We are less than 24 hours until the launch of the much anticipated Disney+ streaming service. While most of the titles that will be released at the launch will be an abundant amount of back catalog items from Disney and Fox, there will be a healthy amount of original content for viewers to watch. While The Mandalorian is probably the most anticipated original content that Disney+ is offering in its initial launch. The other original content offered will be a pleasant surprise for the casual fan. Here’s a guide of some of the original content that will be available at launch along with my thoughts after watching the screeners.
Executive producer Kristen Bell brings together former castmates of a high school musical, tasking them with re-creating their original performance in high school reunion like no other. Emotions run high as the former students face faded friendships, former flames, self-doubt, and killer choreography.
Thoughts: This reality show is perfect for adult fans of the original High School Musical movies along with anyone involved in performing arts. Encore! shows the reality that not all friendships survive after high school. While I am not a big fan of High School Musical or musical shows in general, this show does a great job of balancing the focus of the show on the castmates and the production.
Episode 1 “Annie” will premiere on the Disney+ launch of Nov. 12 followed by Episode 2 “Beauty and the Beast” will premieres on Nov. 15.
Marvel’s Hero Project
The series, produced by Marvel New Media in partnership with MaggieVision Productions, reveals the remarkable, positive change several young heroes are making in their own communities. These young heroes have dedicated their lives to selfless acts of bravery and kindness, and now, Marvel celebrates them as the true Super Heroes they are.
Thoughts: Marvel’s Hero Project is great for families and young adults to see how amazing some young adults are. It’s a great educational series that expose the audience how young adults can make a positive impact on their communities. In the first two episodes you are introduced to Jordan and Elijah who take on challenges in their life and find ways to help others in their same position. I highly recommend this series for every family with young children, it will expose them how they can make a positive impact in their community.
Episode 1 “Sensational Jordan” will premiere on Nov. 12 followed by Episode 2 “Incredible Elijah” on Nov. 15, and Episode 3 “Unstoppable Adonis” on Nov. 22
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
In this new 12-part series, Jeff Goldblum takes us on an entertaining, insightful and playful ride! In each episode he pulls on the thread of a deceptively familiar object to unravel a world of astonishing connections, fascinating science and history. From sneakers, ice cream, coffee and cosmetics to everything in between, Jeff uncovers how even the simplest things have incredible, sometimes whimsical back stories. Through the prism of Jeff’s always inquisitive and highly entertaining mind, nothing is as it seems in this new series.
Thoughts: Without a doubt this was my favorite original content I got to screen. The World According to Jeff Goldblum takes a traditional concept and puts the wonderful mind of Jeff Goldblum together. What I originally thought was going to more of a foodie show totally changed that in the first five minutes with Jeff diving into the world of sneakers. Jeff brings his unique way of attaining knowledge no matter if it is the process of making and selling shoes or the complex world of ice cream. Anyone who enjoys learning about random topics will be addicted to this show.
Episode 1 “Sneakers” will premiere on Nov. 12 followed by Episode 2 “Ice Cream” Nov. 15, Episode 3 “Tattoos” Nov. 22, and Episode 4 “Denim” on Nov. 29.
Lady and The Tramp
In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.
Thoughts: This was a smart move on Disney to put this on their streaming service. In my opinion the story of Lady and the Tramp is one that I don’t think would resonate enough to draw big crowds to the theaters. It is a great remake of the animated classic that just like its predecessors (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, and The Lion King) keeps the original story in tact with it iconic scenes stealing the movie. Lady and the Tramp is a perfect movie to have on when family is over during the holidays.
“Lady and the Tramp” will premiere on the Disney+ launch of Nov. 12
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
The 10-episode scripted series, set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed, follows a group of students as they countdown to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” With meta references and some docu-style elements, it’s a modern take on the “classic” from 13 years ago.
Thoughts: I will be honest and say I have never watched any of the High School Musical movies before I watched this show. I know the story and concept behind the movies but I was never drawn to sit down and watch them. The good news for anyone who is like me you don’t need to have watched the movies to enjoy this show. The docu-style concept gives this show a unique vibe that makes it different enough from the movies that fans of the movies won’t feel like this is a rehash of old stuff. Most of the drama elements of the movies have been updated to modern times. Old fans of the movies along with new fans will definitely enjoy this series.
Episode 1 “The Audition” will premiere on Nov. 12 on Disney+ followed by Episode 2 “The Read-Through” on Nov. 15
The Imagineering Story
Creating happiness is hard work. This six-hour saga by Academy Award nominated director, Leslie Iwerks, chronicles the sixty-seven year history of Walt Disney Imagineering, a place best described as equal parts artist studio, design center, think tank and innovation laboratory. This is where an eclectic group of creative people bring ideas to life. They’re responsible for building twelve theme parks around the world – the Happiest Places on Earth.
Thoughts: I am a Disney nerd at heart and also a sucker for documentaries so it didn’t take much for me to get hooked into this series. The Imagineering Story takes remastered old clips from the Disney Archives and pairs them with accounts of Disney Imagineers to tell the story of “Dream to Reality”. It gives a great first hand account of the challenges Walt Disney and the Imagineers from making Disneyland to the new challenges the parks face today. Anyone who has been to the Disney Parks multiple times, Annual Passholders, D23 members will be hooked into this series.
Episode 1 will premiere on Nov. 12 on Disney+ followed by Episode 2 on Nov. 15
Forky Asks A Question
Forky, in Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” is a craft project created from trash, has important questions about how the world works, such as: What is love? What is time? And of course, the deepest question of all, What is cheese? He explores all of these questions and more in a collection of 10 shorts.
Thoughts: For those of you that have children you will relate to these animated clips. For those of you who don’t have children then let this be a lesson to the crazy questions you get asked when kids are navigating the world. While my two daughters did not really understand all the jokes or explanations during the shorts, they did enjoy seeing more of Forky and his silly ways.
“What is Money?” will premiere on Nov. 12 on Disney+ followed by “What is a Friend?” on Nov. 15
Overall, I think subscribers will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of original content Disney+ will offer in the launch of its streaming service. What do you think so far of the original content Disney+ has to offer? Let us know in the comment section below.
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