Disney Plus has been able to establish itself as one of the most well-liked streaming services in the world in large part because to enduring properties like “The Avengers” and “Star Wars,” as well as the company’s vast collection of animated masterpieces.
Since its debut, Disney Plus has also increased the variety of its original programming by adding Marvel programs like “Loki” and “WandaVision” and “Star Wars” series like “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and “The Book of Boba Fett.” Additionally, the service offers live performances by singers like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Billie Eilish, as well as original musicals like a movie adaptation of “Hamilton.”
Disney Plus is a good purchase for any viewer because to its affordable cost and illustrious library, despite the fact that the platform is obviously designed to appeal mainly to families with young children.
Disney Plus is more enticing to fans of these massive properties because of the regular release of new Marvel and “Star Wars” episodes like “Moon Knight” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” but adults who want more diversity in their media diet may want to start with choices like HBO Max, Netflix, and Prime Video.
We also highly recommend users who want Disney Plus but also want more choices to get your Hulu plan. Because its more mature programming, network shows, and sports make it the ideal companion to Disney Plus.
Disney Plus Review
Disney Plus is a serious competitor in the streaming world. Since its launch in November 2019, Disney’s streaming service has made a number of series and movies available in 4K HDR for as little as $6.99 per month, with the option to create multiple profiles and download content for offline watching.
Even if there isn’t nearly as much content as we’d like, what is available is sufficient to last for a few weeks worths of movie or TV evenings, especially if you enjoy Marvel and Pixar flicks. The Mandalorian is still the company’s top attraction, but a number of MCU TV episodes, including Loki, give the Star Wars series a run for its money. Nevertheless, the platform’s foundation is strong. It’s fair to suggest that Disney+ might have been more efficient with the turnaround on its larger originals.
What can you actually anticipate in terms of substance, then? Aside from The Mandalorian, original programming includes Star Wars: Visions, the Golden Globe-nominated Only Murders in the Building, and Marvel’s WandaVision and Hawkeye. Numerous Disney Vault classics and more recent films like Jungle Cruise are also available.
With the exception of Spider-Man: No Way Home, every Star Wars movie is available in 4K HDR, as are the majority of Pixar movies (some of which are now streamable in IMAX-enhanced mode). However, there is Lion King One and a Half, Davy Crockett, The River Pirates, Twitches 2 for every Up, Monsters Inc., and The Lion King. Disney truly committed to posting its catalog when it said it would, thus there is a lot of filler in the catalog.
The fact that you can watch on four screens simultaneously and store up to seven profiles for a single monthly subscription is what we appreciate most about the service. This makes it a terrific option for families trying to stretch their entertainment dollars.
Additionally, re-watchable children’s films like Frozen and Moana ensure that your child will always have something to watch in a pinch, while programs like The Mandalorian and The World According to Garp provide entertainment for older children. According to Jeff Goldblum give mom and dad something to watch, too.
As an alternative, parents or other adults may peruse the exclusive options on Disney Plus Star, one of the app’s six brand names, which includes productions from 20th Century Fox, FX Productions, Disney Television Studios, and more.
You’ll discover the relatively affordable Disney Plus to be a strong option to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and now Apple TV Plus that will only get better as more material comes online if you can overlook the filler and pace yourself with the fantastic stuff that’s available.
Who Is Disney Plus For?
Disney Diehards: Look, if you’ve loved Disney your entire life, you’ll probably want to subscribe to Disney Plus. It is the definitive repository for the company’s work over the last 80(!) years. Going forward it will likely be the only place for Disney exclusives and originals that you won’t anywhere else.
Sci-Fi Fanboys: Surprising audiences with the Skywalker Saga in 4K on launch day shows that Disney is taking its Sci-Fi brands seriously. If you consider yourself a Star Wars or Marvel fan, this service will basically be the well-spring of all those franchises moving forward and is well worth your subscription dollars.
Who Is Not For?
Big Time Bingers: If you know that you’re a BIG binge-watcher capable of chewing through Netflix series in a few days, Disney Plus probably won’t keep you entertained for very long. The catalog, while certainly vast, only has a few dozen really great shows and movies for each age group. With no way of telling how soon more content will be added, you could very easily find yourself without something to watch in the next two weeks.
Talk Show, Sitcom and Sports Lovers: The Disney Vault is wide and deep, but it doesn’t contain many talk shows, sitcoms or sports documentaries. It’s good, then, that Disney can be bundled with Hulu and ESPN+ in the US to fill that gap, but for other countries, this lack of specialized content could be a real deal-breaker.
Disney Plus Support Devices
Disney Plus is available on multiple devices and operating systems.
Chrome, Firefox and even Microsoft Edge have no problem running the service, while you can get the smartphone app from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Console folks aren’t missing out either, with PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and Xbox One supporting the app. However, the app is not on Nintendo Switch, despite murmurs of support coming eventually.
And what about TVs? The webOS platform for LG TVs has the Disney app already, while Android TVs (Nvidia Shield TV, Sony TVs, Hisense TVs) will be able to run Disney Plus, too. Google Chromecast, Roku streaming devices, and Apple TV also support the app. In the UK, you can also get Disney Plus on Sky Q.
As we mentioned earlier, one subscription gives you access to four simultaneous streams with seven profiles on a maximum of ten devices. During our tests we managed to use one account on multiple platforms to watch a different movie on each account at the same time, which worked exactly as you’d expect.
Content ibrary of Disney Plus
So what do you get in terms of content? Well, the big tent poles of the service are classic Disney films, classic animated films, throwback shows from the Disney Channel, original content (which we’ll talk about next) plus shows and movies from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic.
The most interesting bit, obviously, is the original content as that’s part of Disney’s strategy to eventually overtake Netflix.
At launch, there wasn’t too much of the way of original content with the real standout title being The Mandalorian that’s directed from former Marvel pioneer in director Jon Favreau. Other originals include the live action Lady and the Tramp re-make, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Encore, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Noelle and a bunch of documentaries. There’s the Pixar Spark Shorts, basically a collection of mini movies that typically air before the latest Pixar film, but only four of which weren’t available elsewhere.
Weirdly, Disney Plus also has 30 seasons of The Simpsons here, too, which could mean that Disney will use Fox’s catalog of movies and shows to fill in any gaps in its programming schedule.
It’s not just limited to TV shows, however, and one of the bigger draws is the monstrous movie catalog that goes as far back as the 1930s, with classics like Robin Hood or Cinderella as well as some of the modern remakes Disney’s produced over the last two decades.
So where’s the cutoff point in terms of new shows and movies? Well, you’ll find most things that are over six months old here. More recently, though, we’ve seen newer productions land on the streamer, including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Marvel Studios’ Eternals also arrives on January 12, 2022, so we’re getting new movies dropping on Disney Plus earlier than before.
Additionally, in February 2021, Disney Plus Star was launched on the streamer. The six brand title to be added to Disney Plus, Star is home to the streaming services’ offerings from subsidiary companies including 20th Century Studios. Currently, there are more than 280 movies and 75 TV shows to check out, which offer a more unique (and sometimes mature) slant to Disney Plus’ wide variety of content. So if you’re after something that’s Disney focused, Star is the option for you.
Quality and Viewing Experience
For most folks, Disney Plus will stream in HD/SDR that looks great on both big-screen TVs and smartphones alike. While that’s par for the course for other streaming services, it’s actually rather impressive that Disney Plus was able to pull it off considering how old some of these films and shows are, and proves that Disney has given a lot of thought to the overall picture quality of the content.
Even better, a small slice of the content pie is available in 4K/HDR and Dolby Vision and is included at no extra cost. That currently includes the entire Skywalker Saga (Episodes 1, 2 and 3, included), modern animated films like Frozen and Moana, plus remastered classics like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. Don’t go in expecting over 100 titles like you’d find on Netflix, but it’s a good start and shows that Disney is giving some serious thought to expanding its 4K HDR collection.
The obvious caveat to the above statements are that you have a stable internet connection of around 10Mbps or more and, in the case of watching 4K content, a 4K TV that has HDR support.
Unfortunately there’s no way to intentionally throttle yourself if you want to save on bandwidth usage, but Disney Plus does offer offline viewing right out of the gate. That means, if you’re on public Wi-Fi or at a friend’s with unlimited data, you can very easily stock up on shows and movies to watch when you’re back home or on a flight.
The Disney Plus app lets you indicate whether you’re using mobile data to stream or not. If you do, you’ll have the option to stream in lower quality so your precious data doesn’t instantly disappear. You’ll also get the option to download movies so you can watch them on the go without wasting data. (In this case you do get different download resolutions to choose from: Standard, Average and High. A precise resolution isn’t shown here either.)
As we mentioned earlier, a range of MCU movies are also available to stream in IMAX Enhanced Mode. This mode increases the aspect ratio of supported films to 1:90:1, which allows you to see up to 26% more of these Marvel flicks. If nothing else, it removes the black border around the screen, so you’ll definitely see more of what’s on screen for certain films. Supported movies include Avengers: Endgame, Black Panther, Shang-Chi, Iron Man, Thor: Ragnarok and Captain America: Civil War.
One small bug we’ve found is that the resume function isn’t as reliable on Disney Plus as it is on, say, Netflix, which perfectly saves your spot in a show or film down to the second. On more than one occasion we briefly stopped watching Lady and The Tramp to take a break only for the film to start from the beginning the next time we went to play it.
We’ll keep an eye on this bug as we continue to use the service but it’s worth noting that Disney Plus might not quite be up to par in the technology department as leading services like Netflix, which has zero issues saving your spot.
Calling Disney Plus an essential streaming service feels a bit pre-emptive at this point – a lot of its big originals are still awaiting release, and they’ll ultimately define the prospects of the services. That said, what’s available here is a good opening salvo against long-standing streaming titans like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and the low price tag makes it one of the most affordable of all the services available.
Because it’s available at such a low price, we absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend trying the service for at least a few weeks. Between the Marvel films, Skywalker Saga in 4K and dozens of Disney classics that will personally appeal to your age group, there’s enough here to keep you busy.
We wish there were a few newer films, more original content and a set content schedule that includes syndicated content from other places, but for fans of the House of Mouse and cord cutters looking for their next big binge, Disney Plus provides a rock-solid foundation for a service that could one day rival Netflix.