Disney Plus 2021

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Ever since the launch of Disney+ in November 2019, we have enjoyed what feels like unlimited access to all our Disney favorites.

However, one of the best aspects of this service isn’t the ability to watch the classics on repeat (although we’ve definitely done that!).

What we’ve really come to enjoy is the original content created exclusively for Disney+, giving us new insights into many of our most beloved fictional universes.

Disney has a new lineup of great new content coming to Disney Plus in 2021.

Much of this new content expands on the Marvel and Star Wars canon, but the recent announcement revealed that Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar are bringing us some of our favorite characters as they continue their journeys.

While these films and series have all been announced, several do not yet have clear release dates. Nevertheless, we remain hopeful that we will get these shows sooner rather than later!

Image: Disney

So buckle up, because in 2021, we’re going to be off on more adventures than you can stand!

Here’s what’s coming to Disney+ in 2021…


Table of Contents


Disney+ Exclusive Releases

Hocus Pocus 2

Get ready to have a spell put on you once again! A sequel to the beloved 1993 Halloween classic is set to come to Disney+…soon?

We don’t have an official release date yet, but we’re holding out for Halloween of 2021. It is confirmed that Adam Shankman, a Disney veteran, is set to direct. With plenty of comedies under his belt, we can be confident that Shankman will do the Sanderson’s justice.

Why You Should Watch

Speaking of the Sanderson’s, all three of the original Hocus Pocus actors are confirmed to return!

That’s right, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker will be back as the iconic Winifred, Winnie, and Sarah.

For a while there, we weren’t sure we would get them, as previous sequel content has been released as a novel with a different take on the characters. However, they’re back!

BONUS Reason

The original film took place in 1993, the year it was released, so it stands to reason this film will take place in 2020-2021. If they thought 1993 was nuts, what will they think of this new millennium?!


The Keanon Lowe Project

Based on a true story, The Keanon Lowe Project brings to life the story of a football coach turned hero who prevented a school shooting in 2019.

Keanon Lowe, originally from Oregon, was working as a football coach and security guard at a high school in Portland when a student arrived to a classroom bearing a shotgun. Lowe was able to confront, disarm, and talk down the would-be assailant without a single shot fired. By the time the authorities arrived, Lowe was holding the young man in a compassionate embrace, away from the other students.

Brought to us by Seven Bucks Productions, this story is more than just another sports movie. It shows how the kindness of one man to a lost soul saved lives.

Why You Should Watch

While we all love a good sports movie, this film shows so much more than that. In this instant, Lowe was just one human being trying to help another, while protecting the students under his charge. As the actual incident was not that long ago, it brings several elements of our current society into focus while celebrating compassion.

BONUS Reason

Lowe, an Oregon native, also played football in high school and for the Oregon Ducks as a wide receiver. It will be interesting to see how they choose to tell the story, and if there will be flashbacks of any kind to Lowe’s football days.


Flora and Ulysses

Based on the children’s novel of the same name, Flora and Ulysses follows the story of a 10-year-old girl and her squirrel companion.

Flora, who is dealing with the fallout of her parents’ divorce, saves a squirrel who has been run over by a vacuum cleaner. This near-death experience causes the squirrel, dubbed Ulysses by Flora, to develop special abilities. He can fly, understand humans, and even write poetry!

The story covers Flora’s journey to understand the love of her family, as well as bringing Ulysses into her home.

Why You Should Watch

A critically acclaimed children’s book, this is a great opportunity to read and then watch the story with your family. Especially for children who find themselves in a similar situation to Flora, the struggles and ultimate reconciliation of the characters hits home.

BONUS Reason

Taking an illustrated novel and turning it into a live-action film (with a talking squirrel to boot!) is no easy feat, but we’re looking forward to seeing how it turns out! We get Flora and Ulysses fairly soon, as it premieres on February 19, 2021.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Best-selling books, popular live-action films, and now an all-new animated film!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid follows Greg Heffley as he navigates everyday problems like a horrible older brother, loving but misguided parents, puberty, and impressing his crush.

With fifteen different books in the series, there’s no shortage of content to serve as the basis of the new film!

Why You Should Watch

As the original book series contains illustrations as well as text, it will be interesting to see how this translates to animation. Will they stick with the drawing style from the diaries? Will it be more realistic, with the drawings “coming to life” for certain sequences? With animation, the possibilities are endless, and it is exciting to consider the creative choices.

BONUS Reason

Since the film is based on a book series, it stands to reason if the film does well then there will be more. Check it out, and we’ll see if we have more Wimpy Kid to come!


Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum is coming to Disney+!

No, not the live-action films, an all-new animated reboot will be dropping in 2021.

Shawn Levy, the director of the live-action films, has come on board the project as a producer. With that in mind, we can be sure that the new animated feature will stay true to the originals.

Why You Should Watch

According to various sources, the tentative plot focuses around Nick Daley, the son of the night watchman Larry Daley from the original films. Nick is nervous about following in his father’s footsteps, as the museum, you know, comes to life. However, both old and new characters will be there to help him through!

BONUS Reason

Many of our old favorites, like Teddy Roosevelt and Sacajawea will return! Even though some of the voice actors are different that their original live action counterparts (we will miss Robin Williams!), seems likely that the essence of the characters will remain the same.


Pinocchio

Tom Hanks returns to Disney once again as the loving Geppetto, the creator and father of the puppet Pinocchio. With the help of Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s “conscience” and companion, he goes on a quest to one day become a real boy.

Both live-action and a musical, this remake of the classic film will follow Pinocchio’s journey in a whole new way!

Why You Should Watch

This remake really is a mystery. The only hint of content out there right now is the teaser trailer, which features animated stills of the film. We know there are both live action and CGI elements, so it will be interesting to see how the whole thing comes together!

Teaser trailer:

BONUS Reason

A much darker live-action version of Pinocchio was released in 2019 (not by Disney!), with the little wooden boy not as sweet as we’re used to seeing. Even though that is more true to the original novel, that doesn’t change the fact that it is a bit scary for a younger audience. It will be nice to get back to the warm fuzzies of Disney!


Peter Pan & Wendy

Image Source: IMDb

Another beloved Disney classic, Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery will head up the project.

Again, not much is known about the film, other than the original 1950s classic is the inspiration. It is assumed that the plot will fall along the same lines of the classic tale of J.M. Barrie’s with that bit of Disney flair thrown in.

Why You Should Watch

We do know that we’re getting Jude Law as Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell, providing faces for some of the pivotal characters. The film was originally set to open theatrically, but recent events have made that impossible. However, with that expectation comes box-office quality, which we can all get excited about!

BONUS Reason

With only this trailer to go on, much of the direction of the film is a mystery. At the same time, it is possible that Lowery will be bringing the story into a more modern era, which would add a fun twist to the tale!

Trailer:


The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

Image Source: IMDb

The Ducks are back! Joined by Lauren Graham, Emilio Estevez returns as Coach Gordon Bombay to help a group of hockey ragamuffins once more.

Because here’s the kicker – this time, the Ducks are the “bad guys.”

Yup, our lovable little Ducks have grown into an extremely competitive, dynamite youth hockey organization. One where parents show up with scouts. Scouts. When one young boy gets cut, his mother (Graham) seeks help to start her own team for kids who just want to play sports for fun rather than to compete. Three guesses as to who she finds to coach it!

Why You Should Watch

In this movie, we see the Ducks in a way we’ve never seen them before – as the enemy. Our first look tells us that the heart of the Ducks isn’t in the name, but in the players themselves.

The teaser also gives us a hint at a bit of romance, with both Graham and Estevez showing off their characteristic wit.

Trailer:

BONUS Reason

So many kids today are wrapped up in the world of competing, letting the threat of the future rule their lives. It’s nice to see a film that reminds kids it’s ok to play a sport just because you love it!


The Mysterious Benedict Society

Based on the book series of the same name, The Mysterious Benedict Society follow the story of four gifted orphans who infiltrate a nefarious boarding school called The Institute. Their task? To discover how the leader of The Institute is brainwashing people, and put an end to it once and for all.

The first eight-episode season takes direct inspiration from the first book of the series.

Why You Should Watch

Receiving critical acclaim, The Mysterious Benedict Society book series comes highly recommended. As the writers/creators of the show take seriously the source of their inspiration, it stands to reason the show will be excellent as well.

BONUS Reason

This is a fun chance to read the books with your kids while watching the show! It is always good to encourage your children to read the novels that inspire some of these franchises, giving them a better appreciation for the story in its original form.


Walt Disney Animation

Raya and the Last Dragon

Coming to you from the studio that gave you Frozen and Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon brings us an all-new hero with an incredible new culture to explore.

The story takes place in Kumandra, a fictional world where humans and dragons once lived together in peace. One day, a great evil threatened the land, and the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humankind. Raya’s journey takes place 500 years last, as the great evil has returned to endanger the land once again.

Raya is in search of the last dragon in an effort to reunite the land and its people, and of course save the world.

Why You Should Watch

Much like Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon introduces audiences to a new culture and traditions. While Raya takes place in a fictional world, you can see from the trailer traditional Japanese and Chinese elements throughout. On top of that, the story follows an incredible female character who isn’t necessarily a princess. While there is nothing wrong with princesses, it’s nice to see Disney expanding their view of what a strong female character looks like.

Trailer:

BONUS Reason

We can already tell that the music is sensational. James Newton Howard is the creative genius behind the score, working on projects such as the Hunger Games series, both Maleficent movies, and darker stories like the Christian Bale Batman films. His distinct sound is perfect for Raya, and I’m excited to hear more of it when the film releases!


Pixar

Pixar Popcorn

A collection of shorts coming straight from the Pixar animators, this an amazing opportunity for these animators to show off their personal style and work.

Some of the most talented people in the country have created stories featuring both known and original characters, coming only to Disney+ in January!

Why You Should Watch

When artists are given creative license to make their own stories, you never know what you’re going to get! These stories are going to be bursting with creativity, heart, and best of all, Pixar magic.

BONUS Reason

Advertised as being “bite sized,” these shorts are perfect for kiddos with short attention spans or if you don’t want to get invested in a movie. Easy to start, stop, and pick up again later.


Dug Days

We all fell in love with Dug, the lovable golden retriever who adopts Carl in the film Up. Who wouldn’t, when he himself has so much love to give?

Dug is back in a series of shorts that follow him through a variety of antics in his own backyard. Seen through Dug’s eyes, the events have a bit of a childish view, which makes them all the more adorable!

Why You Should Watch

Up is one of the most underrated Pixar films, so it’s nice to see the return of these characters! Dug appeals to all audiences, making these shorts the perfect family feature.

BONUS Reason

If you’re a fan of animals, fun, and hilarity, this collection of shorts is the right combination for you!


Marvel Studios

Even though we “lost” Iron Man (Robert Downing, Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) at the end of Avengers: End Game, there is still plenty of story left in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)!

I mean, do you know how many comics there are in the Marvel universe?

With that in mind, get ready for some amazing new stories with some of the most beloved MCU characters, including Hawkeye, Black Widow, the Hulk, Bucky, Falcon, and many more!


WandaVision

After the devastation of losing Vision in Avengers: Infinity Wars, it seemed as though the love story between he and Wanda Maximoff was lost to us forever. However, with this newest television series, that may not be the case!

Taking place in a Leave it to Beaver-type suburban setting, Wanda and Vision are happily married and living a quiet, quintessential American life. Although they enjoy their life together, both begin to suspect that everything is not quite right in their new fairy-tale ending, which leads to the question – is this even real?

Why You Should Watch

We already know there’s going to be a crazy plot twist in this series, even if that’s still under wraps.

How did Wanda find Vision? Is this an alternative timeline or universe? What is real? We’re going to have to watch to find out!

Trailer:

BONUS Reason

Both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany return to reprise their characters, which gives authenticity to the show. With their fabulous chemistry in the Avenger films, we can be confident that this show is going to be fantastic!


The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

What happens when you lose your mutual best friend? Why, team up of course!

Moving from hatred, to grudging respect, to thinly veiled friendship, the unlikely pairing of Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) promises to yield excellent results.

Continuing the story in the time after Avengers: End Game, Falcon struggles to pick up the mantel of Captain America while maintaining his own identity. Bucky comes along for the ride, trying to find where he fits as a man out of time.

Full of action, adventure, and definite sarcastic hilarity, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier promises to be a fan pleaser.

Why You Should Watch

When Avengers: End Game finished, it had this sense of finality with the MCU. It left fans wondering if Disney was going to continue with this storyline into the future, if it was just the end of the Iron Man/Captain America era. With this new show, and others like it, we have our answer! There are new adventures to be had, and I can’t wait to see what they do with this show.

BONUS Reason

Like WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will return to play the titled characters, really making it feel as though the story continues. Let’s be honest, the show wouldn’t have nearly the level of quality if Disney has decided to recast.


Loki

Moving from a villain to something of an antihero, Loki wormed his way into the hearts of the audience, gathering a bit of a cult following. His new series will follow the events after his disappearance with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame and what antics he falls into. A stellar cast joins Tom Hiddleston, reprising his role as the trickster god, including big names like Owen Wilson and Wunmi Mosaku. Strap in, because this is going to be a bumpy ride!

Trailer:

Why You Should Watch

If you thought you were the only fan who was wondering where Loki went, this series will certainly answer all of those questions! Additionally, Loki’s character definitely takes a hard left from what we would consider to be conventional heroism. While we will certainly have something to root for in the serious, his moral compass definitely has its own magnetic pull.

BONUS Reason

It’s likely that this story will take place both on Earth and throughout the established galaxy, giving opportunities for exciting plotlines and cameos alike!


What If…?

As fans of the original Marvel comics know, the universe and stories we see in the main arcs are not the only ones that exist.

Outside of the main plot, there are alternate universes (AUs) and time travel loop holes creating all kinds of new possibilities (think Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse).

That’s what What If…? explores – all the changes that could occur if one small (or not so small) event went just a bit differently.

What if T’challa had been picked up by Yondu instead of Peter Quill? What if Peggy Carter had been given the serum instead of Steve Rogers? Wait, is that a zombie Captain America??? All of these stories will come to life and more!

Why You Should Watch

This is a chance to see you favorite characters in situations they literally would never be otherwise! AUs open the door to a whole host of new plotlines, the potential for heroes to become villains, and for characters who we’ve lost to return.

BONUS Reason

The majority of the characters will be voiced by the actor who plays them in the live action films, really making them feel alive in spite of being animated.


Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel tells the story of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American girl living in New Jersey, who suddenly finds herself with the powers of her favorite heroes.

However, Kamala soon comes to learn that life isn’t always easier with superpowers, as she tries to find her identity and live up to her new enhancements.

Why You Should Watch

Much like our beloved Peter Parker, Kamala shows us what it’s like for a young person to suddenly have more power (and responsibility) than they are sure they are ready to handle. Kamala has to go through the struggles of a superhero while navigating the waters of adolescence, with the added pressure of being a minority in both race and religion. It’s definitely a unique take on the MCU!

BONUS Reason

Kamala Khan’s story as Ms. Marvel is a canonical part of the Marvel comic universe, as is her hometown and upbringing. It addressed social issues that are still common today, bringing something that was before its time back into the spotlight.


Hawkeye

Clint Barton, or Hawkeye, first came to the MCU in the first Thor film, albeit in a small role (so small, that if you weren’t paying attention, you would have missed it).

Since then, Hawkeye has been a fan favorite, providing deadly archery accuracy and dry, quippy humor.

However, there is so much more to Hawkeye than meets the eye, which will come to light in the new series.

Why You Should Watch

Even though we don’t have much information concerning the plot, all signs point to Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye comics as inspiration.

Hailee Steinfeld joins the cast as Kate Bishop, an archery protégée and mentee of Barton’s in the Fraction series. We also know that the mercenary villain The Clown will make an appearance, played by Irish actor Fra Fee. Even the Disney+ logo is almost an exact replica of the one found on Fraction’s comics, so it’s a good indicator that his work is going to be the primary creative thrust behind the story.

Trailer:

BONUS Reason

Based on images of Jeremy Renner on set, it appears that he is wearing a small inner ear hearing aid. This seems to indicate that Hawkeye’s hearing loss, which was an important part of the original Hawkeye story, is something that will feature prominently in this series.


She-Hulk

Image Source: IMDb

Further expanding the role of females in the MCU, She-Hulk is coming to Disney+ in an all-new series.

Tatiana Maslany is Jennifer Walters, a powerhouse lawyer who specializes in superhero cases. When Jennifer gets in an accident and receives a transfusion of blood from her cousin, Bruce Banner, she experiences a milder version of the effects that turn Bruce into the Hulk. While Jennifer, now She-Hulk, can become a super-strong green being, she keeps her control over herself and her personality.

Why You Should Watch

This is a cool offshoot of the Hulk story, one that is not often explored but has amazing storylines. In the original comics, She-Hulk was part of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D., and several other superhuman teams. It is possible that, throughout the show, we could see some of these avenues elaborated on further.

BONUS Reason

It has been confirmed that Mark Ruffalo will return to play Bruce Banner (the Hulk), and Tim Roth will reprise the role of Abomination from the 2008 The Incredible Hulk film. This shows us that connections and references to Hulk canon is on the menu!


Moon Knight

Image Source: IMDb

Often called the Batman of the Marvel universe (sorry Tony!),

Moon Knight brings together the mystic and the everyday throughout his adventures. Marc Spector, originally a mercenary, is betrayed by his boss during a grave robbery in Egypt and left to die. At the last moment, Marc is approached by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, who gives Marc powers in exchange for becoming a human presence for Khonshu on Earth.

When he returns to civilization, Marc takes on the mantel of Moon Knight, as well as two new identities. His first is Steven Grant, a millionaire made from investing Marc’s mercenary cash, and Jake Lockley, a taxi driver. The Grant identity finances Moon Knight’s nighttime vigilantism (there’s the Batman part), while Lockley enables Moon Knight to stay in touch with the low level street crime world.

Why You Should Watch

Moon Knight gets into a grittier side of Marvel while adding in mystical elements of the Egyptian gods. This character has also made appearances throughout several arcs of better known heroes, opening the door for cool connections, crossovers, and cameos.

BONUS Reason

Based on the recent information, it appears that the Disney+ series will dive further into the dissociative identity disorder aspect of the character. While this disorder is often misrepresented in pop culture, there is the strong possibility that the nature of the character (being possessed by the god, pretending to be multiple people, etc.) will see it done justice.


Secret Invasion

Remember that time that Skrulls were pretending to be Nick Fury when he was really off on a space ship somewhere? Yeah, that happened.

This series will bring together Nick Fury and Talos (the Skrull from Captain Marvel) as they uncover a secret group of Skrulls who have been living on Earth for decades. With the shape-shifting possibility, along with Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. history, this promises to be one full of twists and turns!

Why You Should Watch

We had a lot of questions after Far From Home when it was revealed that Nick Fury had been off world the whole freaking film. How long has he been gone? How on Earth has no one figured out that he’s been replaced by a Skrull? I have a feeling that all these questions, and more, will be answered in this series.

BONUS Reason

Nick Fury, while funny in his own way, has always been this aloof and stiff character in his leadership role. As Talos is more his equal, we have the chance to see Nick in a more relaxed setting while diving deeper into his backstory.


Ironheart

Building on 2015 comic series, Ironheart brings to life the 15-year-old super genius Riri Williams. Attending MIT, Riri steals materials from the school to make her own version of the Iron Man suit. When it seems she will be caught by the campus police, Riri flees while wearing the armor, and accidently stops a crime in progress. This catches the eye of Tony Stark, an MIT alum himself, who decides to bankroll Riri and her inventions.

Of course, this is all from the comics, the official plot of the Disney+ series is yet to be seen. However, we do know this spunky inventor will be played by Dominique Thorne, a rising actress featured in the award-winning film If Beale Street Could Talk. While Thorne is somewhat unknown, with what we’ve seen from the MCU casting choices, I say we can be confident that she will be fantastic.

Why You Should Watch

As far as Marvel goes, Riri Williams’ story is a fairly new one. This show will explore stories that may not be as well known, while showing off a character who is like Tony – with a lot of her own attitude and flair. I get the feeling that Riri will have the smarts of Tony, but her own incredible vibe.

BONUS Reason

If a brand new story arc weren’t enough of a reason to watch, what about the possibility of a Tony Stark cameo? While Robert Downing, Jr. has confirmed multiple times that he has “retired” from the MCU, he has also said that “anything can happen.” Let’s just say this Marvel fan is still holding out hope for some bit parts here and there!


Armor Wars

Based on the seven-issue arc in the Iron Man comics, Armor Wars follows Don Cheadle as James Rhodes (War Machine) as he fights to protect his best friend’s legacy.

When Rhodey finds out that some of Tony’s tech has fallen into the wrong hands, it’s up to War Machine to find out the source of the leak and stop any serious damage from occurring.

Why You Should Watch

While the original comic arc centered around Tony Stark, Robert Downing, Jr.’s retirement from the MCU means we’ll be getting the story from a new perspective. It will also be a chance for us to see how Rhodey will step into the role Tony left behind, a role he’d largely been handling during Tony’s sojourn in space.

BONUS Reason

With Don Cheadle at the helm, this promises to be excellent! There’s also the possibility for an Ant-Man cameo, as the original story includes Scott Lang’s version of the character. We also should be surprised if Riri Williams will be in the show from time to time, bringing an Ironheart crossover element.


I Am Groot

Image Source: IMDb

Another component of the Phase 4 MCU release, I Am Groot follows baby Groot through a series of short adventures. While we don’t have much information yet, we can be sure these will be hilarious!

Why You Should Watch

It’s Baby Groot! Do you need another reason? If so, add awesome music, a glimpse of the other Guardians, and ridiculous antics to the mix. Watch the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 and you’ll get a snapshot of what I’m talking about.

BONUS Reason

These shorts could possibly bridge the gap between Volume 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, as Groot is more of an adolescent by the second film.


Star Wars

With the completion of the Skywalker saga, some believed that was the end of new Star Wars content. However, it has always been Disney’s intention to continue to expand on this universe, both during the timeline of the Skywalker era and in the gaps in between.


Ahsoka

While originally a controversial character, Ahsoka wove her way into our hearts in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. Since then, Ahsoka has been a pivotal character in multiple Star Wars series, making her most recent appearance in the Disney+ original The Mandalorian. It turns out this cameo was only the beginning, as Rosario Dawson will return to play Ahsoka Tano in her own live-action series.

Why You Should Watch

Produced by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, the creators of Clone Wars and Mandalorian respectively, this show promises to bring us new stories about what Ahsoka has been up to since the time of Star Wars Rebels while staying true to the nature of the character. Filoni, as Ahsoka’s creator and a Star Wars fan himself, feels strongly about doing her justice.

BONUS Reason

While Ashley Eckstein, the voice actor who has given the character life over the years, does not play Ahsoka, Rosario Dawson did an incredible job during her Mandalorian appearance. With both the live acting and physical stunt experience needed for the role, it is exciting to watch Dawson bring a new dimension to the character.


Rangers of the New Republic

Rangers of the New Republic comes to us, once again, from the minds of Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, expanding on the universe in which The Mandalorian comes to life. Set in the time after The Return of the Jedi, the New Republic has work to do to clean up the mess of the Empire. There is also the issue of when a vacuum of power is created, there will be those that are waiting in the shadows to fill it. This exact issue is a minor plot point in The Mandalorian. These Rangers have a tough job to do in an effort to bring peace to the galaxy in the wake of the Empire; after all, cleaning up always takes longer than the actual fighting.

Why You Should Watch

Both Favreau and Filoni have hinted that the events that happen in this series will intersect and overlap with stories from the other Star Wars series occurring within the same timeline. Ultimately, there will be a culmination of these plot lines into one climactic event, much like Avengers brought together several plotlines within the MCU.

BONUS Reason

With the hint of crossover, it makes sense that several of our other beloved characters will show up throughout this series. As plenty of time and effort is going into this universe, you don’t want to miss out on any of the action!


Obi-Wan Kenobi

Image Source: IMDb

One of the best aspects of the Star Wars prequels is getting to see more of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anikan Skywalker’s Jedi master, mentor, and friend. We see Obi-Wan move from being a padawan himself in The Phantom Menace to being a wise master on the Jedi counsel in Revenge of the Sith. The change in the character over time, as well as the growth of his relationship with Anakin, sets up the rest of the series nicely. Even though their arc ends with Anikan killing Obi-Wan (as Darth Vader), that doesn’t change their bond and connection.

However, there is a large gap of time between the end of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, opening the door for new stories and plot lines of Obi-Wan’s time between the films. While stalled by the pandemic, the Obi-Wan Kenobi show is back on track! Set ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, we will pick up with Obi-Wan on Tatooine and finally see what he was doing while hiding from the Empire.

Why You Should Watch

Firstly, Ewan McGregor is returning to play this iconic character, which honestly should be reason enough. If it isn’t, this potentially is a chance to see the origins of the Rebellion, how close Obi-Wan is connected to it, and also the possibility to see a glimpse of young Luke. This is a story we’ve all been waiting for, and now we’re finally getting!

BONUS Reason

It was recently released that not only McGregor is returning, but Hayden Christensen will also reprise his role as Anakin, only in Darth Vader form. This will be a new take on Vader and an interesting challenge for Christensen, as well as a unique look at the Kenobi-Skywalker relationship. Are you excited yet? Because you should be!


The Bad Batch

Ok, this is one that I’m personally pumped up to see!

The “Bad Batch” is a name used in The Clone Wars series to refer to clones who weren’t quite perfect in their creation. That is, they vary genetically from their Clone Army brothers, making them uniquely equipped to handle specific situations. Rather than live life as outcasts, they bond together to make their own team: the Bad Batch.

This series follows their post-Clone War (and post Order 66) missions, living life as mercenaries and trying to find a new purpose in life (as most of the clones were integrated into the new army of the Empire or retired).

Why You Should Watch

If you’ve never seen the Bad Batch arc of The Clone Wars, watch that and you’ll know why I’m so excited. While all of the clones have distinct personalities, these warriors are even more different than their counterparts, and take pride in being so. With that in mind, once they’re truly on their own, there’s no telling what they’ll get up to!

BONUS Reason

With the potential for crossovers, we might see some of our old favorites make an appearance, like Rex and Ahsoka.


Star Wars: Visions

Brand new Star Wars content comes to us in this short film series.

Not only will each episode be its own story, but the animation style will get a whole new anime twist (which some of us have actually been waiting for!). While there hasn’t been much released yet by way of plot, fans should still get excited for new stories and characters to love.

Why You Should Watch

If you’ve never seen anime before, you should check out some of the high quality anime and Ameri-me series before writing off Visions.

Anime gives a sense of realism while staying within the realm of animation, but also providing a quirky, almost meme-like twist to some scenes. In short, it’s going to be a fun way to view the Star Wars universe!

BONUS Reason

The series will come from multiple Japanese anime studios, meaning that we will get different art styles and views on the story.


Lando

Image Source: The Verge

Fans of Lando Calrissian, Han Solo’s smuggler buddy turned Rebellion general, will flip for this new event series!

All we have right now is the name of the creator, Justin Simien, best known for his work on the show Dear White People. However, as a self-proclaimed Star Wars fanatic, we can know the show is in good hands with Simien.

Why You Should Watch

While there hasn’t been any indicate whether we will get Billy Dee Williams (the original Lando) or Donald Glover (Lando in Solo), the other Disney+ shows prove that there is hope to get one or both of these incredible actors. With Katee Sackoff coming to play Bo-Katan Kryze in The Mandalorian after voicing the character in The Clone Wars, it’s clear that consistency and continuity is important within the franchise.

BONUS Reason

Creator Justin Simien brings a new perspective to the Star Wars universe, and his different style is perfect to handle such an out there character like Lando. We know next to nothing about this character, so there’s plenty of places for the series to go!


A Droid Story

Image Source: IMDb

Who doesn’t love the droids of the Star Wars series? From the adorable new D-O to old favorites like R2-D2 and C3PO, these characters have just as much personality as their human counterparts.

Lucasfilm Animation is teaming up with Industrial Light & Magic to bring us a film featuring these lovable bots, exclusively for Disney+. A Droid Story with introduce fans to a new hero (unclear if it is a person or a droid, but I’m personally hoping for droid), guided through their adventure by R2-D2 and C3PO. While that’s all we have in terms of plot for the moment, I’m already in to see my favorite droids in action.

Why You Should Watch

Did you know that R2-D2 and C3PO are some of the only characters that appear in all of the Skywalker saga films? It’s time for their time in the sun (or suns, depending on the planet), and I know I’m going to love their new antics!

BONUS Reason

As an animated film, this movie is free from some of the constraints of live-action, which opens the door to more creative plotlines and shenanigans for the droids!


The Acolyte

Image Source: IMDb

Set during the High Republic era, about 200 years before the evens of The Phantom Menace, The Acolyte is a mystery-thriller that shows the fall of this era.

Other than that minimal description, the only released information is the director, Leslye Headland. Headland is the creator behind Netflix’s Russian Doll, a dark comedic mystery series.

Why You Should Watch

This will be Star Wars as we’ve never seen it before! Not only is this a whole new era in the timeline, but the mystery-thriller aspect is definitely intriguing. We also know that elements of the dark side will play a major role in the series, adding to the sense of mystery.

BONUS Reason

Even though the prequel trilogy gave us more Jedi than we’d ever seen before, during the High Republic the Jedi were even more far-flung throughout the galaxy. It’s likely we’re going to get much of the history we’ve been lacking, and maybe even the origins of the Chosen One prophecy.


Sneak Peek: Disney+ 2022 Releases

Disney+ isn’t going to just have a big year in 2021!

At Disney’s Investor’s Day, many of the announcements went all the way into 2023. While we’re just focusing on the new year for the moment, here’s a preview at what’s coming our way in 2022.

Andor

Who didn’t weep over the incredible characters that we lost in Rogue One? I know I personally felt cheated of the chance to see these characters again, particularly with their rich history, fabulous chemistry, and personal sacrifice. Even though we all knew that it was likely we would lose these Rebels, as they weren’t in the original series, it didn’t lessen the sting of their loss.

However, all of that is going to change with the release of Andor! Following Cassian Andor, the longtime Rebel solider from Rogue One, we will get to see many of the events that led up to both that film and the original story of A New Hope. Diego Luna returns to play Cassian, while plenty of new faces will come along to round out the cast.

Why You Should Watch

One thing that is truly incredible about all the new Star Wars content is that they are filling in the gaps. While the books have been doing this for years, the Legacy stories are more like approved fan fiction than real canonical stories of what was going on in this universe. We’re finally getting the truth about what happened outside of the Skywalker saga, and getting a glimpse into the rest of the universe.

BONUS Reason

The passion and dedication to this project is undeniable. Several members of the lead production team have discussed in interviews how serious they take this series. Many have reported they see no difference in the effort on the television show and a film, which means we’re going to get film quality in every single episode.


Willow

While not part of the Star Wars universe, Willow is a Lucasfilm classic. Based on the 1988 Ron Howard film, Willow is a whole new series that continues the adventures of the original characters. Warwick Davis returns as the title character, Willow Ufgood, while new and old friends join him throughout the series.

Why You Should Watch

The series is set decades after the film, which fits with the age of Davis now. As a lot can happen over that span of year, it is unlikely to be a “cookie cutter” replica of the film. We might also have the chance to Elora, the baby girl Willow rescued, all grown up and preparing to fulfill her destiny.

BONUS Reason

Just like Labyrinth was a different type of Jim Henson film, Willow goes in a different direction for Lucasfilm. The new series will be a fun chance to see something out of the box from this studio!


Cars

Two besties on a road trip, what could possibly go wrong? Join Mater and Lightening McQueen as they travel across the country, visiting amazing destinations with new and old friends alike. Get ready to fall in love with the Cars crew all over again!

Why You Should Watch

Even though we don’t know much about the series, we do know that it will be written by Steve Purcell, who worked on the original Cars film. With that in mind, we can be sure that these characters and their stories are in good hands!

BONUS Reason

Traveling across the country gives us a wider scope of the world of Cars, much like the second film provided an international view. I’m really excited for the creative choices we’ll get to see!


Iwájú

An all-new animated series, Iwájú is a collaboration between Walt Disney Animation Studios and Kugali, a Pan-African comic book company. Iwájú roughly translates to “the future,” and much of the story brings together African traditional with science fiction. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, the overall themes of the show includes class struggles, the innocence of children, and challenging the established society. Deeply personal, this will be a story of Nigerian culture told in a way most Americans will have never experienced.

Why You Should Watch

Especially given the recent struggles here in the United States, it’s a good chance to see a different point of view. Many of the social problems in the U.S. are not unique, and while that isn’t entirely the focus, it is likely to come up. The passion that the production team has for this project is undeniable, and that passion is going to come out on the screen.

BONUS Reason

Fans of Black Panther are definitely going to love this series, as early poster mock-ups show a city reminiscent of Wakanda. While this is most definitely a separate place and story, that flavor remains.

It’s plain to see that there will not be a shortage of shows, movies, and shorts to watch in 2021! With streaming fast becoming the most popular viewing method, we can continue to expect a rise in the amount and quality of Disney+ content over the next few years.

Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer

Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.

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