics like Mary Poppins, Treasure Island, The Absent-Minded Professor, Old Yeller, The Parent Trap, The Incredible Journey, That Darn Cat!, The Love Bug, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

For fans of all ages, six of The Muppets movies are on Disney+, in addition to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? — an unforgettable blending of live-action and animation that united Disney’s animated creations with Warner Bros. and Universal’s cartoon all-stars.

Which TV shows are on Disney+?

The Simpsons is another key addition from Fox that has become a cornerstone of Disney+’s content. Thirty seasons of the immortal animated series are currently streaming. Disney+ even went the extra mile to meet fan demand for the original 4:3 aspect ratio for classic Simpsons episodes. That way, none of the series’ signature sight gags are affected by the modern 16:9 widescreen format. A few of The Simpsons’ theatrical shorts and the animated film are also on Disney+.

The Simpsons - King Size Homer
Disney+

Historically, Disney didn’t get serious about its animated television programs until the ‘80s and ‘90s. But the Disney Afternoon classics DuckTales, Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, The Little Mermaid, Bonkers, and Quack Pack are available on Disney+, alongside Adventures of the Gummi Bears and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

The criminally underrated Gargoyles has also made a welcome return on Disney+. That action-adventure series featured animation that rivaled Batman: The Animated Series with well-written serialized stories that still hold up over two decades later. Other cartoons like Recess, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, TRON: Uprising, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, Big Hero 6: The Series, Kim Possible, DuckTales (2017), and Tangled: The Series have also found a home on Disney+ alongside live-action hits Hannah Montana, Even Stevens, Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Wizards Of Waverly Place, and Girl Meets World.

Marvel fans are in for a treat on Disney+. Spider-Man (1981), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Spider-Woman, X-Men, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four (1994), Spider-Man (1994), Silver Surfer, Spider-Man Unlimited, The Avengers: United They Stand, X-Men: Evolution, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, and Wolverine and the X-Men offer a power-packed lineup of comic book cartoons. Modern Marvel animated adaptations The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Spider-Man (2017) are also available to stream.

Every episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance is currently on Disney+ for fans who love the franchise. For a more comedic take on Star Wars, younger viewers and fans of all ages will enjoy Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles, Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, and Lego Star Wars: All-Stars. There’s even a new Lego Star Wars Holiday Special coming this November, which should arrive just in time for Life Day.

What original series are on Disney+?

Behold the power of branding! As part of Disney+’s rapid expansion, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm have already committed to a number of original series on Disney+. Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian was one of the first Disney+ originals to debut in November 2019. It quickly became the signature series of Disney+ and a cultural phenomenon. The show’s second season premiered in October 2020, with a third season expected sometime in 2022. Lucasfilm has also debuted the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars exclusively on Disney+, with a spinoff series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, premiering for Star Wars Day on May 4. Additionally, live-action Star Wars series featuring Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor and Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi are also in the works.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the release of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the first of many Marvel Studios original series that premiered on Disney+. WandaVision launched on January 15, Loki is expected June 11, and the animated What If?… will premiere in 2021. Marvel also has plans for live-action shows featuring Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight.

Muppets Now brought back Jim Henson’s iconic creations in a new comedy sketch show, while High School Musical: The Series offers a fresh take on the Disney Channel movies. Disney+ also has a robust lineup of unscripted series, including The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Encore!, Fairy Tale Weddings, Marvel’s Hero Project, Be Our Chef, Prop Culture, and Rogue Trip.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian and Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II are a pair of strong documentary miniseries that offer a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of their respective subjects. For younger viewers, Diary of a Future President chronicles the aspirational story of a young girl who is destined to one day become President of the United States.

What original movies are available on Disney+?

Hamilton, a cinematic recording of the hit Broadway musical, was the streaming event of summer 2020 on Disney+. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton was originally slated to hit theaters in 2021, but Disney decided to release it for streaming a year early. Artemis Fowl was another Disney theatrical movie that was shifted over to Disney+ as an exclusive original. Disney’s live-action Mulan reimagining was given the same treatment. Additionally, subscribers can tap into Disney Plus Premier Access, which allows them to purchase theatrical release films for $30. The feature was initially designed to allow Disney fans to see movies that would otherwise have been released in theaters pre-pandemic, but it continues with films releasing on the platform and theaters simultaneously. Premier Access also includes Raya and the Last Dragon with Cruella (May 28) and Black Widow (July 9).

Other original Disney+ original movies include Beyoncé’s Black is King, Togo: The Untold True Story, Noelle, Magic Camp, and the live-action Lady and the Tramp. Additionally, there are a handful of DisneyNature original films, as well as Howard, an emotionally moving documentary about the life of the late composer Howard Ashman. Disney+ is also redeveloping classic 21st Century Fox titles Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Cheaper by the Dozen for Disney+ reboot films.

Does Disney+ include 4K streaming?

It does! But only for a handful of movies. According to Disney+, there are “dozens of titles in stunning 4K UHD.”

What are the optimum internet speeds for Disney+?

Disney+ has shared its recommendations for the best speeds to enjoy the streaming experience. For high-definition TV shows and movies, 5Mbps should be enough. However, 4K UHD will require 25Mbps. If you’re not sure how fast your internet is, test it here.

How do you get Disney+?

The easiest way to get Disney+ is to simply sign up here. Fill in your email address, name, street address, and credit card info, and you’re all set to watch Disney+ online. PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One users can download the Disney+ app through Playstation Network and Xbox Live, respectively. Android phone and tablet users can find the app in the Play Store, while iPad and iPhone users need to visit the App Store. For Amazon Fire TV, Android TV devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, LG TV, and Roku, just search for the Disney+ app and download it if necessary.

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