Earlier this May, Disney Plus surpassed 50 million subscribers, far surpassing the 10 million subscribers on its first day. With slightly more subscriptions than Hulu, but far less than Netflix, Disney Plus is becoming a real contender in the streaming service market.
Recently, a new challenger arrived in the form of HBO Max, which boasts more than 10,000 hours of content at-launch. With a larger and more diverse library, HBO Max could very well give Disney Plus and Netflix a run for their money. Only time will tell which service will stand out as the true champion.
If Disney Plus hopes to step up its game against its competitors, it will need to roll out more content to make its subscription worth the monthly fee. So far, the platform has slated original movies and upcoming projects for Marvel and Star Wars. But if the service hopes to compete against the big boys, it'll need to think big with its programming.
Here are a few suggestions for original concepts that Disney Plus can create to help bring it up to par with its competitors.
For some plus-sized ideas for Disney Plus, click READ MORE:
#1: Disney Afternoon Reboot Series
Similar To: Ducktales 2017
The Ducktales 2017 reboot has become one of the most popular animated shows on Disney Channel. Not only has the show flawlessly rebooted a beloved cartoon from the 1990s Disney Afternoon block, but it has also incorporated characters and elements from other popular Disney Afternoon shows like Darkwing Duck, Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers, and Talespin.
Originally, Ducktales 2017 simply gave loving nods and winks to other Disney Afternoon shows by name-dropping cities such as Cape Suzette (TaleSpin) and Cape Canard (Darkwing Duck). Three seasons in, and the show has since incorporated many other Disney Afternoon characters with recurring roles, including Tale Spin's Don Karnage and even the caped crusader himself, Darkwing Duck.
With so many characters from so many other shows, Ducktales 2017 has created a Disney Afternoon shared universe with the potential of spurring even more reboots as their own spin-off series. And what better place to launch this new line of Disney Afternoon reboots than on the same platform showcasing the classic shows? Disney Plus should get busy bringing us a Disney Afternoon shared universe.
#2: Conan The Barbarian Series
Similar To: Game Of Thrones; The Witcher; Lord of the Rings
Since Game Of Thrones premiered in 2011, every big name channel and streaming service has attempted to emulate its success with their own live-action fantasy series, from Netflix's The Witcher to Amazon's upcoming Lord Of The Rings series. Disney could take its own piece of the sword-and-sorcery pie with the help of a wandering vagabond from the fields of Aquilonia: Conan the Barbarian.
Over the years, Conan has been adapted to film and comic books. In 2018, Disney pushed not only for Marvel to re-obtain the comic book rights to the franchise after 18 years away at other publishers, but also to incorporate Conan into its comics, especially through crossovers with the Avengers.
Many critics like Bob Chipman have speculated that Disney's push to absorb Conan into Marvel Comics may be part of a bigger move to launch a new cinematic franchise, potentially incorporating it into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While a Disney/Marvel Conan movie would be epic, perhaps more fitting would be a live-action series on Disney Plus as potential competitor for The Witcher and Lord of the Rings. Then again, there's no harm in asking, "why not both?", by creating a big theatrical feature and following it up with a streaming series.
Conan making his big entrance on the big screen and following up his further adventures on the small screen? Would there be anything better in life? You know, aside from crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women?
#3: New DTV Music Videos
Similar To: DTV
When Disney Channel first launched in 1983, it tried to compete with MTV by creating its own series of animated music videos called "DTV." As the name implies, these videos mixed classic played rock music, both old and new, to footage of animated Disney movies and shorts. They played on the channel well into the 2000s, and Disney Channel even tried to revive the concept in the late 2000s with a similar series called "Mickey Re-Micks."
While most Disney fans would love and hope to see these classic music videos added to Disney Plus, Disney would doubtfully be able to do that, as the licensing agreements to the songs have most likely long expired. However, Disney could easily create new music videos set to new popular songs for a new DTV series for Disney Plus.
Yes, this is a painfully easy and trite concept for Disney to emulate. After all, most anybody with video-editing software can splice together random video clips with music to create their own music videos. Heck, YouTube is filled to the brim with AMVs. But if Disney can splice together random scenes from their beloved movies to essentially create their own ASMR videos, creating proffesional AMVs is not above them.
|Watch Cartoons Online|
#4: Mickey Mouse Talk Show
Similar To: The Not Too Late Show with Elmo
Originally, I was going to pitch a reboot of House of Mouse--you know, the old Saturday morning cartoon where Mickey Mouse and his friends owned a nightclub where other Disney characters visited to watch animated shorts? Remember that? I was going to suggest a reboot of that, but then a certain red monster received his own talk show, and that inspired me to spin an old concept into a new format.
Yes, as part of its original programming, HBO Max launched a Sesame Street-themed talk show, Elmo's Not Too Late Show. It's quite self-explanatory. Elmo hosts a talk show where he interviews celebrity guests, performs musical numbers and skits, and otherwise entertains a live studio audience of felt puppet characters. So if a red monster like him can get his own talk show, why not a mouse?
A Mickey Mouse talk show seems like an easy concept to pull off. Have the Mouse host his own animated "late night" talk show, get into wacky backstage antics with his friends, showcase animated shorts both old and new, and even interview celebrity guests "via satellite" a-la Space Ghost Coast-To-Coast. And he does all this before a "live" studio audience featuring cameos of Disney movie characters. Essentially, it'd be House of Mouse, only as a talk show rather than a nightclub. It might sound cheesy, but if Elmo can host his own talk show, then Mickey hosting his own is something many of us would like to see real soon. (Why? Because we like it!)
#5: Classic Disney Attraction Virtual Ride-Through
Similar To: Ride-Through YouTube Videos
In 2006, the Platinum Edition DVD of The Little Mermaid included, among other special features, a virtual recreation of the original Little Mermaid attraction planned for Disney Parks during the 1990s. This virtual ride-through offered the opportunity to experience an attraction that had long been scrapped and assumed dead--until it was inevitably re-vitalized, re-imagined, and constructed in Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in the early 2010s.
Why do I bring this up? Right now, a popular video genre among Disney fans on YouTube are "ride-through" videos of both old and new Disney attractions. These videos allow Disney fans to relive fond memories of old attractions that have since passed, while allowing other fans an opportunity to experience attractions they never had a chance to ride themselves. Even if these videos are copied from old grainy camcorder recordings, they're still quite popular and nostalgic. And they've especially proven popular during the COVID-19 quarantine.
If Disney has the capacity and resources to create virtual recreations of rides that never were, they clearly have the same resources to create virtual ride throughs of old attractions that once were but no longer are. Imagine being able to take one more trip on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? Or take the next stop into the future with Horizons? Or feel the flow and go into a Universe of Energy? Or embark on a Journey Through Inner Space?
Couple these virtual ride-throughs with mini-documentaries about the creation and legacy of these attractions, and you have highlights of Disney history that are both enlightening and entertaining. As one attraction once stated: if you can dream it, we can do it. Yes we can!
|Little Green Footballs|
#6: Disney Political Talk Show
Similar To: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
From HBO’s Last Week Tonight and TBS’s Full Frontal to Netflix’s The Break Patriot Act, seems like every big name channel and streaming service has its own weekly political talk show where comedians break down recent news and political issues while cracking raunchy one-liners about the president.
While Disney would not likely approve a political comedy show on its family-friendly platform, with edgy comedians making partisan jabs and potty-mouthed jokes like on Full Frontal, it could pull off an infotainment-style show like Last Week Tonight where a charismatic host parses political issues for a general audience while cracking the occasional, yet family friendly, joke. Think Adam Ruins Everything, yet okay for children to watch. In fact, Adam Conover would be an ideal host, as he’s literally a child trapped in an adult’s body. Both children and adults would love him!
This concept, while it could potentially work, would also be the least likely to appear on Disney Plus. For one, while issues such as gun control and climate change are capable of being presented in a non-partisan objective-yet-witty manner, Disney would probably fear backlash from a vocal (if not uninformed) public decrying such as show as Disney pushing a “political agenda”, even if the show were to only exposit the facts on the matter.
Another criticism would be that, since Disney Plus is a “family friendly”, any discussion of politics would be inappropriate, since children are too young and not mature enough to grasp political issues. First, speaking as a 90s kid, counterpoint: Nick News. Second, many children these days are being cyberbullied online by neo-Nazis, undergoing school shooter drills, harassed by the police, and being locked in cages and separated from their parents. Kids these days can handle politics.