Disney+ Hotstar: Yay or nay? Malaysians have mixed reactions over new streaming service

Some of the special effects for 'The Mandalorian' were done by Malaysians. We can finally watch the series when Disney+ Hotstar launches on June 1. Photos: Handout

Malaysians have another outlet for entertainment with the introduction of streaming service Disney+ Hotstar starting from June 1.

Soon after this news was announced during The Walt Disney Company Virtual Media Day earlier today (May 4), @GeeksinMalaysia tweeted: “Looks like we finally have our answer to the age old question. June 1st. Oh how we've waited for this moment....”

With the tagline “The home of global and Malaysian hits”, Disney+ Hotstar has massive content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars, as well Asian stuff and exclusive Malaysian shows.

Its library has over 18,000 episodes which includes Disney+ Originals like The Mandalorian, WandaVision, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and Loki as well popular TV series like Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy and The Walking Dead.

Malaysian actress Amelia Henderson, who was present virtually during the media event, said that she’s looking forward to WandaVision.

“I heard so many good things about WandaVision. And I really want to watch Loki too, ” Henderson mentioned.

Subscribers will also have access to blockbusters films such as Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Mulan, The Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen, Moana, Soul, The Incredibles 2, Finding Dory and the recent Oscar-winning Nomadland.

Film buff Sebastian Kang, 32, told StarLifestyle that he would subscribe to Disney+ Hotstar come June, even though he is already subscribing to Netflix, another international streaming service.

Kang explained: “I do welcome this new streaming platform. Mainly because I don’t foresee myself going to the cinemas as there aren't many great movies being released at the moment. Plus I feel safer watching movies via streaming services at home.

“With both Netflix and Disney+, my weekends at home will be occupied with enough entertainment.”

From the Malaysian film industry point of view, producer Datuk Norman Abdul Halim of KRU Entertainment said: "This is good news for the industry.

"There will be more opportunities for production services and licensing activities. This will create more jobs and the hope to enable Malaysian IP to travel worldwide."

But not everyone is thrilled with the new service.

While Disney+ Hotstar offers Chinese movies and series (Ip Man 4: The Finale, Infernal Affairs), Tamil movies (Vishwaroopam, Maari) as well as exclusive and general Malaysian content (J2: J Retribusi, KL Special Force, Ejen Ali, Upin & Ipin, Munafik), it has no Korean content, a favourite with Malaysian viewers these days.

K-drama ardent fan Nurul Tahirah, 22, is not keen on this upcoming streaming service as of now.

"I don't feel the need to subscribe to Disney+ as there is no Korean content there," said Nurul who is subscribing to three Asian-based streaming services already which have chock-full of Korean dramas.

"As it is I have no time to watch all the K-dramas I want to see in a day," she continued.

Meanwhile Mohd Kamal concurred he's not interested in Disney+ either as he can't afford to sign on to another service.

"I will just stick to watching to the services I have now, or just watch various videos on YouTube channel," the 26-year-old said.

Disney+ Hostar is priced at RM54.90 for three months through direct subscription.

The service is also accessible to Astro subscribers.

Astro’s Movies Pack customers can stream Disney+ Hotstar for an additional RM5 per month while non-Movies Pack customers can sign up via other promotions.

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Disney+ Hotstar , WandaVision , Mulan , Netflix


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