If by some miracle you’ve managed to avoid any discussion about the streaming wars, know this: After months of anticipation, they officially broke out on November 1 when Tim Cook & Co. launched the Apple TV+ service with a small, strange slate of original programming. Things escalated last week with the unveiling of details around AT&T WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, which arrives in May and will host a sizable back catalog of Warner Bros. movies and TV in addition to tons of new shows.
But the biggest buzz has been around the Disney/Fox conglomerate’s gladiator in this death match: Disney+, which enters the arena on November 12 and reportedly already has more than a million subscribers in the US. What will those subscribers get when the service debuts? Virtually every movie Disney’s ever released except Song of the South (great news for fans cinematic masterworks as That Darn Cat! and The Black Cauldron); 15 years’ worth of National Geographic documentaries; almost all of the Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar stuff; and a batch of new content that will only metastasize in the coming months.
HOWEVER, unless you’re Star Wars obsessed, you might want to wait a bit to see how Disney+ shakes out. On launch day, only a single episode of The Mandalorian will be available for viewing, with additional episodes dropping weekly. Other new stuff includes a “live action” Lady and the Tramp, a Christmas movie with Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader, a hard-hitting sex-crimes procedural from Pixar called Forky Asks a Question, a Kristen Bell-hosted musical-theater reality show, and some other crappy-sounding crap.
As for The Mandalorian? Well... it does look pretty cool. With a serious cast (Pablo Pascal! Werner Herzog?) and absurd production values, it could be the bounty-hunter space western of your dreams. And there’s tons more on the way, including some promising-sounding Marvel shows and plenty of junk for kids. Sooner or later, you’re going to succumb to Disney+ whether you like it or not. Why not resist as long as you can?