The streamer will have ten original series available from the get-go, with initial episodes ready to stream at launch, and additional episodes dropping weekly. They’ll consist of everything from scripted serials to documentaries, but let’s just go ahead and start with the biggie — the series which the House of Mouse is hoping will prompt everybody and their uncle to pony up for a subscription, and which is being called one of the most innovative and unique in the history of television.
The first original, live-action series set in the Star Wars universe is shaping up to be the streamer’s flagship series, and all signs point to The Mandalorian living up to its considerable hype. Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King), the series will star Pedro Pascal (Narcos) as the titular bounty hunter, navigating a dangerous galaxy in the period in between Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Dads), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Deborah Chow (The Man in the High Castle), and Dave Filoni (Star Wars Resistance) will all direct at least one episode apiece; the cast also includes Gina Carano (Deadpool), Nick Nolte (Angel Has Fallen), Ming-Na Wen (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Carl Weathers (Toy Story 4), and the great director Werner Herzog.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
It may be a bit oddly titled, but the streamer’s second-highest profile original scripted series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, will bring the Disney Channel’s smash hit High School Musical TV movies back to life. The series was created by novelist, screenwriter, and self-help guru Tim Federle, and its meta premise will see East High School’s new drama teacher — a minor cast member in the High School Musical movies — staging her first production. Its title? High School Musical: The Musical, which explains the series’ admittedly clunky title. The series will star theater veteran Kate Reinders in the lead, along with Olivia Rodrigo (Bizaardvark), Joshua Bassett (Lethal Weapon), Matt Cornett (The Goldbergs), and Sofia Wylie (Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron).
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
We all know him, we all love him, and he always, uh, finds a way to entertain us. The World According to Jeff Goldblum will feature the famously quirky (or is it quirkily famous) star of the silver screen taking deep dives into such everyday topics as ice cream and footwear — we’re thinking a sort of scattered, bizarro take on How It’s Made with plenty of tangential asides and Goldblum-y weirdness.
A reality series executive produced by and starring the endlessly lovable Kristen Bell, Encore! sports a novel premise: the show will bring together the casts of long-ago high school musical productions, now adults, to attempt to recreate their performances and bring such classics as Beauty and the Beast, Annie, and The Sound of Music back to the stage one more time. The series promises plenty of drama and intrigue, along with, you know, some killer musical numbers (we hope).
The Imagineering Story
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks (Recycled Life, The Pixar Story) brings us The Imagineering Story, an exhaustive episodic history of Walt Disney Imagineering, the design and development center responsible for the creation of all of Disney’s theme parks around the world and their installations and attractions. Iwerks’ fellow Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett narrates.
Marvel’s Hero Project
The reality/documentary series Marvel’s Hero Project focuses on kids who are changing their communities for the better, kids who will be shocked to find out that they’ve been immortalized by the writers and artists at Mighty Marvel. The subject of each episode will actually be the star of their own single-issue Marvel comic, with each issue being made available at no charge on Marvel Unlimited and the Marvel Digital Comics Store.
Forky Asks a Question
The first of three new original series from Pixar, Forky Asks a Question will feature the Toy Story 4 character (voiced by Tony Hale, Arrested Development) asking simple “what is…” questions which are sure to have surprisingly complex answers. What is love? What is time? What is… cheese? Forky wants to know, and we’re sure that his reactions to the answers will be just as entertaining and insightful as the answers themselves.
SparkShorts represents an opportunity for some of the unheralded creative minds at Pixar to bring their ideas into the spotlight. The series’ initial run will consists of six shorts created by the venerable animation house’s animators; while the first three have already been made available on YouTube, the remainder have never before been seen by the public. New to Disney+ are the short films Purl, Smash & Grab, and Kitbull; making its worldwide debut on launch day is Float, with Wind following on December 13 and Loop dropping on January 20.
Pixar In Real Life
Pixar in Real Life is, improbably, exactly what it sounds like: essentially a prank show in which characters and situations from Pixar films are plopped into the real world, and the shocked reactions of unsuspecting passersby recorded. The trailer for the series shows, for example, Wall-E cruising around the streets of a big city, Hank the Octopus and Nemo piloting a baby stroller around a crowded zoo, and Dash from The Incredibles showing off his superpower in public.
Disney Family Sundays
Finally, very little is known about Disney Family Sundays, but when announced at this year’s D23 Expo, it was described as a reality/documentary series co-produced by Matador Content. The production house is responsible for Epic Ink, Great Minds with Dan Harmon, Cosplay Melee, and Lip Sync Battle, among other series.
In addition to these ten offerings, one more noteworthy series will be making its debut shortly after launch. One Day at a Disney, a short-form series exploring the lives of “cast members” at Disney parks, will begin streaming on December 3.