On Disney Plus, and Ed’s Esoteric Watchlist

22 Nov

null 10By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Disney Plus is available across most major markets. As a huge fan of their original creations–namely Gargoyles, Lilo and Stitch, and Ducktales–to watch a random episode through the cloud instead of pulling a DVD out is terrific. I have choices. However, two weeks after its launch, I still have yet to subscribe since I’m in no rush. The big issue is with the fact that there’s only a handful of original works offered and I own physical copies of most of the titles since becoming a member of the Disney Movie Club.

Plus, not all of their made-for-television catalogue is fully available. I’m sure this will change over time as we now have a dedicated website to report on the latest adds.

Of the newer content this company now manages–namely The Muppet Show, Star Wars, PIXAR and Marvel–I own hard copies. The reason is simply in the fact I enjoy looking at the bonus material that comes with these releases than rewatching the films themselves.

The Mandalorian is getting a lot of praise but honestly, I want to binge watch the series. Once the first season is completely available, I will subscribe. By then, if there’s a home video release with additional content, I will fork out the money to buy than subscribe. Ever since Netflix and the use of DVRs changed the viewing habits of the consumer, binging meant more than digesting your favourite food.

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If I am to watch anything from the service, I have my list of fond favourites from yesteryears. This selection is because I never bought a hard copy right away.

Dragonslayer (1981) heralded a wave of fantasy cinema which cemented my love for Dungeons and Dragons. Not only were the effects ahead of its time but also showed Disney was not always following their set formula to create established classics. That is, it’s not about the talents of the decade appearing in their works. It focusses on storytelling where it matters, and I still have a very well read issue of Cinefex Magazine explaining how Vermithrax was created.

When Steven Spielberg examined the terror of a close encounter, The Flight of the Navigator (1986) offered the opposite! It showed alien visitations are not necessarily bad, and for young David trying to make sense of what happened, the adventure is analogous to another pair of Disney works–Escape to, Return from and Beyond Witch Mountain. They were classics which I enjoyed seeing on when ABC had their Disney dinner hour on Sunday nights. Also made for television was a reboot of The Love Bug (1997) starring Bruce Campbell. Although this work is suspiciously missing, at least I can enjoy seeing him in Sky High (2005) and Goldrush, A Real Alaskan Adventure (1998). The latter is notable for the simple reason he’s not being snarky like Ash.

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When considering my fondness for Disneyland’s phantasmagorical attraction concerning the paranormal, It should be of no surprise I’m looking to see if The Ghost of Cypress Swamp (1977) and The Ghosts of Buxley Hall (1980) is on the streaming service. One of the two are, and while we see Haunted Mansion (2003) starring Eddie Murphy, it’s Tower of Terror (1997) that I want! Did it disappear into the Twilight Zone?

That Darn Cat (1965) is certainly just that! DC is a tomcat who loves terrorizing the locals, but when he witnesses a crime and starts helping the local law enforcement, the hilarity is just simply off the wall. I caught this work once as a treat when I was really young either as a repeat on television or somewhere–the recollection is vague because it was so long ago.

I’m just glad this feline is doing good than a certain cat in the hat.

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The Cat From Outer Space (1978) is not signalling a fondness for the feline as the star (of any work). The 70s was unique because it was a time when Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, Harry Morgan, Ronnie Schell, Roddy McDowall were truly household names, and I’d watch anything they appeared in. McDowall was special–when he was not playing an Ape from this Fox franchise, his charm just made those films he worked in just that extra special.

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