Disney Plus finally launched today, and there’s lots of buzz about the selection of Marvel movies and shows, and the excitement of Disney finally “unlocking the vault” and letting their classic movies stream on demand. You probably already have, or plan on getting, the 6.99 a month (69.99 a year) service for exclusive tv shows like Star Wars: The Mandalorian, or the live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp that debuts with the streaming service. And while those weren’t selling points for me, I had to take a look at what Disney Plus had, and found a treasure trove of mostly forgotten childhood TV shows and movies.
Maybe it’s obvious that Disney Plus has my childhood favorites. Until now, though, I didn’t have a reliable way to stream Darkwing Duck, Ducktales or The Adventures of Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers –which is something I didn’t even know I wanted until now. And shows that I never got a chance to see the entirety of when I was a kid, like cartoon series Gargoyles, that Disney + is giving me a chance to binge.
And imagine my delight when I rediscovered movies that I used to constantly rent on VHS as a kid. It’s been decades since I watched classic sci-fi film Flight of the Navigator—about a boy and his spaceship– and even longer since I saw sci-fi space disaster film The Black Hole.
There are even some classic stinkers, like The Rocketeer and the (best) forgotten Christopher Lloyd vehicle Camp Nowhere. And included are a load of forgotten classics like Davey Crockett and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
The Three Caballeros is something I haven’t even thought about since I was a kid, and I discovered that it now has its own TV series.
There are more than great obscure classics, though. Disney+ snatched up some of the content that Hulu lost. The entirety of The Simpsons is able to be streamed from Disney+. My wife, who’s a Pixar nerd, was delighted to find all their feature films as well as the shorts, as well as a robust documentary section full of nature and behind-the-scenes gems to explore.
If you want to watch Disney Plus, you have a ton of options. There are apps for iPhone and Android, or you can stream it directly from a supported web browser. Those who watch Disney Plus using a Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, etc. should have no problem finding the app for their preferred device, since many seem to be supported at launch. If you’re unsure, you can check out this handy list to see if your device is supported (https://help.disneyplus.com/csp?id=csp_article_content&sys_kb_id=eac89167db3048900a2af56e0f96193b)
The ways you can browse Disney+ are actually pretty robust. Not only are there the normal ways you’d expect to be able to browse—by movies, tv shows, etc. But you can filter your selections by Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. But even more than that, if you click “search” it brings up the usual search bar, but also lists collections like “Disney Through the Decades” that breaks down its films and shows by decade, or “Marvel Animation” that features animated versions of the heroes you love. The more you explore the various collections, the more gems you’ll find—everything from Davy Crockett to Silly Symphonies and both Fantasia films.
Disney+ comes out of the gate with 4K and HDR support, but the movies available are extremely lacking, with only 10 titles available at launch.
I’m sure you have a ton of streaming services already. I get it, you don’t want to add another. Well, you can package Disney Plus with Hulu (and ESPN) to get a better price—but Disney Plus is worth it, even without that package.
Disney Plus has a great selection, and while I’m not drawn to the service by Marvel and Star Wars, there are plenty of great things to watch even outside of the obviously Disney fare. Disney Plus is a pleasant surprise, and a welcome addition to my streaming services. Now excuse me while I binge the entire X-Men animated series from the 90s.