Disney+ Day: the era of digital releases

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The live-action “Pinnochio” (2022) is releasing exclusively on Disney+ without ever hitting the box office. Photo courtesy of Disney Plus.

EVA HALLMAN | PERSONAL JOURNALIST | [email protected]

Hakuna Matatameans no worries, except for movie theaters hoping to make revenue from multiple Disney movies this year. Disney+ released 15 new shows, specials, and movies digitally on September 8.

What is Disney+ Day?

Disney+ Day is an annual event to celebrate and showcase new Disney content. The day also serves to provide unique offers to current Disney+ customers while promoting subscriptions to potential new viewers.

Outside of the in-app celebration, Disney Parks, Resorts and Cruise hosted festivities to promote Disney+ Day, with Disney+ subscribers receiving early entry to Disney parks around the world. To Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, guests received gifts such as Disney+ Day buttons and Mickey ears. Disney+ subscribers were invited to visit encounters with exclusive characters. Park guests and Disney+ subscribers were offered additional unique experiences throughout Disney+ Day.

Disney+ day recap

This Disney+ Day released content for different types of audiences.

If viewers don’t have “Let it go“Still, they surely will with the addition of the songs ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2.’ New animated shows have debuted on Disney+.”Mickey Mouse Funhouse’‘ released five episodes of its first season. “cars on the road” is an all-new original Pixar series that follows Lightning McQueen and Mater on their life is a highway adventure.

For those looking for more non-fiction content, a new National Geographic series titled “Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory” took viewers on a journey of incredible real-life animal stories. Recently, Disney+ began developing new National Geographic series and documentaries with the goal of educating viewers about history, arts, wildlife, and other real-world topics.

Brie Larson was heavily involved with Disney+ Day 2022. Larson created a hybrid docu-series, “Growing upwhich features 10 real-life coming-of-age stories. In addition, the short filmRemember also with Larson focuses on the world of the imagination with themes of where ideas come from, where they go when forgotten, and how easy it is to lose touch with the real world.

Season 31 of “Dancing with The Stars” is back Good Morning America revealed new celebrities joining the cast on Disney+ Day. “Dancing with the Stars: The Pros’ Most Memorable Dances”, a special, also premiered on Disney+ Day. The 31st season of “Dancing with the Stars” will be premiering exclusively on Disney+ September 19 at 8 p.m. ET.

Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm are “be real.” Disney+ Day has released a behind-the-scenes documentary series highlighting their most recent productions, “Thor: Love and Thunder– which was also released digitally after two months in theaters – and “Obi Wan Kenobi.” Marvel Studios has released another episode of their latest series, “She-Hulk.”

Other new releases included “Tierra Incognita», an Argentinian series of horror and mystery for children, and the premiere of «welcome to the cluba new Simpsons short.

He’s a real boy!

The pinnacle of Disney+ Day came with the digital release of “Pinnochio.” With a star cast including tom hank, Cynthia Erivo and Luke Evansfans wondered why this remake of a Disney classic wasn’t a theatrical experience.

Karlie Burkhart, a young political science student and huge Disney fan, was extremely unhappy with the immediate digital release of “Pinnochio.”

“I was really surprised to hear that they put ‘Pinnochio’ on digital instead of releasing it theatrically,” Burkhart said. “I fully expected [Disney] to put it in theaters, and I would have gone to see it if they [had].”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, digital outings have become more popular in an effort to minimize large crowds. This resulted in a negative financial impact on smaller independent movie theaters due to the lack of theatrical releases. Active moviegoers, like Burkhart, always supported local theaters before the pandemic because of Disney’s many releases.

“I try to support [movie] theaters as well by going to see those Disney movies,” Burkhart said. “I’m super excited that they’re starting to put Pixar movies back in theaters. That way I can support [local movie theaters].”

Disney enthusiasts aren’t the only ones noticing the change. The increase in digital releases is being noticed by consumers across all streaming service platforms. The rise in films produced by Netflix partially eliminated the need for movie theatres. Those who work in the industry, or who study it, are conflicted about their personal views on this development, but recognize that it is changing the industry.

Dr. Ann Savage, professor of film studies and ccritical communication and media studies, recognizes this shift to a digital media platform and doesn’t know how to feel.

“I don’t know if I have a specific opinion [on the switch to digital release]”, Sauvage said. “I’m just trying to understand with the rest of the industry.

A part of this new world

After Disney+ Day was the annual D23 Expo – a convention held to showcase the future of the Walt Disney Company, park expansions, new movies and everything in between – the first action trailer live “The little Mermaid” has been freed.

Unlike “Pinocchio,” Ariel will hit theaters in 2023. The Imagineers hope to bring diversity and inclusion to the Disney name with the recent cast of Halle Bailey like Ariel. This topical casting will feature an African American woman live on Disney screens. Additionally, this critical portrayal hasn’t been seen since the 2009 animated movie “The Princess and the Frog.”

Still, Disney has faced a barrage of backlash over Halle Bailey as fans flood social media for criticize the live-action Ariel for not being white. While Bailey inspire young black girls that they can also be Disney Princesses, Butler’s students also weigh in on this controversy, sharing their thoughts on Ariel’s new look.

“Representation is important, and I think Halle Bailey will do an amazing job as Ariel,” Burkhart said. “I’m very happy that this film will be released in theaters.”

Other Butler students also share their excitement for “The Little Mermaid” and future Disney+ projects. Sophomore in sports media, McKenna Skatell expresses her excitement for new productions coming to theaters soon

“I’m glad to see [The Little Mermaid] in theaters,” Skatell said. “I know Marvel is dating [“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”] as well. I’m glad to see both.

Ahead of the theatrical release of “The Little Mermaid,” Disney’s next theatrical release is “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which will be released on November 11. The Sanderson sisters and Giselle are both getting their movie premiere returns directly on Disney+. “Hocus Pocus 2” and “Disillusioned” will receive more media attention and critical acclaim than “Pinocchio” – which received 27% rotten tomatoes score.

Disney+ Day 2022 brought viewers new content and excitement for future projects. However, it’s hard to say whether the new wave of digital releases will continue, as recent digital-only productions have received low ratings from critics and consumers alike. Hopefully some pixie dust or a little spark of inspiration will allow Imagineers to strike a happy medium between digital releases and theatrical releases.


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