Disney + Review: The House of Mouse sits comfortably in between Netflix and Hulu

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Disney + Review: The House of Mouse sits comfortably in between Netflix and Hulu

Tyson Edwards, Co-Editor in Chief

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Disney owns everything, and I’ve come to terms with that. Yet, you may not realize just how much Disney actually owns. Most of the top-grossing films of all time are owned by Disney, and when you own everything, you’re going to have a lot of fans. All of these classics can be put in one place; their own streaming service, but is it worth the hype?

Disney+ is a pretty easy sell from the outside looking in. All Disney owned content can be found in this one location, and that also includes Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic material. Immediately I can say this: if Disney, Marvel or Star Wars are not of your interest, it’s not worth your time. The service will only ever include things that fall under the Disney umbrella, and while admittedly that is a lot of things, it definitely targets a certain audience.

All the content found on Disney+ is family-friendly and predominantly falls into either comedy, fantasy or adventure genres. While there is more nuance to the selection than just those three categories, it’s definitely not like the selections on Netflix or Hulu. What those services have in variety, Disney+ has in already established media. You will probably never go onto Disney+ and find something you’ve never heard of before, there is nothing obscure. I can’t blame the service for this problem, as it’s just a general issue with brand-specific streaming services, but it’s worth noting.

Original content is something that is very lacking as of now. There are a few original series and movies on Disney+ currently, The Mandalorian, Lady and the Tramp (2019), High School Musical: the Musical: the Series and Noelle just to name a few. In terms of quality, I haven’t had the chance to watch all the shows and movies the platform has to offer, but critically The Mandalorian seems to be the only one really making any waves. This is something that will get better with time, but early adopters who have already seen most Disney movies repeatedly will get the short end of the stick.

Another problem with the original content is how it’s released. Disney+ releases new episodes of original shows weekly, like television. While Netflix has done this once or twice with a couple original shows, I’ve not found a full original series on Disney+ released all at once, which is incredibly strange. The reason normal television does this is that they have arrangements to broadcast certain programs during the day. There isn’t time just to broadcast an entire show all at once. Due to this limitation, an entire show doesn’t have to be filmed all at once, so television usually is only a few episodes ahead of filming. However, streaming services film their original shows in bulk, meaning it’s all done when it’s released; there is no point in releasing it weekly. I can’t help but think that this was done with Disney+ shows too, especially a Star Wars show where it would need to be done so the computer effects could be done with consistent quality. It’s a weird decision on Disney’s behalf to release it weekly, and frankly, I’m not a fan. Disney+ is not for the binge-watcher, at least not yet.

The actual interface on the site is pretty easy to use. Most key brands like Star Wars, Marvel or Princesses can be found easily in sub-menus with all of the content in that franchise there to find. I have no complaints.

I can’t help but wonder if a service like Hulu or Netflix would be better worth your time if you don’t already have them. If you have the money, Disney+ is a great complementary service to the main two, but it doesn’t hold much of a candle on its own. It’s also important to recognize these services may not last much longer if companies keep making their own brand-specific streaming services. Eventually, there will be no variety streaming sites like Netflix. I still use Hulu religiously as my platform of choice but as a Disney fan, I reluctantly have to use it as it will be the only place to find Disney content in the future.