At my house, every Friday is Family Movie Night. Three kids, aged 9, 8 and 3, take turns choosing the film they want to watch. Or rewatch. Or fight over watching for the fourth time.
Their negotiations often start days before and become more heated as the fateful night approaches. On hearing that the youngest wants to watch Cars again, his sisters inevitably begin their subtle tugs toward an acceptable substitute, like Coco or Moana.
Usually they ignore my thrifty suggestions. "Fine," I think to myself, "it's just $4." A small price to pay for entertainment harmony, and Moana is really good. But I sure would love the option to watch it, and any number of other great Disney movies, as part of an affordable subscription.
You've already got a friend in me, Disney Plus
Disney just announced the details of, its new standalone streaming service. Available Nov. 12, it costs $7 per month and sounds like our inevitable new destination for Family Movie Night.
Every Pixar movie will be on Disney Plus, available to stream anytime. That includes all the Toy Stories, Cars, Inside Out, Monsters, Inc, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory and WALL-E. It'll also have scads of other Disney movies, including Frozen, 101 Dalmatians, Lady and the Tramp, Mary Poppins, The Parent Trap, The Little Mermaid and, yes, The Princess Diaries.
What do all these titles have in common? The kids have chosen every single one for Family Movie Night, many of them more than once. A lot of The Princess Diaries went over my 3-year-old's head, but the older girls loved it.
We all watchedin the theater a couple of weeks ago -- to rave kid -- and my girls are already talking about Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4. The oldest is begging me to let her watch . All four, and more, will be available to stream (without a rental fee, four of Daddy's favorite words) exclusively on Disney Plus.
Beyond movie night there's plenty of other kid fun in the offing. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Duck Tales and Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan are shows my kids know and love. And I'm quite confident they'll enjoy Monsters at Work and Magic of the Animal Kingdom, two exclusive TV series coming to Disney Plus in year one.
Think of the children!
OK, $7 every month or $70 for a yearly subscription isn't chump change, and these things add up. I can't see myself quitting Netflix or Hulu, for example (though the promise of a discounted has me very interested), and there's only so many subscriptions I can afford. is strong in this one.
If Disney had priced its service at $13 (the same as Netflix) or even $10, it might be a tougher call. But there's something about $7 that feels just right, at least for my budget. Even if that $7 subscription saves me just one $5 rental fee, it's totally worth it -- in part because Disney Plus has a bunch of other stuff that makes my parental heart twitterpate.
- There's iPad with movies and TV shows for long car trips, camping and plane rides. , so I can pack the
- My kids already love (and spend time customizing) avatars and profiles on Netflix and the Disney Now app, so they'll be right at home with Disney Plus' versions.
- It's just a matter of time before they're old enough to watch Star Wars and, yes, Marvel -- and paying for those individually really adds up.
- The National Geographic stuff is the perfect parental screen time sop. It's educational, right? Sayonara, guilt!
- I can have them each kick in $1 every month from their allowances and teach them the value of money. "Clean up or I'm canceling Disney Plus."
Seriously, you guys, I'm getting this for my kids
As if all that kid stuff wasn't enough, the Disney Plus fare for grownups helps justify part of that $7.
Until a couple of weeks ago I wasn't a Marvel fan, but midway through my Captain Marvel and including Endgame will also find an exclusive home on Disney Plus., that's no longer the case. Turns out a lot of these comic book movies are pretty darn good, and I can even see myself wanting to rewatch a few. I'm curious about the Disney Plus spin-off series centered around , as well as the one about , and the upcoming films, starting with
Of course I love Star Wars too, and until my kids are old enough to binge those flicks with me, I'd definitely watch. The same goes for the final installment, .
As it is for many parents, the word Disney for me is synonymous with quality family entertainment. One of our best trips was a visit to Disneyland last summer. My father grew up in Southern California, had a lifetime pass to Disneyland and loved the classic films so much he recorded a bunch to Betamax. We'd sit around watching Robin Hood and Fantasia for my own childhood family movie nights. My kids today understand my job largely with the help of an iconic Goofy short.
How to Hook Up Your Home Theater
Walt, you win again. Now, about that discounted Hulu bundle...