Once upon a time, I made a wish upon a star.
I wished for the ability to watch classic Disney movies whenever I wanted, without waiting for them to “come out of the vault” — whatever that means — or shelling out $20 per movie and needing to find a place to store discs in my crowded living room.
Disney has granted my wish this week with the launch of Disney+, its streaming service with hundreds of classic movies, cartoon TV shows and no shortage of awesome Marvel and Star Wars movies and shows too.
I’m happy to report that it’s “so far, so good” as far as Disney+ goes. It’s definitely worth the $7 per month with all the classics right now and it’ll be an even better deal when all the original, exclusive shows go live.
I pre-ordered the service, because of course I did, did you not read my first sentence? I love Disney movies. My fondest memory from high school is my school newspaper group singing along to “The Lion King,” and I went to see “Moana” in the theater.
While I wasn’t one of the millions of people who stayed up to midnight to download it immediately, it was pretty much the first thing I did Tuesday morning, legitimately setting it to download while I brushed my teeth.
There were a couple hiccups right away. It didn’t load until later in the afternoon. That’s probably a good thing though, as I did have to work.
The first thing I did when I got it working was go through and add a ridiculous number of movies to my “watchlist,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
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The browsing function seems to show a lot of the same shows over and over, kind of like scrolling through Hulu, but the search function was great. It was easy to search by character and find what you wanted, even if you didn’t remember the exact title of the second “Captain America” movie.
When I got home, rather than going the classic route many others have tread by watching Steamboat Willie whistle his way down the river, I watched a Disney movie I’ve wanted to watch for years, but never gotten around to because I was too cheap to shell out $5 to rent it: “Wreck-It Ralph.” It’s adorable and I’m very glad I took the time to watch it.
The Disney streaming service does seem to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for a lot of people when it comes to the number of video streaming services available. Social media has been peppered this week with memes about cable and what the difference is between paying one cable bill compared to six or seven streaming service bills.
The difference, to me, is obvious. First of all, I can watch what I want, when I want, rather than when some TV executive decides it should air. Second, there are no commercials. I am only too happy to throw an extra $5 toward Hulu to go ad-free and Netflix has never had ads.
Third, and most important for me, streaming services let us pick and choose what we want in a way cable just doesn’t.
As someone who lives and breathes harsh reality at work all day, I’m no fan of gritty realism. My job is true crime; I don’t need to watch it when I get home.
And frankly, I get too annoyed by unrealistic portrayals of courtrooms and journalists to watch most dramas. “How To Get Away With Murder” completely lost me when someone was accused of murder and went to trial in the same week.
The only drama I watch on a regular basis is “Grey’s Anatomy” and that’s because I know nothing about how things actually work in a hospital, but I enjoy the idea that doctors spend all their free time talking about their personal drama.
This means that I’m not signing up for Tru TV any time soon. I’m also a very casual sports fan, so I won’t be shelling out for ESPN. I only wanted HBO for “Game of Thrones” so I only paid for it when the show aired. I don’t care for most CBS shows, so I’m not signing up for its streaming service either.
Instead, I pay for just what I want, which adds up to about $30 per month for my entire household.
Jourdan Vian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.