Disney+ Mega Movie List Is Good for Kids, Bad for Parents

Sure, you've got (most) of the entire Disney movie vault on tap for the kids now, but what about your needs?

Robert Downey Jr Iron Man epic moment
Credit: Marvel/Disney

The idea that you’re not going to subscribe to Disney+ before November 12 is kind of like saying you’re not going to let your kid ever experience rain. Of course, you are. The idea of getting nearly the entire catalog of old-school animated Disney movies, plus a ton of those weird live-action movies you used to love (anybody up to Absent Minded Professor and chill?) is too useful as a parent to resist. Oh, you want to watch Moana and the original 101 Dalmations today? Sure thing! I’ll just touch two buttons and get that queued up! But what about us? What about the parents? Is Disney+ really giving us what we need?

After a cursory look at the massive 2019 offering, the overall answer to this question is a resounding “no.” Disney+ is shaping up to be a very useful service for parents, but maybe not one that is all that exciting in terms of adult entertainment.

Now, to be fair, if you get the $12.99-a-month package deal that includes Hulu and ESPN, arguably, you’re getting a lot of adult streaming options that rival what Netflix has in its catalog. But, just in terms of the brass tacks here, it’s not like I’ve just heard of Hulu and ESPN; they’ve existed for a long time, and because my wife has a premium Spotify account, we already have Hulu, so it’s not like Disney+ is specifically doing me any favors.

Plus, though I’ve long championed the existence of Seinfeld streaming on Hulu, the fact is, in 2020, that classic show will eventually move over to Netflix. (This is kind of like The Office moving to the NBC streaming-service Peacock, too, but the less said about that, the better.) So, you can argue that the umbrella deals that involve Disney+ have great streaming adult content, but in terms of great stuff for adults on Disney+? That’s kind of a different issue.

The primary omissions here is one everyone already kind of knew about: the lack of a bunch of Marvel movies. While Disney and Marvel Studios are essentially the same thing, there are actually not that many MCU movies streaming on Day 1 on Disney+. Here are the only Marvel movies you’ll get right away:

  • Iron Man
  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain Marvel

With the exception of Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, none of these are anybody’s favorite Marvel movies. No Black Panther. No Captain America. And not a single good Avengers movie.

So, why are adults watching Disney+? Are we going to get our date night fix with Three Men and Baby? Or maybe we’re just going to watch The Rocketeer and pretend to like it as much as we did when we were in grade school? Yeah, the nostalgia is solid here, but really only relative to family entertainment and things that actively suck. (I direct you to The Santa Clause franchise and its ilk.)

The only reason adults are watching Disney+ on day one is that The Mandalorian looks like the Star Wars version of Game of Thrones. This is a fine reason to watch it. But let’s not get it twisted. Until this changes, Disney+ is something for the kids. It’s great for the kids, to be clear. But that’s pretty much it.