Disney Plus in 2020 (review) – great for families, but lacking original content

Disney Plus comedy movies section stock photo

Disney Plus has been out in the wild for US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealanders, and Netherlands residents since late November. In late March, it finally expanded to India and other European countries. As a result, Disney Plus now has over 50 million subscribers in less than five months. However, is the service still worth the $6.99 a month price? Our Disney Plus review will give you our answer, based on using the service since its launch date.

Want to check out Disney Plus after reading our review? Make sure you click on the link below to sign up for the service, and be sure to sign up for the free 7 day trial. 

Disney Plus Review: Content

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If you are not a Disney fan, Disney Plus is not going to be your cup of tea. However, if you are, there’s a ton of content to dive into. Yes, that includes the very first Mickey Mouse short film, Steamboat Willie, which was released way back in 1928. In between, you can stream tons of classic and current Disney animated feature films and shorts, live-action films, and shows. A large majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are available. Nearly all of the Star Wars and Pixar movies can be streamed. If you love documentaries, there’s also a host of National Geographic movies and series to stream as well.

One thing we will mention is that there are a few movies and TV shows from the former 20th Century Fox on Disney Plus. That’s due to Disney buying the library of TV shows and movies from that studio in 2018. You can stream the entire library of episodes from The Simpsons, for instance. It also has a few family-friendly movies from Fox, like The Sound of Music and Avatar. If you live in Canada, you can even watch the majority of the Ice Age movies on Disney Plus. Canadians can also stream most of the X-Men and Fantastic Four Marvel movies from Fox that are not a part of the MCU lineup. Hopefully, those movies will become part of the US version before too long.

One criticism of Disney Plus at this stage is there is not enough content that will appeal to a more mature audience. We know that’s part of the design of Disney Plus, but we think there’s some wiggle room to add more movies and shows for older audiences, particularly from the Fox library.

See also: Disney Plus vs Netflix: Which should you choose?

Original content, or lack thereof


We knew going in that the exclusive new content on Disney Plus was going to be sparse at first.  Most of the exclusive shows and movies, like Noelle and the Lady and the Tramp remake, are geared mostly for a younger audience. Disney Plus does have quite a few original reality shows that might appeal to that audience. Our favorite is Encore, which reunites high school musical students as adults. Only the Star Wars series The Mandalorian targets an older demographic.

The good news is we will be seeing more new content coming to the service over the next year, if the Covid-19 outbreak doesn’t delay productions. That includes lots of all-new MCU TV shows and Star Wars content, including The Mandalorian season 2, which has completed filming.

User interface

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The UI of Disney Plus is very clean, with colorful images serving as menu and content selections for the smart TV and web-based apps. We like the fact that the search page also includes “collections� of various Disney Plus content. Hopefully, these will be useful for subscribers who want to dive into, say, all the Toy Story content on the service immediately. You can also just click on top to check out all of the movies and shows at once. 

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The Android mobile app has a similar UI, with a couple of differences. One is that you can download movies and shows to your device. There’s an icon at the bottom that shows which Disney Plus content you have downloaded. You can change the download video quality settings to standard, medium, or high. Obviously, the higher the quality, the more storage space it will take up on your device. Of course, you can set up your own profile, with a ton of great icons available to choose from the vast Disney library of characters. Up to five different profiles can be set up for one account.

Other positive Disney Plus features

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We love the fact that there is a wide variety of platforms available for Disney Plus at launch. That includes game consoles like the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 (although, sadly, not the Nintendo Switch). We also like that you can stream on up to four concurrent devices at once.

We like that Disney Plus supports 4K resolution and HDR for a number of its movies and shows. That includes its Marvel movies and all of the Star Wars films. We also like that the service has a variety of audio and subtitles for its content. You will need download speeds of at least 25Mbps for 4K content and 5Mbps for 1080p streaming.

We also like, in this era of Covid-19, Disney knows more families are staying home and accelerated the release of major theatrical films like Frozen II and Onward to Disney Plus. With most movie theaters still closed, Disney also decided to move one upcoming film, Artemis Fowl, out of its theatrical schedule completely. It will make its debut on Disney Plus June 12.

Things Disney Plus still needs to work on

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Perhaps the biggest issue we have with Disney Plus is its parental controls. In short, it really doesn’t have much in the way to protect kids from seeing content that’s not geared toward younger viewers. You can make a Kid’s Profile on your account which restricts the content on the service down to those appropriate for children that are 7 years old or younger. However, there’s no way to secure other profiles with things like PIN numbers, and there’s not currently any time control issues. It’s possible Disney Plus will add these features over the next few months, but for now you will definitely need to be more proactive if you have younger kids in your household.

The lack of original content on Disney Plus has been mentioned already. That problem might get even worse, as many productions that were slated to be completed in 2020 for the service have now been delayed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We suspect the summer months might be a barren wasteland in that area.

Disney Plus review: Is it worth it?

Disney Plus On Roku

Source: Roku

Overall, our Disney Plus review is positive. If you are the audience for this kind of content, we think it will be well worth your $6.99 a month. Of course, there are ways to also get Disney Plus for free. We wish it was available in more parts of the world, and we want to see more original content added to the service. Our biggest grip is the dearth of parental controls, which is strange as you would think Disney would be on top of that kind of feature.

Next: What’s new on Disney Plus

Again, if our Disney Plus review has inspired you to check the service out, you can sign up right now at the link below:

If you have tried out the service, what is your Disney review? Do you like it, or is it not for you?

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