COMMENT: Disney+ leaves Karl Puschmann giddy with nostalgia but desperate for something to watch.
On paper, and when I open the app on my phone, I am very much into Disney Plus.
The new streaming service is simply overflowing with Disney classics that I truly love. It's embiggened with damn near every Simpsons episode ever made. You'll find more spandex wearing superheroes than at the local gym. And, topping it all off, there's even the good Star Wars trilogy. As well as the bad one.
Scrolling through the endless options of beloved shows and movies gives me a real nostalgic thrill. It's stuffed with cartoon classics like 1940's animated acid trip Fantasia, 1949's Headless Horseman starring horror The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and the psychedelic daydream of 1951's Alice in Wonderland.
I could go on but you get the point. I love Disney's dusty old classics because when I was a kid they inspired me to become a Disney animator. I even trained in animation as soon as I could leave college. There was, however, one slight problem. I suck at drawing. It's much easier to hide suckful writing, so here we are.
Along with their greats, there's everything from recent blockbusters (like Avengers: Endgame, Incredibles 2 and Tim Burton's Dumbo remake), to forgotten gems (like the childhood scarring Return to Oz, the original Tron and sports comedy Cool Runnings), through to obscure curiosities (1987's comedy Adventures in Babysitting, puppet sci-fi adventure The Black Hole and 1979's Spider-Woman cartoon series).
All up it's reckoned there's close to 500 movies and something like 7,500 episodes of TV spanning everything from Star Wars to Pixar to Marvel to Disney themselves.
There's no denying it makes for a giddily potent combo as you scroll through its various menus and see those once tightly guarded doors to the Disney vault thrown wide open.
For decades Disney guarded these cinematic treasures with all the protective zeal of Gollum. Keeping their precious properties close and only rarely releasing them for extremely limited runs before snatching them back and scurrying off into the dark.
It was the business equivalent of 'treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen,'. The general unavailability of everything from Snow White to The Lion King to Toy Story meant desirability was high whenever they did appear with great hullabaloo in shops. So now having all of this stuff at my fingertips is very much a dream come true.
But there's one thing you won't find on Disney+. And that's something to watch you haven't watched before.
Admittedly, that is kind of its whole point at launch. They're clearly banking on the nostalgic pull of those childhood defining properties liberally dolloped with all its current gen, box-office smashes to lure you, and your monthly subscription fee, in.
But most nights these days when I finally unfold onto the couch after finishing work and putting kids into bed I generally want to watch two things; something I haven't seen before and something not G rated. I'm not saying I need f-bombs and a bit of the old ultra-violence to be entertained because that's not the case. I just want to watch something not for kids when I'm finally free of kids for the night.
And this is the problem with Disney+. There's nothing to watch.
Yes, I am really digging the new Star Wars series The Mandalorian and... yeah, that's about it.
Far as I could tell the only other viable new options are an Anna Kendrick starring Christmas movie which will probably be spirited fun but to which I say, 'bah humbug,' because it's still November and I am not yet filled with Christmas cheer, and a 12-part doco series that follows Jeff Goldblum as he charismatically gulps his way around America investigating things like ice cream and sneakers. And for now, friends, that's basically that.
But, you cry, Disney+ is for kids! You can make that argument, sure. But before launching Disney spent a lot of money buying the studio Fox. This is why you can watch all those episodes of the Simpsons and why you can scroll right past James Cameron's snoozefest Avatar.
This begs the question; where are all the classic Fox movies at? It's almost Christmas so where's Die Hard? Where is Alien hiding? Why has wisecracking anti-hero Deadpool been muffled? On the TV front there's no Bob's Burgers, no Beverly Hills 90210, no Futurama... there's not much of any of it actually.
Will more of Fox's properties be added? When? And once they are, how will the kiddie-safe Disney+ accommodate Fox's more adult orientated fare? Please don't let the answer be with another app and monthly subscription...
Currently there's more to watch on Disney+ than is realistically possible. Yet for all my genuine enthusiasm I've found that once the kids are tucked up in bed there's nothing at all.