As the UK has ploughed on with lockdown for over a year now, amid more time to bake banana bread, get back into yoga and visit your local park more over the past year than you ever have in your lifetime, it's also allowed a lot more time for watching TV series and must-see movies.
But another options also arrived in March 2020 (just in time for lockdown) in the form of Disney Plus, the new streaming service from the Walt Disney Company.
Now, almost a year on, the platform has significantly expanded to add another platform to existing entertainment brands, in the form of Star - which launched in the UK on February 23, 2021. Find all the information you need to on this, below.
Here's everything you need to know about Disney Plus UK:
What can I watch on Disney Plus?
When it first launched in the UK, the streaming service announced that it would come with more than 500 films, 350 series and 16 brand new, original series. More recently, the company also shared that it aims to bring viewers more than 100 new titles every year.
On December 10, the streaming service confirmed it would add a new brand to the service with entertainment brand Star - which will join existing brands National Geographic, Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and Pixar - meaning a lot more films (280, according to the service), cult TV series and four new originals will be arriving on the platform.
We'll save you from listing the 500+ films here, but scroll down to read the best existing movies, riveting documentaries and hype-y TV series that have caught ELLE's attention, but first here's what you can expect from the Disney Plus X Star partnership...
What TV shows and films will Star bring to Disney Plus?
One noticeable aspect of Star is the addition of content aimed at adults, rather than Disney's associated audience of children, with beloved series like Modern Family, Donald Glover's Atlanta, series 1-5 of Blackish, eight seasons of Desperate Housewives, Lost, Prison Break and 15 whole seasons of Shonda Rhimes' Grey's Anatomy and eight seasons of Kerry Washington-starring drama Scandal.
Movie wise, there are award-winning and acclaimed films like The Favourite and The Grand Budapest Hotel, classics like Cocktail, 9 to 5, Die Hard, Working Girl, Robin Hood, Moulin Rouge and comfort bringers The Devil Wears Prada, Pretty Woman and There's Something About Mary.
Original content is being added too with the launch of Big Sky from Big Little Lies and The Undoing screenwriter and producer, David E. Kelley the Love, Simon spin-off series Love Victor (finally coming to the UK a few months after its 2020 US premiere) an adult-aimed cartoon series, Solar Opposites and Marvels' Helstrom.
Seemingly aware of the increased amount of TV shows and films aimed at adults rather than kids, the platform has also introduced a new series of parental controls like limiting access to certain age ratings and adding PIN numbers.
Best films on Disney Plus UK
As well as the aforementioned hit movies, there are a lot of Disney cartoon classics on the platform, but also if the film has a Disney update that will be included to. For instance with the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast - both the 1991 version and 2017 Emma Watson-starring one are available.
Then there are teen favourites like The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical (yes one, two and three), Freaky Friday and more. Pixar movies like Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Brave and all four Toy Story franchises are in the mix too.
As both Marvel and Star Wars are now owned by Disney, all the Marvel films - from the Avengers series to the individual superhero stories like Thor, Black Panther and Captain Marvel are included - as are all the Star Wars originals, prequels and sequels.
Then there are a whole other bunch of films like 10 Things I Hate About You, Cheaper By The Dozen, Home Alone, The Sound Of Music, Sister Act, Never Been Kissed and While You Were Sleeping.
New releases which arrived within the last year included Soul, the beautiful Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey-starring animation about life, death and the circle of life and Beyoncé's internet-breaking (and Naomi Campbell, Jay-Z, Lupita Nyong'o and Blue Ivy-starring movie) visual album Black Is King to accompany her Lion King soundtrack album Spirit. Another beloved addition was a filmed Broadway performance of Hamilton, starring the original award-winning cast (including creator, Lin Manuel Miranda), an extra bonus for those who hadn't yet had the chance to nab tickets after its arrival in the West End.
On April 30, Disney Plus UK also added Chloé Zhao's Oscar-winning film Nomadland onto its platform, just days after the director won the Oscar for Best Director.
Best TV shows on Disney Plus UK
As well as the many series Star brings, Disney Channel favourites like Boy Meets World, Hannah Montana, Kim Possible, Recess and That's So Raven are naturally included. Plus, over 600 episodes of The Simpsons are on the roster.
Best Documentaries on Disney Plus
Disney Plus is also the streaming home to National Geographic, so there are some incredible nature documentaries available like The Flood, Diana: In Her Own Words (about the Princess of Wales), Stonehenge Decoded and Titanic: 20 Years Later with James Cameron.
Last year, Meghan Markle made her first post-royal life voiceover debut, lending her voice to narrate Elephant - a gorgeously shot documentary following a herd of elephants on their arduous journey as they travel 1,000 miles from the Okavango delta to the Zambezi River, when each respective pool of water dries up.
To kick off this year, for anyone fascinated by sharks, two documentaries arrived this month, 700 Sharks - and Big Sharks Rule. Thailand's Hidden Wild Side and Wild Uganda
Best new Disney Plus Originals
As ever, a new streaming series doesn't just play licensed content. Some of the Disney Plus originals have been the most hyped upcoming TV shows and films.
There is a Lady of the Tramp remake film and then new series including a High School Musical one, Encore! starring Kristen Bell and The Mandalorian.
In January 2021, the outlet premiered its first Avengers-spin off series,WandaVision starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda and Vision, respectively which has garnered rave reviews. The show depicts the two superheroes as they settle in suburbia (and try to conceal their powers), starting with the 1950s and moving on in time with each episode, but soon realise everything is not as it seems...
What's coming to Disney Plus?
More Avengers spin offs are arriving in the next few months including The Falcon And The Winter Soldier - starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan - and Loki which will see Tom Hiddleston reprise his villainous character and step out of the shadows of his Avenger brother, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
In December 2020, the streaming service confirmed its slate of upcoming planned projects. While exact dates haven't yet been announced the selection of commissioned movies are something to get excited about.
There are a number of spin-offs and reboots taking place. One of the most exciting film releases for 2021 is Cruella, chronicling the villain of the 101 Dalmatians franchise starring Emma Stone as the lead character. Another two Marvels films, which were previously pushed back due to the pandemic, is Black Widow which will see Scarlett Johansson lead her first spin-off Avengers film, joined by Florence Pugh and Eternals where ELLE UK cover star Gemma Chan will take the lead.
From a reimagined 2022 arrival of Cheaper By The Dozen - by the creator of Black-Ish Kenya Barris - and the 1993 film Three Men And A Baby, but this time starring Zac Efron instead of Tom Sellick and a Lion King prequel directed by Moonlight's Barry Jenkins with a soundtrack masterminded by Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams.
The Little Mermaid is another live-action remake heading to the platform, starring Halle (from Chloe & Halle) as is Pinnochio, starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto.
There are also some familiar returns, like Ewan McGregor reviving his Star Wars alter-ego of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Whoopi Goldberg is to star and produce in Sister Act 3 and Hocus Pocus will also have a sequel almost thirty years after the first film starring Sarah Jessica Parker aired in 1993. There's no confirmation on the casting yet.
In February, Disney confirmed even more projects. One that caught our eye in particular is the National Geographic eight-part series chronicling the life of soul singer Aretha Franklin, who passed away in 2018. The legendary singer will be portrayed by British actor Cynthia Arivo, and the show will arrive in June.
Another formidable woman's story is told with the arrival of Rebel in May, which tells the story of environmental law campaigner Erin Brockovich. The feminist comedy series Dollface produced by Margot Robbie and starring Kat Dennings and Shay Mitchell - Dollface - is another one to arrive in March.
How much does Disney Plus UK cost?
In line with the new addition of Star on February 23, Disney Plus has increased its cost from (£5.99 per month or £59.99 for the year) to £7.99, or £79.90 annually (roughly equating to £6.66 per month).
However, anyone who was already subscribed prior to the price change will be honoured for six months with the price automatically changing on August 22, 2021.
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