Having bounced into Australian and New Zealand televisions in the last week, Disney Plus stuck the landing like a gymnast determined on getting that gold. But after syphoning through their back catalogue of superhero films, Mickey Mouse originals and Nicholas Cage classics, does Disney Plus live up to the hype?
Disney Plus is perfect for children, former children, stoners and anyone that hasn’t been riddled with irony poisoning.
After spending the last four days consuming as much Disney Plus as possible, it’s fair to say that this is hands down the goofiest streaming platform available and I love it. I could bang on about the user-friendly interface, but if you can use Netflix, you can use this. It ain’t hard.
Let’s talk about the cool stuff.
I’m going to level with you all… Disney Plus is the stoner couple’s dream streaming platform. Nothing spells a good evening in like rewatching the likes of Inspector Gadget, Flubber, or either of the National Treasure movies after, *ahem*, indulging. Have you watched a Nicholas Cage movie, high? It’s a life-altering experience. I don’t know how his eyebrows seem to maintain a level of autonomy from the rest of his face and what on earth his hair line is doing but by God, I could not keep my eyes off the screen.
In fact, one of the amazing features of Disney Plus is its ability to remind you just how many Disney movies there are and have been. I’d entirely forgotten about low-key classics like My Favourite Martian, Dr. Dolittle, and the original Muppets movie. There are also all the original Mickey Mouse shorts, and those are worth a watch if only to see how times have changed. Some of Disney’s older features have very questionable stereotypes but don’t act too surprised, Walt Disney was a notorious anti-semite. Good thing he died when he did otherwise he may have destroyed his own legacy.
But I digress.
The Star Wars franchise is there in all its glory, with Disney Plus launching its original content feature with the Star Wars series The Mandalorian to considerable praise. The Mandalorian has more depth, detail, and world-building in its first 3 episodes than The Phantom Menace did in the whole movie, but I suppose that’s not too difficult. With only three episodes released, The Mandalorian is well on its way to becoming the best Star Wars story since the original three movies. And yes, I will fight you on it. In the street. With E-11 Blaster Rifles.
The entire Marvel back catalogue is also in attendance. The Marvel franchise is undeniably a cornerstone of the Disney Plus brand, but as a man who can take or leave a Marvel movie (I got burnt out after the 19th Avengers movie) I found you don’t need to be a raving Ironman fan to relish in Disney Plus; it survives perfectly fine without it.
There are a few glitches, however. On its first weekend in Australia, Disney Plus was incredibly slow and at peak times (4:20pm-10pm) it was almost unwatchable. If I left a movie paused for too long I would have to close the app and start again, but I have faith these bugs will be ironed out. I assumed this was all related to an insane amount of traffic given how new and shiny it is, and I’m sure this will be rectified in no time. Having the entire Simpsons back catalogue on the platform is enough to keep me patient, anyway.
The Disney brand has always had a strong vision and their streaming service holds true to that. The platform isn’t littered with true crime documentaries, poorly constructed hip-hop biopics or eighty episodes of World War II In Colour… it’s nearly all goofy, unbridled, and often musical silliness. Put the naturally occurring cynicism aside for just a tad, and remember what it’s like to be a child again.
All in all, Disney Plus provides something that Netflix, Stan, and Amazon don’t: pure fun. At $8.99/per month, it’s a cheap way to walk down memory lane; to be reminded of a time when climate change wasn’t really a thing, your parents were still together, and movie theatres had more than two flavours of slushie. Combine all these ingredients and you get one big bowlful of “Deserved Hype” Stew.
Roll a fat one, turn on Disney Plus here, and remind yourself of the day they almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.