My name is Marc Alan Fishman, and I have a solemn confession: I don’t love Disney. I barely like it, in fact. The House of Mouse has come to own basically over half of all known creative content within my personal wheelhouse — that of the nerdy variety. It seems suspect that my head tells me I should have been coocoo-bananas for the recently launched Disney+ steaming service, yet my heart makes a wet fart noise and I move on.
And trust me, it feels like a rare feat. My social media feeds are nearly choked with baby Yoda (not Yoda) memes, and genuine gushing goo-goo’ing over all the content on the service. Yet, no matter how many trusted friends stamp The Mandalorian with their recommendation, nor posting about reruns of Darkwing Duck… the excitement bounces off of me much like I assume elation over a new BTS album dropping does to a hipster. And let’s be clear as day kiddos: I ain’t hip.
Of course, I respect Disney’s output. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I don’t love Pixar movies; because a good swath of them are all-time favorites. I won’t deny the artistry and work behind beloved animated classics like The Lion King, Aladdin, or Beauty and the Beast. And I have a personal soft spot for the never-given-enough love flicks like Emperor’s New Groove and Hercules (despite the latter’s complete homogenization of Greek and Roman mythology). And I’d be a fool to suggest it wasn’t savvy of the big D to buy up Star Wars and Marvel Comics.
But maybe there lies the nucleation point of my malaise.
Mickey’s magical hold across figurative nerd-giants like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic universe combined with their own litany of creative properties has rendered them essentially too big to fail. And their streaming service feels to me like the fat-ass in Monty Python convinced he could enjoy one more bite, so long as it was wafer-thin. What it did was syphon off content from Netflix (a large evil company in their own right, but put a pin in that), to double-dip stretched-thin wallets of content-contented-crowds already well catered to… in an effort to drain a dependable drove of dollars from dead-eyed Disneyphiles.
I see Disney’s dive into streaming service as one-more-straw on an already beleaguered camel’s back. Because I’m one of the last few idiots still uncut from cable cords, streaming services are still a nice-to-have in my household. As it stands, we’re a Netflix family (due, funny enough, to my wife signing up for the trial, and forgetting to tell me when it switched over to my paypal, and I just said ‘whatever’). Due to my (not great, so I’m not naming it) mobile carrier, we also enjoy Hulu-but-with-ads. And as much as I’d love to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or the recently released The Morning Show, having to juggle free trials of Amazon Prime, or Apple TV, and then also consider Disney+ all to stay hip-with-the-kids, adds up. And this comes after I decided to pull the plug on my “never really beloved, but I always defended the cost” WWE network.
And far be it from me to offer myself up a wonderful segue like that and not talk a little pro-wrestlin’ while I’m here. You see, back in the early aughts, Vince McMahon took over his only real competition in the marketplace (Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling), and eventually launched his WWE Network. Like so many at the time, the “priced so low, you don’t even miss the money” allowed fans like me a hefty chunk of content to enjoy, which honestly, I never took full advantage of, ever. The bigger point to make though? Without real competition… the WWE product became flabby and less than. And now? The bloated McMahon blimp has sprung a plethora of leaks because a chic millennial brand like AEW has popped up to offer fans a real alternative.
Disney+ — if you unspool the business threads — really owns Hulu (which itself was originally the streaming service that held on to NBC and Fox properties). And they bundle them together, such that they really exist to be the bigger yin to Netflix’s yang. Amazon Prime, HBO Go, DC Streaming, and Apple TV, I suppose, exist mostly to offer the peasants a few more options to miss out on, or juggle passwords like swingers must have done in the 70’s. Each night, a new partner!
The launching of the latest zeitgeist-busting streaming service forced the white flag into my hand. Forced to pick sides in a war where I’m the biggest loser (of my dollars, monthly) because there’s not a single service that allows me to enjoy the nerdy-love-du-jour, has ultimately put a bad taste in my mouth, concerning the mouse. Mickey doesn’t need more money a month; Marvel alone has brought billions worth of cheddar to line the streets of the Magic Kingdom. I’m not denying any friends or fans rights to enjoy the service, mind you. I’m merely dragging a worthless line across the sand of my own mind. Disney+ doesn’t excite me… no matter how much I personally miss Gargoyles.