Disney+ Will Soon Include Mature Content, Leaked Report Says

in Disney, Entertainment

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle

Credit: Inside the Magic

There are major changes coming to Disney+ and its content.

A product of The Walt Disney Company, this platform offers a vast library of content, ranging from beloved classics to new and exclusive releases. The service quickly gained popularity, attracting millions of subscribers within its first year.

Bob Iger close-up
Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

One of the key strengths of Disney+ lies in its extensive content library. The platform hosts a wide array of content from various Disney-owned franchises, including animated classics like The Lion King (1994) and Frozen (2013), as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe with titles like Avengers: Endgame (2019) and WandaVision (2021). It’s a treasure trove for fans of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, providing a one-stop destination for diverse entertainment.

The success of Disney+ is also attributed to its strategic acquisitions. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox (now called 20th Century Studios) expanded the platform’s offerings, incorporating popular franchises like The Simpsons and providing a more comprehensive entertainment experience. This move not only appealed to existing Disney fans but also attracted a broader audience with varied tastes.

All of the different Disney+ titles surrounding the logo
Credit: Disney

Original content has played a crucial role in setting Disney+ apart from other streaming services. The platform has invested heavily in producing exclusive shows and movies, creating new narratives within established franchises, and introducing fresh, original storytelling. Notable examples include The Mandalorian, which brought the Star Wars universe to the streaming platform with critical acclaim, and Hamilton (2020), a recording of the hit Broadway musical.

The family-friendly nature of Disney+ makes it an attractive choice for parents and children alike. With a commitment to providing content suitable for all ages, the platform offers a safe and enjoyable streaming environment. Parents appreciate the ability to create individual profiles for family members, allowing for personalized content recommendations and parental controls. However, much of that might be changing in the coming months as Disney makes a major change.

The Walt Disney Company has been grappling with challenges in the highly competitive streaming television landscape. Despite possessing an extensive catalog featuring family classics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pixar, The Simpsons, and National Geographic, Disney+ has struggled to surpass Netflix as the leading streaming platform globally.

Grogu looking shocked in 'The Mandalorian' star wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

While Disney+ competes with other services like Netflix, HBO Max (now Max), and Amazon Prime Video, it has incurred substantial financial losses. The recent earnings report from Disney revealed that despite raising subscription prices and removing original content, the streaming service is still operating at a significant deficit. In response to these difficulties, Disney initially teased a new streaming service that would merge the content of Disney and Hulu, the latter being a platform co-owned by Disney and Comcast. However, Disney recently shifted gears by announcing its intention to fully acquire Hulu. This decision will inject additional billions into an area that has been a financial drain on the company.

Disney’s CEO Bob Iger disclosed plans for a combined app featuring both Disney+ and Hulu, set to undergo beta testing in December and a permanent replacement in March 2024. Iger emphasized the need for parental awareness, as Hulu’s catalog contains content not specifically designed for children, in contrast to the family-friendly original Disney+ app.

The move aims to streamline the user experience, allowing access to Hulu programming within the same app. However, the inclusion of potentially non-family-friendly content raises concerns for parents, prompting Iger to highlight the implementation of parental controls, which Inside the Magic previously covered.

Mickey Mouse in a hat
Credit: Disney

Despite the financial setbacks incurred by Disney in streaming, Iger remains steadfast in his belief that streaming is the future. He is banking on the success of an expanded ESPN+ service, which includes live TV and integrated options for sports gambling, signaling a departure from the traditionally family-friendly content associated with Disney. While a bundled offering of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN exists, all currently operate as separate apps. Iger sees the bundling of subscription products as a strategy to enhance the company’s “upsell capabilities.” However, this approach may face skepticism from consumers, especially with the streaming venture already proving costly for Disney.

Now, as Disney plans to bring this service to life, a report has shared what it will look like when the two apps are combined into one. In a recent report, The Verge’s Andrew Webster shared that he lives in Canada and has already seen a glimpse of what the combined app will look like. The editor said in his post that it may seem odd to see mature content sitting next to traditional Disney content but that it really is a “much better service.” In a lot of ways, he says, it’s just like typical cable only on a streaming app.

“It may seem odd to have all of those shows and movies sitting alongside Disney’s more typically family-friendly offerings. And to be fair, I have experienced some cognitive dissonance when using the service, like when the app recommended I check out Ratatouille after I watched The Menu. But really, the inclusion of Star makes Disney Plus a much more full-featured experience and puts it in line with its core competitors like Netflix and Max. It still has those blockbuster Marvel and Star Warstentpoles to lure in subscribers, but the service is fleshed out with the likes of What We Do in the Shadows or old episodes of The X-Files,” he shared.

Woody (Tom Hanks) and Jessie (Joan Cusack) talking in 'Toy Story 3'
Credit: Disney / Pixar

The editor shares that his belief is that Disney+’s new look, when it’s unveiled with Hulu content, will appeal to a broader audience.

“So I get the initial confusion: why would Disney want to dilute that brand by adding Golden Girls reruns and made-for-streaming horror movies? But the reality is that Disney Plus with Star is a much better service and appeals to a wider audience, and as the company’s studios push in more adult-oriented directions, those questions of kid-friendly branding are largely becoming moot anyway. And all of those same benefits will likely apply to Hulu in Disney Plus, too.”

Elsa (L) and Anna (R) holding hands in 'Frozen'
Credit: Disney

While it’s unclear at this point exactly what Disney’s new app will look like when it’s all ready to launch, it will be interesting to see what the company does and how it’s received. There will be plenty more content for fans to enjoy all under one app, but there will likely still be some confusion along the way as they attempt to navigate the new ropes.

What do you think of the new Disney+ changes? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

in Disney, Entertainment

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