What’s on Disney+ While You Wait for ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2?
Disney+ got off to a roaring start when it launched last year, largely on the strength of The Mandalorian. Everybody went nuts for the first live-action Star Wars series, or more specifically, they went nuts for Baby Yoda.
So the question many viewers have is “So now what?” That bad news is season 2 of the Mandalorian is not expected to appear until much later this year. The worse news is that Disney does not have much new content ready to go. The good news is, there’s still plenty to watch on the Mouse House’s streaming service.
Disney+ doesn’t have much new content
When Disney+ came out seven months ago, observers thought it posed a real threat to Netflix. Not only was The Mandalorian in the offing, but so were several new Marvel series that were supposed to start playing this fall, such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the oddball-seeming WandaVision.
Disney was coming off a year of gargantuan hits, including Frozen 2, The Lion King remake, and of course, Avengers: Endgame, among others.
Then the pandemic came to the United States. Marvel had to shut down production along with the rest of Hollywood, and the fall release dates for those shows still look like a string of question marks. Season 2 of The Mandalorian was mostly if not completely done with photography, but it’s still in post-production.
Disney moved some titles to Disney+ faster than expected. Including Frozen 2 and The Rise of Skywalker, but that can’t completely cover a paucity of new content.
Meanwhile, Netflix turns out new content just about every day, whether it’s a new season of Dead to Me, a new Spike Lee movie called Da Five Bloods or new to Netflix content like Community. Mighty as Disney is. Netflix got a big head start on streaming, and it will be a while before Disney+ catches up – if it ever does.
Here’s what else you can watch on Disney+
None of this is to say there isn’t anything to watch on Disney besides The Mandalorian, and MCU and Star Wars movies. As with most any streaming service, a lot of good stuff is to be found if you know where to look. Or to put it in video store terms, move beyond the new release wall.
National Geographic may sound boring on the surface, but that section of Disney+ has some real gems, not the least of which is the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo about Alex Honnold, a climber who scaled a sheer cliff face with nothing but his bare hands.
There’s the fascinating program Drain the Titanic, which makes a case that the ship didn’t break apart above the surface, as depicted in the 1997 movie. And if it’s Marvel stars you want, Running Wild with Bear Grylls features Brie Larson being put through her paces, including jumping from a helicopter.
There’s the idiosyncratic series The World According to Jeff Goldblum with that idiosyncratic star. And if you just can’t wait for season 2 of The Mandalorian, there’s a documentary series about that show as part of Disney Gallery, with half-hour segments devoted to a specific aspect of the show. And of course, it includes Baby Yoda.
Don’t forget the library titles
Although Disney is in a bit of a rut when it comes to new content, its very deep library is a feature, not a bug. It goes without saying that almost every one of the studio’s animated features are there, including relatively unknown gems from the days of Walt Disney himself, such as The Three Caballeros with Donald Duck.
There are documentaries on the making of the animated movies and theme park attractions, including The Imagineering Story, The Pixar Story, and Waking Sleeping Beauty, about how the animation studio struggled through most of the 80s to become a powerhouse in the 90s before gradually slipping again.
And if you’re still looking for Brie Larson in something besides Captain Marvel, you can find her when she was a teenager in the 2003 movie Right on Track, about two sisters who become drag racing champions.