Disney was a big part of my childhood. And over time, after releasing sequels to my favorite movies and acquiring film production companies such as Pixar in 2006 and Lucasfilms in 2012, Disney managed to become an even bigger part of my childhood. But building up to the Nov. 12 release of Disney+, a new streaming service for Disney-owned content, I wasn’t that excited.
At first, just hearing that Disney+ would be offering so much content didn’t pique my interest. However, the night after the platform’s release, I watched in awe as my friend scrolled through the library. Seeing the hundreds of titles offered really resonated with me, so much so that I swear I froze and teared up a little.
Four years ago, towards the end of 2015, I set out to watch all 17 Pixar feature films released up to that point. As I eased into my goal by first watching the Pixar movies I owned, I soon realized that the challenge of my mission did not lie in finding the time to watch the movies, but in finding the movies themselves.
Over the course of a few weeks, I had sent out several calls and texts to friends and distant relatives to borrow movies but still managed to come up a few movies short of the 17. While I do pride myself on having complete sets of movie series like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings or the complete 10 seasons of Friends, it was at that point that I began to dream of one day seeing the complete set of Pixar movies stacked on the shelf below my TV.
Finally, two days ago, my dream became a reality. Or a digital reality at least.
On the streaming site, piled next to each other in a visually-appealing line of movie covers are 18 of the 21 total Disney-Pixar feature films. The only three missing from the collection are the newest films: Coco, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4.
However, Coco and Incredibles 2 will make their way to Disney+ next year after their exclusive streaming on Netflix ends. Toy Story 4 will also join them on Disney+ around early 2020 after it is first offered on DVD/Blue-Ray for a few months.
Even so, to those who have yet to see it, I can swear that the sight of a nearly-perfect collection of beloved films is nothing short of beautiful. And, on Disney+, the Pixar collection is just the beginning.
Similarly, other Disney collections come in near-perfect sets. Disney+ contains the original two trilogies of Star Wars in full, as well as the seventh movie of the saga, The Force Awakens, and the intermediate movie, Rogue One. Again, fans will have to wait until after The Last Jedi comes off of Netflix for the eighth movie of the saga to be added to the Disney+ collection after Christmas. In the realm of superheroes, 16 of the 21 Marvel films are included on Disney+, with three of the missing movies, Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok and Ant-Man and the Wasp slated to be added by the summer of next year after they too are taken off of Netflix.
While these are the popular film series that stick out, Disney+ also contains underrated collections that deserve attention. My favorite of these include Disney and Pixar animated shorts, which I believe to be one of the greatest gems in the Disney+ release.
A collection of new Pixar shorts coined SparkShorts are also available on Disney+. Produced by Pixar, SparkShorts are a series of independent animated short films created from just six months of work from Pixar’s employees and a limited budget. This new series looks to be promising. One of the shorts, Float, exemplifies the brilliance of Disney shorts from the past. Illustrating the story of a single father’s struggle to keep his son’s unique quirks hidden from the world, Float succeeded in being an emotional tearjerker in the short span of seven minutes. New, original SparkShorts include Purl, Kitbull and Smash and Grab, which also bring moral lessons to life in an entertaining and universally relatable manner.
A buzz-worthy addition is most notably, the first live action Star Wars TV-series, The Mandalorian, which has already begun to accumulate critical acclaim as well as hype for the appearance of a “baby-Yoda.” Other fresh releases include a live action version of Lady and the Tramp that likely no one asked for, but is wholesomely cute nonetheless, a cute animated series Forky Asks a Question based off the Toy Story 4 character of the same name and fun TV series Pixar: in Real Life.
This overwhelming collection of beloved, nostalgia-inducing movies and TV series is one powerful magnet. Because of the sheer volume of Disney content to this point, Disney+ already has enough content to keep users busy for years. By combining this offering with the evident promise of fresh, original and similarly high-quality content, Disney+ has established itself as a dominant future service for digital entertainment.