Martha and Colby Grow Up

A podcast where 20 somethings navigate life apart, together.

Disney Plus and the Case for Nostalgia

Do you really need another streaming service? Probably!

On November 11, Disney+ or Disney Plus or D+ (whatever you want to call it) debuted with almost 500 movies and over 2,000 episodes of television. Including, but not limited to, Disney Channel Original Movies like Cadet Kelly, the Skywalker Saga of Star Wars films, and animated TV series like Phineas and Ferb. (Notably absent is Song of the South).

Give it a couple more hours or days and I’m sure Buzzfeed will release a quiz where you can check off all of the movies you’ve seen and compare your answers with your friends. I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s when DCOM premieres were something I cleared my calendar for, and needless to say I’m quite excited for all the nostalgia happening.

I think it’s worth understanding why we are so excited about Disney+. There are many things we could choose to focus on with Disney. The conglomeration of it all, the corporate feel to everything they trust, how they don’t pay their cast members enough… but for now, we can maybe find a little hope instead.

So we’re turning inward, remembering memories that we thought were long forgotten. I’m remembering when I was 7 or 8 and my brother and I still shared a bedroom. We had two twin beds (he was younger, 5 or 6) and they were pushed up against opposite walls. In the middle of our room on the wall we had a built in book shelf. On that bookshelf we had a small TV, maybe no more than 10 inches, and that had a built in VHS player. We would pile pillows and a beanbag chair in front of the TV to watch Disney Channel (and Nick, for my brother) together.

I don’t get along well with my brother that much anymore and I haven’t thought of that in a long time. Perhaps I’ve become hardened and don’t take time to reminisce because most of the time I’m thinking about moving forward and what I’m going to do next.

With the release of D+, however, time feels like it’s slowly moving backward and forward at the same time. The other day I started Cadet Kelly (a movie staring Hilary Duff going to military school) because I remembered that that was one of my favorite movies growing up. Not surprisingly, it did not hold up the test of time. 4:3 framing? Early aughts fashion??? But for just an hour and a half, I was transported back to a time when it DID work for me. Feeling like a little kid again is not the worst thing in the world.

It’s moving forward too because Disney is ushering new content with The Mandalorian and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. Things that are new and interesting and innovative, but yet interact with things from the past, things we maybe still love even though they are “older.”

The threads of nostalgia are everywhere with D+, whether you want to go unraveling it or not. I suggest you do not. Don’t unravel the fact that Cinderella isn’t as good as you remember it, because with just a click you can find content that will suit you instead. And this is probably Disney’s plan anyway, stay in the app as long as you can and consume as much as their content as possible.

Yeah, that sounds like a monopoly. But, don’t overthink it right now. Just revel in the nostalgia for a little while longer.

Orignal episode: