Understanding the Disney+ Star Brand
What is the Star Tile?
Disney+ originally launched as a family-friendly streaming service with all “mature” content moving over to Hulu. Things became a little more complicated outside of the United States, where Hulu doesn’t exist.
Initially, some Disney-owned movies and shows were unsuitable for Disney found homes on other services. For example, Hulu’s High Fidelity became a StarzPlay Original, but most shows were simply never released.
One of the most common complaints about Disney+, particularly in Europe, was that the service had very little to offer adults and was filled with content that most people had already seen multiple times.
To curve this issue, Disney introduced a sixth tile called Star, which would be filled with general entertainment ranging from children’s films like Anastasia to more adult affairs like Aliens and Die Hard. It also allowed them to add Deadpool and Logan into the Marvel section.
Star is also the home to non-Disney content like Paddington, which was recently licensed, and AMC’s The Walking Dead, which Disney owns the distribution rights to, thanks to their purchase of F/X.
Now, most Hulu shows and movies (providing Disney produced them or reaches a distribution deal) are released on Disney+, but Disney brands them as Star Originals to help differentiate them. Though, they are no longer advertised as such due to the confusion it caused, with many users believing Star to be an extra charge or a separate service altogether.
Star on Disney+ is available everywhere except the United States, which has Hulu, Latin America, which has a completely separate service from both Disney+ and the Star hub called Star+, and several Asian countries where Disney+ is mixed with Hotstar.
Pam & Tommy “Controversy“
It’s almost been one year since the Star tile launched, and yet there is still massive amounts of confusion regarding the content it hosts, particularly in the United Kingdom.
The Hulu Original Series Pam & Tommy is the most recent series causing a stir since it’s available on Disney+ via the Star tile. The limited series covers the relationship between Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) during the time their sex tape was made public.
Cue the angry “Facebook Mums”:
“Disney is meant for children”, cried one Facebook user under the advertisement for the series.
“I’m cancelling my subscription”, decreed another on Twitter.
“Not very Disney”, said another on Instagram.
Comments like these have led to the writing of this article to help confused users understand the whole point of the Star tile.
Utilising the Settings
For most of the world, Disney+ is no longer a family-orientated service. It is a general entertainment service like Netflix. If you don’t want children to access the material you deem unsuitable for them, you can utilise the age content settings, which can be found under the Edit Profile section of the service.
Here, you will find different age settings, which vary depending on your region. There are seven age settings in the United Kingdom and Ireland to choose from.
To make matters even easier, you can literally lock anyone out of profiles by adding a four-digit PIN. And even better, Disney+ has a specific child profile setting that changes the user interface to become even more kid-friendly.
It was clear that Disney+ was not going to survive in most of the world if it remained the way it was before introducing the Star tile. And there is absolutely no reason to complain about adult-orientated content when there are THREE ways to block children from accessing unsuitable content.
And for anyone who is looking to purchase a Disney+ subscription, you should know that the Star tile is included and does not cost extra. It also cannot be removed from any profile. But content can be locked out via the age restriction settings, as discussed above.
I hope this clears things up. Now, go and enjoy Aliens or Encanto or Family Guy, or The Princess and the Frog, or The Walking Dead!