Plans were made for Disney Plus to launch in Ireland, among other European countries such as Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany, on March 24th way back in January. The Disney bosses could have never have known that all of these countries would be in lockdown by then but it does feel like twistedly perfect timing. All the films and TV series on the platform are uplifting, comforting watches that can provide perfect escapism and entertainment for viewers – exactly the type of content many consumers are searching for during this crisis. Viewers who are looking for anything more mature or dark are in entirely the wrong place. Disney Plus is simply only suitable for kids and adults who are still kids at heart.
The choice of content is impressive: every Disney princess, Star Wars and Marvel film is at your disposal on the platform. There are some surprise inclusions too like Avatar or The Simpsons. Disney’s recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox has made this possible. Now, many European viewers have the chance to watch some of the original TV series on the platform, like The Mandalorian or High School Musical: The Musical series. However, all the episodes for both series are not available yet as they are in the process of being released weekly.
Since the launch of Disney Plus in select European countries, the app has reportedly been downloaded 5 million times. This does not mean there are actually 5 million new subscribers to the service but it promises that it has been successful. It will be interesting to see if Disney Plus poses any threat to Netflix, the long reigning leading streaming service, in the coming years. Its primary focus on family friendly content is likely what will prevent this as Netflix will continue to cater for a wider demographic of viewers.
Brigid Molloy – Film & TV Editor