Everything you need to know about Netflix's big new rival, Disney+

  • TECH
  • Saturday, 31 Aug 2019

The Lion King is among countless Disney hits to begin streaming for Disney+ subscribers when the platform launches in select countries around the world in November. — Disney Enterprises/dpa

The Lion King, the films from the Marvel universe and the entire Star Wars franchise are among countless Disney hits to begin streaming for Disney+ subscribers when the platform launches in select countries around the world in November.

The arrival of Disney+ will kick off a new era in streaming when it crashes into a field of established stand-alone services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now.

Also entering this ever-expanding arena are brand-new services from Apple (Apple TV+) and WarnerMedia (HBO Max).

With family-friendly films and TV shows from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar and National Geographic slated for its expansive library, Disney+ is expected to be a formidable player in the streaming wars.

Here's everything we know about Walt Disney Co.'s direct-to-consumer streaming service so far.

What is Disney+?

Disney+ is Disney's ad-free streaming service, launching Nov 12 in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. The service will later launch in Australia and New Zealand on Nov 19.

It will be the streaming home for movies and TV shows from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and more. The library will include animated classics, recent releases and original content.

How much is it?

In the United States, Disney+ is set to cost US$6.99 (RM29.46) a month or US$69.99 (RM294.92) a year, while views in Europe (Netherlands) are set to be able to sign up for €6.99 (RM32.53) a month or €69.99 (RM325.75) a year.

Disney also will offer the service in a bundle along with content provider Hulu (with ad support) and sports channel ESPN+ for US$12.99 (RM54.73) a month. International pricing will differ.

How can you watch it?

The Disney+ app will be available on a variety of smart TVs and connected TV devices, such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku. It also will be accessible via iOS devices, Android phones and gaming consoles such as XBox One and PlayStation 4. Notably absent from the list of devices that will support Disney+ at launch are Amazon Fire and Fire TVs.

What can you watch on it?

Disney has said the service will host more than 7,500 television episodes, 400 older films and 100 recent theatrical releases in its first year. Also during this first year, Disney+ is slated to release more than 25 original series and 10 original films, documentaries and specials.

What original TV series have been announced?

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier (fall 2020): An MCU series, set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, following Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes (aka Winter Soldier). They are two of Steve Rogers' (aka Captain America) closest friends.

WandaVision (spring 2021): A show about Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch), played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Vision, played by Paul Bettany. The show also will introduce MCU fans to the grown-up Monica Rambeau, played by Teyonah Parris. A much younger Monica made her MCU debut in 2019's Captain Marvel.

Loki (spring 2021): The god of mischief will be the focus of this series, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the fan-favourite villain Loki.

Hawkeye (fall 2021): The show that will introduce Kate Bishop (whom comic book fans also know as Hawkeye) to the MCU. Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton also will be there.

Star Wars / The Mandalorian (available at launch): Set somewhere in the outer reaches of the galaxy, some time between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order – meaning between the events of Return Of The Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian is a space western starring Game Of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal as the titular blaster-slinger. Written and executive produced by Jon Favreau, the show is the first live-action Star Wars spinoff series. The cast also includes Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte. Dave Filoni, known for his work in Star Wars animation, is the director of the first episode.

Alongside 30 seasons of the The Simpsons and numerous original films, Disney+ will be the exclusive streaming home for all of Disney's theatrical releases beginning in 2019, starting with Captain Marvel, which will be available at launch.

Other recent releases headed to the platform include Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4 and The Lion King, as well as the upcoming Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. – Los Angeles Times/dpa

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