Disney Minus

A screenshot of our Disney + account setting showing it cancelled.

Last week, we cancelled Disney+. Our annual subscription was due to renew, and at over £100 for the year, we could no longer justify it.

We’ve had a subscription ever since Disney+ launched in the UK, in the early days of lockdown in 2020. In fact, before then we had a subscription to DisneyLife, which was Disney’s UK-only streaming service for video and music, and used to cost £5 per month. Over time, Disney+ has got better, especially now that content from 20th Century Fox is on there.

But we just don’t watch enough of it. When we signed up to Disney+, there was only one price tier at £7.99 per month or £79 per year. Whilst that was more expensive than DisneyLife, there was more content available so it was worth it. Now there are three price tiers, and the most expensive is £10.99 per month, or £109 per year. That’s more than double what we were paying just five years ago. Whilst there is once again a £5 per month tier, it’s with adverts, and we don’t want those.

Like many kids, our eight-year-old seems to just want to watch YouTube Kids now. It’s something we’ve tried to resist for years, but apparently watching home-made videos and Minecraft walk-throughs is far more interesting than the professionally-produced content that we were paying for. We’ll keep paying for Netflix, as you can download content onto an iPad to watch offline. We tend to clip our eight-year-old’s iPad into a stand fixed to the back of the front passenger seat for long car journeys.

We’ve had Amazon Prime in the past, shared using Amazon Household with another family member, but we don’t have this now. Again, it’s getting more expensive, and we’d rather avoid the adverts. And whilst we’ve had free trials of Apple TV+ and Now TV, we’ve never paid for these beyond the trial period. We also don’t pay for a TV package, and just have Freeview and Freesat for live television.

I guess we’ll just re-subscribe to these from time-to-time when there’s something we actually want to watch.

I do find it odd comparing streaming video with streaming music. There’s a handful of music streaming services – Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and so forth – and for the most part, they all have the same music. Yet with streaming video services, most shows are on one or two at best, and many or exclusive to one service.

Wonka and Wish

Posters for the films 'Wonka' and 'Wish'

Over the Christmas period, we watched a couple of films at the cinema – Wonka, and Wish.


Wonka is set up as a prequel to the 1970s film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and so has a broadly similar visual style. It’s not related to the 2005 adaptation with Johnny Depp, presumably because Depp isn’t much in favour nowadays.

As Roald Dahl passed away in 1990, the film has been made with the involvement of his estate, but was written by Simon Farnaby and Paul King. Farnaby has written for and starred in Horrible Histories, Yonderland and Ghosts, and King directed both of the recent critically acclaimed Paddington films. Their talent shows through, as does their respect for Dahl’s work; I imagine if Dahl himself had been involved in writing the screenplay for Wonka, it would be similar to this.

So it’s a good film. My only major criticism would be that it’s a bit twee in places. There’s also been some controversy over the casting of Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa, rather than someone like Peter Drinklage who would probably also do well in the role. However, I think Grant is excellent, and like with his role in the recent Dungeons and Dragons film, it’s good to see him playing roles that aren’t variations of a confused English gentlemen.


Wish is the latest animated Disney film, and the one that marks Disney’s 100th anniversary (which is why their first short film, Steamboat Willie, is now in the public domain). I’d like to say it’s as good as recent Disney animated films like Encanto and Frozen… but it isn’t.

It’s not bad, but we’ve seen better from Disney. To sum it up, it’s as if an AI was asked to generate a Disney film in a certain style. All the ingredients that would make a good film are there, but they just don’t seem to work together. As someone who generates AI artwork for my blog posts, I’m aware of their limitations and their tendency to not understand how things fit together. I’m not saying Disney used an AI here, but it feels like they’re trying too hard to imitate something without understanding what makes them great.

The soundtrack, for example, seems to be trying too hard to imitate films like The Greatest Showman. A case in point is the song “This Is the Thanks I Get?!”, sung by Chris Pine’s character. It’s supposed to be an angry song, but comes across as rather upbeat.

Wish came out in the UK in November so probably won’t be in cinemas much longer. However, given the choice, I would recommend Wonka over Wish.