Disney+ will debut this year with a number of new shows and movies available at launch. The Walt Disney Company announced its hotly awaited streaming platform Disney+ to a flurry of headlines and excited fan responses. With the service set to launch in North America on November 12, with staggered releases internationally, the $6.99 a month ad-free platform seems guaranteed to be a huge hit. It may also present the first real competition that undisputed streaming giant Netflix has ever faced.
When Netflix got into making original programming, it benefitted greatly from being most people’s go-to platform for watching the stuff they already loved, and while Netflix's subscriber numbers have risen and its own films and TV shows have gone great, by and large, they are still best known as the place to stream old episodes of Friends. That’s where their audience loyalty lies.
So, in that aspect, Disney has already won half the battle because they’re the home of some of the past century of Hollywood’s most beloved properties, even without the substantial acquisitions like Marvel Studios, Star Wars, and the recent Fox deal. Netflix has a head start in terms of sheer quantity of content, but Disney+ has already promised that by the end of their first year, they will house more than 500 movies and 7,500 episodes of TV, which is extremely impressive.
Not every show and movie owned by Disney will be immediately available in the Disney+ library due to various rights issues and licensing agreements still in place with other platforms, but the aim is for the streaming service to be the ultimate and completely comprehensive home of the company's historic output.
Here is a more detailed look at what we know will be available on Disney+ on the day of launch, both new and old.
- This Page: New Original Content
- Page 2: Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, The Simpsons, and the Rest of Disney's Catalog
Arguably the most anticipated original Disney+ series of the lot, The Mandalorian represents the historic first step into live-action television for Star Wars (not including the ill-fated Star Wars Holiday Special or Ewok Adventure TV movies). With Jon Favreau (The Lion King) and Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) at the helm, the directors attached to the first season include Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi and actress Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). Set before the rise of the First Order and after the fall of the Galactic Empire, the series will follow a lone gunfighter "in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic". The all-star cast includes Pedro Pascal in the lead, as well as Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, and none other than Werner Herzog. The Mandalorian will be available on Disney+ for its November 12th launch.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
When the Disney Channel screened the TV movie High School Musical in 2006, few could have predicted how big a deal it would be. It became the most watched Disney Channel Original Movie upon its premiere, its soundtrack was the highest selling album of the year, it spawned two sequels (one of which got a theatrical release), and it helped to make Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens bona fide stars. The ten-episode scripted series that will premiere on Disney+ has been described as a meta take on the material, centering on a group of students who are performing their own production of High School Musical. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will be available on Disney+ for its November 12th launch.
Disney/Pixar Animated Shorts
Disney got its start as a company making animated shorts and that tradition has continued throughout their many decades of business, winning them many Oscars and introducing future animation stars to the world. Disney+ will be home to many new animated shorts from the company: These include SparkShorts, the short films of Pixar, "designed to discover new storytellers and explore new storytelling techniques from across the studio"; and Forky Asks a Question, a series of shorts focusing on the newest star of the upcoming Toy Story 4. (Lamp Life, another Toy Story shorts series, this time focusing on the return of Bo Peep and filling in on where she's been since Toy Story 2, will premiere at a later date).
The Good Place and Frozen star Kristen Bell will be the executive producer on this documentary about a group of former high school musical cast members who reunite to perform the shows they did as teenagers. Imagine High School Musical with a nostalgic twist. Encore! promises help from Broadway's best and big performances of some musical classics. Encore! will be available on Disney+ for its November 12th launch.
Untitled Walt Disney Imagineering Documentary Series
The work of Disney’s Imagineers has helped to craft decades of the company’s most beloved and iconic theme park attractions. With Disneyland and its various theme park siblings launching into a new era of industry-wide domination thanks to the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, it makes sense that Disney+ would want to focus in on that work, if only for promotional purposes (it's also a proud part of Disney's history as Walt Disney himself would present television specials that promoted the park and his various enterprises, winning him a few Emmys along the way). This documentary promises to chronicle over 65 years of Walt Disney Imagineering, with new behind-the-scenes footage of Disney's parks and interviews with the people who made them. The currently untitled documentary will be available on Disney+ for its November 12th launch.
Marvel’s Hero Project
The series, produced by Marvel New Media in partnership with MaggieVision Productions, will focus on the real-life young heroes making a difference in their towns and communities, with Marvel celebrating the good work they do. It's another example of Marvel's growing influence, not to mention how Disney+ will allow them to dominate outside of cinema. The series will be available to view at launch.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Beloved actor Jeff Goldblum has giddily embraced his meme status over the past few years, and now Disney+ is taking advantage of that with the wonderfully titled series The World According to Jeff Goldblum. The show will follow Goldblum as he goes full Bill Nye in explaining the wonders of science, history and the stories behind the familiar objects that fill our lives. The series will be available to watch on launch.
Lady & The Tramp
Disney continues its recent tradition of live-action remakes of animated classics, with this take on the 1955 film being the first exclusive to debut on the streaming service. Lady & the Tramp will be directed by Charlie Bean (The Lego Ninjago Movie) and has a screenplay by indie icon Andrew Bujalski (Support the Girls). The voice cast includes Thor: Ragnarok's Tessa Thompson as Lady and The Leftovers' Justin Theroux as Tramp. The dogs won't be CGI here. It's all real and highly trained canines in the main roles. Lady & the Tramp will premiere with the service's launch.