Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Disney Play - A Disney Streaming Service Wish List

It's been no secret that the Disney Company is planning on launching their own television streaming service and recent details have emerged that the service will probably be called Disney Play and will be available sometime in 2019. The new venture is being hailed as a "Netflix-killer" in that it's going to be the first streaming network to really go after taking a chunk of Netflix's market share.

Of course the biggest hit Netflix will immediately take is that most of the Disney programming on Netflix will be gone at the end of this year and assuredly pop up again on Disney Play once it's off the ground. Disney Play also has announced their plans to provide top-notch, buzz-worthy original programs and films to their service. There has already been a live-action Star Wars series announced, as well as a new Marvel show and a series based on Monsters Inc. The slate of original films they have announced includes a live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp.

While I'm sure the majority of Disney Play's marketing will push the big name movies and original programming, there's also the matter of Disney's vast library of film and television that will hopefully have a home on the service as well. As a huge Disney buff, I'm really hoping that the luxury of not having to worry about ratings and the low cost of using stuff from their own library, will lead Disney to provide some obscure, vintage and off-beat materials from their vault. Sure, I'm excited about seeing the latest hit movies in my living room, but I also want to watch a 1959 television special with Walt Disney promoting the Matterhorn at Disneyland. I realize I'm not the exact market they are going for, but it would be great if Disney Buff's had some extra stuff to look forward to.

This is just a personal wish list; but here's 10 things I'd like to be able to have access to once Disney Play is streaming across the internet!

GOLDEN PALACE - With the surprising cult-like success The Golden Girls has found now 30 years after it's debut, it's no wonder we haven't seen more of the show's spin-off continuation. The Golden Palace aired on CBS the fall directly after The Golden Girls closed up shop on NBC. Dorthy had married and moved away, so of course the remaining three ladies went in together and bought a hotel and worked there. They also hired Don Cheadle and Cheech too!  Obviously the show wasn't quite as good as the original series, but I always thought it was pretty darn good too. It was certainly better than saying goodbye all-together to Blanche, Rose and Sophia. It was just as funny as any other show in it's eighth season, alas CBS gave it the boot after one just one year.  Golden Palace has never been released on home video in any format and reruns on television have been scarce. It seems like the classic series in on TV all day long and that people would want to see 22 new-ish episodes. I think this would be a great addition to Disney Play and something they could actually use in promoting the service.

COMPLETE SEASONS OF WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY - The Wonderful World of Disney was the Disney company's signature show which ran for several decades in one form or another under numerous titles. The show was an anthology series made up of original episodes and often theatrical films shown in multiple parts.  While a few vintage episodes of the series have been made available in recent years, the series as a whole has never been offered because honestly, why would anyone want to watch a movie cut up into episodes and shown in black and white!? Well, I don't know how much it costs to make shows available to stream/download but it seems like the format of having a huge back catalog of programming would make an opportune time to finally release a few seasons in their entirety. Now some of this would be only to the appeal of a die-hard Disney fan but for completest sake it would be really cool to be able to watch an entire season of Wonderful World of Disney with all of Walt's intros and the promo's for the next week's episode. Also casual viewers could just drop in on any episode they choose - if they were looking for some classic Mickey Mouse cartoons or a nature documentary, for example.  According to IMDb there are over 30 seasons of the classic Disney anthology series. Obviously we don't need all 30, but a few early seasons would be nice for starters.

THE LITTLE MERMAID SERIES - From 1992 to 1994, CBS ran three seasons of the first animated series to be based off a smash hit Disney animated film. While The Little Mermaid series did not have the same beautiful animation as the feature film, it did sport the entire original voice cast as well as some pretty good storytelling.  The show has been rebroadcast over several of Disney's various cable channels and was fairly recently available on the now defunct Disney Junior app. My daughter and I started watching it but didn't get too far in before it disappeared. We'd love to finish it up sometime soon.

THEME PARK SPECIALS - OLD & NEW - It used to be fairly customary to broadcast a television special each time Disneyland or Walt Disney World hit another five year anniversary. There were also specials when new attractions opened and some park celebrations for various holidays. I'm not the only one who would love for a chance to see some of this vintage theme park footage as well as some new specials to commemorate new developments and anniversaries at the Disney vacation properties. I'm sure there would be quite an audience for a special all about the new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opening on both coasts!

THE MOUSE FACTORY - Classic Disney animated shorts staring Mickey Mouse and the gang have to have a place on a Disney streaming service! May I suggest the 1971-1973 syndicated package known as The Mouse Factory? This is a far-out request as the show is very dated, but that's what makes it so good! Each episode consists of a few vintage shorts with a common theme served up by a host, filmed in live-action segments. Don Knotts, Dom DeLuise and even Kurt Russell were just some of the hosts that dropped by The Mouse Factory. This is just good pure fun that we don't see anymore!

MICKEY MOUSE CLUB (ALL 3 VERSIONS) - I don't need all of it (because there is a lot of it!) But I would love to have access to a number of episodes from all three incarnations of the Mickey Mouse Club. There's the classic black and white episodes from the 50's with Cubby and Annette. I want to see the 1977-1979 disco episodes I saw as a child. And I'm a fan of the 90's version, which eventually stared Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake (even though they came after I stopped watching.)

First of all, I love Keri Russell. I first saw her on the Mickey Mouse Club and had a celebrity crush on her ever since. I watched the first season of Felicity when it came on but then bailed in season two, not because she cut her hair but because of whichever guy she chose in the season opener. I don't remember who it was. Anyway, I've always wanted to go back and rewatch season one and then continue through with the other three seasons. Let's make this happen, Disney!!!

Empty Nest was a Golden Girls spin-off about the doctor that lived across the street from the girls. Nurses was an Empty Nest spin-off about nurses on another floor of the Empty Nest doctor's hospital. I was never really a big fan of either, but I'm surprised with all the Golden Girls success now that Empty Nest hasn't shown up anywhere in reruns. I'd give them both another look if I had access to them.

The Torkelsons was a Disney branded sitcom on NBC about a single mother raising a bunch of kids in the south. It was later retooled as Almost Home which added a young Britney Murphy to the cast. Almost Home was ok, but I loved The Torkelsons! If I ever found a way to watch this series again I would jump right in!

Getting this show back would be the most exciting thing to happen to my adult life

The word is that The Muppets will indeed have a home on the new Disney streaming service and that is very exciting. There is some talk of them continuing the very short lived 2015 ABC series which would be amazing or if they do something else similar that would be amazing too. Either way, I would certainly love to have all 18 episodes of the ABC series available to watch again commercial free (they are on the ABC app with advertising). I would also love to see a back catalogue of other Muppets material including specials and the last two seasons of the classic Muppet Show which have still never been released on DVD.

I guess we'll have to wait a year or so to see if any of my wish list has been fulfilled!

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