There are plenty of reasons to go back and watch all the Marvel movies on Disney Plus (whether you watch them in order or not). Maybe you like seeing how the storytelling evolved over the years or you like seeing how a decade plus of movies coalesced into a grand finale. Perhaps you're a fan of a particular character, or like me, you've got a daughter who can't get enough of Thor: Ragnarok.
All those are valid explanations. But I would also posit that it's sometimes fun to go back and watch the Marvel movies on Disney Plus just for their post-credit sequences. So it's a shame that Disney's streaming service does such an inconsistent job showcasing them.
I realized this a week or so ago when my wife was revisiting the first Iron Man movie, which 13 years after its release, still bops along at a pleasing pace. We got to the end, Tony Stark announced to the world that he was, in point of fact, Iron Man, and the guitar solo from Black Sabbath's song of the same name kicked into high gear. And so we sat there and waited for the inevitable end credits sequence, which in those days, really did appear at the very end of the credits. (Kids, ask your parents.)
Only it turns out we really didn't have to wait. After the main credits finished rolling and the long scroll of technical support began rolling across the screen, a small Skip Credits button appeared. The button does not, as you might imagine, hustle you off to the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; rather, you jump to the end of the credits as Nick Fury is explaining to Tony Stark what the Avenger initiative might be.
That got me thinking — do all the Marvel movies on Disney Plus feature this Skip Credits button, allowing you to jump to the post-credit scenes without having to scroll forward like a commoner? The answer is yes, kind of. Though it really varies from movie to movie.
Dr. Strange gets a skip button that shows up right after the Sorcerer Supreme's tete a tete with Thor so you immediately find up what Mordo's up to. (Spoiler alert: It's not good, especially if you're Benjamin Bratt!) The first Avengers movie does not have a skip button — in fact, the moment Thanos makes his first on-camera appearance, Disney Plus is ready to show you Avengers: Age of Ultron instead of earth's mightiest heroes enjoying some shawarma. Ant-Man will let you enjoy the first post-credit sequence, but you can't skip to the second one. And on it goes.
Near as I can figure, your chances of getting a Skip Credits option depend heavily on how new the movie is and how many post-credit scenes there are. Then again, even some of the non-Disney Marvel movies don't hide their post-credit surprises under a bushel — in X-Men: Last Stand, for example, you can jump ahead to the very end if you're patient enough.
As inconsistent as Disney Plus can be with how it handles anything that happens after the credits, it's miles ahead of other streaming services. Unless the post-credits action is interwoven with the credits themselves, Netflix will shrink down the movie you're watching into a tiny box, prompting you to go and binge something else. Peacock is particularly egregious — on the Harry Potter movies, it'll bring up a box with the next movie in the series, and if you take no action, that movie starts playing whether there's a post-credit scene or not.
What I propose is a simple, audience-friendly change. If there is a post-credit sequence — and Disney should know if there is, as it now controls nearly all the IP in the world — then instead of trying to frog-march audiences on to the next movie or show, let the credits play out. For people who want to jump ahead, have that skip button appear consistently and for every mid- and post-credit sequence there is. And instead of labeling it something confusing like "Skip Credits," give it a more descriptive term like "Next Scene." You could even bake something like this into your app's settings so that no one ever gets shorted out of an extra movie scene without knowing there's more to see.
Because of the long shadow Disney casts in the entertainment world. I suspect that if Disney Plus got a little bit more consistent with how it streams post-credit sequences, rivals would follow suit. And isn't a better streaming experience across the board something we should all aim for?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back and watch the end of Thor: Ragnarok. I've got a good feeling about the fate of the people of Asgard!