Disney owns almost everything at this point: everything you watch, most of the content you consume is no doubt owned by Disney.
Back when the streaming service Disney+ was launched, many people were reluctant to hand over more of their money to Disney just to see content they most likely could pirate for free. After all Disney will hardly have to declare bankruptcy over a few pirated streams of The Lion King.
I personally never really saw the appeal of Disney+. As a media student I even resented it (for a myriad of reasons that I best not put online). The company does not need my tiny financial contribution to produce content so I would support a smaller company that does.
But then my little sisters video called me and asked if I could get it for them so that they could watch all their old favourite shows without the risk of computer viruses every time they pirated Hannah Montana. And have I ever been able to say no to my sisters? Not exactly.
So I gave in and got the subscription, sceptical that I would ever use it myself. My sisters would be happy and I would be content in the knowledge that Disney resents password/account sharing. A win-win situation for everybody.
Soon I found that I was curious. Soon I found myself watching it, against my better judgement.
There are shows on there that I really miss. Shows that make me so nostalgic that I can vividly remember fighting for the remote and covering the Sky box with my hands because I thought that would block the signal.
I have to admit that I use the streaming service almost every day. It comforts me, even if the knowledge that Disney owns National Geographic does not.
Objectively I know there are several things wrong with the service: excluding those who cannot afford it and blocking other platforms from ever using any Disney content – to name a few.
The little voice in the back of my head that screams every time I use the service to watch Mulan again is not something I ignore. However, it is a voice that I mute from time to time just to feel young again.
Now I know I’m only twenty one but there is something so soothing about being transported back to simpler times where my biggest worry was that I would miss the beginning of Wizards of Waverly Place.
Disney+ brings back memories I had forgotten: my brother screaming at me to hurry up as I tumbled down the stairs in my hurry to catch the latest episode of XMen. Memories of sitting on the floor watching High School Musical for the first time. Pretending not to watch as my sister put on Lemonade Mouth, yet again.
I have found one downside to the Digital Media degree I love: all of the media I consume is automatically categorised into boxes, good, bad, lowbrow, owned by bad people; the list goes on and on.
I can never switch that part of my brain off to truly enjoy something. While I find this terribly inconvenient I feel that it gives me the freedom to do things like subscribe to Disney+ because I also do things to counteract the conglomeration of my future industry.
I support indie/smaller media companies and content creators. I have aspirations to maybe start my own media company one day. And I also hope to one day be brave enough to write an article about why Disney is bad.
It is true that every time I watch Disney+ that I have a full-blown argument with myself in my head where my lecturers shake their heads in disappointment. But I also laugh and reminisce about a younger and simpler time where I didn’t notice green screens and bad editing in everything I watch.
The truth is I have a Disney+ account to make my sisters smile, to watch the weirdly entertaining High School Musical series and to feel closer to a time that is sadly long behind me.
Featured image: TechRadar.com