There’s a been a lot of talk recently of more and more streaming services joining the market of Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime. DC Comics already has their service up and running with new shows and content every week. But the one streaming service that is receiving the most buzz is the upcoming Disney+.
Essentially, Disney+ will focus on movies and TV shows for both new and existing properties, including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm (aka Star Wars). Which means we’re about to get hit with a ton of new content. While most Disney obsessed fans are stoked about this turn of events—because who doesn’t want easy access to every Disney film in existence?—I’m still a bit skeptical on what this means for the established franchises. After all, Disney technically doesn’t own Spider-Man yet and there is a lot that could go wrong with a TV series set in the Star Wars Universe.
But in an attempt to be optimistic, here’s what Disney should do with their streaming service.
Give us everything.
I mean everything. Every Walt Disney Picture, every Pixar animated short, every Studio Ghibli film, every Disney Channel show from the early 2000s. If I’m going to be paying a monthly subscription for this service, I want access to everything I haven’t been able to watch in the last decade unless I found a beat up copy from a local library. Unlock the vaults, Mickey, we want everything you’ve been hiding behind those large, white gloves.
Add new content that is good.
My biggest fear with a Disney streaming service is that it will just become a Disney Channel 2.0 with god-awful acting and lame attempts at humor. There were days when Disney Channel didn’t suffer from these horrors—or maybe my younger self didn’t mind the cheese so much—but lately, Disney Channel has been less than stellar. Yes, give us a Loki-centric TV series, but for the love of Asgard, don’t make it bad. I want depth to my story arcs and well-cast actors, especially if we’re going to have shows and movies based off Marvel superheroes and Star Wars characters. Invest in your shows, Disney, and give us good writers and special effects to lead the wave of streaming services. Prove that you don’t need Netflix to distribute your original content.
We already know of several shows and movies coming to the service, when it launches late next year, such as The Mandalorian and the long awaited season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. We’re getting Marvel shows about Loki, Scarlet Witch, and possibly the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Pixar has picked up a Monsters Inc. series and there’s talk of bringing back The Muppets and the Mighty Ducks.
It seems there is no end to the possibilities of new content, and my eight-year-old self would be thrilled that we’re finally getting a live-action Star Wars show and more superhero shows than we know what to do with. But the cynical, older me hopes that the content will be good and won’t oversaturate the market. After all, there are plenty of good Marvel TV series already out there. Which is why Disney needs to…
Bring back Marvel’s Netflix shows.
While Jessica Jones and The Punisher haven’t technically been cancelled yet, we can all guess that once their next seasons stream, both shows will get the axe like the other Marvel Netflix shows. Most recently, Daredevil was cancelled after three seasons, creating an uproar among fans. Marvel said characters like Daredevil will “live on” past Netflix, but I don’t want a new show with a new Daredevil. I want Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. Especially since one of the producers for the show said they were already planning out season four of Daredevil when the news broke of the cancellation.
These shows did a lot over the past few years, giving us the Defenders team-up and more depth to the problems people faced after the alien attack in The Avengers. Yeah, maybe Iron Fist didn’t have the best plotlines and Jessica Jones was at times hard to swallow, but these shows brought much needed diversity to the Marvel Universe (even if the movies never acknowledged them). They also brought a rawness to the otherwise optimistic universe, hinging on real world issues alongside the superpowers and team-ups, from human and drug trafficking to corruption and unethical experimentation. There’s only so much I can relate to when it comes to superpowered heroes fighting aliens and saving the galaxy, but a a guy in a hoodie and black mask micromanaging his downtrodden neighborhood? I understand that kind of motivation.
There’s hope that Disney will just move the shows over to their streaming service once their contract with Netflix ends, but it all depends on how the original contract was written and if Disney can “share” the shows, since they seem to want to be exclusive. The other issue is that Disney+ is being planned as a “family friendly” streaming service, aka no R-rated content, which would definitely rule out any of the Marvel Netflix shows. Which brings me to my last point…
When Disney purchased Fox, they received 60% ownership of Hulu. To me, it would seem logical for them to use Hulu as their base for the streaming service. They already have over 20 million subscribers ready to go and several Disney animated films were available for streaming. As a customer, I would feel more willing to hand over my money to a service that already offers tons of other non-Disney related content, including original shows. At the very least, Disney should offer some kind of discount or combination package if you already subscribe to Hulu or if you choose to subscribe to both streaming services.
There’s a lot to be expected from a Disney exclusive streaming service. While Disney+ probably won’t fulfill every desire of my princess-loving, Force sensitive, superpowered fangirl heart, they have the potential to bring a piece of the “happiest place on earth” right into our homes. Those are some big gloves to fill, Mickey.