Disney+ will serve as the exclusive streaming home of The Walt Disney Company's major releases, which has proven to be their primary selling point so far. The press release makes a point of noting that all the major releases of 2019 will be Disney+ exclusives, although it does not give specific dates for their arrival on the platform. The listed recent releases include: Captain Marvel, Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Frozen 2, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Walt Disney and Pixar Animated Movies
Interestingly, Disney's press release did not state every film that will be available at launch on Disney+. Instead, they offered "a sampling of content", which included some of the biggest name properties. Key to this was, of course, Disney and Pixar's illustrious back-catalog of animated classics. Not every animated film was named, but that's not to say they won't eventually premiere or even do so on the launch day. Many of those films are still tied up in other streaming and distribution deals. The big animated films by Disney and Pixar listed on the press release are: 101 Dalmatians, A Bug's Life, A Goofy Movie (and its sequel), Bambi, Big Hero Six, Cars, Fantasia, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, Frozen, Fun and Fancy Free, Hercules, Inside Out, Lady and the Tramp, Lilo & Stitch, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Moana, Monsters University, the first volume of the Pixar Short Films Collection, Ratatouille, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Steamboat Willie, The Good Dinosaur, The Incredibles, The Prince & the Pauper, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Sword in the Stone, The Three Caballeros, Toy Story, Up, Wall-E, and Zootopia.
The Star Wars canon was always expected to be a crucial part of Disney+, although it is only with the Fox acquisition that Disney are able to offer the complete original trilogy since Fox still owned the distribution rights for the recently retitled Star Wars: A New Hope. As the press release notes, the first seven Star Wars films will be available on launch, as will Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the entire animated series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (including the revival season 7), but Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story are not currently listed.
Netflix losing the streaming rights to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is certainly a loss that will sting for the platform. Disney+ promises "unprecedented access to the best content" from brands like Marvel, although the press release only lists Iron Man and Thor: The Dark World right now. It is hoped that by the end of their first year, Disney will have the full library.
Live Action Movies and Documentaries
In addition to Disney's rich library of acquisitions and animated classics, Disney has plenty of live-action titles to show off on their streaming service. The Disney+ press release lists a handful of them: High School Musical, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Mary Poppins, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Remember the Titans, The Parent Trap (the original version), The Princess Diaries, The Rocketeer, and Tron. Their live-action output also includes several documentaries, such as Born in China and this year's Best Documentary Feature Oscar winner Free Solo (a National Geographic title that came with the Fox acquisition). Interestingly, not many Fox titles are listed here, although that is expected to change.
As part of their aim to get over 7,500 episodes of television on the platform within its first year, the TV output of Disney+ includes plenty of Disney Channel favorites, including Andi Mack, Boy Meets World, both versions of DuckTales, Goof Troop, Kim Possible, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey Mouse Shorts, Raven's Home, Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and That's So Raven.
Another key feature of their TV output is National Geographic series: Amazing Planet, Brain Games, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, Dr. K’s Exotic Animals, Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet, Drain the Ocean, Earth Live, Great Migrations, Howie Mandel’s Animals Doing Things, Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue, The Incredible Dr. Pol, Unlikely Animal Friends, and Wicked Tuna. Fox programming features briefly in the press release too, most notably Malcolm in the Middle. But the real jewel in the crown is much bigger than that.
If Disney only needed one reason to move forward with the much-discussed acquisition of Fox, then having the exclusive streaming rights to every episode of The Simpsons would certainly be a pretty good one. FXX has been hosting the show’s streaming rights for a while now, with the network launching the occasion with a marathon of every episode ever made at the time. Given the show’s popularity, its immense influence, and the sheer joy of binge-watching it, this element could very well end up being the biggest selling point of Disney+ to cynics who aren’t all that invested in the studio’s own products.