Graphic by DeAndra Hodge and Kat Bell
Recently streaming services have been in the rise, due to the ever-rising distain for standard cable. Even individual companies have noticed the trend and, as they do, they have been capitalizing on it in any way possible. The newest little site to join the ranks of Netflix and Hulu is Disney +. Immediately upon launch the internet went wild with excitement, but does the site deserve the praise it’s getting? I’m not sure.
First of all, despite being one of the largest companies in the world, it seemed even Disney was surprised that more than a few million people would be interested in an app described as having every Disney-owned property on it.
On the day of launch, Twitter was filled with users spreading the “Disney+ Fail” hashtag as they struggled with connectivity issues and downloading errors. After the purchase was made, many found themselves facing error messages simply saying “Unable to connect to Disney+.”
Even though close to one million users pre-ordered the service, Disney+ Help’s official twitter released a statement saying, “The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations. We are working to quickly resolve the current user issue.”
Another issue with the service comes from the television app. Movies and TV shows often freezing for random lengths at a time and audio glitching are just a few of the issues the Television app has been struggling with.
Aside from the technical issues, there is also the issue of content and just general user friendliness.
Television shows ranging from the Disney Afternoon days all the way to “Phineas and Ferb” find their episodes to be out of order on the app. For shows such as “Talespin” this is not a major issue due to their non-linear plot structure. However, for shows such as “Ducktales (2017)” the plot is crucial to understanding what is going on if you want to solve in in-universe mystery.
There are also odd cases of splitting up movies and television specials into average 22-minute episodes, much as they would be aired in syndication. The first Kim Possible movie, “Kim Possible: a Sitch in Time”, is split into three 22-minute episodes versus the second movie being released as a full film under the DCOM label.
Older shows, such as “Goof Troop” and “Darkwing Duck” have their seasons condensed into one page, which makes for a scrolling hell on the app, and the strange need for HD and altered aspect ratios cause shows like “The Simpsons” to loose many visual gags and become distracting to watch.
Unlike its competitors Netflix or Hulu, Disney+ lacks any form of keeping up with what the view has previously watched. Not only is there not a “Continue Watching” feature, there also is a lack of recording what you have already seen.
For a college student with a lack of free time, it is crucial sites keep up with where we are in a season. Or better yet, when the Wi-Fi cuts out, I would like to not have to start my show over again from the beginning.
Now with all of those issues in mind, I would say Disney+ has some pros. There is a lot of older media that finds a home on Disney+ that I am grateful to get to rewatch. After all, as much as I adore “Dadnapped,” I would not pay the twelve dollars Amazon wants me to pay to see it.
Many unreleased Disney television shows find their home on Disney+ as well, such as “Out of the Box” – a kids show from the nineties. Without Disney+ this show would be lost to time (due to it never receiving a DVD or VHS release.) Now it exists in a space where it can be rediscovered, which is a really cool thing.
There is also the perk of having access to Disney movies and Television shows I missed out on due to not having cable. For the first time, there is no cable provider required to see Disney content, and for many families seven dollars is a much better price range than cable provides.
However, the biggest issue with Disney+ is not the lack of features, it’s the lack of security.
Disney+ lacks any form of security, such as two-step verification, and because of this it has become incredibly easy for hackers to swoop in and steal peoples Disney+ accounts.
According to ZDNet, a business technology website, thousands of Disney+ accounts are being sold on the dark web currently for anywhere from three dollars to eleven, if they are not being given out for free. While this may not sound like a major deal for monthly subscribers, those who paid for years in advance can be seeing a major loss of funds.
As your Disney+ Account works simultaneously with multiple other Disney accounts, it is possible for those accounts to become collateral as well – rendering many Disney fans stranded in all forms of interaction with the brand.
So far, Disney has done nothing about this security breach. Their Disney+ Help line is perpetually busy and there has yet to be a company-wide statement on the hacks.
Altogether, there seems to be a lack of care with the creation of the Disney+ service, both from a personal side and from a business side. It is not user friendly in any sense, but it seems that with some attention to detail it could be a perfectly good streaming site.
So, if you missed out on Disney+ this month, don’t stress. Netflix and Hulu are still waiting for you with open arms and tight security. This is definitely a service that you can wait for a little longer.
Katy Barnes is a writer for The Alabamian. She is a third year theatre major who enjoys movies, comics, and Montevallo culture. Previously she has written a Lifestyle Column for the Alabamian.