Today's a good day for Disney Plus subscribers, who now have access to hundreds more hours of Disney content than they did yesterday thanks to the launch of Disney Star. Over on the House of Mouse streaming service, next to the existing Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic tabs, there's now a 'Star' section on the homepage, which offers a new slew of content geared towards grown-ups. How much more, you ask? More than 270 films, over 75 shows and four all-new originals.
Highlights include – deep breath – Modern Family, The X-Files, Deadpool 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Favourite, 24, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Prison Break, Scrubs, The Killing, How I Met Your Mother, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and many more.
Star currently hosts four exclusive Star Originals, too: adult animated sitcom Solar Opposites (opens in new tab), from the makers of Rik & Morty; drama series Helstrom (opens in new tab); crime thriller Big Sky (opens in new tab), from the creator of Big Little Lies and The Undoing; and Love, Simon spin-off show Love, Victor (opens in new tab). Disney has taken the opportunity today to announce three new Originals, too – National Geographic's 8-part limited series GENIUS: ARETHA, exploring Aretha Franklin (available in June); Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich (available in May); and a spin-off of black-ish and critically acclaimed hit series grown-ish (available in April).
Future premieres for 2021 include Dopesick, starring Michael Keaton; The Dropout, with Kate Mckinnon; a four-part series filmed during the pandemic, Love in the Time of Corona, featuring Ava Bellows and Leslie Odom Jr.; and a slate of FX originals including The Old Man, staring Jeff Bridges.
The full A-Z Disney Star catalogue (opens in new tab) is available to see here.
The content for each region will differ slightly according to current rights holders, but material is all from Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios and 20th Television. The addition of Star to Disney Plus will, in some regions, effectively double the amount of content on offer across the whole service.
Star is essentially a more adult-friendly section of the catalogue, and so Disney has sensibly chosen to introduce parent controls to its service. Available now, these let parents set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content age ratings and introduce PIN locks on profiles with access to mature content.
Disney Star is now integrated into the Disney Plus interface in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. It will be available as a separate app along with sports in Latin America from June. Disney Star is not launching in America (which has Hulu instead), although those in the States can still sign-up to the superb triple-threat bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ all for just $12.99 (opens in new tab)
Star will doubtless be a welcome sweetener in the face of the forthcoming price hike from £5.99 to £7.99 – which comes into effect today. Prices for existing subscribers (prior to 23rd February) will be honoured for six months, with the price change taking effect on the monthly or annual renewal date following 22nd August 2021.
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