By Sophie Fennelly
Considering we are all cooped up in the house, Disney Plus seems to have come to the UK just at the right time. Knowing it was likely, I would need some entertainment I signed up and have to say that I have been very impressed with the experience so far. But, as many of us already have subscriptions to other streaming services such as Netflix, the idea of paying for another, especially when this seems to have such niche content, may seem like a waste of money. I have to admit that even I was a little apprehensive at first, but I have been pleasantly surprised.
The first thing that struck me when I first started looking through the content was the breadth of what was available: not only are classic Disney films available but also Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and The Simpsons. It’s not just the ‘classic’ films either; even some movies are so old, I did not even realise they were Disney films. It seems that pretty much everything Disney has ever made, including their Disney channel shows, are available. However, it is not just old content. Disney is also creating new content that is only available through Disney Plus, such as a live-action ‘Lady and the Tramp’, or ‘The Mandalorian’ which is a series based around the Star Wars universe and that features so-called ‘Baby Yoda’. It is also rumoured that Disney will be releasing films to the streaming service at the same time they become available in cinemas, although this has not been confirmed. So, it is safe to say that on the content side of things, Disney Plus has a vast range.
My main qualms with the service are based on its interface which, although it appears to be similar to that of other streaming services like Netflix, is much less sophisticated. Unlike other services, Disney Plus seems to only keep TV shows in your ‘continue watching’ if you are part way through an episode, regardless of where you are in the series, meaning you have to keep track of what you are watching. Similarly, if you are scrolling through what is available and want some more information or to add something to your list you have to click on something rather than hovering on it, causing you to lose your place when you return to the home page. I also think that the service could benefit from allowing you to create multiple lists, rather than just a watchlist. Although this is not standard with streaming services, it would be fitting for this one as many users will have watched the content before, and so are more likely to use the service to re-watch content. This is where Disney differs from other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, which is a constant machine of original series and films. Therefore, many users could benefit from the option to create their own lists, for example, ‘childhood favourites’. Yet, it is worth bearing in mind that this is a new streaming service, and so it is not unlikely that Disney will be happy to respond to consumer feedback and make these changes.
Altogether I would highly recommend Disney Plus as its wide range of content and low price of £5.99 per month. This means that it is a strong competitor to other streaming platforms, but also because, at least for me, Disney provides a feeling of comfort that is needed now more than ever.