More streaming, more mouse: Disney+ debuts


Disney+ seeks its piece of the streaming pie



Two weeks after Apple TV+ joined the streaming fray, there comes another 800-pound gorilla – or in this case, mouse – into the room with the debut of Disney+.

Signing on Tuesday, Nov. 12, the new service – which costs subscribers $6.99/month or $69.99/year – will at launch offer up about a dozen original series and movies plus more than 30 other original productions to be rolled out over the next two years. That’s in addition to the more than 7,500 episodes of TV series such as “The Simpsons,” “Amazing Planet,” “Wicked Tuna” and “That’s So Raven” and the 500 or so movie titles including “Iron Man,” “Toy Story,” “High School Musical” and the first seven “Star Wars” movies that become available this week.

Speaking of “High School Musical,” that 2006 feature film is the inspiration for one of the original entries available Tuesday. “High School Musical: The Musical – The Series” is a 10-episode scripted series that follows a group of students as they prepare for opening night of their first-ever production of – well, see the title. Joshua Bassett, Olivia Rodrigo, Kate Reinders and Sofia Wylie head the cast.


“High School Musical: The Musical – The Series” premieres Tuesday on Disney+.

In that same vein on launch day is the unscripted series “Encore!” from executive producer Kristen Bell, which reunites former castmates from a high school musical and tasks them with re-creating their original performances, with all the emotions, rivalries and faded friendships that might entail.

Also starting up Tuesday is “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” in which the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor does a deep dive into such commonplace items as sneakers and ice cream and pulls up some surprising facts, revelations and histories.

If it is holiday fare you seek, the comedy movie “Noelle” stars Anna Kendrick as the title character, Kris Kringle’s daughter, who must take over the family business when her brother (played by Bill Hader) goes missing.

Other originals available on opening day include “The Imagineering Story,” a documentary series chronicling the 65-year history of Walt Disney Imagineering; “Marvel’s Hero Project,” spotlighting the difference young heroes are making in their communities; “The Mandalorian,” an action series from the “Star Wars” universe starring Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Gina Carano and Giancarlo Esposito; the animated short “Forky Asks a Question,” in which the character from “Toy Story 4” explores questions about how the world works; and the movie “Lady and the Tramp,” a retelling of the 1955 animated classic.

Later in 2019 and into 2020 and 2021, subscribers can look forward to more original fare such as “Lizzie McGuire,” in which Hilary Duff reprises her role from the 2001-04 Disney Channel kids show; “WandaVision,” starring Elizabeth Olsen in a new Marvel Studios offering from the “Avengers” franchise; “Monsters at Work,” a “Monsters, Inc.”-inspired animated series with voice work from Ben Feldman, Billy Crystal and John Goodman; “(Re)Connect,” an unscripted offering in which troubled families are forced to shut out outside distractions and devices and address their issues; and “Be Our Chef,” a competition show hosted by Angela Kinsey (“The Office”) in which contestants are tasked with preparing Disney-inspired dishes.


George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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