Just when you thought you’ve seen it all

Published 8:09 pm Friday, October 18, 2019

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Disney is trying to take over the world. The entertainment world, at least.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. They’ve been making moves for decades to be an everlasting presence in everyone’s minds, from building theme parks all over the world and hosting cable channels full of their content to buying up content they didn’t originally produce (like Star Wars) and companies that compete with them (like the recent Fox merger).

So no one should be surprised about the “Disney+” streaming service they’ll be launching on November 12. It’ll be like Netflix or Hulu but solely for Disney content. That means decades worth of movies you fondly remember watching as a child along with new television shows they’re developing which, ironically, won’t require a television screen to watch.

This past week, Disney released a list of the full slate of content they’ll be offering, starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (first released in 1937) to The Mandalorian… which I think is something in the Star Wars universe, but honestly, I have no clue. There’s too much to keep up with these days.

I scrolled through the ridiculously long list, which at times felt like a very long stroll down memory lane. All of my favorite features from the 1990’s (like Mulan, Hercules, and The Lion King) are there, along with several earlier animated films I still have on VHS, collecting dust somewhere in my parents’ house.

The list also has several TV series I used to enjoy as a young child, such as Boy Meets World, Recess, and X-Men. And no, it doesn’t stop there. All the “Disney Channel Original Movies” are listed too, which means you can sing along to High School Musical and its sequels as many times as you want.

Additionally, I can’t believe there’s like five different animated Spiderman series on this list. Society really has always been obsessed with super heroes.

There is an astounding amount of titles, however, that I’ve never heard of before. Perhaps older people will remember the movies from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s but some of these apparently weren’t popular enough to hang around in pop culture like the animated movies. Though I can’t imagine why movies with titles like “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (1969) and “Justin Morgan Had a Horse” (1972) aren’t instant classics???

Going through the list certainly was fun, but in the end, I won’t be paying a subscription to join Disney+ next month. My only internet access at home is through my phone, and so I don’t pay for streaming services I won’t be able to use often. I’ll continue to get all my entertainment access the old-fashioned way: from the TV, the movie theater, DVDs, or a good old book.

While I might be in the minority for this way of thinking, I do know I’m not alone. Studio Ghibli, the production company behind famous Japanese movies like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” is a rare hold-out that’s refused to allow their content on streaming services. And that’s even after they’ve collaborated with Disney on multiple occasions to bring their movies to the United States. You can watch their films on DVD or in rare theatrical screenings because, as the company stated, they believe that the presentation of the movie is just as important as the movie itself.

There will probably be a lot of Disney content I won’t get to see anymore. But I’m okay with that. I enjoy rewatching an old favorite as much as anyone else, but nostalgia isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. I can live my life just fine without ever seeing Old Yeller again. I think I’d rather just watch new stuff elsewhere.

There are more entertainment options out in the world besides Disney (despite Disney’s best efforts to purchase all of those other non-Disney things). So y’all can have fun when the digital Disney vault opens up on November 12. But I’ll be over here watching something else.

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.