Disney Plus: the new online streaming platform for many (not all) of the titles which this multinational multi-billion dollar company owns, including those produced by the other studios it owns, like Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and now Fox. It has something like ninety-five million subscribers, at the most recent news I found. Multiply that by thirty dollars per subscription, and you get just a little short of three billion dollars. Which is the lingo Disney really likes to speak, these days.
Raya and the Last Dragon, the latest movie they’ve made, hits Disney Plus within a day of this post. Their subscribers can pay thirty dollars, or wait something like three months to see it without charge, while others, not subscribing, might be able to find a theater still open somewhere, if they’re lucky. And, as Disney so loved to point out last year, just before they released their live-action Mulan, thirty or thirty-five dollars really is objectively cheaper than buying tickets and treats for the entire family at the theater. And who can argue with the ease of watching it from the comfort of one’s own home living room? (where far too many of us have practically been locked in for about a year now)
However, I have decided not to pay it, and I would like to take a moment to explain why not.
Let me rush to make clear that I am not trying to preach, or to dissuade anyone else from so doing. I merely mean to make myself heard, and maybe, just maybe, someone at Disney will hear me and realize how, somewhere along the way, they lost touch with many of their customers. One would think that they might have learned a little something about that after the absolute failure of Mulan, but apparently not.
Disney knows their reasons why I should, but here are my reasons not to.
This is why not to pay for premier access on Disney Plus.
Too Little Bang for Far Too Much Buck
I do not dispute that Disney has a right and a need to earn money in order to stay in business and profit. Also, I am actually very interested in Raya, as it appears to be about people coming back together in unity after some division in the past. However, I am not nearly so keen on paying thirty bucks for the privilege, just so Disney can pack their wallets full with my hard-earned money.
I already pay for my subscription, and that price is apparently going up in a couple of weeks, too.
I have no particular incentive to compel me that I must watch Raya as soon as possible. All I have to do is wait for a couple of months, and boom, I’ll be able to watch it. I can be patient for that long.
And it’s not as if I’ll actually own the movie that I pay so much for. I buy DVDs all the time, and once I buy it, it is mine. It belongs to me, and no one can legally take it from me. Where is the sense in paying so much just to see something that can just be taken down or vanish or whatnot?
Mind you, I would be far more amenable to the idea of the price was significantly lower. Like, say, four dollars (or three-nintey-nine, whatever). Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but multiplying ninety-five million by four still comes out to three hundred and eighty million. That has to still be a huge profit, one which Disney wouldn’t have to split with the dying theaters, and one that is much easier to persuade already-paying customers to provide. Trying to make three billion off of every new movie is just ridiculous to the point of obscenity. It’s flat-out greedy and unreasonable.
Paying thirty bucks just to sit at home and watch something? I do that for free all the time! Why should I pay so much for doing what I already do, especially when I can just wait to watch the same movie for free?
Which, goes into my next reason.
Wanting the Theater Experience
I do not know how anyone at Disney forgot this, but people were never paying so much more just to see their movies. Oh, yes, that was the main event, the draw, the lure. But that wasn’t all we got from it.
Going to the movies, watching them in the theater, it’s not just about the movie. It’s about the experience. It’s about leaving one’s home for something other than going to work, church, or the store. It’s about doing something special.
Even more, it’s about doing so with family and friends. Just like going skating at a rink is about the time spent together, not just the skating itself. Or going camping and fishing with a father or a son is about the father-son bond. So is going to the theater, and paying so much more than Disney is asking, about so much more than just the movie itself, or the treats we get. It’s about all of us being together. Even crowds of perfect strangers can be united as they all react to the movie, let alone close friends and family.
We are social creatures, and as much as I enjoy stories, I have to admit that they would be absolutely worthless without people to share them with. Who could I talk to about how the human condition is reflected even in our cartoons, if there weren’t anyone else there to talk with?
So, no, Disney, it’s not simply the movie that we pay so much for. We pay for the entire theater experience!
Of Disney Politics, Sick and Tired I Am
I do not go to the movies to get preached at. No one does. No one likes to get preached at, and most especially when one just wants to enjoy the movie. But it’s all gotten political now, with the woke, feminist Left running things in Hollywood and at Disney. Oh, they’ll make and tell stories, on the promise of being able to sell them, which speak to the very things they oppose: integrity, selflessness, freedom, the American spirit, and the importance of family. But it gets increasingly difficult for me to give them my dollars when those dollars are just going to be used to promote exactly the opposite.
This, I think, would be a major factor in why Mulan bombed so hard because, like what Hollywood did with the last Charlie’s Angels movie and that Harley Quinn movie with the Birds of Prey, they abandoned even that pretense which has always profited them, and just went full-blown woke-ism and the modern feminism of “man bad, woman good.”
Of course, I can’t be too surprised by it. Disney has long been a vehicle for the politics of the Left, including environmentalism. It was a long process of transformation for me to realize that said environmentalism was a bunch of horse crap, which I’d bought into as a kid specifically because of Disney’s narrative. But after so much of this propaganda, for so long, I find that I tire of it. I don’t want to support it, which makes it more difficult for me to part with my dollars even when I already know that what I’m buying is good. And, not only am I not actually buying any of these movies on premier access, but I don’t know if they’re really any good!
I mean, I was excited about Mulan for quite awhile before its release, and look what Disney did to that!
On which note, I am having concerns about Black Widow, too. Oh, I am very excited for it, but I find my excitement waning with the rise of a trepidation born of knowing what Disney did with Mulan, what Scarlett Johansson did with Lucy and Ghost in the Shell, and even what Marvel did with Captain Marvel, a movie that, the more I think about it, the more disappointed I become.
Oh, and I definitely recall what Disney recently did with Gina Carano, star of their big hit, The Mandalorian. While I never got into that show, it irritates me that they would put such an emphasis on politics that they’d look for the most threadbare, deceptive excuse fire her simply for being conservative, for not toeing their political line. It makes me sick!
And in the midst of all of this, Raya and the Last Dragon seems, according to the trailers, to have some sort of message about a fractured people reuniting in peace. And this, right now, right after the most contested election in our history, instead of right before it. Coincidence? I think not.
So, why not pay for premier access on Disney Plus, despite how much of a relatively good deal it is?
Basically: I think it costs too much and benefits me too little; I feel it lacks something which can be found by actually going to the theater; and I am just really sick and tired of Disney’s crap.
Interesting. I’ve certainly been tired of Disney’s crap for several years now although not for the same reasons as you. I don’t have a Disney+ subscription and I don’t want to pay so much for multiple streaming services in general. Let me expound on that with the points you brought up.
Too little bang: I hear you right there. You would think with all the companies that Disney owns or has the distribution rights to (NatGeo being one for the latter for example), that the library and back catalogue would be far greater for the price. Sure, they’ll throw original movies and series, but it just comes off as expensive, gimmicky, and nostalgia milking.
Theater experience: Despite never going to a movie theater since 2018, I’m with you in full agreement there. The theater experience is something I like even though I have a lot of disdain for a ton of Hollywood stuff. Unfortunately, I currently live in a town that doesn’t have a theater with indie films or have any film festivals. Whenever one does pop up, I’m busy with work and can never go. I do hear you right there with the aesthetics of seeing a movie on the big screen though.
Politics: I have mixed feelings about your opinion. Don’t get me wrong, if I can compliment Disney on something, they have dramatically improved with female characterization which is a good thing. Nothing wrong with that at all, but the strawman feminist leanings can be annoying. Like you, I don’t like the “men are evil, only women are good” mindset and I’ve noticed it being pushed in media. I have heard the “woke Disney” moniker because of a Lindsay Ellis video I was recommended. However, whatever “wokeness” (I use this term lightly) they have currently is really limited to female characters. They still have a TON of work to do because of racial representation. Sure, they have selective examples of racism warnings with Dumbo, The Aristocats, and Lady and the Tramp for example, but they still deny how certain characters have racist undertones/implications (**cough** Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed! **cough**). It’s more of being conveniently woke, if you know what I mean. There’s certainly an argument about the left doing things in the media, but I see it as a more bipartisan effort when it comes to controlling the narrative like how there are limited topics they wouldn’t cover in their movies like colonialism, uncomfortable parts of history, microaggressions, etc. Granted, this is a mainstream media thing and not limited to Disney, but it is quite annoying. Like you, I don’t like to be preached at whether someone believes in a God or not or if they’re left or right.
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