Our Childhood Makes a Comeback With Disney+

Illustration by Melody Li

Suchetha Reddy
Contributing Writer

Disney+, a newly launched streaming service, is competing with Netflix — arguably the most popular streaming service currently — to become the top dog of the industry. Owned by The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ was launched merely three weeks ago and accumulated a whopping 10 million users on its first day itself. 

What is aiding Disney+’s mass success? Interestingly enough, the service uses pathos, a technique that appeals to the audience’s emotions and brings out pre-existing feelings within them, to evoke fond childhood memories with their family-friendly films, shorts, and TV shows. 

Freshman psychology major Elizabeth Torales said, “It evokes childhood memories because seeing the shows I watch on Disney+ now reminds me of when I watched them when I was younger, when I was home from school, with my fuzzy blanket and my Gushers.”

Popular shows “Hannah Montana” and “Phineas and Ferb,” and movie-series “Star Wars” were among the most watched shows on Disney+ in its first couple of weeks. However, a new show, “The Mandalorian,” was also released and rose to popularity very quickly. Although most users associate the streaming service in its entirety with their childhoods, new Disney shows are also being received with the same nostalgic adoration. 

What does the introduction of Disney+ in addition to other online streaming services mean for movies and the film industry? In an interview with The Bottom Line, Wendy Matias, freshman film and media studies major said, “Independent filmmakers and smaller studios would find it harder to make movies because Disney is already such a heavy conglomerate in the film industry.

Disney+ is targeting and succeeding at pulling in the youth, specifically teenagers who were young children in the early 2000s. Their marketing strategy is quite basic, as the simple advertisement of their shows is enough to elicit a response from their target audience. Their low prices also attract their audience, which mainly constitutes of college students on low budgets. 

When The Bottom Line asked about Disney+, Sukhman Cheema, a freshman communication major, excitingly commented, “I was very excited to hear that all my favorite movies as a child are now on one platform.” He continued to say, “I ended up actually canceling the subscription because I found no use for Netflix as I’d rather pay $6.99 than $10.99 and get the same amount of entertainment, if not more.”

One may question whether a member of an older generation would feel the same connection to the shows on Disney+, seeing as that generation did not grow up watching these shows like the current youth did.

When asked if she subscribed to Disney+, Jwalitha Shankardas told The Bottom Line, “I didn’t immediately feel excited when Disney+ was announced because I personally prefer to watch older shows like ‘Law and Order’ as they were the shows that I watched in my 20s.” 

We’ll all have to wait and find out whether the buzz around Disney+ is purely initial excitement regarding something new or if its user base will continue to grow.