Disney’s Streaming Service Will Be More than Mickey Mouse

More details have been revealed about the streaming service Disney plans to launch in late 2019. In a bid to become a key player in the streaming arena, Disney will go head-to-head with the likes of Hulu and Netflix with content that goes far beyond Mickey Mouse cartoons.

Disney is making moves to enhance its position, including taking back the streaming rights to its movies and TV shows from Netflix and other streaming services. That list now includes 20th Century Fox movies, Fox TV shows, Pixar films, and content from Lucasfilm. Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox last year not only expanded its library but raised the company’s stake in Hulu to majority status. Not all Fox films will be available on the new service as Disney plans to keep the service wholesome by not showing R-rated titles. Instead, R-rated content — the Netflix Marvel show, Jessica Jones, Deadpool, Alien, and others — will stream on Hulu.

The new service will be added alongside current Disney streaming apps such as Disney Now but will be all-inclusive and feature exclusive access to most Disney and Fox titles, including those movies it has taken back from Netflix.

Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger talked about the media empire’s move to embrace new distribution of the classic Disney library and more at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles. "At some point, we felt it would be necessary for us to not only be disrupted, but to disrupt our business ourselves.”

That disruption will include a significant commitment to original programming. According to Deadline Hollywood, Disney is committed to producing four to five original movies and five TV series in the first year. Priority projects include live action titles Don Quixote from screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Philips, The Last Tycoon), Lady and the Tramp, The Paper Magician, 3 Men and a Baby, Sword and the Stone, Timmy Failure, and Togo. Jon Favreau was also signed to write and produce a new Star Wars series.

Even without the new original programming, Disney’s library is vast and includes content released under Walt Disney Studio and Walt Disney Productions, starting with the 1937 animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There are a number of classic animated films from Fantasia to Dumbo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Lion King, Pocahontas, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, and dozens more. The 2006 acquisition of Pixar studios brought more classic animated movies into the fold, including the Toy Story films, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Wall–E, Coco, Cars, Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille, and more. When you add in the 20th Century Fox animated titles — Ice Age, How to Train a Dragon — one has to wonder if there will be any way to watch an animated film other than on Disney’s new service.

A number of classic live-action titles will also be among the exclusive content offered by the new Disney service. Some of the Walt Disney titles that won’t be available elsewhere include Mary Poppins, Herbie, The Absent-Minded Professor, Flubber, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Sister Act, Father of the Bride, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Rocketeer, The Mighty Ducks, and many more.

The Disney library grows more when the 20th Century Fox library is factored in. Among these titles is Avatar, Titanic, Sound of Music, Die Hard, Planet of the Apes, Night at the Museum, The Greatest Showman, Murder on the Orient Express, the Kingsman, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Post, Cast Away, The Martian, X-Men, Home Alone, and Planet of the Apes. When the service launches, it may be the only place to stream Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies. Fox TV shows from The Simpsons to 24 and Hill Street Blues will also be part of the streaming choices.

The library gets even bigger with content from Marvel Studios, which Disney acquired in 2009. Everything from Iron Man and The Hulk to the new blockbuster Black Panther and the upcoming Infinity War will be part of the Disney stronghold.

When the Disney streaming service launches next year, there will be so many titles, it may be hard to avoid subscribing to the service. Unless, of course, you own the movies and TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray. The titles on Netflix aren’t gone yet, so now is the chance for your kids to watch Moana, Finding Dory, and Zootopia.

mtymous1's picture


pw's picture

I think The Mouse now owns the majority stake in Hulu or will shortly..

outsidepanic's picture

Is it official that the Marvel shows on Netflix will be moving to Hulu? In December Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos stated that they would not be leaving.

ivoryhoward's picture

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