One of the biggest indicators of my weirdness as I grew up was I never grew out of Disney movies. As a college student I was actually accused of being Walt Disney’s granddaughter (the accuser didn’t seem to mind when our team won Disney trivia).
Now that I am older, both Disney and I have realized a LOT of people never did grow out of Disney movies. I’d venture the majority.
Proof of that (beyond the viral memes of adults sitting in crowds of children) would be the success of Disney+. There have been so many posts on all social media platforms about nostalgia and memories.
As I have taken this flight into my childhood (and beyond) it has given me a chance to contemplate how the world and I have changed. Any maybe not for the better.
The first lesson I learned from Disney+ is patience seems to be thin, on the part of the consumers. We want it and we want it NOW! So many people took to social media (and now so many people are writing articles) about the frustrations of the launch. No one seems to be taking into consideration that this launch was one of the biggest online events of our history.
According to CNBC, on launch day Disney had more than 10 million subscribers. “Disney signed up more customers in one day than HBO Now, CBS All Access + Showtime, ESPN+, DAZN and Crunchyroll have signed up in the entirety of their existences.”
That is a significant increase in a very short amount of time. Their subscriptions increased by five times on the day of launch and people were upset because they couldn’t get it that second? Come on! I don’t know of anyone with a compatible device that hasn’t been able to access the app this week.
I want to be clear. I understand a lot of people experienced more glitches than I did. I also had the luxury of time to spend getting everything set up. If I hadn’t I probably would have been a lot more frustrated.
Tuesday morning, the app didn’t originally appear on my phone. But it popped right up after a restart. It took about a hour before it would show anything besides the error screen.
However, the app popped up on my TV right away. It refused to give me The Mandalorian for about 15-20 minutes, but after some persistence it finally came up. Once I started streaming, there were no glitches (although fast forwarding took a bit of buffering).
After the first day, I haven’t noticed any glitching at all.
Gone are the days that you have to wait for the Sound of Music to air on TV once a year. Gone are the days of having to go to a video store and hoping they have your movie in stock.
Even on the third day of accessing Disney+, my brain gets overwhelmed with the number of amazing choices of content. Every single item in the system should be added to my watch list. No this is not an exaggeration. The first day of release, fortunately, I had a goal in mind of what I wanted to watch.
I tried to start with The Mandalorian, but as previously stated I struggled getting it. To kill time, I watched the first episode of Star Wars: Clone Wars. I found it quite enjoyable for a cartoon adaption and I loved the deeper dive into the universe.
The distraction worked and I was able to access The Mandalorian. I am not putting any spoilers here, but I will say it was true to the hype. I was very excited for this show and it was even better than anticipated. It was a perfect balance of Star Wars, comedy, and cowboy bounty hunter vigilante-ism. The cliffhanger was also a shock. I have so many questions (in a good way) and I can’t wait until the next episode comes out Friday.
Once I finished The Mandalorian the real overwhelm from unlimited choice hit. Do I stick with the Star Wars Universe? Do I move to Marvel? What abut all the classic Disney I haven’t seen for years???
Eventually I settled on Captain America: The First Avenger. I was only able to watch the first half before I had to move on with my day.
Shorter attention span
Later on in the day, I had some time to watch a few short clips of Fantasia while making dinner. I was shocked at myself. Despite watching Fantasia as a nostalgic moment, I found myself nearly incapable of sitting through a whole song without my brain wandering away or feeling compelled to pick up my phone and work on some project or the other.
I sat through this movie as a three year old without much issue, and now at 31 I didn’t have the attention span? How alarming.
After that realization I ended up hopping from TV show to mini movie. Not sure how this was the logical decision, but it helped my lack of focus. I enjoyed some Doctor Pol, Small Fry a Toy Story short, and Heavy Metal Mater which is a Cars short. I recommend all of them (don’t watch Doctor Pol durning dinner), but that recommendation is for almost everything so I am going to stop asserting it before it gets boring.
I wrapped up the evening with The Parent Trap. Not the new one, the original Haylee Mills version. I had forgotten how much I loved the show.
As the second day dawned, there were no glitches in sight. I was able to stream a lot longer and explore more content. I started with finishing Captain America: The First Avenger. After I finished the movie, I vacillated. The next movie in chronological order was the newest movie, Captain Marvel. Or I could go back and watch in release order (I’d already seen everything before Captain America besides Hulk). The overwhelm of unlimited options hit again.
The decision proved too much (I still haven’t decided at the time of writing this) and I jumped into the first Star Wars movie ever released, A New Hope.
I haven’t rewatched this movie in a long time and was caught off guard by the remastered and inserted scenes (why hello Jabba, you are looking remarkably spry). You can’t beat this classic, though. And I loved having it available to watch.
Once it ended, I was again left with overwhelm, so I jumped into the world of The Disney Channel. This included the first episodes of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody On Board, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana. Talk about nostalgia.
I also watched the Disney Channel movie, Descendants. I’ve been wanting to watch this for years. While it was designed from a much younger demographic and the scripting could have used some work, I loved all the “Disneybounding” in this movie! I want all the costumes.
Suspension of Disbelief
As I was contemplating the structural prowess (or lack thereof) of Descendants and its shortcomings I switched on a nostalgic movie, The Jungle Book. I was surprised with the number of inconsistencies. They were everywhere. In the storyline, in the concept, in the visuals, and in the characters.
Once again, I found myself disgusted with myself. I never cared about this stuff when I was younger, and does it really matter? It is still a great story with some of the best moments in movie history (Ka anyone?).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, suspension of disbelief is when audiences of art say “Yes, I understand this is all pretend, but I’m going to overlook the obvious things that are not real because I want to be involved in the story.” Unfortunately, due to digitalization and computers, there has been less and less need for suspension of disbelief, because everything is so believable.
But isn’t this a loss? Why do we demand so much of our entertainment? Why do we demand so much of the people that provide it? Instead of enjoying it for what it is, a great work of art, regardless of whether or not the walnut seeds move by themselves so they can be in a better spot for Mowgli to pick them up.
I wrapped up the day of streaming with a few more shorts and two TV episodes. Float, the short, was potent and tear jerking while Lava was very cute. That’s So Raven is as hilarious as I remember and I found Forky Asks a Question to be hilarious.
I feel Disney+ has done for me what great art should do. It has given me ample entertainment while inspiring me to think. To be introspective about who I am as a person by taking me back to my childhood and things that I loved.
I want to become a more patient person. I want to remember that people didn’t always have the multitude of choice that I have today and to be grateful for that. I want to look at why I can’t seem to sit through a movie and enjoy it anymore and work on expanding my attention span. And lastly, I want to stop being so nit-picky about my art and those that provide it. I want to fall back into a larger suspension of disbelief.
My two day journey of Disney+ has reminded me that I want to enjoy life and get back to basics. You can’t ask for more than that for less than $4 a month.
All thoughts are my opinions. I’m not affiliated with nor do I own any of the characters, services, or products mentioned. I am not affiliated with any external links.