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Human Interest

There’s a lot of excitement around the long-awaited launch of Disney+ today, but before you cancel your subscriptions to other streaming services, you might want to take stock of what the service has, and what it doesn’t have. What it has — as has been widely publicized — is nearly all of the Disney film and TV catalog.

Among the properties owned by Disney: Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (but not films about Marvel comics characters that were produced by outside studios, like the Spider-Man films), the Pixar films and the National Geographic catalog.  That adds up to about 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes.

However, not everything in those catalogs will be available immediately, most likely due to other streaming deals that the company has made. Avengers: Endgame was initially not part of the slate of films that would be available on Disney+. However, yesterday, Disney+ announced that the film, along with many other Marvel films that weren’t part of the initial announcement, would be available today.

However, last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which led right into Endgame, won’t be available on Disney+ at first, although it’s expected that it will be.

As far as the Star Wars catalog, everything is available today except for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story; those titles will be available next year, as will Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker after it ends its theatrical run. Sadly, the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978 won’t be available.

What else won’t be available? Basically, anything that isn’t family-friendly.  Anything in the Disney catalog — or the Fox catalog, which Disney recently acquired — will still live on Hulu.  One notable Disney film that won’t be available is 1946’s Song Of The South — the film which featured the Oscar-winning song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” — because of its racist portrayals of Black people. The film has never been available on home video. Also, notably, Disney will remove a scene from the 1941 animated film Dumbo featuring a crow named “Jim Crow,” a reference to a 19th-century blackface character that later became the name of the segregation laws.

One big difference between Disney+ and it’s big competitor, Netflix, will be that new series will not be binge-able, at least at first. In other words, where Netflix drops an entire season of a show at once (a la Stranger Things), Disney+ will release new episodes weekly. So today’s launch will only see one episode of the Star Wars series The Mandalorian available