Disney+ makes an impressive debut with its extensive and diverse catalogue of content

The new service is poised to become a strong contender in the online “streaming wars”

Disney+ splits its content into five different streaming categories. Image courtesy of Disney / TechHive.

By: James Conn, SFU Student

Watch out Netflix — another contender for the top streaming service has arrived in the form of Disney+. The highly anticipated streaming platform launched on November 12, and according to reports, it has already surpassed 10 million subscriptions on the first day of its launch. 

With that in mind, you may be wondering if Disney+ is worth it. And the answer is simply: yes. If all you’re looking for is a glowing endorsement of this service, then you’ve definitely found it here. Additionally, if you also need some convincing of its value and its available content, keep reading. 

Although Disney+ does not boast the same extensible size as Netflix’s library at this point, it makes up for it with considerable fanfare due to the nostalgic Disney brand and their vast array of recognizable franchises. Here is what Disney+ offers at launch:

When first delving into the platform, navigationally the layout is clean and its titles are showcased clearly. The main screen highlights different categories, each with their own movies and TV shows. These categories are Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

National Geographic contains nature series and documentaries such as Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and the Oscar-winning rock-climbing documentary Free Solo.

The Star Wars category of course includes most of the Star Wars films and TV series. Additionally, The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars show created specifically for this platform, is featured prominently.  

The Marvel category offers many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, including the recently-released Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel. Worth noting is that the Sony-produced Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home are excluded due to legal reasons. However, 16 of the 23 MCU films were available at launch. Numerous animated and live-action TV series made throughout the years are also available to stream, such as X-Men: The Animated Series (1992) and the Spider-Man (1994) animated series. 

Moving on to Pixar, most of the films are here and ready to be (re)watched. Almost everything from Toy Story to Coco is available. Additionally, Pixar shorts like Jack-Jack Attack and Bao are here to make you laugh and cry. Brand new Pixar originals are also included on Disney+, available exclusively on the platform. 

Finally, Disney+ will obviously contain a lot of well-known Disney movies and television shows. There is also a lot of content that people might not necessarily associate with the Disney brand such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Freaky Friday, The Simpsons, and Pirates of the Caribbean. A large variety of contemporary Disney Channel original movies and TV series are also available, including High School Musical, Camp Rock, Hannah Montana, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Old school films from the Disney Vault like The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast were probably at the top of a lot of viewers’ Disney+ wish lists, and they’ll be happy to find them here under the Disney category.

It is important to note that titles not seen on the platform at launch will be rolled out over time, in addition to new releases being added after they’ve been released on home video. Most notably the eight highly anticipated Marvel series and the three new live-action Star Wars series created specifically for Disney+ will be coming later on down the line. Newer movies such as Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be available on the platform after their theatrical and home video releases. 

All of this may be very impressive, but it’s worth mentioning that the platform has experienced a number of bugs and glitches, with many users experiencing error messages. Although these errors are no doubt frustrating, it is not unforeseen for a new service to be introduced with some flaws.

When it comes to the “streaming wars” between Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO On Demand, and countless other services on the way, some will rise to the top, and others will sink to the bottom in this over saturated market. Disney+ will undoubtedly prove itself to be a strong contender in the race due to its brand recognition, its vault of content, and its recognizable titles. For Disney fans, a Disney+ subscription is definitely worth the cheaper-than-Netflix price. Throw in the Marvel and Star Wars content that you know and love, as well as all the new original content on the platform, and this is clearly a valuable package to supplement — or even replace — your existing streaming services.