Disney and Amazon are bringing a couple of big gun movie releases to their streaming services for March in the form of Raya and the Last Dragon and Coming 2 America.
Updated 18-Feb-2021: Inside Pixar 'Foundations' episodes (26th Mar)
Disney+/Star Updated 19-Feb-2021:
5th Mar: Car SOS S7 - Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Dollface S1 - Mickey Mouse Mixed Up Adventures - The Cleveland Show S1-3 - The Catch S1-2
12th Mar: Behind Enemy Lines - Can You Ever Forgive Me? - Love in the Time of Corona S1 - Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of WandaVision - Marvel Studios: Legends - Next S1 - Quantico S1-3 - Thumbelina - The Beach
19th Mar: Ducktales S3 - Dr K's Exotic Animal ER S1-5 - Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates - My Name is Earl S1-4 - The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
26th Mar: Fantastic Four - Gone in 60 Seconds - Sideways - Taken - Taken 2 - The Resident S1-3
Amazon Prime Video Updated 25-Feb-2021: Made in Italy (26-Mar-2021)
Neither Disney+ nor Prime Video can usually match Netflix in terms of the sheer number of films and shows they add on a monthly basis - although Disney’s recent launch of its Star service in the UK and elsewhere may change that. However, March sees each streaming service bring a highly anticipated new movie exclusively to subscribers to make up for it.
Of course Disney’s latest animated feature, Raya and the Last Dragon which comes to Disney+ UK on 5th March is also destined for a simultaneous theatrical release (where possible), and comes with a sting in the tail - it’s going to cost an extra £19.99 on top of your subscription!
That’s not unexpected really, it is, after all, the House of Mouse’s latest blockbuster release and precedent was already set when Disney’s live action remake of Mulan attracted a $30 / £23 Premier Access fee back in September 2020. For those who can’t wait or cannot safely get to a cinema, it offers a choice to see it immediately on the date of release, and for those who are happy to wait, Raya and the Last Dragon hits the streaming service free for subscribers on 4th June.
Amazon Prime Video’s Coming 2 America - Eddie Murphy’s 33 year in the making sequel to his successful 1988 hit Coming to America - on the other hand won’t cost a bean when it goes head to head with Raya on 5th March.
Disney+ does have an ace up its sleeve as well, in the shape of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel’s second TV show after Wandavision, which features Captain America’s bickering buddies, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes as they take on the returning villain Zemo.
Let's take a closer look at what’s coming to both streaming services during March. Make sure you check back as we'll update the article as more content gets announced.
Raya and the Last Dragon - Premier Access (2021, Animation, Action, Adventure. Voices: Alan Tudyk, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Kelly Marie Tran, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, Dirs. Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada)
Long ago, in the realm known as Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it's up to a lone warrior, Raya, and her pet pill bug companion Tuk Tuk, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, during her journey, she'll learn that it'll take more than dragon magic to save the world - there’s an element of trust too!
Disney studio’s 59th film based its mythical land of Kumandra on Southeast Asian cultures including Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and the voice cast reflects that lineage.
Disney Plus’s Premier Access fee of £19.99 / $29.99 will allow payers to watch Raya and the Last Dragon as many times as they wish while they subscribe to the service.
Cinderella aka Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997, Family, Fantasy, Musical. Brandy Norwood, Paolo Montalban, Bernadette Peters, Veanne Cox, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander, Victor Garber)
The third adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical is a made for TV special featuring a starry, groundbreaking multicultural cast that included the up and coming nineties star Brandy who was handpicked for the role of Cinders by executive producer Whitney Houston.
Modernised somewhat for contemporary audiences, Cinderella was choreographed by Rob Marshall, who went on to direct Oscar winning musical Chicago, Into The Woods, Mary Poppins Returns and the upcoming The Little Mermaid remake.
With a production budget of $12 million, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella ranks among the most expensive television films ever made and proved a major ratings success, originally airing to 60 million viewers and establishing itself as the most-watched television musical in decades, though it was less kindly received by critics. Now you can judge for yourself.
Car SOS - National Geographic (2019, S7) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Car enthusiast and TV presenter Tim Shaw and master mechanic Fuzz Townshend join forces to rescue rusty classic vehicles from their garage prisons. This series includes a Triumph TR4, Toyota Celica, Lotus Elise, Ford Model A, Peugeot 504, Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, Lamborghini Espada, Volkswagen Transporter (T4), Ford Escort and Citroen 2CV.
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Library Title (2004, Comedy, Sport. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Vince Vaughn, Dir Rawson Marshall Thurber) - Added 19-Feb-2021
In order to save their beloved Average Joe’s Gym from a corporate takeover, Peter LaFleur and his misfit clients decide to take part in a Las Vegas Dodgeball competition to win the required $50,000 to keep the business going. But first they must learn how to play as a team - enter the Dodgeball legend that is Patches O'Houlihan.
Dollface - Star Original (2019, S1, new episodes weekly) - Added 19-Feb-2021
After being dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Jules must deal with her own imagination to literally and metaphorically reenter the world of women and rekindle the female friendships she left behind.
Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures - Added 19-Feb-2021
It all started with this little fella and he’s back with his gang of Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Chip and Dale on zany adventures at home and around the world.
The Cleveland Show - Library Title (2009-12, S1-3) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Animated spin off series featuring affable Cleveland Brown from Family Guy who moves from Quahog, Rhode Island to Virginia to be with his new family.
The Catch - Library Title (2016-17, S1-2) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Alice Vaughan runs a private investigation firm in Los Angeles, California specialising in exposing fraud. However, things get complicated when she is drawn to a man whose career appears to be exactly that.
Behind Enemy Lines - Library Title (2001, Action, Drama, Thriller. Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, Dir. John Moore) - Added 19-Feb-2021
A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? - Library Title (2018, True Life, Comedy, Crime. Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Dir. Marielle Heller) - Added 19-Feb-2021
When writer Lee Israel’s celebrity profiles and biographies fall out of favour, she faces financial difficulties. Struggling to find another way, she discovers and tries to sell a lost letter by writer Fanny Brice. When it only attracts a disappointing offer, Lee adds a little something extra which immediately pushes the price up. Now, with the help of her loyal friend Jack, she sets about turning her art into deception.
Love in the Time of Corona (2020, S1, All four episodes available) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Four interwoven stories focus on the search for love and connection during a time of quarantine in the Covid-19 pandemic. Filmed using remote technologies in the creative contributor’s own homes.
Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Wandavision - Disney+ Original Documentary - Added 19-Feb-2021
The first special of the documentary series, Assembled, takes a behind the scenes look at how the creative team put together Marvel’s most unusual project to date, WandaVision. There’s a look at how the production’s surprising concept took shape by drawing inspiration from classic sitcoms. Witness how the crew went to great lengths to emulate various filmmaking methods used during the early years of television. Plus cast members Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris, Kethryn Hahn, Kat Dennings and Randall Park share the unique challenges and ultimate rewards of performing an entire episode in front of a live studio audience.
Marvel Studios: Legends - Disney+ Original Documentary - Added 19-Feb-2021
Legends returns to get everyone up to speed with the Marvel characters and world building of the upcoming The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, with profiles on Sam Wilson (Falcon) Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) Sharon Carter and Helmut Zemo.
Next - Star Original (2020, S1) - Added 19-Feb-2021
A former tech CEO joins an FBI Cybersecurity Agent to stop the emergence of a constantly evolving rogue Artificial Intelligence that he himself created.
Own The Room (2021, National Geographic Documentary)
This film follows 5 extraordinary students from different parts of the world as they journey to win one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for young entrepreneurs. Hailing from a variety of backgrounds, each entrant hopes to change the world and get a head start in business with the £100K top prize.
Quantico - Library Title (2015-18, S1-3) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Serial drama looking at the lives of young FBI recruits training at the Quantico base in Virginia, including promising trainee Alex Parrish who becomes a prime suspect when the Grand Central Terminal is bombed.
Thumbelina - Library Title (1994, Animation, Family, Fantasy. Voices: Gilbert Gottfried, John Hurt, Dir. Don Bluth) - Added 19-Feb-2021
A lonely widow longing for a child of her own is given a barley seed by a friendly witch. The planted seed grows into a flower, and a tiny girl emerges from inside, no bigger than the old woman's thumb. The girl is named Thumbelina and she must negotiate the dangers of the huge world she finds herself in before she can find true love.
The Beach - Library Title (2000, Adventure, Drama, Romance. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Jerry Swindall. Dir. Danny Boyle) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Richard is a brash young American seeking adventure in Thailand who finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it. But once you’ve found paradise, can you ever share it with others?
Disney DuckTales (2020, S3) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Reboot of the 1980’s comedy-adventure series follows the adventures of trillionaire Scrooge McDuck, his grandnephews - Huey, Dewey, and Louie - and temperamental nephew Donald Duck, Launchpad McQuack, Mrs. Beakley, and her granddaughter Webby.
Featuring the voice of David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck.
Dr K’s Exotic Animal ER - National Geographic Series (2014-18, S1-5) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Follow Dr. Susan Kelleher and staff as they treat all forms of exotic animals at her hospital in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates - Library Title (2016, Comedy, Romance. Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Hard-partying brothers Mike and Dave place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister's Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves outsmarted and out-partied by the uncontrollable duo.
My Name is Earl - Library Title (2005-09, S1-4) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Earl Hickey is a small-time thief who strikes it lucky with a $100K lottery win and decides it’s time to turn his life around and make amends. With the help of his friends, he draws up a list of all the folks he has wronged and uses his new found wealth to put things right.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021, S1)
After being handed the mantle of Captain America by Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson struggles with the responsibility and continues under his better known nom de guerre of Falcon. While he comes to terms with the commitment, Wilson has to team up with Bucky Barnes, the former Winter Soldier, in order to take on a terrorist organisation, the Flag Smashers.
Originally planned as the first Marvel TV show to come to Disney+ in Aug 2020, interruptions to the filming schedules meant Wandavision pipped it to the post. Now Cap’s squabbling besties return with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan returning to the roles they made their own in the MCU.
Also returning for the ride is Daniel Brühl as the former Sokovian colonel, Helmut Zemo along with Emily VanCamp who reprises her Sharon Carter role. Meanwhile, Wyatt Russell might make things tricky for the titular pair as John Walker, otherwise known as US Agent.
Henry Jackman who memorably scored Captain America: The Winter Soldier is back on composing duties and each of the six 40-50 minutes episodes had a reported budget of $25 million, promising a large scale cinematic superhero spectacle.
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle - Library Title (1992, Drama, Thriller. Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, Matt McCoy, Dir. Curtis Hanson) - Added 19-Feb-2021
The pregnant wife of an obstetrician who kills himself after being accused of sexual misconduct by a patient loses her baby from the shock and grief. Driven by the need for revenge, she poses as a nanny for one of her husband's accusers, and slowly begins to infiltrate the family on a mission of vengeance.
Fantastic Four - Library Title (2005, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Dir. Tim Story) - Added 19-Feb-2021
A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom.
Marvel’s favourite family has proved to be a difficult nut for filmmakers to crack with all efforts so far returning different degrees of disappointment but this does give Chris Evans the chance to hone his superhero credentials pre Captain America.
Gone in 60 Seconds - Library Title (2000, Action, Crime, Thriller. Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Dir. Dominic Sena) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Retired master car thief Randall “Memphis” Raines must come back to the industry and steal fifty classic and exotic cars in one night to save his brother's life. But even with his old crew back, it’s not going to be easy with the mob and the FBI breathing down his neck.
Sideways - Library Title (2004, Comedy, Drama, Romance. Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Dir. Alexander Payne) - Added 19-Feb-2021
Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.
Taken - Library Title (2008, Action, Thriller, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen Dir. Pierre Morel) - Added 19-Feb-2021
A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his extensive training to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.
The film that somehow made it look cool to be in your mid 50s and spout the kind of dialogue that would get you in the ER if you’d used it down the pub when someone knocked your pint over.
Taken 2 - Library Title (2012, Action, Thriller, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Dir. Oliver Megaton) - Added 19-Feb-2021
In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter earlier.
Neeson is four years older, slower and more out of breath - “I have a particular set of pills” - indeed.
The Resident - Library Title (2018-20, S1-3) - Added 19-Feb-2021
The series focuses on the lives and duties of staff members at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, as they face personal and professional challenges on a daily basis.
Inside Pixar (2021, S3, Disney+ Original DocuSeries. 5 new episodes available) - Added 18-Feb-2021
After February’s ‘Portraits’ episodes and the initial ‘Inspired’ batch in November last year, comes the latest behind the scenes exposes at what it takes to run one of the world’s most successful and innovative animations studios.
The new set of 5 short documentaries will feature the theme of ‘Foundations’ and look at the fundamentals of creating a computer generated movie, from characters to lighting and colours to camera setups.
The individual chapters are:
111 - Recipe for a Movie
Just what are the ingredients for an animated, computer-generated story and how are they brought together to make a movie? The experts take us through the process with examples and metaphors.
112 - Creating Characters
Just how do Pixar can make an audience relate to a car or a lamp or even a creature that doesn’t exist? The journey from initial paper design all the way to fully rounded character with unique personalities, traits and flaws is explained.
113 - Through the Lens
Making an animated feature feel both cinematic and intimate requires the same mastery of camerawork as any live action project. Pixar’s layout artists explain the craft behind camera and staging, showcasing how camera positioning enhances emotion within a story.
114 - Animation and Acting
Breathing life into a collection of pixels requires animators who understand how to use the merest hint of a facial tic for a subtle emotional response all the way to broad slapstick for audience belly laughs, all performed authentically for the character in question.
115 - Colour, Light and Emotion
Colour and light are essential to creating a convincing world for the story to play out in as well as portraying the overall emotion of a scene. Pixar lighting directors and artists reveal how they illuminate a scene and most importantly, how they utilise light and colour for everything from terrifying twists to signature Pixar ‘something in my eye’ moments.
Looking at the trailer, there appears there will be a fourth batch of episodes under the ‘Unpacked’ umbrella, though their drop date is not yet known.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (2021, S1)
Now a powerhouse in its division, the Mighty Ducks junior hockey team is selective about who makes the cut. After being kicked out, a 12-year-old boy named Evan is urged by his mother to form a new hockey team of underdogs and with the help of the Ducks' original coach they learn there’s more to the win-at-all-costs mentality of modern youth sports, there’s the love of the game too.
The 10-episode season set in present day Minnesota is a continuation of the story started back in 1992 with the original Mighty Ducks film trilogy and brings back Emilio Estevez in his iconic role as inspirational coach Gordon Bombay.
Filming on The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was due to start in February 2020, ending in June, but the production actually started in September and completed on 17th Dec. Its debut on 26th March 2021 is an indication of how fine the post production margins are getting in a Covid-world with studios having to broadcast and stream content almost immediately upon completion.
Amazon Prime UK
Coming 2 America (2020, Comedy. Eddie Murphy, Shari Headley, James Earl Jones, Wesley Snipes, Arsenio Hall. John Amos, Tracey Morgan, Dir. Craig Brewer)
After his adventures in the United States decades prior, newly-crowned King Akeem, the African monarch of Zamunda, learns he has a long-lost son in New York and must therefore return to America to meet this unexpected heir, build a relationship with his son and return him to his rightful destiny.
Eddie Murphy’s long awaited follow up to his much loved 1988 fish-out-of-water comedy hit Coming to America at the peak of his star power, is reportedly Hollywood’s third longest wait for a sequel after Blade Runner 2049 and Mary Poppins Returns. It reunites many of the original cast and will once again feature Murphy and Arsenio Hall in multiple roles as the motley barbershop crew.
Invincible (2021, S1)
Mark Grayson is a normal teenager, except for the fact that his father Nolan is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man. Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, Mark begins to develop powers of his own and enters into his father's tutelage. However, as he begins his training, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems.
From Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead graphic novels, Invincible is an animated and mature take on the superhero genre and features the voice talents of J.K. Simmons, Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, Mark Hamill, Seth Rogen, Zazie Beetz, Jason Mantzoukas, Walton Goggins, Zachary Quinto, Clancy Brown and Lennie James.
Made in Italy (2020, Comedy, Drama. Liam Neeson, Yolanda Kettle, Micheál Richardson, Lindsay Duncan, Dir/Scr. James D’Arcy) - Added 25-Feb-2021
A bohemian artist travels from London to Italy with his estranged son to sell the house he inherited from his late wife. As they attempt to renovate the derelict property, they try and repair their own fractured relationship.
Liam Neeson stars with his son Micheál Richardson in what is clearly a resonant project for them both and it marks the feature length directorial debut of James D’Arcy, better known as Howard Stark’s Butler, Edwin Jarvis, in MCU TV spin off, Agent Carter.
Let us know what you think about Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video’s selections for March so far. Are you likely to pay for Premier Access to see Raya and the Last Dragon before June or will you simply be happy to see Eddie Murphy back in an iconic role for no additional cost?
We’ll keep the article updated when more content is announced, so make sure you come back to keep up to date.