Scott D. Pierce: Is Disney+ worth $6.99 a month? Are you kidding? Of course!
(Francois Duhamel/Disney Plus via AP) Pedro Pascal in a scene from "The Mandalorian." The eight-episode show with the budget of a feature film is one of the marquee offerings of the Walt Disney Co.’s new streaming service, Disney+, which launches Nov. 12.
I’m sure there are people out there who will fork over $6.99 a month for Disney+ just to watch the first live-action “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian.”
Is the new show worth that much? I dunno. Disney didn’t preview it for critics. That used to mean that a TV show sucks, but I’m actually optimistic about this one. Even though Disney’s behavior is annoying.
But that might be the only thing that sucks about Disney+, which begins streaming Tuesday. It’s reasonably priced, has some decent original programming and includes a jam-packed library that’s simply staggering in its breadth, depth and quality.
If you set out to topple Netflix from its streaming throne, I can’t imagine a better way to do it than this.
WHAT IT COSTS • Disney+ will set you back $6.99 a month, which is cheaper than Netflix ($8.99, $12.99 or $15.99). You can also pay $69.99 for a year of Disney+ — that’s $5.83 a month, saving you $13.89. There’s also a free, one-week trial.
And you can bundle Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month, which saves you $5 a month of the cost of all three.
WHAT YOU GET • The list of movies and TV shows on Disney+ is nothing short of astonishing. There are about 500 films from Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Fox. All the “Star Wars” movies and animated series. (Well, “The Last Jedi” will start streaming in 2020.) All the Marvel superhero movies. Pretty much every Disney animated film (except, of course, for “Song of the South”). Thousands of TV episodes, including 30 seasons and 662 episodes of “The Simpsons.”
I could fill an entire print edition of The Salt Lake Tribune going on about all the great, interesting and/or entertaining things in the Disney+ library — and I’d run out of room.
All of this streams ad-free, with unlimited downloads. One account can stream on up to four devices simultaneously, and you can have as many as seven sign-in profiles.
I know I sound like a cheerleader for Disney, but … OMG!
• “Encore” is a decently entertaining reality show about adults who return to their high schools years after graduation to restage their high school musicals.
• “Forky Asks a Question” is a series of three-minute, animated shorts featuring the character from “Toy Story 4” — and it’s weirdly hilarious.
• “The Imagineering Story” takes you behind the scenes at Disney Park. I found it fascinating. (Full disclosure: My favorite Christmas gift a couple of years ago was a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World.)
• “Lady and the Tramp” is a live-action remake of the 1955 animated film. It’s pretty good, and kids (and dog lovers) will be engaged.
• “Marvel’s Hero Project” will pull at your heartstrings with its profiles of kid heroes who are given superhero alter-egos by comic book writers and artists.
• “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” follows Goldblum as he explores everything from ice cream to sneakers. If you like Goldblum, it’s fun. If you don’t like Goldblum, well, there are thousands of other offerings on Disney+.
Again, I’d love to tell you about “The Mandalorian,” but … grrrrr. No, I don’t think good or bad reviews are going to affect the appetite for the show much. No more than bad reviews will affect the box office for “The Rise of Skywalker” much. Clearly, Disney doesn’t need critics’ help with this show.
But they are quick to send us screeners when they do need our help. And it’s too bad Disney stiffs us when we could use some help. Just sayin’.