While some of Disney’s streaming rivals might have been tempted to load up on Halloween themed content for October, Disney+ looks to the stars with two big shows - its returning flagship, The Mandalorian and new series The Right Stuff.
29-Sep-2020 with Marvel's 616.
29-Sep-2020: The new Marvel's 616 trailer states the series streams on 20th Nov - see below.
02-Oct-2020: Disney has been delayed Upside-Down Magic to Oct 9th in the UK
UK Disney subscribers get something of a bumper harvest for October compared to what has been on offer before with a mix of weekly episode updates for the likes of One Day At Disney, Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Weird But True, along with a number of National Geographic documentaries and series.
There’s also the UK streaming premiere of Pixar’s Onward and a brand new animated short that sees Frozen’s cold but cuddly snowman Olaf in his own wintry adventure. There’s a few Disney Channel shows now popping up on the service including DisneyPlus’s sole nod to Halloween, The Owl House.
Original content includes The Big Fib, the streaming service’s first game show, and Clouds, a touching tale of resilience and determination in the face of overwhelming odds, plus there’s anticipated space race drama, The Right Stuff.
Finally, of course, we see the return of the show that kicked Disney+’s brave new world off almost a year ago, The Mandalorian, which popped up unexpectedly onto the radar only a few weeks ago. Cynics might argue the timing is coincidentally close to re-subscription time for early adopters but regardless, there can be few streaming fans who won’t welcome the (now) Emmy Award winning series back with open arms.
As always, we’ve tried to be as UK specific as possible but please note streaming dates can change, content can sometimes be territory specific and shows can even get pulled by Disney itself.
Let’s have a closer look at what’s on the Disney+ UK October plate.
Onward (2020, Pixar Animation, Adventure, Comedy. Voices: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Dir. Dan Scanlon)
Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, are gifted the opportunity to spend one more day with their late father and so embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and plenty of peril. The boys’ worried mum is soon on their trail to make sure they’re home in time for tea.
A truncated theatrical run due to the coronavirus outbreak led to the underperforming Onward ($135M) finding its way onto Disney+ in the US at an accelerated rate but it’s only now that UK subscribers will get a chance to see the movie, which received generally favourable reviews.
Upside-Down Magic (2020, Disney Channel Movie, Family, Fantasy. Izabela Rose, Siena Agudong, Kyle Howard) - updated 02-Oct-2020
Nory and her best friend Reina enter the 'Sage Academy for Magical Studies', where Nory’s unconventional powers, which allow her to transform into unusual hybrid animals like a Dritten (a cat/dragon hybrid), land her in a class for those with wonky, or “upside-down,” magic. Undaunted, Nory sets out to prove that that upside-down magic can be just as powerful as right-side-up, even as the school headmistress believes the class is vulnerable to dangerous shadow magic.
And by 'Shadow Magic', we mean J.K. Rowling’s lawyers.
Clouds (2020, Disney+ Original Film, True Life, Drama. Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Iseman, Neve Campbell, Dir. Justin Baldoni)
Zach Sobiech is a fun-loving high school student with raw musical talent living with a rare bone cancer. Ready to take on the world, he receives the news that the disease has spread. With help from his best friend Sammy and those around him, Zach decides to use his limited time following his dreams and embarks on an unforgettable journey about friendship, love and the power of music to inspire.
An uplifting eulogy based on the book Clouds: A Memoir by Zach’s mother, Laura Sobiech.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998, Comedy, Drama, Romance. Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Dir. Andy Tennant)
In 19th century France, the Brothers Grimm arrive at the home of a wealthy Grande Dame who speaks of the many legends surrounding the fable of the cinder girl before telling the "true" story of her ancestor. The story told is set hundreds of years prior, during the Renaissance, in which a beautiful young woman called Danielle is treated as a servant by her stepmother and stepsisters. One day, she crosses paths with Prince Henry, heir to the kingdom, who falls in love with her.
The usual pantomime and comic/supernatural elements of the Cinderella tale are removed and the story is instead treated as historical fiction. This retelling is seen somewhat as a modern, post-feminist interpretation of the beloved fairy story story.
Rio 2 (2014, Animation, Adventure, Comedy. Voices: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement)
After moving out of Rio de Janeiro, Blu, Jewel and their children try to cope with the new surroundings in the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law!
Sequel to the family hit from 2011, the voice cast expands to encompass the likes of Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro and Tracy Morgan.
Once Upon a Snowman (2020, Short, Animation, Adventure. Voice: Josh Gad)
Frozen's innocent, insightful, summer-loving snowman, Olaf, gets his own untold story which details his origin from the moment he was created by Elsa, to his first meeting with Anna, Kristoff and Sven in the original film.
Zenimation Extended Edition (2020, Short, Animation)
Zenimation is a series of calming, relaxing animated soundscape experiences. Whether it’s baby Moana being called by the ocean, Anna and Kristoff walking through an icy forest, or Baymax and Hiro Hamada flying over San Fransokyo, these iconic scenes become an aural experience like no other with the sounds of ocean waves, an icy forest and soaring flight. The extended version incorporates all 10 existing episodes in a single long form video for when you need a longer relaxation session.
Penny on M.A.R.S (2020, S3, Disney Channel Series)
Penny is a girl who has a big talent and a big passion: singing. Enrolling in the famous performing arts school, M.A.R.S, she must keep one thing a secret - her mother is a world famous pop star. Penny wants to make it on her own merits, so no-one can know - except her best friend Camilla. Together they navigate the trials and tribulations of daily talent tests and falling in love with the same boy.
Primal Survivor (2018, S3 National Geographic Series)
Hazen Audel, survival instructor and wilderness guide, travels to the most extreme places on earth to take on solo challenges that will push him to the limit of his knowledge, endurance and skills. To succeed, he spends time with the locals to understand their way of life and then uses their ancient techniques to brave the wild frontiers.
The Right Stuff (2020, S1, National Geographic Original Series) Ep 1+2 and then weekly
Wealth, fame, immortality, it’s all waiting for those who trail blaze. But those who take the first steps must do so as an act of faith as much as fortitude, and without the benefits of experience and safety bestowed upon those who follow.
Tasked by the US Government to reinvigorate America’s global standing by beating the Soviets in putting a man into space, the newly formed NASA has to work against the clock to be ready in two years. They can put the rocket together but they need the best pilots in the country to fly her beyond the earthly veil. Enter a hand selected group of astronauts from a pool of military test pilots, ordinary men, plucked from obscurity and presented to the world as heroes. Known as the Mercury 7, can they live up to the expectation and handle the pressure?
Based on Tom Wolfe’s bestseller, The Right Stuff is also a celebrated 1983 film starring Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn and Ed Harris.
Oil Spill of the Century (Documentary)
In 1978, the oil tanker Amoco Cadiz ran aground off the coast of Brittany in Force 10 gales and split into three, spilling 221,000 metric tonnes of oil. At the time, it was the largest spill of its kind and created a slick that ran for 12 miles and spread along 45 miles of coastline. This documentary returns to the site of the disaster to see how the environment has recovered.
Marvel’s 616 (2020 Disney+ Original Anthology Docuseries) - added 29-Sep-2020
UPDATE: 29-Sep-2020: It looks like Disney+'s UK Facebook page had some erroneous dates for this as a brand new trailer clearly states 20th Nov for Marvel's 616. Still the trailer's below for your enjoyment until next month... as you were.
A reference to Earth-616 which is the main Marvel comics’ universe/timeline/dimension doohickey, this 8-part anthology documentary series explores the cultural and societal impacts of the Marvel Universe’s use of out-of-this-world stories and characters to reflect the real world we live in. Looking at the intersections of storytelling, pop culture and fandom, the series uses a different filmmaker for each episode to explore a range of topics. Interviewing the writers, creators, and contributors behind the iconic characters and story arcs, two of the episodes feature Community’s Gillian Jacobs who shines a light on trailblazing female superheroes while Veep’s Paul Scheer gets underneath the skin of the often forgotten and more bizarre characters found in the comics.
“Meet The Chimps” (2020, National Geographic Original Docuseries)
Chimp Haven is a 200-acre refuge tucked deep in the forested heart of Louisiana and is one of the largest and most unique wildlife sanctuaries in the world - one which more than 300 chimpanzees call home.
Given a second chance at life by dedicated and caring staff, this group of chimps are front and centre in a mix of natural history and observational documentary filmmaking which charts the real-life drama associated with food squabbles, alliances, romances, bromances, tears, tantrums, high jinxes and heartbreaks. EastEnders without the social distancing, if you will.
Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch... "Meet the Chimps", not EastEnders!
The Rocketeer (2019, S1, Disney Junior)
On her birthday, 7-year-old Kit Secord learns she is secretly next in line to become The Rocketeer, a jet pack-wearing superhero who can fly. Armed with her cool new gear and secret identity, Kit takes to the skies to protect her hometown of Hughesville and its residents from danger. Assisting her on her heroic adventures are her best friend Tesh, bulldog sidekick Butch, and airplane mechanic grandfather Ambrose.
Inspired by Dave Stevens’s popular comic book series and the subsequent 1991 Walt Disney Pictures feature film, each episode of the series features two 11-minute stories and includes an original song - so now you know.
Gordon Ramsey: Uncharted (2020, S2, National Geographic Original Docuseries)
Globetrotting celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay travels around the world meeting with indigenous peoples to learn about their foods and cultures. In each location, he harvests new ingredients and samples new dishes. He also teams up with local legends to cook feasts to serve up to the curious onlookers.
The Big Fib
Disney+‘s first original game show, The Big Fib pits two claimed experts against each other as they try to persuade the kid contestants that the other one is the fibber. Hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and featuring Rhys Darby as her robot sidekick, C.L.I.V.E (Computerized Library of Information and Virtual Expert).
The Last Secrets of the Nasca
Thanks to DNA analysis, 3D scanners and NASA aerial radar, an expert team of scientists has been able to unveil the mysterious world of the Nasca, a series of very large geoglyphs made in the soil of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru.
The Mandalorian (2020, S2 , Disney+ Original Series)
Set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, The Mandalorian follows the adventures of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic. In season two, the Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey in search of a home for the bounty hunter’s charge, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy.
The new season features extra additions to the cast including Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, Michael Biehn as a bounty hunter and, most expectantly for fans, Rosario Dawson who is anticipated to play Ahsoka Tano, the former Jedi Padawan of Anakin Skywalker turned spymaster for the Rebel Alliance.
Announced unexpectedly only a short time ago, The Mandalorian returns as DisneyPlus’s flagship icon at least until he can be joined by Cassian Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel’s mob which are all starting to get back on track now.
The Owl House (2020, S1, Disney Channel Animated Series)
Self-assured teenager Luz is faced with a juvenile detention summer camp but instead stumbles upon a portal to a magical realm where she befriends a rebellious witch, Eda, and a tiny warrior, King, Despite not having magical abilities, Luz pursues her dream of becoming a witch by serving as Eda’s apprentice at the Owl House and ultimately finds a new family in an unlikely setting.
PJ Masks (Disney Junior Animated Series)
During the day, school kids Amaya, Connor and Greg lead totally normal lives, but they transform into superheroes during the night and use their powers to fight villains and solve mysteries.
So, that’s your mix of family friendly films and TV shows coming to Disney+ UK in October. We’ll keep the article updated when more information is released, so make sure you pop back to keep up to date and don't forget to leave a comment about what you're planning on watching.