The long-awaited United Kingdom and European launch of Disney+ has finally arrived.
The launch will bring tentpole original series “The Mandalorian” and Disney’s expansive catalogue of library content to a massive pool of potential new subscribers. Disney will reduce the service’s picture quality on the continent due to large increases in internet traffic — a move mimicked by Netflix and YouTube, which recently announced similar measures to reduce strain on the internet.
The app is available in most European countries, though its French launch has been delayed until April 7 per the government’s request .
Disney had previously planned to celebrate Disney+’s European launch with a high-profile event on March 5, but the event was scrapped due to the ongoing pandemic.
Disney+ enjoyed a strong launch last November and Bob Iger told investors in February that the service had 26.5 million subscribers. The “Star Wars” spinoff, “The Mandalorian,” immediately became the streaming service’s standout title and Season 2, which has already completed filming, is expected to be one of the fall television season’s most-discussed shows.
“The Mandalorian” Season 1 enjoyed widespread critical success, with most episodes going viral due to the variety of cheeky shots and antics of Baby Yoda, the series’ once-hidden, now standout hero. As for series newcomers, Rosario Dawson (“Briarpatch,” “Daredevil”) will portray Ahsoka Tano, a fan-favorite former Jedi, in the upcoming season, suggesting that the franchise will begin incorporating more well-known “Star Wars” elements in upcoming installments.
While “The Mandalorian” remains Disney+’s most notable original, the service also boasts an expansive catalogue of old Disney-owned content, including films and television shows from brands ranging from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to “Star Wars,” Pixar, and National Geographic.
Other high-profile shows scheduled to hit Disney+ in the coming months include the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “WandaVision,” which are slated to premiere in August and December, respectively. That said, like most other Hollywood productions, work on those shows was recently halted, and it is unclear if they will still be released on schedule.
Other Disney+ exclusives that have already premiered include “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Season 7, “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” and a live-action adaption of “Lady and the Tramp.”