If you took a survey of Disney Plus subscribers, I’m fairly confident a large percentage of viewers would suggest their main reason for staying subscribed is the service's plethora of Marvel and Star Wars content.
That’s a pretty logical reason to fork over a monthly subscription fee. After all Disney Plus boasts (almost) every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as a rapidly-growing library of Marvel TV shows. Similarly, when it comes to Star Wars you’ve got access to every single film in the saga, alongside universe-expanding series such as The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
When Disney Plus launched my reasoning for signing up was primarily to keep up with the MCU, and to check out the pieces of new Star Wars media that appealed. But I’m not a superfan that tries to watch everything set in a galaxy far far away (if you are, our Star Wars movies in order guide may be of some help, it also includes the shows in release and chronology orders).
However, recently I’ve been struggling with Marvel fatigue largely brought on by the underwhelming quality of the latest Marvel streaming shows. To be honest, the thought of She-Hulk debuting in a few weeks does nothing to excite me (nor do I want to watch the Marvel movies in order again... even if they're now available to stream in Dolby Atmos on Apple TV 4K with AirPods).
I did watch all of Obi-Wan’s long-requested return and found it watchable but bland. However, I skipped The Book of Boba Fett because of its poor word of mouth, and I have very little interest in Andor either. So, at this point, you might think I’d be looking to cancel Disney Plus for a few months until something fresh hits the streaming service. You'd be wrong.
I’m still happily paying my monthly subscription because I’ve found something else that is filling a very specific need in my life. In fact, the past few months are probably the most I’ve ever used Disney Plus, and it’s all because of the service’s vast library of adult animated shows.
Springfield, Quahog, Ocean Avenue and more
For context, I’m a big fan of watching TV shows absentmindedly while doing other things. Perhaps it’s because I live alone, or maybe it’s just a need for distraction while doing mundane household chores. [Editor's note: I call it 'laundry TV for a reason.] But in my house, the television is rarely off. I even like putting on a TV show to help me fall asleep.
Of course, if I’m watching on show in the background while cooking, cleaning or sorting out life admin, I’m not going to turn to an engrossing drama or a movie that demands my full attention. And the latest unmissable streaming hit definitely isn’t going to help me get a good night's sleep. In these situations, I’ll opt for something light that can be easily followed without dedicating your full attention to the screen.
Typically I gravitate towards sitcoms like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Scrubs, but having watched those shows multiple times each in recent years, I’ve been looking to switch things up. That’s where Disney Plus has swooped in and now its rapidly become the first app I open on my Smart TV.
I live in the U.K. and over here the service offers an unmatched selection of adult animated shows via the Disney Plus Star channel (which has many shows available in the Disney Bundle, as I'll get to below). We’re talking every single episode of The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, American Dad, Solar Opposites and more. That’s hundreds of hours of easy-watching content to be enjoyed.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting all of these shows are winners. Family Guy is about as hit-and-miss as comedy shows come, but they’re all great for background noise, and can be enjoyed when you're brain isn't fully in gear.
I can throw on a couple of episodes of The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers while I’m doing other things and still enjoy the gentle comedy of these animated favorites. Not to mention, at this point, I've watched so much Futurama before bed that I’m surprised my dreams don’t feature Fry and Bender.
Streaming services like to brag about all the binge-worthy content they offer, but there’s something to be said for easy-watching shows that don’t demand your full attention. Often I crave TV shows that are light and instantly consumable, and when I’m looking for that sort of content Disney Plus is always the first streaming service I turn to.
Outlook: Don't even worry if you’re in the U.S.
Unfortunately, getting access to a plethora of adult animated shows isn’t quite as straightforward as logging into Disney Plus over in the U.S. While every episode of The Simpsons is available on Disney’s streaming service worldwide, some of the other shows mentioned above are not.
Instead the likes of Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and Futurama are found on Hulu. This is definitely a little inconvenient for American viewers looking for easy-watching animated shows, but things are made a little easier via The Disney Bundle (opens in new tab). This streaming package brings together Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus for a single monthly price of $13.99 (or $19.99 if you want Hulu with no ads). That’s a pretty fantastic deal — savings of around $11.
If like me you’re looking for some TV shows you can just throw on when doing other things, or when you don’t feel like watching something that demands your full attention, the Disney Plus Bundle offers almost unbeatable value. With hundreds of episodes of classic (and modern) animated shows to watch, it’s hard to see why I’d ever unsubscribe from Disney Plus anytime soon.